The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards 2021 — Health and Wellness

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The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards celebrate people and projects that embody the spirit of regeneration—improving people’s lives, our communities, and the world around us. We are searching the globe for inspiring changemakers working to solve our biggest challenges and inspiring positive action, both inside and outside of travel.

View the finalists for the Health & Wellness category featuring holistic and restorative approaches that promote well-being.

1. Natural Change: Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Our own well-being and (mental) health is directly linked to the well-being of our once beautiful planet. Nature is such a powerful healer, but she needs us now to step up and act on her behalf. ‘By healing these lands, we might find we are healing ourselves’ is what Alladale tells its guests, which always comes with a call to action.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve is home to a wonderful project called Natural Change (NC). The NC Retreats are aimed at decision-makers and industry leaders to help them further develop their sustainability leadership. It is a highly personal journey set in an inspirational environment, resulting in the capacity, confidence, and support needed to act on the climate and biodiversity emergency.

The Natural Change programme sits so well with the greater mission and vision of Alladale. Merely advocating change is not enough; leaders all need to step up and change their ways if we want to bring back balance and abundance to our natural world. Rewilding therefore is not simply about nature restoration. A new style of leadership is needed to change our impact on the natural world at scale.

For a location like Alladale, organisations like Natural Change are amazing to partner with. Such partnerships allow the discussion of the big issues, without preaching to the converted. Climate and biodiversity emergency, rewilding, mental and physical health, (thought) leadership: it’s all connected. So to host such retreats is not just a business opportunity, it’s also a chance to showcase how regenerative travel helps to turn the travel industry into a sustainable one.

2. The Ranch Malibu

As one of the top wellness retreats in the world, The Ranch Malibu is dedicated to creating a safe, secure, and sacred place to allow for personal awareness and life transformation: physically, mentally and spiritually.

The Ranch harnesses the healing power of nature to immerse guests in their surroundings, connecting them to the planet through daily morning mountain hiking, an organic, plant-based menu, and a beautiful setting. Sequestered from the demands of daily life, guests learn about and practice healthy living from a holistic standpoint. Understanding that small, incremental changes can create big shifts over time, many break habits that have been engrained for years such as poor food choices, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, and even smoking. Medical improvement in cholesterol levels – higher HDL and lower LDL levels – have also been noted.

The Ranch’s programs spread a message of sustainability of body, mind, and spirit. Staff members coach, mentor, and support guests on how to live a truly sustainable lifestyle at a personal level that has a lasting impact. Upon leaving, each guest becomes an ambassador, spreading the message and teachings, building awareness of sustainability not as a project but a way of life.

The Ranch’s plant-based meals of non-processed foods is an opportunity for guests to learn more about how this type of diet impacts their own health, while also benefiting the earth, using less water, power, land, and grain than a meat-based approach. The foundation of every meal at The Ranch is the use of fresh ingredients, harvested daily from the on-site, CCOF certified organic garden, eliminating the need to transport large quantities of food to The Ranch.

Using regenerative organic agriculture, The Ranch grows an abundance of fruit and vegetables without the use of synthetic chemicals, focusing on soil health to optimize development, nutrients and flavor. The Ranch supports the cultivation of bees with their own colonies, which produce about 500 lbs of honey each year. As a part of The Ranch’s waste program, some of the scraps from the garden and kitchen are fed to the animals, with the rest added to composting tumblers. Any food not used is donated to local food banks.

3. Aro Ha Wellness Retreat

The Aro Ha Wellness Retreat (AHWR) project is designed and built to self-sustain indefinitely, creating transformative retreat experiences where all aspects of natural health are embraced. It harnesses the art of living exceptionally well, aspiring to carve the path for the future of human and environmental health.

Aro Ha knows its sustainability aspirations are ambitious, which is why it is built upon permaculture principles. This means it meets and exceeds the basic needs of all those whose lives it touches, from retreat guests and staff, to the wider community. As managing partner Damian Chaparro puts it, ‘We wanted to create a community space that fosters the connection between nature, wellness, and humanity’s need for transition to a regenerative existence’.

The sustainability goals and measures include self-generated power from hydro and solar energy, with such efficiency that there is often even a surplus. Permaculture gardens minimise labour and resources through the use of natives and climate-specific planting, rainwater harvesting, and passive building structures that reduce the need for heating.

Aro Ha’s gardens supply up to sixty percent of food production, which helps the resort fulfil its self-sufficiency ethos. To add to this, compostable waste is a valuable resource, used to benefit its soils, produce organic nutrient-dense food, and replenish the land, making a positive impact for future generations to come. Aro Ha inspires and educates towards sustainable decision making, for the betterment of each guest’s health and the planet, as it builds a community who believes in a future where humanity can thrive by living in harmony with nature.

4. The Farm at San Benito

The Farm at San Benito, a proud member of CG Hospitality, is an eco-luxury, holistic, medical wellness resort located in Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines. A truly eco and socially responsible green business, The Farm aims for a cleaner and healthier environment as it not only believes in the healing power of nature but in healing nature as well.

The philosophy lies in learning how to eat in harmony with the environment. This entails a full understanding of the relationships and interactions between ourselves, the foods that we eat, the lifestyles we choose to lead, and the environment in which we live. The Farm firmly believes in healing through food and the importance of maintaining the diversity of regional food and agricultural traditions.

The Farm’s ALIVE restaurant serves a robust menu of nutritious, plant-based organic vegan cuisines sourced straight from The Farm’s own organic garden. By growing the majority of its produce on-site, food security is not only increased but its carbon footprint reduced by limiting the transport of food. The organic farm currently stands at 5,500 square meters; an example of organic precision agriculture. Everything grown on the land has been designed to fit the farm’s culinary needs and is designed to have a seasonal rotation of crops for a true farm-to-table experience.

The Farm’s carbon footprint is further minimized by promoting garden-to-skin and organic, natural products. In the organic farm, it has allotted plots for its spa where herbal needs such as lemongrass, lavender, citronella, mint, and rosemary are grown.

The Farm’s products are Lunas Living Oils and The Farm Essentials – 100% pure, artisanal, sustainably produced, and preservative-free superfood skincare products. Made with Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Moringa Oil, infused with powerful synergistic effects from multiple blends of therapeutic grade essential oils, the VCO-based skincare products are made with the finest organic ingredients that bring harmony and balance to the senses while nourishing, hydrating, and protecting the skin for a healthy and radiant glow.

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