August 23, 2013
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, HI, is expanding its on-site garden to increase the amount of fresh produce used in its restaurant menus and to prepare for wellness activities this fall.
The Kapalua garden provides benefits for both the hotel and the surrounding area with compost piles, a horticulture learning center and an abundance of fresh ingredients. Environmentally sustainable practices can uplift the spirit of the surrounding community and provide the hotel with a level of authenticity that imported ingredients cannot attain.
"The expansion of the garden reflects The Ritz-Carlton mission in that it anticipates the needs of our guests, providing the highest quality fruits, vegetables and herbs for our products, while simultaneously offering a relaxing environment of genuine comfort," said Steven Holt, market direct of public relations at Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Los Angeles.
"Many of our guests visit the garden during their stay," he said.
"It is a great addition to the Ambassadors of the Environment program."
The primary driving force behind the expansion is the property's upcoming fall wellness activities.
Top fitness and dietitian experts have partnered with the hotel to create "wellness week" known as "E Malama Kou Kino," which is a Hawaiian saying that means "Care for your body." This event runs Oct. 31-Nov. 3 and will feature a variety of health and wellness classes complimentary to resort guests.
The Ritz Carlton Kapalua
The hotel intends to release further details about the event in early September.
To guests, schools and the public, the garden is a learning center that promotes various methods of sustainable horticulture.
Further expansion plans include a three-tiered fruit orchard that will provide a views of the ocean.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Six property restaurants use ingredients from the garden, which are The Terrace Chef-Crafted, Kai Sushi, The Beach House, Alaloa Lounge, The Pool and Bar Cafe and The Terrace.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
A number of health-centric offers will be available this fall such as yoga classes, fitness walks, herb cultivation lessons and farm-to-table spa treatments.
The Island Adventure Package pricing starts seasonally at $529 per night offering a $300 hotel credit. The Island Adventure Luxury Package starts seasonally at $639 per night and daily breakfast for two and a $500 hotel credit. Both packages require a minimum five-night stay.
Give rather than take
Other hotels recognize the importance of sustainable practices.
For instance, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is expanding its environmental initiatives with a limousine service featuring the all-electric Tesla S 85 sedan that ferries guests from the Kahului airport to the resort and other ventures.
As part of the “Going Green” initiatives, the hotel is able to set the stage for a trip that emphasizes the environment’s importance by welcoming guests with a eco-friendly ride as soon as they arrive. As more and more brands begin to embrace green initiatives, guests will likely become more demanding in their preferences for environmental accountability (see story).
Also, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is beginning a month-long charity initiative in September that tackles issues relevant to its properties’ surrounding areas.
The “Community Connections Month” invites Fairmont colleagues and hotel guests to work with local organizations to volunteer at shelters, improve elderly facilities, spread knowledge of bee preservation and other charitable activities. Making a sweeping effort to aid community outreach projects will likely appeal to luxury travelers who search for brands engaged in authentic philanthropy (see story).
Aside from the allure generated by an organic garden, the garden has practical benefits.
"The expansion of the garden allows our chefs access to the freshest produce on property," said Steven Holt,
"It also provides a beautiful and relaxing escape for our guests to visit during their stay.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York