SuperClubs Resorts give back to the community.
By Monique Stringfellow
Special to amNewYork
While a quick escape to the tropics would be just the thing to tide you over till spring, even entertaining the idea right now feels a bit frivolous.
So why not opt for a vacation whose benefits go beyond giving you an enviable tan?An increasing number of hotels and resorts are trying to actively contribute to their native communities.
In Jamaica, SuperClubs Resorts (Superclubs.com) a family of properties, specializing in luxury all-inclusives hires 95 percent of its employees from the surrounding area.
Aside from bringing jobs to the island, it also offers higher education scholarships for employees and grants for employees childrens secondary education.
Beyond the grounds of the properties, the SuperClubs group works with local organizations, schools and hospitals to create literacy and mentoring programs.
Another sensitive area for the tourism industry is the environment.
SuperClubs uses solar energy and monitors water usage, measures that have earned its resorts Green Globe certification.
Across the Caribbean on the Mexican Mayan Riviera, the newly opened Hacienda Tres Rios (haciendatresrios.com) is located within a 326-acre nature park.
Owners received special permission from the government to build on otherwise untouched tropical land, so all environmental concerns have been meticulously seen to.
Before beggining construction, a team of scientists studied the ecosystem to come up with a development plan that minimized environmental impact.
So, much of the land remains close to its indigenous state.
Of particular note are the 10 cenotes featured on the property.
These sea-level pools connect to subterranean water bodies.
In addition to having healing properties, they are thought to be the gateway to the afterlife in Mayan mythology.
One cenote connects to the beach via a kilometer-long waterway.
Guests can swim or kayak this route while taking in an assortment of indigenous plant and animal life.