To go on holiday is to take in the beauty of the places we journey to. And these days, we need to think about protecting the environment in as many ways as we possibly can; that beauty that we so much appreciate is under threat.
Increasingly, hotels and resorts are participating in the preservation of the earth, and looking to see how they may cut down on their so-called carbon footprint. Guests themselves are concerned about choosing places to stay that are in keeping with environmental soundness, whether that means that the hotels are cutting down on food and power waste, using small-scale farm-to-table food programs, or any one of a hundred ways that improve the quality of life. One resort that takes this seriously is Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort, and in this article we outline what they are doing to keep matters green. General Manager, Lutz Mueller and the team members at the resort have been busy coming up with some things that are distinctly innovative.
Rather than using far flung suppliers, Anantara Bophut track down prime ingredients from more local groups that they now have on board; Sloanes farms, KU Beef and Sirin farms all ensure that quality food arrives at the table. Meanwhile, fresh fruit and vegetables arrive from Samui’s own farms, while the island’s waters supply many of the fish that diners love so much. Says Lutz, “We have done this to showcase the great ingredients that can be found in Thailand, as well as to prioritize sustainability. We’re constantly thinking of ways to be environmentally sound.”
However, Lutz has gone further yet when it comes to going local; some of the ingredients come from the gardens of the resort itself. Not only does Anantara have a herb garden, but also something that is rare for a hotel anywhere in the world – their own bee-keeping facilities.
But why bees? The answer is as simple as it is frightening. “Bees are on the decline,” says Lutz. “This is a worldwide scenario, and it’s a growing plight. Bees are important for our ecosystem. Without them we will all perish as nothing will be able to pollinate our fruit and vegetables as well as bees can.”
Lutz says that guests will soon have a ‘Garden Guru’ to take them on a tour through the beautiful gardens with their lotus ponds, and they will also have a chance to see the hives and the bees, which are by the way, stingless. And very soon, too, diners will be able to partake of the results of the bee-keeping venture; the resort will create a signature dessert for Full Moon, their beachside restaurant, using the very honey that the bees make.
Sounds good? It’s bound to be as the recipe is in the hands of the resort’s very creative culinary team. They too are much concerned with the environment, and have put together a new menu which includes what might be termed sustainable dishes; the ingredients are all locally found and incorporated in delicious recipes. For example, the chefs prepare a wonderful tuna carpaccio using local yellow fin tuna along with micro greens, preserved lemon, semi-dried tomatoes and infused kaffir lime olive oil. When it comes to meat, a favourite dish of guests is the ‘300g Lime & Herb Marinated Free Range Pork Cutlet’, which features green pea crushed potatoes, charred corn, squash spaghetti and mushroom jus. There’s also a very moreish free range chicken, stuffed with herbed brioche and accompanied by sautéed Asian greens and mushrooms with roast potatoes and chicken jus.
For something truly special guests can enjoy Full Moon’s signature dish, a 24-hour marinated spatchcock chicken, with all the trimmings. Says Lutz, “In the interests of sustainability guests can phone a day ahead to order it; if we made it every day the dish would go to waste if nobody at the restaurant decides to try it. After marinating the spatchcock, the chefs fire it in a special tandoor, and then to give an extra smoky note, they smoke it again in apple wood before carving it directly at the table.”
All this is just the start. Soon vegan and vegetarian cooking classes are to be added to the already popular Thai cooking school. Wellness packages will also reflect sustainability, with the island’s own crops of coconuts playing a greater part in treatments.
For Anantara Bophut the way forward is very clear; in future guests can look forward to even more innovations on the part of the very creative team here.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 8300.