ion adventure hotel

Stay at a property practicing sustainability. (Photo: Marriott International)

Tips + Trends

Make Travel Meaningful with 6 Regenerative Experiences Around the Globe

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” While the author of this quote remains anonymous, the power of the statement rings true. Traveling is one of life’s richest experiences, but the rewards aren’t the kitschy souvenirs you bring home.

Instead, it’s authentic experiences with the people, culture and environment that make travel transformative — and even regenerative. Enrich your travels by giving back through these sustainable practices and tailored experiences across the globe.

Make an Environmental Difference

Explore Santa Barbara, California, and learn about traditional Chumash culture at The Ritz-Carlton, Bacara through Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program.

Naturalist ambassadors introduce guests to Chumash cultural history through guided Gaviota Coast hikes. Kids honor these traditions during a shell-necklace-making class where they’ll learn about Chumash monetary culture.

Plant a native tree in Costa Rica through El Mangroove, Autograph Collection’s “Leave your Leaves” initiative. On Wednesdays and Sundays guests can plant trees while enjoying craft cocktails overlooking the ocean. Participants each receive a tree adoption certificate and a plaque bearing their name.

In the Himalayan foothills, help minimize erosion of India’s Garhwal Range by planting saplings with JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa. An adorable bonus? Participating guests receive annual updates about their trees.

Support Local Communities

Look for hotels that care about giving back and choose those focused on serving the local community. In Bali’s dining and nightlife capital, Seminyak, W Bali –Seminyak partners with Scholars of Sustenance to donate food waste to community enterprises. Join in to prepare nutritious meals from leftover food that are delivered to in-need residents.

In Germany, The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin fights food waste by distributing food surpluses to people in need and sources its restaurants’ ingredients locally. Plus, during the holidays, guests can give gifts to children with terminal illnesses by picking a wish from the Giving Tree and leaving a present with the concierge.

Eat Sustainably Sourced Foods

Tasting new-to-you cuisines is one of the best parts of travel, but being assured your food is sustainably sourced richens the experience. Enjoy farm-to-table fare in Orlando at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes with ingredients sourced from an onsite farm. Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen sources farm-fresh ingredients from local producers and has an onsite farm, garden and apiary.

bee keeper with honeycomb
Make your meals sustainable ones. (Photo: Getty Images)

There’s a buzz in the air at Copenhagen Marriott where two thriving bee colonies reside in the hotel’s botanical gardens. Through a partnership with ByBi, an organization dedicated to urban bee colonies, the hotel is home to 160,000 striped friends. Marginalized residents can become these hive’s beekeepers, and guests may purchase the produced honey in the lobby shop.

Learn where your vacation meals come from in Fiji at Denarau Farm. Through a partnership with The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, guests visit the farm to see how the hotel uses organic fruits and vegetables in every meal.

Promote Cultural Heritage

Take a giving-back getaway while learning about Hawaii’s rich culture at Wailea Beach Resort in Maui. Its Mālama (Give Back) Quilting experience invites guests to create an applique and sew it on a background for placement on a distinctive Hawaiian quilt. Hawaiian elders and locals in need receive these handmade quilts upon completion.

Handcraft a Chinese Nanjing Yunjin brocade, regarded as one of the best forms of silk, at The Ritz-Carlton Nanjing. Guests can learn the brocade’s history at the Jiangning Imperial Silk Manufacturing Museum before enjoying a hands-on experience in crafting this heritage piece.

Support Properties Embracing Sustainable Practices

A shift to renewable natural resources is helping many properties save energy and reduce waste. In Iceland, geothermal waters surrounding ION Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, a Member of Design Hotels provide hot water to guests and the hotel´s natural pool.

ION also implemented water-saving systems in its showers and decorated the property with furniture crafted from Icelandic wool, discarded driftwood and recycled tires.

Channel art deco vibes with revived modern flair at The Sinclair, Autograph Collection in Fort Worth, Texas, a remodeled mecca of technology and energy-efficient features. This landmark building is the world’s first to replace a traditional diesel generator with a lithium battery pack. It also swapped high-voltage electricity with digital electricity across low-voltage cables, reducing energy usage throughout the hotel.

Austria’s luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is mindful of its strain on natural resources and reduces them by implementing recycling initiatives, utilizing eco-friendly cleaning products and offering towel and linen reuse programs.

Aid in Marine Conservation

scuba diver protecting coral
Protect coral colonies from damage. (Photo: Marriott International)

The loss of coral reefs worldwide is devastating for sea creatures that call them home. Guests can help restore Maldives reefs with the “Adopt a Coral” program at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.

Team up with a qualified marine biologists to build coral frames that propagate coral and save existing colonies in the resort’s lagoon. Join marine biologists on a snorkeling tour to see your work on the largest human-made coral structure in the Maldives.

North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, a plastic-free destination in the Seychelles, is also a declared Ecological Marine Reserve, which protects it from fishing and harmful marine activities. Join eco-volunteer tourists for patrols on its pristine beaches to discard and recycle debris, safeguarding nesting sites for endangered hawksbill and green turtles.