Designed with privacy and seclusion in mind, the accessible-only-by-boat Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort in Vietnam has been attracting visitors seeking the luxury and tranquillity of a private island experience since it opened in 2004. Set among dramatic scenery, each one of its hilltop villas is tucked away along the bay’s rocky peninsula, and with individual plunge pools and a butler service, a peaceful and if so desired solitary getaway is almost guaranteed. However, in addition to its reputation as a luxury retreat, the resort is now also garnering attention for another particularly topical reason, as following the launch of its Earth Lab last November, Ninh Van Bay is attracting interest from travelers who are seeking an eco-friendly vacation too.
The Six Senses group’s Earth Lab initiative has been rolled out across each one of the properties in its portfolio. The company has committed to operating in a sincerely sustainable way, pledging to reduce consumption, produce locally and support communities and ecosystems, and has also adopted a philosophy of Zero Waste. And while other resorts may proffer eco-conscious policies, at Six Senses the initiatives can clearly be seen in action, as not only are the resorts keen to showcase their efforts via their Earth Labs, but each one provides metrics on all its activities and the tracked data is made available to every guest.
An example of this is water consumption. At Ninh Van Bay water is bottled on site, eliminating the impact of transportation and use of plastic water bottles, and a wooden board is updated daily with details of the resort’s water (and energy) consumption, as well as the number of glass bottles of filtered water consumed over the previous 24 period.
Indeed, all environmental impacts, including resort consumption data for water and energy as well as waste, are displayed in the site’s Earth Lab, with a view to both engaging and educating guests. It’s where work ongoing around the resort, both on- and off-site, is showcased, such as marine conservation, forest restoration and community development, and is the hub for the popular talks and workshops run by the resort, where local community members are invited to share traditional knowledge and guests can learn some simple sustainability hacks for life back at home.
But while there, what can one expect from the resort? Well, having cultivated its own organic gardens, which produce more than 40 varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruit, it’s no surprise that most of the produce used is grown on site. Seeds are harvested, kept in a seed bank and made available for guests to take and grow organically at home, and natural insecticides, distilled from plants, are used as an organic alternative to chemical sprays to protect both the resort’s crops and guests’ gardens.
Goats provide the milk, free roaming free-range chickens produce the eggs for breakfast, and bees are kept for honey, and to pollinate the local crops.
Waste recycling is taken seriously too. Food waste is composted and used to fuel the extensive organic gardens, the goats process landscaping waste, and even the peels from the morning’s freshly squeezed orange juice are crushed for their oils to be used for treatments in the resort’s hilltop spa. Energy is renewable, produced from biomass or solar panels.
With more and more of us looking for an eco-conscious travel experience, without compromising on the comforts we have come to expect from holidays, Ninh Van Bay seems to have successfully married its unique luxury offering with a similarly unique and engaging approach to environmental awareness. A blueprint for others to follow?
Ninh Van Bay
Ninh Hoa, Khanh Hoa
T +84 258 3524 268, +84 258 7307 788