A Winning Trifecta
Community involvement, protecting the environment and well-being make for a winning trifecta for hotels in the new year, says Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, managing director at Alma Resort Cam Ranh.
The lifelong hotelier said his team had created compelling experiences for 2024 to encourage holidaymakers to volunteer alongside the resort and give back to local communities. For example, guests spend a morning with volunteers who cook meals and feed disadvantaged school children after class in a nearby community.
“Some holidaymakers like to kick back by the pool, and that’s perfectly fine, but we understand others are keen to bring extra depth to their trip in a kind-hearted way,” he said. “We’ve organised some half- and full-day volunteering opportunities for guests and staff. You get a real sense of the local community and feel rewarded doing your bit to help.”
Alma is in the process of implementing what is believed to be Vietnam’s most ambitious solar power project, installing 4,470 solar panels totalling 23,290-square-metres on the roofs of its 196 pavilions, two V-shaped towers housing 384 suites, lobby lounge and utility building. With a capacity of 2,462 kilowatts peak – the rate at which it generates energy at its peak performance on a sunny day – the solar power system will fuel between a quarter to almost 35 percent of Alma’s energy needs, depending on occupancy dictated by the low and high seasons.
The resort is part of the “End Plastic Soup in Cam Ranh” campaign, attracting volunteers to collect plastic from Long Beach to be upcycled. The “End Plastic Soup in Cam Ranh” campaign is part of the global environmental End Plastic Soup project, supported by thousands of Rotarians worldwide, with a goal seeking “no more plastic soup” in the oceans and seas and “no more plastic waste in our lakes, rivers, forests, parks and streets” by 2050.
According to Laubichler-Pichler, wellness tourism will continue to be a huge focus for the travel industry in the post-pandemic era. Alma’s Le Spa will soon roll out an array of wellness experiences including new wellness retreats and journeys up to three days long encompassing spa therapies, singing bowl meditation, power yoga, health drinks and more.
In a bid to be more sustainable and self-sufficient, Alma this year unveiled its own onsite Herb Garden, Nursery Garden and Chicken Farm, providing fresh produce and eggs served at Alma’s restaurants. “Our resort has started running complimentary guided garden tours to equip guests with handy tips on how to nurture their own veggie patch and look after chickens,” said Laubicher-Pichler. “Alma is also planning to roll out cooking classes by the garden, where guests pick, clean and cook their own healthy meals.”
The resort’s Asiana restaurant is set to offer a vegan menu and vegan buffets in 2024.
“There are so many things hotels and resorts can do in the new year to not only boost the guest experience and guests’ health but also help the community and protect the environment; we hope to set a good example and encourage other hotels to take a leaf out of our book so that the hotel industry is a genuine force for change.”
Alma this year joined forces with boutique travel agency Zazen Travel to launch ‘A Journey Through Culture and Cuisine’, a cultural immersion experience anchored by an interactive cooking class. After rummaging through the colourful and lively Cam Duc Market to experience the local way of life, and learn about fresh, local ingredients to be used in the cooking class, participants visit a unique temple and a mango farm. They then learn how to cook recipes handed down the generations, indulge in their creations together for lunch and take home a recipe book and an apron, along with new memories.
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Source: Balcony Media Group.