Beyond Resort Khaolak, Phang-Nga, Thailand

The Beyond Resort Khaolak on the Andaman Seaoffers guests maximum peace and freedom of movement. The same applies for all staff, we ensure they can enjoy a hassle free and secure environment.

The Beyond Resort Khaolak believes that sustainability is the key factor for the present and the future of any business. At the Beyond Resort Khaolak, managers have embraced sustainability in order to create growth and improvements on an ongoing basis. The resort’s General Manager, Robert Frei, was kind enough to give us an insight on their unique efforts to be more sustainable and achieve Travelife certification.

Travelife was an eye-opener for all of us due to its strict but logical requirements. This includes measuring results, staff information and protecting of every aspect of the operation, including its impact on nature and neighbourhood alike.

Honestly, meeting the Travelife criteria was challenging. Many times we were about to throw in the towel and call it a day. Then we thought why waste the time and effort we’d already investing and reminded ourselves why we started working with Travelife in the first place.

To kick-start our motivation we invited all management to play an active part and therefore created a bond of teamwork that we never had before. This was achieved by all striving for one goal: Travelife Gold.

How we improved our impact on the environment
The entire Kata Group and its affiliated six resorts are committed to saving natural resources.

Water is recycled to use in the gardens and laundry is outsourced to professional laundries with ISO 14000 standards. Modern single lever mixers on sinks and showers automatically reduce the water consumption by up to 50% compared to conventional models.

We use energy saving bulbs for 99% of all lighting in the resort. In the public areas we have introduced timer controls or light sensors to control the lights depending on times and weather conditions. The keycards for guest rooms (inserted to activate power) have been changed to a model that cannot be overridden and we only issue one key per room. Whilst our occupancy grows on a monthly level our electricity bills are stable or even reducing.

We have solar water heaters for all guest rooms and all back-of-house facilities. We assume that this simple tool will save about 15% of our total electricity consumption, therefore giving us a payback period on our investment of under 6 years.

In Thailand waste is money. We are able to sell most of our garbage, and besides the famous ‘3Rs’ – reduce, reuse and recycle – we are also implementing a strict “refuse” policy. We only buy what we want, not the packaging. All waste is separated and sold wherever possible. Overall our contributions to landfill or incinerators are dramatically reduced since we joined the guidelines of Travelife.

How we support local business and cultural heritage
To support local businesses all tours that are sold in the hotel are operated by the local community. Also, we offer the local community the chance to buy vehicles and they now run special shuttle bus services to local markets and local attractions.

In addition, we offer vendors of small, locally-crafted souvenirs to sell their products in the resort on certain nights creating something like a small market place – entertaining for guests and profitable for the locals. For interested guests we give free Thai language lessons and basic training to master the local cuisine.

How we have involved our staff
Beyond resort continuously trains staff on sustainability. Since we were awarded with Travelife Gold a mandatory 30 minutes briefing on environmental issues is held every month. Staff environmental training helps to make them more enthusiastic to improve their jobs while protecting the environment. We were very proud to hear from staff that certain elements of this help them save money in their private life too.

And what our guests think
Beyond Resort Khaolak also engages guests in environmental activities, promoting our environmental achievements and putting them in touch with the local community.

Even before we were awarded Travelife certification, one of our in-house TV channels highlighted the resort’s efforts to only leave our footprint in the sand on the beach, but not on the environment.

Our guests’ comment form also highlights that they evaluate our environmental commitments very positively. The rating has improved from an average score of 3.68 out of 4 to 3.78.

This is just a snapshot of the Beyond Resort Khaolak’s actions on sustainability and how they achieved their Travelife award. To find out more, please visit www.katagroup.com/beyond-khaolak.