Sometimes the best vacation is a staycation.
One of the reasons I have no intentions of moving back to the UK anytime soon. Jump in a cab for an hour (or less), check into a hotel & you feel like you are literally on holiday – what better way to spend your weekend? Quick holiday before going back into the office on Sunday – yes please.
The Jebel Ali Beach resort is the perfect escape from the sand. As soon as you arrive it already feels like you are in some tropical resort as you drive through the luscious trees & gardens to the hotel entrance. SO MUCH GREEN.
Not only is this resort beautiful to look at, it has awesome values when it comes to sustainability. When I heard that the Jebel Ali Beach resort is super eco friendly, I had to check it out for myself.
The rooms are spacious & clean & the beach is simply stunning, well maintained with a wide range of activities such as kayaking, surfing & paddle boarding (which we tried & OMG that stuff is HARD). It was a little hot when we were there (around 45 c urgh) but the resort has an awesome pool & delicious frozen smoothies to keep you cool.
When it comes to food, Jebel Ali Beach Resort knows how to look after the vegans. We were certainly not stuck for choices at the breakfast buffet, where the wide range of cooked breakfast items included beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns & the chef was even kind enough to give us some avocado! The also have a huge fruit salad section if your feeling a little fruity.
For lunch we headed to the White Orchid which is one of the restaurants in the resort. It seems to be pretty popular online & when we visited I could totally see why. The buffet options at lunch time were amazing, again with loads of vegan options. A huge salad bar for starters with loads of vegan salads like mixed mushroom salad & roasted pepper salad, they also had a variety of hummus (I mean vegan heaven right!?) For seconds there were options like rice & stir fried veggies, roasted veggies, veggie spring rolls, a variety of breads & potatoes . The chefs knew their stuff too which was a welcomed change, they could quickly explain which dishes were suitable for vegans.
As I have recently started blogging about Eco Travel, I wanted to find out exactly what it is that makes a hotel Eco-friendly. Chef Nicolas Smalberger, Executive Chef at JA resorts & Hotels was kind enough to tell me more about the Jebel Ali Resorts commitment to sustainability.
What does Eco-Friendly mean to Jebel Ali Golf Resort – Dubai?
“Eco-friendly, or in other words, environment-friendly is focusing on not creating harm to the environment and to prevent as much harm from occurring to the environment from interactions with it. In JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort it means using eco-friendly products to promote green living that helps to conserve energy and also prevent air, water and noise pollution. Discovering the extent of our carbon footprint and focusing to minimize the footprint on the environment through our various environmental and sustainability initiatives.
Sustainable systems have been woven into daily life at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Walking through the grounds, guests encounter our famous peacocks, but we also turtle, horses and ducks. Information around the resort offers an insight into the bird and animal species present here, with eco-friendly activities at the Kids Club targeting younger guests.”
& it’s not just the guests that educated on the importance of sustainability & the brand’s eco friendly values, the resort ensure that the employees are kept up to date with environmental information to ensure everyone is working together to under the sustainability goals.
“JA Resorts & Hotels has further delivered on its agenda for sustainability at the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort through a chain of activities geared toward educating both resort associates and in-house guests on various aspects of environmental outreach. Apart from the awareness sessions for new joiners, the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort team has developed regular training sessions for its associates on environmental hot topics to ensure that there is an enlightened understanding and drive towards progressive activations such as recycling and can collection. Furthering awareness among its associates and guests, the resort displays information on-site and online about the sea life and bird species present on the property.”
Do you have initiatives within the resorts for guests to take part in sustainability during their stay?
“Yes, sure we do, in every guest room, you can easily find an environmental card where it reads “Helps us to save the environment” from towels to bed linen. This card is environmentally friendly and helps us to save water and energy.
The Bio Garden is also a popular attraction with guests and we offer visitors an enlightening tour that highlights how these products are used in the resort kitchens. We added new walk ways and seating areas for the guests to sit down and relax. We have also previously welcomed children to plant their own lemon trees so when they return to the resort they can see how their trees have grown and begin to understand the benefit to the environment.”
Another reason why I have fallen in love with Jebel Ali Beach resort it the fact that they promote the use of Fair Trade & eco-friendly products. They also have some great initiatives in place to reduce both energy & water consumption.
“We have a different source of eco-friendly or sustainable products, for example, lights and water taps operate in a gesture sensor, we use sustainable cleaning chemical and providing a non-allergic pillow for guests.
We use Fair trade coffee, also most of our fruit and vegetables are fair trade and as well chocolate, sugar and flour, this is very beneficial for the farmers and producers especially locally.
We conserve water and electricity, with few simple ways like turning off lights when not in use, fixing leakages, proper insulation, using maximum daylight, installing energy efficient windows, purchasing energy efficient gadgets can reduce your daily energy consumption.
Furthermore, the lights that we used in the kitchens are LED lights, where luminosity is more than 1200 Lux so electricity consumption has been reduced by 80 to 90% and the water used to prepare food is desalinated sea water, taken directly from the sea and treated before use (Reverse Osmosis treatment). In order to create efficiencies in water use within the restaurant, rooms, etc. waste water is retained and treated in the resort’s own STP “Sewerage treatment plant” which treats water in accordance with the Dubai government’s guidelines and standards.
As part of JA Resorts & Hotels commitment to the environment, we participate in “Earth Hour” where our hotel guest also joins with us. On this occasion, we aim in switching off hotel lights for an hour and light up the hotel with candles.”
I was so intrigued by the Bio Garden & Chef Nicolas was more than happy to take us to check it out. Timing probably wasn’t great as not much can grow during this heat (understandably) but it was really interesting to see the concept first hand.
“We recently undertook an expansion of the resort’s Bio Garden, into a thriving reserve of herbs and vegetable produce, which helps to ensure the promotion of fresh healthy ingredients within JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort’s own restaurant offerings. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort’s award-winning White Orchid, and popular Signatures Lounge, both receive 100% organic produce generated by the Bio Garden to satisfy their herb and vegetable requirements.
Visitors can take an educational stroll through the garden and while enjoying the aroma of the fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, learn about their natural health benefits from the plant descriptions.
At the Bio Garden, we offer a sheltered seating area with a watering pond in the middle of the garden to sit, relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. A variety of bird species such as peacock, partridge and crows come to drink from the pond.”
So if you have any plans for a staycay coming up & are looking for a green hotel, be sure to check out Jebel Ali. The hotel & grounds are simply stunning, the beach is gorgeous & the food is great – what more could you want? Book your stay here! Jess xo