Barcelo Punta Cana has gone greener with upgraded guest-room air conditioning and an ultraviolet purifier for water treatment
Guido Bauer, CEO of Green Globe Certification, gave Travel Agent his pick of top five green resorts in the Caribbean. Here, in no particular order, are his recommendations for your eco-friendly clients:
Grenada’s Spice Island Beach Resort was Green Globe-certified in January. The resort uses solar rooftop heaters for all hot-water needs; compact, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and other electrical appliances; and water conservation devices. It also utilizes seawater during the dry season through an on-property desalinization plant. Each employee is trained to be an Environmental Agent, adept on the resort’s environmental practices, policies and objectives. A Green Team of staff supervisors and managers implements the environmental program.
BEST ROOMS: Cinnamon and Saffron Suites sit on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. These measure 1,440 square feet and have a romantic canopy bed, rich fabrics, marble bathroom, living room with a wet bar and dining area for six.
WHO TO BOOK IT FOR: Traditionally a couples’ resort, it also has amenities for a good family vacation. For example, the resort’s Nutmeg Pod, a supervised children’s program with complimentary enrollment for children aged 3-12 (kids must be toilet-trained), has electronic gaming machines, a DVD-viewing area, the Nutmeg library and Sleepy Hollow, a place for resting and recharging between activities.
Agents should contact General Manager Brian Hardy (473-444-4258, [email protected]) for details.
Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa, Jamaica, received Green Globe certification in 1998. It was the first all-inclusive resort to earn the Green Globe 21 certification. Sandals Negril has upgraded its water system and waste management program, and reduced energy requirements. Its involvement with the local community has been strengthened. Environmental protection measures have been incorporated into the management of the property. These include reduction of energy and water consumption, and recycling of solid waste and wastewater.
BEST ROOMS: The resort has eight Plantation Suites, which are reminiscent of a Plantation House, complete with West Indian-themed decor. Five Plantation Suites include a private plunge pool, outdoor shower and a garden, while the rest come with romantic private balconies. Following a $2 million expansion, the Plantation Suites now have vessel sinks, a Jacuzzi tub tucked in a secluded alcove complete with a romantic light dimmer, a fully stocked bar and two flat-screen TVs.
WHO TO BOOK IT FOR: The resort is perfect for a romantic retreat with all the expected amenities and services. Contact Sales Manager Jeffrey Burke (876-957-5216, [email protected]) with queries.
Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba, was Green Globe-certified in 2000. The resort uses air-conditioner sensors in guest rooms and solar panels. The wastewater from the toilets is directed to a government treatment plant for reuse and water from showers, sinks and bathtubs is reused for watering plants once it is irradiated with powerful ultraviolet lamps in a gray-water recycling system.
All rooms have bulk dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and lotion; disposable utensils are not used at the restaurant; and a water cooler and reusable plastic cups are available at the bar area. Guests are invited to join monthly beach cleanups, a biannual recycling contest and an annual Earth Day celebration, among other events. The resort also encourages associate participation and has a Green Team that submits monthly action plans.
BEST ROOMS: The resort’s sought-after beachfront Tara Beach Suites have ocean-facing balconies or terraces and king-size beds.
WHO TO BOOK IT FOR: The resort is ideal for couples, especially those traveling for weddings or honeymoons.
Agents should contact Reservations Manager Jill Blase (888-4-BUCUTI, [email protected]).
Divi Southwinds, Barbados, was awarded a Green Globe Certification in July 2008. The resort has pool ionizers, solid-waste recycling program, an energy and waste management program, and uses biodegradable cleaning products. It also runs an outreach program in some of the island’s schools and the University of the West Indies.
BEST ROOMS: Book any of the beach villas. The One- and Two-Bedroom Suites have additional features, but they aren’t found along the beach.
WHO TO BOOK IT FOR: Divi Southwinds is primarily a family resort. To learn more of the resort’s green initiatives, contact Environmental Officer Audrey Smith (246-418-7310, [email protected]). For bookings, e-mail Reservations Supervisor Henderick Watson at [email protected].
Barcelo Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic was Green Globe-certified in January. It has upgraded its chiller systems and guest-room air conditioning as well as installed an ultraviolet purifier in its water treatment plant.
BEST ROOMS: Book the recently remodeled Deluxe Rooms, which boast upgraded bedding amenities and a Caribbean theme with tropical colors.
WHO TO BOOK IT FOR: This resort is for active leisure travelers—be they families or adventurous couples. Agents should contact Sales Associate Yudelky Tejada (809-476-7777, [email protected]) for details.
The living room and patio of the new Cinnamon Suite at Grenada's Spice Island Beach Resort