Connecting Like-Minded Travelers with Like-Minded Hotels
“We try to live a lifestyle that is parallel to our experiences when we travel,” say Greg and Tammy Clifton, six-time visitors of Hamanasi Resort in Belize. “We knew as we were leaving our [first] trip here, that we would be back.”
Hamanasi is one of six current properties under Regenerative Resorts, a collective of boutique eco-hotels and resorts with a commitment to environmental and social impact. Nestled amidst Belize’s coastline, the Hamanasi property encapsulates the founding themes of Regenerative Resorts, attracting guests like the Cliftons, time and time again.
“We kind of look for the Hamanasi standard wherever we go,” share the Cliftons. “We look for small, boutique resorts, that are independently owned and operated, where the local people are employed and we know we are going to have a very high standard in terms of guest experience.”
This mindset is exactly what founder of Regenerative Resorts, David Leventhal, envisioned when he set out to create this collective. In fact, it dates back further than the launch of Regenerative Resorts, when Leventhal opened his first boutique hotel in Mexico, Playa Viva.
Rooted in sustainability initiatives and supporting the local community, Leventhal realized guests kept returning, and they began asking if he knew of properties with similar standards and offerings for their next vacation. He never forgot the first time the question was proposed to him by a frequent guest, Pam Page. “She said, ‘David, do you have any suggestions for hotels like Playa Viva in the Caribbean?’” After this became a recurring question from visitors, Leventhal developed Regenerative Resorts as an efficient way to bring together like-minded hotels, for the like-minded guest.
Page explained that her trip to Playa Viva provided her with, “the perfect combination of endless beach, pool, yoga, excursions, rest, [and] recovery,” which she now searches for in upcoming trips. She said that on her first trip she recognized the property’s commitment to, “teaching all ecological sustainability, organic food, independence to play, rest, think.” She searches for new properties, hoping they will embrace, "all of the values I hope my children and grandchildren will adopt and enjoy.”
Both Playa Viva and Hamanasi’s frequent customers exude the founding principles of the collective. Regenerative Resorts has since been able to attract other properties including Finca Luna Nueva, Isleta El Espino and Villa Sumaya, all of which have all contributed to the early days of Regenerative Resorts, while driving customer value. With pillars stemming from a passion for community and sustainability, Regenerative Resorts continues to seek boutique property owners who can benefit from being part of a collective and peer group who are dedicated to the travelers that want a place, “Where Your Vacation Meets Your Values.”
These pillars include: immersive and interactive offerings that promote guests as stewards of the land, encouraging meaningful and transformative experiences, opportunities to give back to the local community and ecosystems, and a dedication to wellness including cooking with local food, and the significance of disconnecting and reconnecting to nature.
“Eco-tourism and sustainability are buzz words that you see everywhere, but when you visit a place, you get to experience whether that standard of sustainability is actually being portrayed,” say Tammy and Greg Clifton on experiencing sustainability at Hamanasi. It extends from the soaps in the shower, to the herbs and vegetables in the organic garden, but there is also a bigger picture. “There’s sustainability not just from an environmental standpoint, but from a cultural and social standpoint. That definitely has altered the way we view ourselves as travelers.” This type of transformation is key to Regenerative Resorts’ ethos.
Once again, this subtle transformation is what Regenerative Resorts was built on, as the brand becomes more than just a collective of hotels or like-minded community, but actually a lifestyle that guests can follow, embodying it in their daily ethos once the vacation is over.