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HOTELS & ACCOMMODATIONS
Valamar Lacroma, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Travelife Gold-awarded Valamar Lacroma Hotel is located on the tranquil Babin Kuk peninsula near Dubrovnik, with panoramic views of the Elaphiti Islands and surrounded by pine tree forests and white pebble beaches. It is renowned for its fusion of nature and state-of-the-art facilities (offering modern rooms the largest conference and event facilities in the area) and memorable gastronomic experiences in its gourmet restaurant, as well as an abundance of other activities.

The Valamar Lacroma hotel prides itself on its sustainability and the hotel has previously won awards for its beach and water management, as well as its project adopting 42 dolphins from the Adriatic Sea.

Environment

Waste
The Valamar Lacroma has an exemplary waste and recycling programme. It helps reduce waste per guest by actions such as using refillable shower gels in guest bathrooms. The waste that cannot be avoided is recycled where possible, including glass, paper, plastic, packaging, metals, organic waste, cooking oil, light bulbs, batteries and some electronic items.

Water
The hotel employs various measures to save water, which include dual flush toilets, and low-flow shower heads and taps within the hotel, around the pools and at the beach. The Valamar Lacroma waters its gardens at night to avoid unnecessary water evaporation, as well as cleaning its windows with steam and re-using the water. It measures its waste and water usage on an on-going basis which enables it to monitor the impact of their sustainability efforts and plan improvements.

Energy
The Valamar Lacroma uses hydropower a renewable and clean energy source for its electricity. It also employs energy saving measures, including: intelligent use of day-light throughout the hotel, 100% low-energy lighting, temperature controlled taps, and the heating of only one pool. Air conditioning is adjusted to a minimum of 21 degrees, it is automatically switched off when the balcony door is open and is operated according to the season. By these and other measures, the hotel has successfully reduced its energy consumption per guest over the last few years.

Biodiversity
As well as these day-to-day environmental measures, the Valamar Lacroma goes further to protect the environment by organising regular beach and underwater clean-ups with the hotel diving centre, which have helped it win awards for its beach and water management.


Another initiative by the Valamar hotel group is its collaboration with The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation on its Meetinblue project.



To help protect the biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea, the Croatian hotel chain adopts a dolphin for every event booked at the Valamar with 100 or more participants. By donating 700 Kunas for every event, one dolphin can be adopted. In 2012 the Valamar Group contributed to the preservation of this protected species by adopting 42 dolphins from the Adriatic Sea. . In 2012 the Valamar donated a total of 30,000 Kunas to the Blue World Institute, some of which will be used to improve their education centre. For its efforts the Meetinblue project has received the prestigious CBTour reward in the category for the best responsible Croatian business tourism program in 2012.

For more information about Meetinblue: http://www.valamar.com/cmsmedia/mice/meetinblue/en/adopting-dolphins.pdf


Social

The Valamar Lacroma aims to be an active member of the local community. As well as investing in its facilities, the Valamar is also investing in its employees. The Valamar Group has developed their own training for staff and management. Free accommodation is offered to non-local staff, local residents get a free monthly travel pass and employees and their children receive a discount on spa and hotel use. All staff can take advantage of language classes, a loyalty bonus scheme and other rewards and recognition. Staff are always consulted on new projects and the satisfaction of staff working at the hotel is demonstrated by a high number of workers returning in following seasons.

As well as supporting fair employment, the Valamar Lacroma also tries to support the local community. The hotel takes pride in providing fresh, local and seasonal produce and its restaurant serves local seafood and quality local wines, therefore supporting the local economy and small businesses. Weekly themed nights acquaint guests with the best dishes from Croatian cuisine, helping to introduce them to (and helping promote and protect) some of the local culture. During the olive season local residents are invited to pick the olives from the hotels trees and employees are encouraged to give blood donations for the local hospital.


Communication with guests

In order to raise guests awareness the Valamar Lacroma includes an environmental statement in their guest pack, informing visitors about the hotels efforts and asking guests to participate where appropriate. For example they have cards in the bedrooms which explain to guests how to re-use towels and linen in order to reduce laundry and thus water usage. Guests can also find additional guidance on environmental protection at the front desk.