Refundable hotels

Julie Loffredi — Lifestyle

(Broadry) — While hotels welcome travelers from near and far, many properties are becoming an integral part of the communities they serve, partnering with philanthropic organizations both locally and nationally to make a difference.

We have highlighted some hotels that are doing their part to lift the spirits of others by embodying the heart of true hospitality:

After nearly two decades of close collaboration around the world, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts recently announced its first global partnership with Make a wish® with launch Wishes start here. For more than 40 years, Make-A-Wish has granted life-changing wishes to children with serious diagnoses and their families. Wishes start here dedicated to making a child’s most cherished dream a reality, leaving them with incredible memories to last a lifetime. Over the next three years, Fairmont aims to grant the wishes of more than 500 children while providing charitable support to the lauded organization.

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Svaboda Hotel. Boston has long hosted Fashionably Late, a weekly fashion show where models strut their stuff on a 90-foot catwalk in the lobby (yes, a real catwalk, because it was a 19th-century prison!), pose on tables, ride escalators, and weave through the crowd in designer clothes, and local charities often benefit. For example, an upcoming fashion show featuring celebrity shoe designer Tom Solo on September 29 will benefit Women’s lunch, a unique day shelter for women that provides healthy meals, daily necessities such as toiletries and new underwear, and one-on-one advocacy, including assistance with finding a shelter bed, emergency housing, permanent housing, benefits, employment, escape from domestic violence and other solutions for complex, long-term issues. Women’s Lunch Place is also a well-known safe space for members of Boston’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Sandal Fund, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, was established in 2009 to give back to the resort’s home islands in key areas of education, community and environmental protection. To date, they have committed $77 million to projects in the Caribbean with the help of 26,000 volunteers. Even better, 100% of the proceeds go directly back into the communities. This fall, Sandals will officially welcome its first class of students to the Gordon “Butch” Stewart International School of Hospitality and Tourism. This new school will prepare the next generation for success in a variety of tourism and tourism-related sectors, including entertainment, construction, engineering, food and beverage manufacturing and supply chain logistics. The school is scheduled to debut online in the fall 2022 semester. The brick-and-mortar school is slated to be located at the University of the West Indies’ West Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with a goal of completing the school in 2023.

In 2016 Omni Hotels & Resort has launched Say Goodnight to initiative where for every stay booked and completed at an Omni-branded hotel or resort in the U.S., Omni donates the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) to a hunger-relief leader, Feeding America®. Since the campaign began, more than 20 million meals have been donated to help Feeding America provide nutritious food for food banks to feed children, families and seniors across the country. Since 2017, Omni has partnered with the PGA Tour “Bird or Better” campaign, raising funds for Say Goodnight to Hunger. For every bird scored during each tournament, the equivalent of four meals will be donated to Feeding America. Since the beginning of the year, Omni has donated more than 875,000 meals through the Bird or Better program.

Hyatt Hotels just celebrated its fourth anniversary RiseHY, a global program designed to connect career opportunities in the hospitality industry with the young people who need them. As part of this initiative, Hyatt hotels worldwide have committed to hiring 10,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in education or work by 2025. The corporation partners with community-based organizations around the world that provide vocational training and career readiness programs to bring RiseHY to life and help vulnerable young people gain the education and skills they need to grow and succeed. With virtual reality, young people can experience what life is like working in a hotel, while digital technology designed to match candidates’ skills with the most suitable entry-level job will help set them up for success from the start. With the help of organizations like the Youth Career Initiative and Grads of Life, Hyatt hotels can provide in-service training programs as well as full-time employment.

Cooking lovers, listen up! Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spaluxury boutique in St. Barts, has just launched a zero-waste cooking class in conjunction with the executive chef of the hotel’s new restaurant Amis St. Barth, serving island-inspired French-Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Vincent Gomis and his culinary team will guide guests through an educational culinary experience to limit food waste while supporting small local fishing businesses. Guests will accompany the chef to the beach in front of the hotel to meet the local fishermen when they drop anchor and show off the local catch of the day caught on the line. There, guests will hand-pick their fish and join the chef in the energy-efficient kitchen to learn how to apply zero-waste cooking technology, using every morsel of food from bones to skins and composts to create juices, dressings and sauces, and even fish roe to make the signature to the restaurant. The chef hopes that this experience will inspire and influence more people to be mindful of eating local, seasonal and waste-free food while supporting local producers in the regions where they live. This new experience follows the hotel’s partnership with the St. Barth’s Territorial Agency for the Environment (ATE); which works with scientists and environmentalists to protect and preserve the wildlife that inhabits the island, especially in the nature reserve that Le Barthelemy overlooks.

Wynn Resorts works with Shack of the pack, a nonprofit organization that partners with businesses, schools and universities, faith-based organizations and other groups to address food insecurity through signature “Feed the Funnel” parties at its facilities across the US. Last June, Encore Boston Harbor employees, friends, family members, community partners, vendors and guests packed 83,000 meals that were distributed in the local community. The hotel now hosts twice-yearly Feed the Funnel events and has set itself the goal of collecting more than three times as many meals as before.

Author: Brodry co-author Andrea McHugh

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