2007 Coastal Living Awards: Tourism
This Caribbean retreat went green, inspiring both visitors and staff.
When vacationers arrive at Grenada's Spice Island Beach Resort,they expect to find tropical gardens, powder-white sand, and clearblue water. But what they may not foresee is the 64-roomestablishment's complete commitment to conserving its naturalresources.
Following 2004's Hurricane Ivan, Spice Island began a $12million rebuilding and renovation project, much of it focusing onnew, environmentally conscious features and procedures. Even beforethe storm hit, the resort had received Green Globe Certification,hard-won recognition that it had met specific environmentalstandards. Since being repaired, Spice Island is going through thecertification process again. Sir Royston O. Hopkin, the resort'sowner and chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for SustainableTourism (CAST), says, "We have to make sure our natural asset isclean and preserved for locals, and for visitors to enjoy what wehave."
Conservation efforts include solar rooftop heaters, insulateddoors, and salt-based instead of chlorine pools. The resort staffplants beachfront trees, composts a vegetable garden, and performsocean cleanups.
Employees undergo continuous environmental training. GreenTeams, made up of staff members, meet biweekly to discuss policies."We have to lead by example, and we try to involve our guests andinform them of our efforts," Sir Royston says. "People who stayhere have high expectations, and we make sure to deliver theunexpected."