From saying no to plastic straws to adopting zero waste lifestyle, more and more Malaysians are doing their part to save the planet. With this rising environmental awareness in the country, arising from concerns over climate change and environmental degradation, it is no surprise that local travellers are eager to indulge in sustainable travel once interstate travels are allowed.
Agoda’s recent Sustainable Travel Trends Survey revealed that Malaysia was among the top three markets most likely to look for eco-friendly accommodations, with travellers pledging to travel sustainably by prioritising eco-conscious accommodation and being more mindful about their energy consumption during their travels.
To support Malaysians in their pledge to travel more sustainably and to coincide with travel reopening Agoda shares a range of eco-friendly accommodations across the country, all designed to minimise the impact of tourism on the environment.
Element Kuala Lumpur
Element Kuala Lumpur, housed in the iconic Ilham Tower, is the tallest eco-conscious hotel in the city. Certified with the Green Building Index, the hotel was built to sustain green practices right from its onset. What’s more, the hotel was the first in Kuala Lumpur to eliminate plastic water bottles. According to Agoda’s Sustainable Travel Trends Survey, travellers from Malaysia ranked limited use of single-use plastics as the top three additional
measures to help make travel more sustainable and this will definitely be a value-add for those seeking sustainable travels.
Other eco-friendly features include a rainwater harvesting system, energy-efficient LED lighting and indoor-air quality CO2 monitor. The hotel’s structure itself incorporates elements of sustainable design, with an airy open-plan layout and clever use of natural light. Meanwhile, its ‘bikes-to-borrow’ programme encourages guests to opt for a carbon-friendly way of exploring the sights and sounds of the city.
In addition to its eco-friendly design, the 4-star-hotel’s award-winning services and elegantly designed rooms promise to give guests a refreshing retreat right at the heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur.
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa
Located along the pristine Pantai Tengah beach and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa has a host of awards under its belt for its eco-friendly measures – and for good reason.
A recipient of the Malaysian Tourism Awards and certified with the ASEAN Hotel Green standard, this well-known resort adopts approximately 300 green practices to effectively reduce, reuse and recycle. Among the resort’s numerous measures to reduce energy consumption are its usage of energy efficient light globes and the use of Solar Energy wherever possible. Accommodations with such measures were highly rated by Malaysian travellers as Agoda’s survey indicated that 40% and 36% of Malaysians associate the use of renewable resources and good energy practice with sustainable travel respectively.
The Frangipani Resort and Spa is also the only hotel in Langkawi with a 100% All-Natural Filtration System, which utilises aquatic plants to treat waste water. The treated water is used to water the tropical gardens on its premises.
Alila Bangsar – Kuala Lumpur
This urban hideaway, conveniently located in the cosmopolitan Bangsar area of Kuala Lumpur, offers guests a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Aside from its sleek and modern design, guests at Alila Bangsar will also notice the use of ‘Giving Bags’ in each room. These are to encourage guests to donate unwanted or gently used items to local charities.
In addition to a rainwater harvesting system, the hotel also has a range of energy-saving measures, such as reducing the operation of lifts during off-peak hours and implementing energy-efficient air-conditioning practices. On top of that, the hotel also avoids single-use plastics by opting for in-house recyclable glass bottles instead. All of these practices were considered by Malaysians as helpful practices to travel sustainably, according to Agoda’s survey.
The Datai Langkawi
Tucked within a 10-million-year-old tropical rainforest, and overlooking the majestic Datai Bay, Datai Langkawi combines sustainability, luxury and bespoke service into unique package.
The property places nature at the heart of its operations, advocating for conservation and co-habitation with nature across its accommodation offerings. Even the start of the rainforest resort was marked by sustainable practices, with every tree cut down during its development either replaced by another, or used to build its suites and villas.
This concept resonates well with nature loving Malaysians based on the Sustainable Travel Trends Survey, where animal and wildlife conservation is the top three priority for Malaysian travellers concerned about the environment.
Meanwhile, the resort’s Datai Pledge is an ambitious programme of initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable environment for the future. The Datai Pledge relies on four pillars:
- Pure for the Future: a commitment to be a sustainable business by reducing the use of natural resources, reducing carbon footprint, and achieving a zero waste to the landfill policy
- Fish for the Future: seeks to address threats and imbalances to marine ecosystems, by enabling coral reefs to survive through efforts such reef rehabilitation and community outreach
- Wildlife for the Future: aims to protect and restore the natural heritage of the island through a holistic approach of reforestation, wildlife protection, and community engagement
- Youth for the Future: aims to promote greater awareness of sustainability issues among young people, inculcating them with the knowledge, actions and activities to create a sustainable lifestyle.
With its stunning rainforest location and award-winning architecture, guests at Datai Langkawi can also expect to get up close and personal with nature in comfort. The resort has a range of accommodation offerings to suit varying tastes, from beachside villas to spacious rainforest escapes.
Mangala Resort & Spa - Kuantan
Mangala Resort and Spa is the product of an inspiring 15-year journey of rejuvenation, having transformed abandoned barren mining land into a tranquil haven of greenery. The resort’s exquisite villas are now surrounded by huge stretches of palm plantations, exotic flower and herb gardens, fruit trees, restored lakes, and untouched wetlands.
Named as the winner of The Edge Malaysia PAM Green Excellence Award in 2018, Mangala advocates for reducing energy consumption by using green energy equipment and systems, which also serve to encourage guests to be mindful about their energy usage. These measures include a key card cut-off system for power to the room, timers for lights, and energy-saving air-conditioner compressors. These renewable energy solutions and smart key card system were ranked the fourth by Malaysian travellers in Agoda’s survey as the two most helpful practices in being eco-friendly.
As part of its continued effort to preserve the local ecosystem, the resort also employs eco-friendly measures such as buggies and bicycles for guests, and strictly prohibits hunting, fishing or the killing of wildlife on its grounds.
True to its mission to promote the conservation of nature, the property offers guests the chance to learn about its origins and approach to nature rehabilitation through its Mangala Eco Tour and Nature Walk.
Hotel Penaga - Penang
The first heritage building to earn a Gold rating from the Green Building Index, Hotel Penaga is a unique blend of heritage conservation and environmental sustainability. Originally three rows of double-storey terraced houses and shophouses, the hotel used recyclable materials for its restoration and redevelopment. Its roof tiles were salvaged from demolished buildings in Penang, while its structure and floors were recovered from colonial-era buildings throughout the Peninsula.
The hotel practices sustainability in its operations, with the usage of low-energy LED lamps, and power to rooms controlled by a system that automatically shuts down when guests are not in their rooms. Additionally, the hotel also houses a salt water swimming pool which avoids the use of chemicals, and recycles biodegradable waste from its kitchen for composting.
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Kinabalu Park - Sabah
Set within the stunning ecological diversity of Kinabalu Park, one of Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges places environmental protection as a core value in its efforts to safeguard its natural surroundings. Having earned several awards from the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2020 for its services and eco-friendly practices, guests at the property can be assured of enjoying the beauty of nature while indulging the cosy comforts of their lodges.
The property also encourages guests to take small steps to help the planet, such as reusing towels to conserve water, and observing Earth Day by turning off their lights. Guests can further choose how they wish to experience the wonders of nature with range of eco-tourism activities on offer, be it a thrilling climb up Mount Kinabalu, or a relaxing nature stroll through pristine forests.
Alunan Resort – Perhentian Islands
Perched atop a rocky slope overlooking the vast simmering blue of the South China Sea and surrounded by dense greenery, Alunan Resort is an eco-friendly property located at the laidback shores of Perhentian Kecil. All of the resort’s private double-storey suites are unique as they were built to work with the natural landscape of the island, so as to avoid disrupting the local ecology. Each suite features a private rooftop sun deck, as well as floor-to-ceiling glass panels to showcase the breath-taking views of the rainforest and ocean.
The resort also plays a part in rejuvenating the island’s marine ecosystem through its Alunan Coral Project. Set up in 2017, under the guidance of a marine biologist, the conservation project rehabilitates and repopulates corals via several nurseries located around the island. Guests even have the chance to directly help out with the project, and learn about what it takes to protect coral reefs.
Additionally, the property avoids single use plastics, and instead provides guests with free reusable metal water bottles and straws. This will bode well with local travellers as one of data shows that the top three pledges made by Malaysians was to manage their own waste during travel, including reducing the use of single-use plastics.
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