[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n search of responsible travel accommodations in the region, WILD ASIA short-listed six candidates and sent its fact-finding teams out to find our winners for the 2007 Responsible Tourism Award winners.
In 2007 we chose from six finalists within 3 main categories. The categories were: Community or Family-run Homestay, Wildlife and Ecolodge, and Luxury Boutique Resorts and Hotels.
Community or Family-run Homestays
WINNER: Andaman Discoveries, Thailand
Andaman Discoveries is one of North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR)’s on-going community-driven development projects. NATR is an independent, non profit organization that continues to provide assistance to tsunami-impacted coastal communities of the North Andaman. To date, NATR has implemented over 120 projects in twelve villages, focusing on human needs and services. Explore diverse, pristine eco-systems such as taking a traditional long-tail boat through dense mangrove forests; hike through lush rainforests that are alive with the sounds of exotic wildlife; snorkel in clear, emerald-colored waters teeming with vibrant marine life; or simply soak up the sun on a deserted island all to yourself.
FINALIST: Tmatboey Thoeun Krasaing Ibis Tourism Site, Cambodia
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has established a pilot ibis ecotourism project at Tmatboey in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, Preah Vihear province, the only known site where both Giant and White-shouldered Ibises breed and can be reliably seen. The birds are found in the forests surrounding the village, which are a mosaic of seasonally inundated dipterocarp deciduous trees.
Wildlife Lodges, Eco-resorts and Dive Resorts
WINNER: Udayana Eco Lodge, Indonesia
Udayana Eco Lodge is located on Jimbaran Heights, 30 hectares of bush land overlooking a beautiful view of Mt. Agung and Jimbaran and Benoa Bays. Only ten minutes from the airport it is quiet and peaceful, yet just 15 minutes from shopping in Nusa Dua or Kuta. Jimbaran beach and fish restaurants are only five minutes away. Uluwatu and other famous surf spots are nearby. The swimming pool is set in beautiful quiet gardens. Safe, quiet and convenient to all of southern Bali’s attractions, Udayana Eco Lodge is the perfect choice for a great holiday in Bali.
FINALIST: Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, Indonesia
A haven for nature lovers, this award winning Mountain Eco Lodge is located at 700m on the slopes of Mount Batukaru in central Bali, only 1½ hours from Kuta & Ubud. With spectacular views of southern Bali & the mountain peak. The protected rainforest is just 5 minutes away! Your hand crafted bungalow is surrounded by a lush tropical “Food forest” of cacao, coffee, coconuts, vanilla and jungle fruits. Dine in our open air restaurant or in your room, delicious healthy meals made from our organic gardens. Rainforest treks or “Edible Food forest” walks, swim in our natural water pools, walk in our extensive gardens, take part in one of our workshops from traditional wood carving to Balinese cooking, language or temple decorations or just relax and have a massage. You can expect private and intimate service from our local staff with a maximum of 10 guests only. Sarinbuana Eco Lodge is a retreat into nature and a chance for you to be a part of this vibrant culture.
Luxury and Boutique Resorts
WINNER: The Spice Village, India
Set amidst spice plantations, Thekkady is more known for its Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Spice Village is just a stone’s throw away from the game reserve and comprises of individual cottages set amidst a landscaped spice garden. The resort has a swimming pool, games facilities and an excellent restaurant. Ayurvedic treatment is also available on site.
FINALIST: Evason Phuket and Six Senses Spa, Thailand
Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa is the consecutive winner of our Responsible Tourism Award for 2006 & 2007. The RTA 2007 closing ceremony was held in this commendable resort. Located at Rawai Beach on the south eastern side of Phuket Island. It is set amongst 64 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical parklands and gardens, and looks out to stunning views across the Andaman Sea. The resort was opened in 1972 as “Phuket Island Resort.” In 2001 Evason Phuket took it over and made vast improvements with regard to responsible tourism.