Amidst the lush green forests of Periyar with its great biological and ethnographic cultural diversity, Spice Village is set unobtrusively in the Periyar forest region just outside the sanctuary gates. The resort creates an identity that blends in with the ambience of the region. Thatched huts built in the local tribal style, 53 of them, are tucked away in the midst of 14 acres of lush, sylvan surroundings, well away from the bustling world outside. Here, the promoters of Spice Village have tried to create an identity that blends in with the ambience of the region, while being distinctive.
Working to improve and preserve the environment is a way of life for CGH Earth and Spice Village is one of its properties that truly reflect that spirit. The resort has a distinct mark of its own when it comes to ambience and operational methods. Noted for its environment-friendly practices, Spice Village has in place dry/wet waste management; efficient microbial composting, food waste composting; effluent treatment plant; solar panels for hot water requirements in the resort; recycling used newspapers and magazines for handmade paper and use of CFL lamps and CFC free refrigerators. The involvement of the local community adds a new dimension to the day-to-day operations at the Spice Village. The local community has now emulated the successful wet-waste management system practiced at Spice Village.
Spice Village has its own organic produce sourced from the in-house farm and the daily menu is charted out on the native kitchen and the “50 mile diet”. This is based on the popular concept of “Locavore” wherein all the ingredients used in the kitchen are only what are locally available. By doing so, carbon footprint of transporting raw materials for the kitchen is minimized.
Natural Harvest – a venture of CGH Earth in partnership with Ecoland and Lacon GmBH, purchases organic pepper grown by the 580 tribal farmers at 33% premium over the market price.
As far as the region of Thekkady is concerned, Spice Village is a pioneer and a role model in charting community-based tourism and traveller philanthropy. The close rapport with the forest officials of Periyar Tiger Reserve has helped the resort to function like a buffer by promoting activities like Bullock Cart discoveries and the Tribal Trekkers Eco Development Committee, which were set up with the vision of turning poachers into protectors of the biodiversity.
Indeed, the core values that Spice Village ardently adhere to are reflected in the activities for the guests, so that they become participants rather than detached spectators, with the services offered being local in content and one that always directly benefits the local community.
Recently Spice Village was awarded with the 2009 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award for Environment; making it the very first ever resort in India to receive this coveted recognition. Following the selection of Spice Village for the PATA Grand Award, one of the judges had this to say: “It is evident that what has been created is a culture of responsibility. A responsibility to protect and promote this unique environment whilst preserving many of the local skills and traditions, as a means of ensuring they will be passed on for generations to come. Spice Village should be seen as a beacon of success for others to follow.”
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