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Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort becomes second hotel worldwide to achieve Luxury Eco Certification

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort becomes second hotel worldwide to achieve Luxury Eco Certification (Forimmediaterelease.net) La Fortuna, COSTA RICA (June 2010) – Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Arenal, Costa Rica, has achieved the Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS), becoming the first luxury hotel in that country and the second luxury hotel in the world to pass the intensive desk audit and on-site inspections required for certification. The innovative program, developed by The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, awards LECS based on high marks in policy and documentation, energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and community. Tabacón was certified 100% carbon neutral in May 2009.

LECS is the first global certification program of its kind for luxury properties and was created through a partnership between Sustainable Travel International, the global non-profit leader in sustainable travel solutions, and Leading Quality Assurance, a joint venture of Leading Hotels that specializes in quality assurance, benchmarking and training to the luxury hospitality industry. The program focuses on Triple Bottom Line management achievements where people, planet and profit are all part of the property’s business objectives.

Brian T. Mullis, Sustainable Travel International president stated, “By achieving the Luxury Eco Certification Standard, Tabacón has demonstrated its superiority not only in quality and service but also in the resort’s commitment to safeguarding the natural and cultural heritage of our planet for future generations.” Noted Uwe Wagner, director general, “You may not be able to change the world on your own, but you can definitely make a difference where you live. For those of us in Costa Rica, environmental care is critical. We actively encourage both our staff members and our guests to become involved in sustainability and protection of our wildlife, the rainforest and the Arenal Volcano.”

A globally recognized resort by Condé Nast Johansens, Travel + Leisure, and Luxury SpaFinder and winner of the recent Luxist Reader’s Choice Award for Best International Spa, Tabacón exemplifies both luxury and sustainability. The resort, which also includes the Thermal Springs complex and the Grand Spa, practices environmental protection as a way of life. Tabacón scored top grades in water and electricity use, waste management, staff training and involvement, community programs and environmental protection.

Also the recipient of Certification for Sustainable Tourism from the Costa Rican Tourism Board, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort prides itself on its leadership role in sustainability efforts, protection of the environment, and community involvement in sustainable efforts in the Northern region of Costa Rica. As the country gears up to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort has introduced its own far-reaching sustainability program, Tabacón Green, to further environmental awareness and the importance of social outreach and allow guests to contribute in a meaningful and memorable way.

The resort also supports the local community through resort and guest contributions to the local community development fund and promotion of local products and handcrafts in its shops. For each $3 donation per room per night that a guest makes, the resort provides matching funds, establishing a community fund which provides for construction of schools and donation of school supplies and uniforms for children, computers for schools, furniture and fixtures for old-age homes, food and clothing for the local orphanage, and other much-needed contributions

Through the ground-breaking Tabacón Green program and the training and commitment of its staff, the Green Brigade, Tabacón’s own green initiatives are supplemented by a guest participation program planting trees to minimize the carbon footprint of arrivals by car or bus, with more than 4000 trees planted thus far. Nearly 70% of the more than 872 acres total land owned by Tabacón is under protection as primary or secondary rainforest.

Guests and employees are encouraged to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum and glass by utilizing provided receptacles. Tabacón also integrates a program of information, education and motivation towards both guests and employees concerning environmental and cultural conservation and preservation. Of key eco-importance are Tabacón’s two underground reservoirs that provide the entirety of the resort’s water and are naturally heated by the nearby active Arenal Volcano, eliminating the need for external energy sources. The Hotel and The Grand Spa also reduce water consumption with low-flow showers and installed automatic closings of sanitary services. With its own wastewater treatment plant, Tabacón processes all of its refuse waters and supplies organic waste to local farmers for use with livestock. The resort also emphasizes mindful use of electricity through set procedures and the use of eco-friendly technologies including fluorescent lighting, photo voltaic cells in gardens and paths, and lighting timers. Products purchased for resort maintenance and guest consumption are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, recyclable and/or reusable.

While offering both a luxurious and natural experience, Tabacón’s Grand Spa was designed to put nature at center stage. The Spa takes advantage of its prime location in the rainforest, set among natural thermal mineral waters and near an active volcano. Therapies and treatments harness the energy from both the springs and the volcano and incorporate indigenous ingredients and thalassotherapy as integral parts of the experience. Resort activities similarly focus on the naturally lush and diverse setting around Arenal with wildlife tours along the river, rainforest and waterfall hikes, white water rafting, canyoning, and sky treks.

For more information about Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, visit www.tabacon.com or call ++506-2519-1999 or toll free 1-877-277-8291.

About Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Certified a 100% carbon neutral resort as of May 2009 and the first hotel in the world to receive the Seven Stars and Stripes’ Green World Award, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort is at the forefront of Costa Rica’s sustainability efforts. The resort has a rainforest-set spa and views of the “live” Arenal volcano. Tabacón is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Leading Spas of the World, and Healing Hotels of the World and the recipient of Certification for Sustainable Tourism. The award-winning Grand Spa has 11 outdoor treatment bungalows, Yoga Studio, a three-unit Temazcal Center and a menu of indigenous treatments. Surrounded by the energy of the volcano, the resort offers a wellness vacation where guests can consult with nutrition and spa staff to develop a healthy living plan and assist with weight management. The 114-room resort’s cuisine is an unusual blend of Ayurveda, Spa, Mexican and Costa Rican influences. The signature Gala Dinner is served in a private rainforest bungalow with private chef and server. Nearby activities include nature tours, hanging bridges, ziplining, canyoning, and hiking to the volcano. www.tabacon.com, ++506-2519-1999 or toll free 1-877-277-8291.

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing more than 450 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, and is the operator of www.lhw.com and www.lhwspas.com, the online sources for luxury. Since 1928, the company’s reputation for excellence has derived from the exacting levels of quality demanded of its members, each of which must pass a rigorous, anonymous inspection covering hundreds of meticulous criteria spanning product to behavioral standards, the most stringent in the industry. For reservations and information, visit www.lhw.com or telephone toll-free 1-800-223-6800.

About Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International, www.sustainabletravelinternational.org, is a globally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to promote sustainable development through responsible travel by providing programs that help travelers, businesses and destinations protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage and contribute to economic development.

Meryl Pearlstein Director of PR, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort meryl@mdppublicity.com 1-917-359-3512

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