HONG KONG | LONDON | NEW YORK - Regenerative Travel, a benefit corporation, travel planning service and an accredited collection of independent hotels and lodges committed to regenerative hospitality, announce two new additions to the Regenerative Resorts portfolio. The new hotel members – Gangtey Lodge in Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan, and Samara Karoo Reserve in the Great Karoo, South Africa – join an exceptional list of resorts handpicked for their dedication to the highest levels of social and environmental impact.
Initiatives from the two new members range from supporting conservation efforts for the local Black-necked Cranes to creating South Africa’s 3rd largest protected area in a Global Biodiversity Hotspot. Joining the Regenerative Resorts portfolio connects members with a values-aligned community of hoteliers, providing a platform to share best practices and drive aspirations towards regenerative models. In creating the criteria for members Regenerative Travel stayed true to the brand ethos of inclusivity over exclusivity, creating a standard that is both objective and subjective, that is measurable but not fixed, that is rigorous but considers value and intent. Ultimately, empowering a collective that can fulfil its duty towards social justice and environmental regeneration while giving travellers a tool to make more informed decisions and discover destinations that align with their values.
Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan
Regenerative Commitments: creating employment opportunities for the local community, adhering to green and energy-efficient operational practices, and supporting conservation efforts for the local Black-necked Crane
Multi-award-winning Gangtey Lodge embraces Bhutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness by pursuing a harmonious balance between respecting nature and promoting cultural preservation and sustainable development. The lodge is perched high above the spectacular Gangtey (Phobjhika) a protected reserve and the perfect vantage point to observe the mysterious black necked cranes in their natural roosting grounds. Celebrating Bhutanese rural architecture using locally sourced materials the 12-suite luxury "farmhouse" lodge was designed to have the least impact on the surrounding landscape. Working in collaboration with the Gangtey Goenpa and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), the Lodge is committed to help protect the culture, traditions and biodiversity of Phobjiaka Valley. Guests are invited to reconnect with nature and may hike the numerous ancient trails through the valley, find spiritual enrichment through a guided meditation at the nearby Shedra, and learn the art of traditional butter and cheese making in a Bhutanese family farm, among others.
Samara Karoo Reserve, South Africa
Regenerative Commitments: An unwavering commitment to restoring the fragile Great Karoo ecosystem, partnerships with local and international organisations on research projects, conservation programmes, and community initiatives, working with local stakeholders to create South Africa’s 3rd largest protected area. Founded in 1997 by Mark and Sarah Tompkins, Samara is the fruit of an ambitious conservation undertaking to restore the Great Karoo ecosystem – a forgotten region of spectacular natural beauty in South Africa’s semi-arid heartland. Once denuded by hunting and agricultural exploitation, 67,000 acres of mountains, valleys and plains have been transformed over 24 years into a born-again wilderness. Samara has pioneered local conservation efforts, including the reintroduction of the first wild cheetah, lion, elephant and black rhinoceros back into the region in more than 100 years.
Two small lodges - The Manor and Karoo Lodge - were set up on the property in 2005 to give social meaning to the reserve’s conservation efforts; every tourist dollar spent on ecotourism goes straight back into achieving the reserve’s objectives. Beyond the traditional safari experience, Samara encourages guests to actively engage in the natural environment and connect with the unique culture through guided walks and wildlife tracking sessions, hands-on conservation activities and personalized tours of Samara’s rewilding projects.