Tag Archives: travel

10 Quick Tips for a more Eco-friendly Breakfast in your Hotel

Reduce waste, energy and harmful emission by adopting these easy and quick measures:

1) Use refillable jars for jam, honey and butter instead of individual packages.Breakfast

2) Use large cereal pots instead of portion packed cartons.

3) Supplement in small portions to minimize left-overs.

4) Introduce an (partially) a la carte breakfast instead of a buffet to minimize left-overs.

5) Collect food left-overs and, if possible, donate this to local food banks.

6) Choose savory vegetarian options to replace some of the meat and cheese, such as avocado, mushroom spread or eggplant spread.

7) Offer several options of fresh tea leaves instead of packaged tea bags, to provide a surprising alternative and reduce packaging waste.

8) Provide sugar pots and salt and pepper shakers on the table instead of individual sachets.

9) Use locally grown products and fruits and vegetables of the season.

10) Complement your breakfast with a healthy, fulfilling selection to keep your guests fit and energetic.

10 Beautiful Eco-destinations around the World

1) BONITO – BRAZIL
Bonito, surrounded by lush forests and wetlands, has a vast variety of wildlife. With its impressive sustainable tourism model the city proclaims itself as Bonito“Capital of Ecotourism” within Brazil. All popular activities, like snorkeling in the Rio da Prata or rafting on the Rio Formoso are closely monitored. Swimmers and scuba divers are banned from using flippers to avoid disturbing the seabed or wearing pollutants like sunscreen or insect repellent. Most of the region’s natural attractions also regulate the number of visitors and restrict access to non-cooperating guides. Bonito was selected as the “Best destination for responsible tourism” at the World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London, 2013.

2) PHONGSALY PROVINCE – LAOS
Laos adopted ecotourism as its official strategy in 2005. There are 20 national parks, 49 ethnic groups, 650 bird species, hundreds of mammals and a variety of affordable eco-friendly accommodations. Phongsaly province, a very remote province located in the north of Laos, is still merely unexplored by tourists. Its dramatic mountainous terrain, cool weather and a very diverse population of ethnic hill tribes make it a tremendous area for trekking. Many of the province’s forests are uninhabited and are reported to have lots of wildlife. The thick jungles are abundant with bird species and the province has some of the best hot springs in the country.

3) BELIZE
With one part planted in the Central American jungle and the other part dipping the Caribbean BelizeSea, the country packs more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems into less than 24.000 square kilometers. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef in the world, with more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish. It houses the world-famous Blue hole, over thousands cays (islands), abundant wildlife and excellent water for fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. With its 40 percent of the country classified as protected, Belize is one of the top eco destinations in Central America.

4) LOPÉ NATIONAL PARK – GABON
Located in the center of Gabon, Lope national park is mostly covered by rain forest. In the north of the park the last remnants of the grass savannas are situated, created during the last ice age. The 4910 square kilometers measuring area is home to mammal species like the forest elephant, leopard and forest buffalo. Bird species include the crowned hawk eagle, great blue turaco and the rosy bee-eater.  Highlight of the park is the Mikongo Camp where zoologists have been studying and preserving the environment for the groups of primates – including the western lowland gorilla, chimpanzee and mandrill.

5) CHIANG RAI PROVINCE – THAILANDThailand
Chiang Rai province is the northernmost province of Thailand with a diverse landscape. There are dramatic mountains in the east and flat Mekong River plains to the northeast.
Visitors can follow a biking or hiking trail along the paths of the mountain ranges of the province or meet the many indigenous tribes living on the Mae Kok riverbanks.

6) KERALA – INDIA
Kerala province, also known as “God’s own country”, attracts tourists by its palm fringed beaches, pristine backwaters and tropical forests. The province focuses on sustainable and eco-friendly development of tourism. The Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a national park and tiger reserve, is one of the oldest and most popular in India. The park is home to elephants and tigers and diverse flora and fauna surrounds the beautiful lake.

7) PANTANAL REGION – BRAZIL, PARAGUAY, BOLIVIAPantanal
The Pantanal is the largest wetland on earth, housing the largest concentration of wildlife in the Americas. The area is home to 80 species of mammals like the jaguar, the giant anteater and the South American tapir. Furthermore 650 bird species, 400 fish species and more than 1100 butterfly species can be found. The Caiman Ecological Refuge has a program for protecting the region with a sustainable approach to ranching. Guests can take safaris and horseback tours, or participate in the Onçafari Program that protects the jaguars living in the area.

8) DUBAI DESERT CONSERVATION RESERVE – DUBAI
Dubai and eco seem to be two words that can only contradict. However, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve has put almost 5% of Dubai’s total land area under official eco-protection to remain its pristine desert landscape. The desert is home to a variety of animals that have unique and fascinating adaptations to the harsh environment, such as the Arabian oryx, the Arabian red fox, the sand cat and the spiny-tailed lizard. Visitors can explore the country via camel treks, guided desert safaris or falconry.

9) GALAPAGOS MARINE RESERVE – ECUADORGalapagos
The Galapagos Islands and its surrounding waters formed the basis of Darwin’s evolution theory, due to its remote location. The area has one of the world’s most unusual ecosystems and is rich in biodiversity. More than 20% of the terrestrial and marine species are found nowhere else on earth than on the Galapagos Islands. The 70.000 square kilometers measuring Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest Marine Reserve on earth and home to 3000 species of marine plants and animals. Marine life is abundant on this small island, and the emphasis on low-impact tourism and blending in with the local tribes makes it a unique destination.

10) HULA LAKE PARK – ISRAEL
Hula Lake Park, located in the Galilee, is one of the most important bird-watching sites in the world. Many of the migrating birds here are endangered or threatened. Visitors are drawn to Hula to observe millions of migrating cranes, covering the skies above Hula every winter. They stop one last time in the area before they head of to the Sahara Desert. Besides bird watching, visitors can also cycle through the park or watch the birds from a camouflaged tractor.

10 tips to enrich the cultural experience of your guests by including staff members

Luxury travel is nowadays more and more about local experiences and authenticity than just about being pampered. Touristic trips and excursions organized by impersonal companies can increase your knowledge on the local culture to some extend, but how much nicer is it to have an authentic experience by meeting real people and getting to know real customs of the region you’re visiting?
Having your local staff members organize excursions, workshops and events will enhance your guests’ cultural experience. Also, guests will bond with your staff members, have a better overall experience in your hotel and will more likely want to come back next year!

Here are 10 tips for events that will enrich the cultural vacation experience of your guests by including your local staff members.

Cooking class1) Cooking class
Enjoying local food is an important cultural experience when travelling. Gaining knowledge about local products and dishes will surely enrich your guests’ vacation experience.
Organize a simple cooking class with one of your staff members. Anyone from your staff that enjoys cooking can give the class. Most important for your guests is the experience, not creating michelin-starred qualified food. Have your ‘cook’ explain about the local products and make a simple, local dish. Enjoy the meal with a good glass of your local beverage.

2) Tour to the local market
Visiting a local market will give guests good insight in the culture of the country or region.
Let one of your staff members organize a tour to the local market. Let him or her explain about the local products, fruits and vegetables and explain how it is used in daily life.

3) Evening of local myths storytelling
Every country or region has its own myths and legends.
Organize an evening where you let your staff members tell some of the local myths. Bring your guests together around a campfire while they enjoy a local beverage and let them listen to some of the most beautiful stories about the region.

4) Walk through a local villageWalk through a local village
A walk through a local village will be an interesting experience for most tourists. Have one (or more) of your staff members guide your guests through the village they live in. This way they can meet the real people, visit the real villages and watch the real daily life.

5) Quiz on facts about the country or region, with mixed teams
Most travellers love to know some interesting facts on the country or region they are visiting. Organize an ‘I love Thailand / India / Costa Rica / your destination quiz’. Make mixed teams, each team consisting of both locals and tourists. Think of cool, funny, interesting questions that concern the specific country, region or culture.
And of course, think of a nice “local” prize for the winning team!

6) Sports competitions in the local sport, with mixed teams
Sport can be fun, healthy and bonding. Organize a sport competition in one of the local sports, for example football, badminton or (beach)volleyball. Make mixed teams, each team consisting of both locals and tourists. Be ready for a day of fun, play and good competition!

7) Workshop about local, natural cosmetic products
In a world where cosmetic goods are more and more expensive, chemical and damaging for the environment, people are looking for natural alternatives. In many regions locals use products directly from nature to moisture, nourish and smooth their skin and hair. Have a staff member explain about the local, natural plants and products they use as cosmetics.

8) Workshop on making a local handicraft product
Bringing home local handicraft products is always a good memory of a vacation, but it’s even nicer to make something yourself! Create a workshop where your staff members help your guests making their own local handicrafted product. Think of a bowl made of a coconut, a woven basket or a traditional painting.

9) Attend a local religious ceremonylocal religious ceremony
Visiting a temple, church or other religious building can give some insight in the local culture. But by attending a ceremony with one of your staff members, your guests will surely gain a lot more knowledge.
Have your staff members invite guests to attend a local religious ceremony. Let the staff member explain about the ceremony and make sure that your guests are guided through every step of the event.

10) Workshop on local dance and/or music
Dance and music are at the basis of most cultures. Watching local people dance or make music is an important part of cultural understanding, but dancing and making music yourself is even more fun! Organize a workshop where one of your staff members teaches your guests a local dance or music piece.

Welcome to Ultimate Dream Vacations!

Welcome to our blog!

We started this blog to provide you with simple tips for luxurious, eco-sensitive travel accommodations and destinations.Thailand_559

Vacation is an important part of a comfortable life. It enables people to let go their worries of the day, experience total freedom and create unique memories.

We believe that luxury travel and being eco-sensitive should go hand in hand. Furthermore, we think that travelers are more likely to protect their own environment at home when they have experienced beautiful nature on vacation.

Through this blog we want to give you simple tips to create the perfect vacation for luxury travelers and at the same time we want to encourage you to reach the lowest possible impact on the surroundings.

We hope you will enjoy reading our posts!

Feel free to contact us, either through the comment box below or by emailing us at ultimatedreamvacations@mocadazu.com