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For most, hotels offer a luxurious oasis or a home away from home. But for some they are an important source of both financial and social support. Rather than simply providing temporary havens for travellers, these hotels are enforcing positive change in both big and small ways. Some work to support their local communities, while others take on global initiatives. From the London hotel group providing hospitality training to the homeless to a beachfront resort in Indonesia committed to alleviating local poverty, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite do-gooder hotels.
The Goring London, UK
Hotel School is a joint venture between The Passage (London’s largest voluntary sector homeless resource centre) and The Goring Hotel. Teaching hospitality skills to homeless and vulnerable people, Hotel School matches participants to sustainable employment and supports them in their first steps into work. Supported by London’s Five Star hotel community, the programme consists of a one-week taster course followed by a 10-week level one introduction into the hospitality industry, incorporating cookery skills, customer service and food service. Successful graduates receive a nationally recognised certificate and a supported pipeline into work with one of The Goring Hotel industry partners.
11 Howard New York, US
Community is ingrained in New York’s 11 Howard hotel, as testified by its south-facing 12-storey-high mural by youth activism group Groundswell. More discreetly, the hotel incorporates many other charity-focused initiatives across its premise; for example, each time you reach for the minibar you’ll support Feed, an initiative that provides meals and micronutrient packets to children across the world. The hotel also partners with Thrive Market to help make healthy food more accessible to low-income American families.
Cicada Lodge Nitmiluk National Park, Australia
This 18-room outdoor-adventure getaway in Australia’s Nitmiluk National Park is a pretty special place to visit, not least because of its initiatives to create jobs and economic opportunities for the indigenous Jawoyn people. Nitmiluk Tours, which manages the Cicada, returns all profits to the local Jawoyn Association, hires the group’s members and also runs youth training programs in both tourism and hospitality.
Nihiwatu Sumba, Indonesia
This 33-villa beachfront resort on Sumba is just a 50-minute flight from Bali. Offering fantastic surf and a turtle hatchery, the resort is also committed to alleviating poverty on the island. Through hotel-funded Sumba Foundation, it supports village-based projects that impact health, education, clean water and income generation. Over the last decade and a half, the Sumba Foundation has set up primary schools, built wells and clinics and reduced malaria (through the distribution of mosquito nets and training of local health-care workers) by 85% in affected areas.
Hotel Sol y Luna Urubamba, Peru
Inspired by the Peruvian Sacred Valley’s natural beauty and incredible trekking, Petit Miribel and Franz Schilter opened this rustic-luxe hotel comprising of 43 casitas. The conditions of the area’s public schools led the duo to establish the 185-student Sol y Luna Intercultural School, which the hotel’s profits fully finance. Sol y Luna Association is a humanitarian, holistic, non-profit civil institution that focuses on bettering prospects for young people through education.
Misool Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Owners Marit and Andrew Miners spent a year and a half constructing this resort’s stylish cottages from reclaimed hardwood in Indonesia’s remote Raja Ampat islands. Since developing the 300,000-acre reserve (with one of the world’s most pristine coral reefs) the couple have set up the Misool Foundation with a mission to safeguard one of the most biodiverse reefs on earth by empowering local communities. The foundation maintains a broad approach to conservation, combining environmental, social and educational elements.
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