As part of its rebrand and renovation, the Blue + Green ethic of hotel’s master environmental plan intends to protect and help recover endangered species and their habitats on land and in the sea
ST. BARTH, FRENCH WEST INDIES – Capping off the completion of its January 2015 rebrand and with Earth Day approaching, Le Guanahani on the island of St. Barth has reinvigorated the hotel’s Pledge to Sustainability. The pledge maintains the natural beauty and biodiversity of its water’s-edge location and the 2,500-acre Réserve Naturelle Saint-Barthelemy marine park around it.
Situated on a peninsula amidst Grand Cul-de-Sac lagoon and the cerulean waters of Marigot Bay, Le Guanahani is actively offsetting carbon emissions for the benefit of the planet and people under threat of climate change. In 2013, Le Guanahani became the first property on St. Barth to clearly define its sustainability intentions by associating with Green Globe, which certifies companies and organizations committed to making positive contributions to people and the planet. The hotel is nearing Green Globe certification, and when completed it will rank among leaders in green travel and responsible ecotourism.
“As part of our recent rebranding, Le Guanahani remains fully committed to sustainability and continuing our efforts to be a leading example of green travel in the Caribbean,” said Martein van Wagenberg, Managing Director. “We encourage guests to come and experience the rich variety of protected plant and marine life on the island.”
Le Guanahani’s Pledge to Sustainability is evident through the hotel’s protection of marine life and wildlife throughout the island. From wildlife to plant life, here are some examples of Le Guanahani’s sustainability commitment to the island’s natural habitats:
• Seagrass: Guests at Le Guanahani often enquire about the dark green vegetation found in the shallow waters of Grand Cul-de-Sac. It is seagrass, evolved from land plants that returned to the ocean – with leaves, shoots, flowers and seeds and natural buoyancy creating a pretty sight that reminds snorkelers of wheat fields swaying in the breeze. As many as 40,000 fish and 50 million small invertebrates can live in just one acre of seagrass along with sea turtles, conch, lobsters, and hundreds of species of fish. Seagrass meadows also trap and store sand for the beach and cut down on wave energy, making waters calmer for guests to enjoy. The shallow waters off the hotel harbor over 121,600 square feet of seagrass meadows, which is the equivalent of 60,812 tons of carbon offset or more than 11,000 times what the average person generates each year.
• Swimming the Snorkel Trail: Grand Cul-de-Sac is ideal for kayaking and shallow water snorkeling, with seagrass, sand and small coral outcrops scattered beneath the rippling tide. Elkhorn and mound corals make up the barrier reef, keeping waters calm and providing a gentle nursery for many sea creatures including sea turtles, bar jacks, Caribbean reef squid, puffer fish, conch, small juvenile lobsters, shy-but-curious mullet fish, and more. Guests can also enjoy snorkeling in Marigot Bay encountering nurse sharks, sea turtles, among other colorful fish. The Marigot Bay snorkeling trail begins at the ponton, or dock, by the Marigot Bay rooms at the hotel.
• Humpback Whales: The route of Humpback Whales from southern breeding sites to summer feeding grounds passes the safe beaches of Le Guanahani where guests have spotted blowing and breaching whales from lounge chairs and while swimming and kayaking. Snorkelers have also reported hearing the whales singing to one another.
• Star Tours: There is beauty to be seen well beyond the beachfront at Le Guanahani. The hotel offers exceptional clear viewing of the moon and stars above, with the Milky Way galaxy, constellations, planets, meteorite showers and even the International Space Station viewable at times. Full Moon Kayak tours with Champagne are a popular choice among guests.
• Vegetation & Wildlife: Le Guanahani makes efforts to protect the rich variety of plant life on property as well as animal species that live among them. Among the objects of the hotel’s efforts are rare Turks cap and English head cactus, iguanas, land turtles, and endemic species of Anole lizards and tree frogs, whose nighttime lullabies are heard nowhere else in the world.
ABOUT LE GUANAHANI
Nestled on a private 18-acre peninsula between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac on the island of St. Barth, Le Guanahani offers access to two pristine white-sand beaches where guests are invited to relax in the sun or indulge in water-based sports. The 67 multi-colored guest cottages, including 36 suites, are decorated in a West Indies style that blends seamlessly with the surrounding tropical landscape of hibiscus and coconut trees. All rooms and suites offer private terraces, and many feature private pools. The hotel’s signature restaurants, Indigo and Bartolomeo, delight with refined Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Hidden amongst the lush vegetation, the Spa My Blend by Clarins comes complete with rejuvenating signature treatments and a salon by Frédéric Fekkai. leguanahani.com
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