Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece

Sani Resort is set in 1000 acre nature reserve in Halkidiki, Greece.  Guests can enjoy luxury and comfort in one of the four different properties, all awarded Travelife gold; including 5* deluxe suites, beach club and spa. On first glance Sani appears to be a mainstream luxury resort but dig a little deeper and you will see that Sani has grasped the opportunity of making its location a very special part of the guests’ stay. Embedding conservation and setting sustainability high on its agenda, without compromising on the quality of their operation.

 The company’s Green Team is responsible for reducing, managing and monitoring waste, water and energy and also for creating some unique experiences for the guests to buy into the concept of ‘being green’

How they managed their energy, waste and water

The resort produces lots of waste - yearly they recycle just over 34,000 tonnes of paper and 171,000 tonnes of glass.  There are recycle points at all the hotels and near the marina.  All back of house areas are encouraged to recycle whenever possible from paper used in the offices to cooking oils which the chefs collect, that are sent off to be converted into biofuel.  All back of house areas display stickers reminding staff to switch off lights and turn off taps.

The hotel uses a hotel exchange system whereby when the airconditioning is in operation it generates heat, which is captured and used to heat water.

“By using solar energy at one of the property’s – the Sani Beach Hotel we are able to reduce the energy used from the national grid by 20%. Apart from some of the standard measures that we put in place such as low energy light bulbs and reflow reducers on taps we are also looking for new ideas and ways to innovate, currently we are piloting composting of organic waste from the kitchens.  It is important to us that our staff believe in what we are doing and without their commitment it would be difficult to achieve”. Said Krommidas.

How they enhanced the guest experience

Walking in the local area is encouraged and made easy by reception handing out maps and guides on the flora and fauna guests can experience. There is an incredible opportunity to explore Sani’s wetlands with their own tour guide either by foot or bike. This has been made possible as the resort has joined forces with the ‘Action on Wildlife’ so that guests can witness bird rehabilitation and the release program in action. In 2012, Sani Resorts landscaped the area around the Lake Mavrobara which had been destroyed by a fire. Working with the forestry and biodiversity consultants the area was rejuvenated for guests to enjoy and also to protect the wildlife in the area including very rare and endangered sea turtles who live by the lake.

Younger guests are also included, as the resort has created an extensive collection of games and activities for children to combine holiday fun with learning. Through this, Sani’s younger guests learn about the biodiversity of the forest, as well the environmental practices such as composting or cooking with local fruit and vegetables and eco treasure hunts.

And four times a year the resort celebrates the Sani Eco Day – celebrating the cultural and natural aspect of the area games and activities: including learning Greek dancing.

How guests can get involved

Sani resorts encourage guests to get involved and make it easy for them to do so, by putting measures in place such as leaving a special bag in their rooms and ask them to fill it with anything that they would like to recycle. Additionally, old batteries that are no longer required can be handed in at Reception and recycled. Re-useable cloth bags are handed out to guests for use when they are out to cut down on plastic bags.    Departing guests are asked to donate one Euro to help preserve the Sani Wetlands and the rare birds in the area.

A final comment from Sani Resorts

Fanis Krommidas – Marketing Manager at the resort says, “We know we can do more and therefore our commitment is on-going. Our guests are key to helping the resort reach their goals, therefore it is important that they understand our ethos and that we do our utmost to enhance their experience. Our Staff are also essential in making the day to day operations as sustainable as possible and with them championing the whole initiative it is possible to get great results”.