Caribbean’s No. 1 eco-certified hotel leads island-wide clean-up during pandemic
As COVID-19 caused the world to hit pause and many took ill, ironically, Mother Earth started to become healthier. While manufacturing, excessive consumerism and heavy commuting have slowed extensively and resulted in the first drops in air pollution for the first time in decades, the temporary break spawned grassroots efforts such as an Aruba-wide clean-up led by sustainability leaders at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.
The Caribbean’s first and only carbon-neutral hotel has long invited staff and guests to join in its monthly beach clean-up tradition along its stretch of famed Eagle Beach. Tallying up the trash bags leads to an average of 500 lbs./227 kg of debris removed annually. With the pandemic shutdown on island, Bucuti & Tara’s Executive Housekeeper Mickael Mesker and Sustainability and Certifications Manager Nathaly Stanley seized the opportunity to spread the care — exponentially. Expanding the program to the entire island, increasing the frequency from monthly to weekly, inviting the entire community and even securing corporate sponsorships, the busy island’s unexpected downtime quickly became productive.
As the Caribbean’s most eco-certified resort, Mesker along with all of his Bucuti associates, share a predisposition in their approach by thinking not just of how to handle a challenge, rather, how to best handle a challenge in a sustainable manner. He established a Facebook page for a common virtual gathering spot. He’s secured corporate sponsorships and in the manner of “leaving a place better than you found it,” his group even beautifies areas by planting indigenous plants that have been donated.
“Now, results are now measured by truck loads instead of trash bags,” shares Bucuti & Tara’s Sustainability and Certifications Manager Nathaly Stanley. “Cleaning up Aruba has not only made our stunning island home even more beautiful, but we’re absolutely amazed and grateful at the camaraderie, business support and relationships that have developed through this collaboration that may not have crossed our paths during any other time.”
With tourism providing 90% of Aruba’s GDP and its worldwide popularity as vacation destination, caring for the aesthetics is paramount. Island residents know keeping Aruba clean goes much deeper. The arid landscape surrounded by crystalline waters are home to a threatened eco-system. Care of surrounding coral, safe beaches for endangered nesting sea turtles, clean habitats for Aruba’s 280 species of birds including rare varieties, is critical for the island’s future.
“Whether someone is in business here or simply lives in Aruba, we all share a responsibility – and privilege – to care for our exquisite island home and its delicate nature,” states Ewald Biemans, owner/CEO of Bucuti & Tara and noted environmentalist. “And, everyone can participate with their best resources whether it is time, transportation, caring for volunteers, funding or even sharing sustainability best practices.”
Returning Healthier and Safer
In recent months, Bucuti & Tara has completely revisited and revised every standard operating procedure to include staying open and extensively training the staff. It’s collaborated onsite with intensive care doctors and nurses to overlay hospital-grade, high-tech COVID-19 safety protocols – only within sustainability best practices. It’s gone as far as renovating aspects of the facilities and grounds and even has a completely touch-free vacation experience. In short, and with Aruba’s newly announced arrival safety protocols, Bucuti & Tara now offers the Caribbean’s Healthiest, Safest Vacation Experience.
COVID-19-free Aruba is once again welcoming guests from sister islands Bonaire and Curacao, of which both are also COVID-19-free. Come July 1, it opens its borders to visitors from Europe, Canada and the Caribbean (except Dominican Republic and Haiti.) Beginning July 10, Aruba
About Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
Declared the first CarbonNeutral®/net zero hotel in the Caribbean in August 2018, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is one of the Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the World, No. 1 Hotel in the Caribbean, No. 1 Hotel for Romance in the Caribbean (fourth straight year) and No. 1 Hotel for Service in the Caribbean. Aruba’s premier adults-only boutique resort is led by celebrated hotelier and environmentalist, Ewald Biemans, named by Caribbean Journal as the 2017 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year. The resort is nestled on the powdery white sands of Eagle Beach, home to protected sea turtles and named one of the “Dream Beaches of the World.”
Bucuti offers 104 well-appointed guestrooms, suites and penthouses; sunbeds and shade for every guest; freshwater infinity pool; spa; WiFi; and complimentary iPad with Skype for use during stay. Award-winning healthy dining is enjoyed at oceanfront Elements, Tara Lounge and private beach dining. Reserved exclusively for guests and their friends, the open-air SandBar on the beach offers top-shelf cocktails and live music daily along with the Caribbean’s first Healthy Hour. The resort is TAG Approved® as a LGBTQ-friendly hotel. Bucuti, a worldwide sustainable tourism leader, holds eco-certifications of LEED Gold, Green Globe Platinum, ISO 14001 and Travelife Gold and was named the World’s Most Sustainable Hotel/Resort in 2016 by Green Globe.
Amy Kerr firstname.lastname@example.org