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Top 10 Green Hotels in Asia 2009 – Recommend by Agoda.com

In Asia Travel on December 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

Top Recommended Green HotelsAs we’re now heading to a big Christmas break at the end of the year, I would rather give you all the information that I’ve found which will give some useful suggestions for your trip to Asia. So far on the AsiaAcer blog, there have been recommendations on many travel destinations and top accommodations throughout Asia region which will be suited for every type of tourists such as top recommended Asian destination, the top beach resorts, the top adventure resorts, the top family resorts, the top spa resorts, top ecotourism hotels and so on.

There are also the updates on the top ecotourism hotels I found recently. The list was released by one of the Asian hotel reservation companies – Agoda.com. This list will ensure that the green policies at these top-rated eco-friendly hotels go beyond simply encouraging guests to reuse their linen or take shorter showers. Hotels are given extra credit for reducing their carbon footprint, empowering local communities and implementing green policies specific to their locations. And I’m sure you will be proud of yourself when using their services as your little contribution to save this world.

The top 10 Green Hotels in Asia 2009 recommended by Agoda.com are;

1) The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand

This resort near Chaweng Beach was pioneering sustainable policies long before the global trend caught on. When the resort’s late founder, Akorn Hoontrakul, designed the property in 1985 he ensured it accentuated the bay’s natural beauty without needing to fell a single tree. Akorn’s son now runs the property and continues his father’s legacy with the resort’s Green Project, a policy that outlines several initiatives including waste management, recycling and energy conservation. The Tongsai Bay works with the local community where it has built a low-carbon school and it is collaborating with other hotels on the island to ensure Koh Samui preserves its natural beauty for future generations.

2) Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis, Bali, Indonesia

These two Alila Group eco resorts featured in Agoda’s Top 10 Eco-Friendly Asian Resorts for 2007. Alila Ubud was built in the style of an Indonesian hillside village while the Alila Manggis combines traditional Balinese architecture with contemporary design. Both resorts have policies to reduce their impact on the environment and each promotes Earth-friendly activities such as trekking, cycling and Balinese cooking lessons.

3) Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Cambodia

The Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort is the only hotel in Cambodia to win an Asean Energy Award, which it received in 2005, 2007 and 2009. For more than five years, Accor – Sofitel’s parent company – has partnered with Agrisud International, an NGO which runs a number of poverty reduction programs in Seam Reap. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort also buys produce from local farmers, sources locally made products  and employs staff from nearby communities — many of whom are trained at the Paul Dubrule Hotel School in Seam Reap (Paul Dubrule is Accor’s co-founder).

4) El Nido Resorts, Miniloc Island, Philippines

This resort, which has won several awards for its nature conservation activities, is passionate about protecting the local wilderness. Surrounded by forests and mangroves, El Nido Miniloc Island Resort minimizes its waste through recycling, operates an energy conservation policy and requires all staff to attend a five-day training seminar called ‘Be G.R.E.E.N.’ (Guard, Respect, Educate El Nido). The property also works with local organizations to conduct coastal clean-ups and monitor the Miniloc Island’s ecosystem. A database of local plants and animals is featured on its website.

5) The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia

This secluded resort is located on a 400-meter stretch of sand on Pantai Tengah Beach, southwest of Langkawi. Its various green programs are integrated to streamline and minimize the environmental impact of its daily operations. The resort helps conserve the local environment by reducing its consumption of resources, minimizing energy use, only using environmentally-friendly detergents and cleaning waste water through wetlands – a natural biological filter.

6) Banyan Tree, Bintan Island, Indonesia

The architects who designed this property took special care to avoid cutting down trees. A conservation lab was built to preserve the surrounding rainforest, where trees are aged from 50 to 100 years and include some rare species. To reduce its impact upon the fragile environment, Banyan Tree Bintan supports a local village and helps preserve indigenous traditions by employing a network of more than 40 village craftspeople and connecting them with project partners throughout the region.

7) Hotel de la Paix, Cambodia

Everything about this hotel says ‘luxury’, but in practice the Hotel de la Paix is an environmental workhorse. Its responsible tourism policy is realistic and sensitive to the local infrastructure and it sponsors many initiatives that benefit local communities, including a Sewing Training Center that provides skills training to disadvantaged Khmer women. The Hotel de la Paix’s sister hotel, Shinta Mani, runs the Shinta Mani Institute of Hospitality, an award-winning capacity building program that supports young Cambodians from high-risk areas. The hotel also offers guests the opportunity to sponsor students or donate bikes, wells and pigs to local families.

8) The Orchid Hotel, Mumbai, India

The Orchid Hotel was Asia’s first property to receive ECOTEL® certification and it has won more than 61 awards since opening 11 years ago. It boasts an environment officer who leads its ‘green teams’,  organic rubbish is disposed of in nine ‘vermiculture’ bins (worm farms) and an onsite water treatment facility recycles waste water. Guests have the option of pressing the ‘Green Button’ which increases the room’s temperature by 2C incrementally over a two-hour timeframe, reducing the air conditioning system’s power consumption. Coat hangers made from sawdust and herbal pesticides are other examples of the hotel’s sustainable policies.

9) Soneva Fushi by Six Senses, Maldives

Sustainability isn’t a buzzword for the award-winning Soneva Fushi, which is on the Agoda green list for a second time – it’s wired into the resort’s DNA. Its list of green initiatives is both long and impressive and includes tree-planting projects, campaigns to ban shark fishing and a carbon offset program to buy a wind turbine in India. Soneva Fushi also has an in-house marine biologist to educate guests and ensure dive trips do not damage the local environment. One of its guiding principles is ‘Slow Life’, an approach which emphasizes ‘slow’ pursuits such as nature walks, star-gazing and non-motorized water sports.

10) Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village, Fraser Island, Australia

Situated on the Unseco World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village is an eco-tourism veteran. Since opening in 1992, it has won several awards for its environmental practices, including the inaugural Steve Irwin Ecotourism Award. In partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast, the resort runs a research and education center that closely monitors the island’s ecology, while guided eco tours cover everything from mangrove colonies to Aboriginal culture. Waste is sent to the worm farm where it is transformed into fertilizer and then used on the resort’s herb garden.

Top 10 Beaches in Asia Pacific : Recommended by Agoda

In Asia Travel on October 6, 2009 at 10:45 am
Top beaches in Asia Pacific - Maldives

Top beaches in Asia Pacific - Maldives

There was a released article I found few months ago from Agoda.com – the Asian leading online hotel reservation company, which could be a good hint for anyone who are planning for year-ended holidays. This interesting article provides all information about the top 10 recommended beaches in Asia Pacific. As beach vacations are everyone’s favorite, the ideal trip to shake away the stresses of everyday life, let’s check out the list of 10 of the most stunning beaches in the region.

Agoda’s Top Beaches in the Asia Pacific Region Include;

1 ) White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines

White Beach is an amazing stretch of shoreline spanning nearly four kilometers and at points it is almost 100-meters wide. This famous stretch of powdery white sand is the premier attraction of Boracay Island. Agoda has nearly 50 Boracay hotels listed on its site but for those who want to be close to the world famous White Beach travelers choose Pearl Of The Pacific Hotel, Friday Resort or the Discovery Shores Hotel. Agoda’s customers have recommended these magnificent retreats as the most peaceful places to stay on Boracay Island.

2 ) The Maldives

With so many atolls to choose from, picking one perfect beach from so many stunning ones is tough. The Maldives is the ultimate getaway with private islands, stunning beaches and crystal clear waters.  A great choice for beach accommodation is on Velassaru Island. The Velassaru Island Beach Hotel is a popular spot to relax, with 129 rooms; this 5-star resort offers water and beach bungalows and beautiful villas. The resort is a true beach escape in every sense of the word. Cocoa Island Hotel is another 5-star hotel that has garnered excellent review by Agoda’s customers. 33-secluded villas, all with sea access, allow guests to jump into clean and clear water, right from their own private patio.

3 ) Sanya Beach, China

Sanya Beach is seven and a half kilometers of pearly white sands located to the southeast of Sanya City. Known as China’s Hawaii, because it shares the same latitude and similar weather, Sanya Beach is the country’s only tropical beach. With a long coconut fringed coastline and warm temperatures throughout the year, Sanya Beach is an ideal place to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. The Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort, Ritz Carlton and brand-new Mandarin Oriental are recommended for those who love to be pampered. Potential visitors can view nearly 30 other discounted Sanya Beach resorts along with informative descriptions and customer reviews at Agoda.com.

4 ) Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe, Thailand

Koh Lipe floats out on the southern Andaman Sea with wide sandy beaches and turquoise waters circling this small Thai island. Sunrise Beach is the pride and joy of this idyllic getaway and The Idyllic Concept Resort is a highly recommended accomodation to enjoy this unspoiled beach. Featuring chic modern beach bungalows, the Idyllic Concept Resort is the perfect choice to chill-out and enjoy island life.

5 ) Phu Quoc Beach, Vietnam

Situated on Vietnam’s largest island in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc Beach is a hidden treasure. First time visitors to Phu Quoc are often taken aback by its sugary-white coastline and crystal-clear waters. Agoda recommends the Grand Mercure La Veranda Resort, a modern luxury property located on a 12-mile stretch of Phu Quoc Beach and the Chen La Resort, a newly opened eco-friendly beach bungalow complex.

6 ) Teluk Pauh Beach, Malaysia

Located on Malaysia’s northwest island of Perhentian Bezar, Teluk Pauh Beach is one of its most beautiful private beaches. The sea here is crystal clear and teeming with marine life. Agoda recommends the Perhentian Island Resort as an ideal place for a family vacation. The stunning beach and warm clear water and nearby dive sites entice travelers to the nearby National Marine Park of Malaysia.

7 ) Tubkaak Beach, Krabi, Thailand

As Thailand’s beaches become more and more crowded, Tubkaak Beach is still a refreshing escape from the crowds. Situated on a small corner of Krabi province, the white sand beach here goes on forever. Home to local seabirds, rock pools full of marine life and some of the most stunning sunsets on earth, Tubkaak Beach is the beach travelers dream about. The award-winning Tubkaak Boutique Resort, is a 4.5 star hotel loaded with luxurious amenities, perfect for a beach holiday and The Amari Vogue Resort, a highly rated resort, is tucked away in a very secluded portion of beach, giving guests the utmost feeling of privacy.

8 ) West Rarotonga Beach, Cook Islands

Located directly South of Hawaii the Cook Islands are often over shadowed by their popular northern neighbors and this long stretch of toe-tingling, white-sand beach is located on Rarotonga, the most popular island in the Cook Islands. The Manuia Beach Boutique Hotel , is set right on the beach overlooking a lagoon, barrier reef and the Pacific Ocean with lush mountains as the back drop and the Edgewater Resort, set amidst six acres of tropical gardens, swaying palms and bordered by a white sand beach. Additionally, a sparkling blue lagoon with panoramic vistas of a lush mountain rainforest, have made these getaways highly rated by Agoda’s customers.

9 ) Tanjung Rhu Beach, Langkawi, Malaysia

This secluded bay of white sand is massaged by the gentle breezes blowing in from the gleaming blue Indian Ocean. Tanjung Rhu Beach is located on the northernmost tip of Langkawi. Safely sheltered by the curve of the bay, Tanjung Rhu features shallow waters and calm seas perfect for taking a break from the Malaysian sun. The Tanjung Rhu Resort and its scenic location offers guests unobstructed views of the brilliant white sands and stunning rock formations rising up from the sea. Fringed by lush rainforests, emerald waters and a mountain landscape, the Four Season Resort is also highly recommended by Agoda’s customers.

10 ) Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Untouched beauty best describes Australia’s crown jewel. The whitest (98% silica), most pristine beach on our list is also the most remote. Only accessible by boat with no actual accommodations on the island, guests usually stay on nearby Hamilton Island. The 5+ star Qualia receives high praise from Agoda’s customers with a choice of luxuriously designed villas showcasing private balconies, and unrivalled views of the surrounding islands. The other recommended resort is the Hamilton Island Beach Club, a five-star boutique style accommodation that sits on the beachfront, allowing for views of the Whitsunday Islands, home to the treasured beach.

For more information regarding Agoda, please go to the website at http://www.agoda.com

How Asian Angels Perform on Miss Universe 2009

In Asia Community, asia culture on August 28, 2009 at 2:56 am
Miss Photogenic Award 2009 - Chutima Durongdej, Thailand

Miss Photogenic Award 2009 - Chutima Durongdej, Thailand

Once again that a little angel from South America has took the crown under remark of the most beautiful woman in the world. It was Miss Venezuela – Stefania Fernandez – who was named Miss Universe 2009. Although, we’re not going to describe about how gorgeous she is to lift up this 6th time title for her country, but let’s have a look on how other angels from Asia Pacific region performed on the Miss Universe 2009 competition, shall we?

The 58th Annual Miss Universe competition was held at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas on Sunday, August 23rd. It was also the first time that the Miss Universe telecast was introduced by the American billionaire – Donale Trump. There were 12 out of 84 delegates from Asia Pacific region on this year’s contest who namely are;

Australia – Rachael Finch

China – Wang Jingyao

India – Ekta Choudhry

Indonesia – Zivanna Letisha Siregar

Japan – Emiri Miyasaka

Korea – Ree Na

Malaysia – JoannaBelle Ng

New Zealand – Katie Taylor

Philippines – Pamela Bianca Manalo

Singapore – Rachel Kum

Thailand – Chutima Durongdej

Vietnam – Võ Hoàng Yến

Even though many Asians would have something to be proud of from the competition a few years ago when Miss Riyo Mori of Japan won Miss Universe 2007, but all seems to be an unfortunate year for Asian this time around. None of a delegate from Asia took place in the final night and this was the first time since 1991 that Asians didn’t place into the Top 15 final.

However, there were some controversial achievements from Asian contenders. While Miss Wang Jingyao won the Miss Congeniality award and with Miss Chutima Durongdej who was able to claim the Miss Photogenic award from this year occasion.

The achievement would be the second time for a girl from China to win the Miss Congeniality award, since Miss Ningning Zhang won in 2007 and also coincidently the second time for Thailand as well to win the Miss Photogenic award, since Passaraporn Chaimongkol won in 1990.

Well, no matter how many times, they won or not won on these proudly awards, all Asian women is still considered best charming with soft and cheery attitude, which I’m sure that everyone can easily fall in love with.

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