For Paul Jones, the Original behind the colorful adults-only retreat SALT of Palmar in Mauritius, sustainability starts with people. Hence, he set out to create a robust team that is encouraged to try out different positions in the hotel, playing to their strengths, but also contribute to the greater community outreach programs, such as the Laventure Technical School for disabled, where students receive skills that better enable them to find jobs later. Even the hotel’s guests are encouraged to travel regeneratively by getting involved in the local community and sharing their knowledge and talents with the locals.
The hotel employs energy-efficient lighting systems and through solar water panels, powers certain areas of the hotel with clean energy.
Here conservation efforts include water-saving fixtures like low-flow toilets and faucets and greywater recycling systems to treat and reuse wastewater from sinks, showers, and other non-toilet fixtures. The hotel provides clean drinking water throughout the property. Additionally, guests are educated on mindful water use and supporting local water conservation initiatives.
The hotel actively supports the local economy by sourcing fresh seasonal organic produce from nearby farmers and fishermen practicing sustainable methods. The hotel collaborates with local artisans for handmade decor and amenities.
Through a skill swap program, the hotel encourages guests to have deeper connections with the local community and travel regeneratively. Apart from being offered eco-tours, guests are educated on local ecosystems through nature walks and non-motorized water sports, like kayaking.
The hotel acts as a cultural bridge by highlighting Mauritian artistry through local collaborations where guests are invited to authentic cultural experiences, culinary exploration, and workshops, such as pottery and basket weaving with islanders. By employing locals, the hotel facilitates genuine cultural interactions for visitors.
A supportive environment is fostered through training and growth opportunities—the team is actively encouraged to try out different positions in the hotel. By hiring locally, the hotel ensures cultural representation.
The hotel places a strong emphasis on minimizing waste. This includes using recycled content in building materials, furniture, and fixtures, as well as utilizing recycled paper products, packaging, and amenities. SALT of Palmar also focusses on recycling programs, food waste management, and the elimination of single-use plastics.
Annual publication of sustainability reports that outline their sustainability goals, progress, and achievements. By openly communicating about their sustainability journey, the hotel demonstrates its commitment to transparency, accountability, and engaging stakeholders in their sustainability efforts.
We spoke with the team to learn the latest on the hotel’s conscious journey.
Overall, our philosophy revolves around the belief that luxury and sustainability can coexist and that responsible tourism can positively impact the environment and local communities. We prioritize environmental conservation, local engagement, sustainable food, education, and ethical practices to create a positive and responsible impact on both the environment and the local community.
We put our people at ease, so they can safely interact with all the guests in a very proactive and natural manner. This is not ladies and gentlemen serving bullshit. We don’t believe in all that nonsense. This comes from the heart. When we interview candidates, we ask about their own personal values and how they relate to SALT’s values. SALT is a part of the community. We bring the community into the hotel but we also take the hotel and our guests out into the community. On an island that depends so largely on tourism, focusing on people is everything.
It can be challenging to meet high sustainability standards while still meeting guest expectations for comfort, amenities, and high-end services. By implementing sustainable design and operations, educating and engaging guests, collaborating with local suppliers, offering sustainable dining options, and continuously seeking improvement, the hotel tries to successfully balance sustainability goals with luxury experiences.