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Throughout 2022 we are featuring Travelife certified properties that have gone the extra mile with their sustainability work. This month we congratulate Boardwalk Boutique Hotel for their work to support the local community.
There are many benefits when a hotel fully embraces community engagement and support as part of their sustainability strategy. Not only does this help to improve their social, economic and environmental impact on the local area, it can truly enhance the guest experience through allowing them to better connect with the local culture in a respectful way. Sourcing items locally can also reduce the emissions generated from producing then shipping goods over long distances, something that is particularly true for properties operating on small islands just like this one in the Caribbean.
In their hotel of the month application, Boardwalk were able to provide us with many excellent examples of how they have fully embraced community support as part of their wider mission to protect and uplift the nature and heritage of Aruba. For starters, they were concerned about the potential impact of a recent expansion in terms of having to import a lot of items from overseas so, wherever possible, local vendors and materials were used. They utilised two local garden centres when expanding their gardens, adding over 2,300 trees and plants that were mostly endemic to the region. This has transformed the grounds into a lush, tropical oasis with a very strong Aruban signature. By using local species they now better support biodiversity in the area and reduce the need for irrigation along with the use of potentially harmful chemicals often found in pest control and fertiliser products.
Boardwalk works hard to ensure that local businesses get exposure to their guests, in the hope that this generates economic benefits. One example sees the walls of their guest casitas donned with local artwork thanks to their partnerships with local artists. Guests can also enjoy bath and body products from local supplier, Aruba Aloe, provided via more environmentally friendly dispensers in all bathrooms, kitchens and public areas. All food and beverage offerings are supplied by local partner Eduardo's, a small business in Aruba that specialises in vegan and healthy options, a good example of something that supports a local business whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food.
They actively encourage their guests to explore the island by telling them about hidden gems and promoting local vendors, sites, bars and restaurants. They offer suggestions to guests about volunteer work they can participate in during their stay, along with other ways they can contribute to the protection and preservation of Aruba's nature and culture.
Boardwalk's staff play a key role in all of the above, often expressing a sense of pride and care for the island of Aruba. They participate in the annual Aruba Expert Program so that they themselves really know the area and can engage in conversations with guests about it, contributing to their vacation experience and helping them to truly get to know Aruba and what the island has to offer. You can read more about their contribution to community efforts and the personal experiences of staff members on the hotel's blog.
Highly commended for community support...
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