Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa was one of the five-star winners in the category of “Best Resort Hotel in Malaysia” and “Best Sustainable Hotel in Malaysia” in the recent International Hotel Awards 2013.
These two International Property Awards by the United Kingdom, presented at the recent award ceremony at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, recognises excellence in the hospitality and property industry worldwide.
“Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa has a grounded, down-to-earth personality, making it a home away from home for all who have stayed at our resort. These awards are timely as we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year. This is an acknowledgement from the global hotel and property fraternity of our resort’s efforts to remain consistently appealing to guests and also to appreciate the environmental efforts of our resort,” said resort general manager, Elaine Yue.
Rasa Sayang Hotel officially opened on 9 November 1973, making it the first-ever five-star resort in the country and the first Shangri-La property in Malaysia. The resort’s iconic Minangkabau roof was inspired by ethnic architecture unique to the region. The resort’s distinctive attributes are not confined to the exterior and interior embellishments, but extends to the genial warmth and gracious hospitality of the staff, some of who are pioneers and are the soul and life force of the resort.
With caring for the community components already in place in the first decade, the resort’s first Green Committee was formed in 1995 to address ways to operate the resort in a more environmentally friendly manner. Currently, the resort has over 150 green processes in specific operational areas, enabling it to run its energy management system efficiently.
Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa adheres to the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards of environmental best practices, including the sourcing of green products, eco-friendly training programmes, solid waste management, energy and water efficiency, air quality management, noise pollution control, waste water treatment and management, and proper toxic and chemical substance disposal. The resort has been ISO14001-certified as of 2008 and ISO 18001-certified as of 2011.
The resort’s operations are focused on the overall carbon-footprint impact. Resort staff and guests participate in beach clean ups to promote clean beaches. A recent switch to heat pumps during daily operations dispensed the need for diesel-powered boilers. The resort uses bio-degradable, starch-based guest toiletries in the rooms. It has its own in-house bottling plant that supplies still drinking water to all guest rooms. Guests are introduced to turtle conservation via the resort’s Turtle Eco Centre, which educates visitors on the local turtle population and marine ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to join conducted tours to the Turtle Information and Conservation Centre (TICC) at nearby Pantai Kerachut. Turtle conservation efforts are funded by the sale of turtle-themed merchandise at the resort.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner whilst balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders. In striving to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development, a corporate-level CSR Committee drives the company’s initiatives in the strategic areas of stakeholder relations, environment, health and safety, supply chain and employees. These focus areas are unified under the umbrella brand of “Sustainability”, together with Shangri-La’s core CSR projects “Embrace” and “Sanctuary”. Hotel-level Embrace programmes focus on Shangri-La’s Caring People Project, which aims to promote the highest level of education and health support in underprivileged communities. Sanctuary programmes concentrate on Shangri-La’s Care for Nature Project, which promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. For more information, please visit the group’s CSR section on www.shangri-la.com