Travelers are presented with endless decisions: where to go, what time of year, and which industries to support with their money and time. Luckily, when it comes to the decision of where to stay, you can have your cake and eat it too by selecting a state-of-the-art hotel experience that also prioritizes philanthropy. When planning your next international excursion, consider arranging accommodations at one of the following hotels, which give back to their surrounding communities through education initiatives.
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Beyond the pull of breathtaking beaches and outstanding biodiversity, Guanacaste attracts travelers looking to engage with and give back to local communities. Peninsula Papagayo Resort, situated on the Papagayo Peninsula of Costa Rica’s Northwestern Pacific province, is one of Hyatt’s luxury boutique hotel line Andaz. Hyatt has a long-solidified reputation in the hospitality industry as a leader in sustainability and philanthropy. Through collaboration with the non-profit Association Creciendo Juntos, Peninsula Papagayo Resort not only supports twenty-one local education programs with resources, but also provides volunteer opportunities for travelers to personally give their time to the the communities that host them.
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A stay at the Mvuu Wilderness Lodge marries the rustic with the luxury. Located on the Western border of Malawi’s Liwonde National Park, and just off the banks of the Shire River, visitors to Mvuu Wilderness Lodge have access to an abundance of activities including wildlife viewing, river cruises, game drives, and walking safaris. Beyond doing good by its guests, Mvuu Wilderness Lodge does good by its community through its partnership with Mtendere Orphan Care to support education initiatives to children in the nearby Njoubvu Village. In order to help, visitors to the lodge can make a direct donation, or participate in a school visit arranged either through Mvuu Wilderness Lodge, or Malawian Style, a specialist tour and adventure operator.
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Shenton Safaris: Zambia
Shenton Safaris teamed up with four other safari operators in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park to create Project Luangwa. Together, the five lodges uphold Project Luangwa’s commitment to responsible tourism through funds raised almost entirely by guests of their lodges. Project Luangwa, which has grown into an NGO, works to support multiple nearby schools in order to raise the standard of education, improve school infrastructure, supply necessary items such as desks and textbooks, and provide sponsored enrollment for students. Through Shenton Safaris and its associates, guests can donate to or volunteer with the schools that Project Luangwa supports.
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Just seven kilometers from Angkor Wat, Shinta Mani plays many roles: part boutique hotel, part resort, and part philanthropic foundation aimed to equip local youth and families with the tools and the resources to overcome poverty. The company is committed to improving the lives of its employees and their villages, and does so by providing the best healthcare to its employees of any company in Cambodia, building schools, water wells, and even a farm with a farming training program. Organizations like Shinta Mani, act as a valuable liaison between international travelers and local people, and help to foster positive travel footprints.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Bhutan, also known as “the land of happiness,” is comprised of soaring himalayan peaks, evergreen forests, and glacial river valleys. Dispersed throughout this country of only 750,000 are the Amankora Resorts, a collection of five luxury lodges through the larger company Aman. In addition to offering a state-of-the-art experience to guests, including spa treatments, fine dining, and events, the Amankora Resorts honor Bhutan’s pledge to “gross national happiness” by providing educational and vocational support to the disabled in the surrounding communities. In partnership with the Bhutan Foundation, Amankora works to empower the disabled to their full potential, through programs such as their adult learning program for the blind, wherein they provide training and job opportunity for adults in the resort’s spa.
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Visit the Riviera Maya in style, and support education while you're at it. At Rosewood Mayakoba, a luxury hotel at Playa del Carmen, surrounded by lush jungle and white beaches, guests can stay in a selection of suites with private plunge pools, sundecks, and individual docks. Ideally geographically situated, Rosewood Mayakoba guests have easy access to nature attractions as well as cultural attractions, such as ancient Mayan ruins.
Recently, the resort celebrated the opening of Centro Educativo K'iin Bet, a non-profit bilingual primary school, which will serve two hundred students. Just fifteen minutes away from the resort, the school was built for the children of employees and local community. Resort guests who would like to support the school through sustainable tourism can do so through donations, which Rosewood Mayakoba will be happy to facilitate.