Archive for May, 2011

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Our environmental policy is influenced by an awareness that our hotel and its business can only be sustainable if we consider the added value brought by the wealth of nature that surrounds us and an understanding of the natural resources that we use.
We believe that it is essential, and extremely beneficial for our business, if we can play our part (at our level) in raising awareness for the environment among our stakeholders.
We recognize that we are just taking the first steps, but our aim is simple: to do our best!
Nuno Ferreira, Director of the São Félix Hotel

The São Félix Hotel was awarded a three-leaf classification, and is the perfect example of the kind of hotel management approach that we would like to welcome into the Five-Leaf System from hotels in any part of the country.
Five-Leaf is a dynamic system, allowing hotels to grow in sustainable fashion at their own pace over the years until they reach the Five-Leaf standard.
Silvia Paula Pelham, Director, Five-Leaf System

The Hotel Jardim Atlântico was the first hotel to come into the Five-Leaf System with a section of its site totally dedicated to environmental issues.
It has been concerned with the environment for almost 20 years, and a decade ago became the first hotel in Madeira – and the second in Portugal – to be awarded the Certificate NE EN ISSO 14001 (the international certificate for environmental management in the sector of lodging and restaurant services).
It also holds a number of other awards and distinctions, among them that of “Best Ecological Hotel” amaong 600 hotels in Europe (2008/2009); in 2008 it was nominated for the “Ecothrophea” prize awarded by DRV-Deutscher ReiseVerband, and in 2008 was the winner in 2009; it won second prize in the award by Thomas Cook (2008/2009); in an unbroken stretch from 1997 through to 2009 it was awarded the “Umweltchampion” prize by TUI, the world’s leading tour operator; from 2002 to 2007 it won the “Environmental Hotel Award” of the Swiss operator HotelPlan; it was awarded the distinction of “Amigo do Ambiente – Excelência” by the Madeira DRTT in 2006; for three years running (’97 to ‘99) it was recognized by the GREEN GLOBE 21 (WTTC) with Distinction and Commendation Awards and the Achievement Certificate and by the International Hotel Association together with The International Hotels Environment Initiative it was awarded the distinction of “Green Hotelier”.
In 2011, it was the first hotel in Madeira to be awarded the five-leaf classification in the Five-Leaf System.

The Convento do Espinheiro is not only interested in the well-being of its guests and their exigencies, it is also concerned about the sustainability of the environment of which it is a part. The hotel would like to leave a really long-lasting legacy behind it.
When the Hieronymite monks lived here in the 15th century, the monastery was totally self-sufficient.
The Convento do Espinheiro is a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, and one of its concerns now is to make the monastery vegetable and fruit garden productive again. The plants and herbs that have been sown conform to the demands of biological agriculture, and this means that no chemicals have been used.
These are the herbs that give such a flavour to the delicious meals served in our restaurant, Divinus. All organic waste from the kitchen, along with fallen leaves and grass cuttings are put in compost tanks to be used later as fertilizer for our gardens.
Following the renovation of the old aquaduct, it has been possible to start using water from the well to irrigate the gardens and they are now self sufficient in water. This in itself is a real blessing, in a region where the average annual rainfall is around 700 mm.
This policy has also been applied in our garden, where we have replaced some of the plants with Mediterranean flora requiring less water.
The Convento do Espinheiro has adopted other policies too with the environment in mind. Among these are the use of eco-friendly lighting, solar panels for heating water and regular dissemination of information to stakeholders regarding our environmental practices.