Judges' Award

Outstanding Contribution: Spice Village-CGH Earth, Thekkady

Clean Green Earth Hotels were pioneers in environmental, social; and economic sustainability and they have developed a series of destination experiences in sixteen boutique resorts all of which respect nature, build social relationships with their neighbours and through their neighbours participation and their insights and inspiration, create unique and memorable experiences. Early adopters of Responsible Tourism they have created experiences that pay “homage to nature and engage closely with local people and their cultures.” They have proved that “less can be more and that true luxury is an experience rooted in simplicity and soul, transcending mere form and ostentation.”

When the judges saw their application for Spice Village amongst the others, we decided to recognise the scale of their contribution and the success of the CGH Earth portfolio. They have been recognised in the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2018 for Coconut Lagoon. Spice Village was established in 1991 built by the local Mannan in their traditional style using split bamboo and elephant grass; the latter gathered with permission from the forest, the removal of the grass reducing fire risk. Earthern clay tiles were used to construct the floors and the furniture of pine was and is made locally from recycled packing crates. Rainwater harvesting, solar lighting and hot water heating, biogas made from kitchen waste used for cooking, drinking water purified on site, local activities in with the community, water from the sewage treatment plant used to water the grounds – they have been thorough in their approach to sustainability and created a great guest experience. The food, recipes and décor are all local, the employees are drawn from neighbouring villages and particular efforts have been made to recruit female staff by creating a comfortable; working environment for them.

CGH Earth were pioneers, and they are still leaders.