John Roberts, Group Director, Conservation and Sustainability, Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas
From beekeeping classes to honey tasting, gardens and rooftops at Anantara hotels around the world are humming with activity as the group celebrates World Honey Bee Day on 19 August. Recognising the important role bees play in our ecosystem, Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas encourages properties to develop local initiatives that protect pollinators and their habitats, while nurturing host communities and environments.
John Roberts, Group Director of Conservation and Sustainability for Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas, said, “With the rise in industrial farming around the globe putting bees under pressure through overuse of pesticide and destruction of habitat – even wildlife smoke and air pollution are known to harm them – I’m proud that Anantara hotels around the globe are taking it upon themselves to provide homes for these vital pollinators. All the while providing our guests with guaranteed fresh, pure and low-food-mile honey and helping keep local skills alive.”
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort on the Green Mountain in Oman is home to four beehives, where more than 10,000 resident bees collect nectar and pollen from mountain wildflowers and return it to the hives producing the resort’s distinctive-tasting organic honey, an initiative that also supports the local ecosystem. The pure, fresh honey is used to elevate the culinary experience for guests, creating a symphony of flavours that embodies the resort’s dedication to providing an immersive and eco-conscious retreat. As Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar celebrates World Honey Bee Day, guests are invited to indulge in a truly unique honey-infused experience at the Anantara Spa. The rejuvenating 90-minute treatment encompasses a luxurious sugar honey body scrub, a soothing honey facial massage, and a nourishing honey body mask, before finishing with a refreshing honey citrus drink, allowing guests to connect with the essence of the honey bee’s labour.
At Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka, where a team of resident apiarists established ten bee colonies at the organic garden and the paddy field area, bees have found a safe haven. Guests are encouraged to observe the hardworking pollinators during a guided nature walk as they learn about the resort’s bee-harvesting project and the importance of bees. With plans in place to increase the number of colonies, more Anantara guests will have the chance to enjoy fresh honey at the breakfast buffet. Harvested following responsible beekeeping practices, such as avoiding harmful pesticides and chemicals, the fragrant Peace Haven honey is a treat for the palate and the environment.
In Zambia, The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara runs a buzzy social enterprise that supports local communities. The hotel has partnered with Zambia Forest College to launch a beehive initiative that empowers women, promotes food security and makes the hotel’s supply chain more sustainable. The hotel team, guided by college specialists, manufactured beehives and donated them to the women of Mukuni village, as well as training them in organic beekeeping. Once harvested, the Mukuni honey is sold at the hotel’s farmers market, used for cooking and offered as a sweet memento to conference delegates staying at the hotel.
To coincide with this year’s World Honey Bee Day, Anantara Villa Padierna Benahavis Marbella Resort in Spain is inviting guests to book the new experience – “Beekeeper for a Day”. At the heart of the experience is a visit to the local village of Istan to learn about the fascinating world of bees and their vital role in Andalusia, the leading producer of honey in Spain. Guests will be guided by a local beekeeper through the process of harvesting honey from the hives, while discovering the incredible diversity of flora and fauna in the area. If, after getting a taste of the sweet side of local life,holidaymakers want to become an ally of the bees, they can choose to sponsor a hive to directly contribute to the preservation of these essential insects and receive updates on their progress and honey production.
In another initiative, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts off the coast of Abu Dubai in the UAE is working to establish a beekeeping and honey production facility that, when fully operational, will breed bees that can survive the harsh climate of the region, as well as protecting and encouraging species of native wild pollinators such as Arabian dwarf bees – a species of wild honey bee facing several threats, such as habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, invasive species and diseases. Their honey will supply the kitchens of both Sir Bani Yas hotels and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara in the Liwa Desert.
At Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in the north of Thailand, the resort is home to hives of the native Apis cerana bee. The team harvests honey during the season, which guests can enjoy tasting with breakfast delicacies whilst overlooking the spectacular three country views. The hotel also protects wild hives of all bee species they come across, offering a safe home for the bees away from the pesticide-soaked local agriculture.