Just because Earth Day has passed doesn’t mean we should stop doing our part. In the spirit of goodwill, these hotels are offering voluntourism packages and programs for guests.
Throughout the summer, the Limelight Hotel is helping guests get their hands dirty and help the environment. In partnership with the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, guests will be able to do trail work in the beautiful White River National Forest, which spans millions of acres. Volunteer tasks include trail maintenance, trail construction, invasive species removal and more. Hotel guests who participate will receive transportation, a packed lunch and beverages and a complimentary beer in the hotel lounge when they return.
Eight hour day volunteer projects are available, as well as sunset volunteer times from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Rates start at $150 per night during the summer. Call 970-544-6259 or click here to book. Westin St. John Resort and Villas
St. John, U.S.Virgin Islands
The Westin St. John Resort and Villas, a luxurious tropical resort, is offering incentives to guests who volunteer at the nearby Virgin Islands National Park. Volunteers will get a $100 resort credit, as well as transfers to and from the park. Project tasks include maintaining park trails and ruins and cleaning up beaches and coastlines. To sign up, you can click here or show up on Tuesday or Thursday at 8:00 am. Simply present your volunteer voucher at the front desk of the hotel to receive the credit.
Offer available through December 31, 2012. Rates start at $399 per night based, on double occupancy. Call 888-627-7206 or click here to book.
Hyatt Regency Waikki Beach Resort and Spa
The Hyatt Regency Waikki Beach Resort and Spa believes everyone should do their part. To help motivate guests to volunteer, the property is offering a Lokahi Package, or Lokahi Group Meetings, which rewards meeting planners, attendees and the community. The incentive, which also encourages groups to spend time volunteering with local organizations to help team building, raised almost $30,000 in 2009 and 2010 for the Waikiki Community Center. Perks for the meeting planner include double Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points and a complimentary Pohaku Lomi Massage. Attendees will receive free in-room Wi-Fi, 15% off spa treatments, a complimentary lei greeting and a special room rate for five days before and after the meeting. Additionally, community benefits include 5% of profits going to a local nonprofit of the meeting group’s choice and help from volunteers.
Offer valid until December 24, 2012. Packages start at $149 per night. Call 808-237-6200 or click here to book. Use promo code LOKAHI when booking.
YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado
If you’re planning on staying in the Rockies for at least six weeks, YMCA Estes Park Center and YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch offer free room and board for volunteers. Volunteers stay in a range of accommodation types, like cabins, hotel-style lodges and even yurts. There are myriad jobs to choose from, like instructing crafts, leading hikes and maintaining trails. While returning volunteers can stay for short periods of time, new volunteers must commit six weeks from September to mid-May, and 11 weeks from May to August.
Click here to learn more.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
San Diego, California
Through a partnership with the California State Parks and California State Parks Foundation, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is able to offer guests a volunteer vacation at Silver Strand State Beach. Participants will get a tour of the beaches rare coastal habitat and the chance to take part in a restoration project or beach clean-up. The property also includes a 1% donation fee to the project in their room rate, which has helped raise over $300,000 since 2008.
There is no charge to take part in the volunteer vacation, which is offered on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Room rates begin at $159 per night. Call 800-235-6397 or click here to book.
To help guests have a worthwhile vacation, Mandarin Oriental is offering a community service package that includes a trip to the Everglades, morning volunteer work with park rangers and a tour of the park. Volunteer tasks range from mulching trees, weeding invasive plants and working on recycling projects. Moreover, guests will receive perks like a free hybrid car rental for the day and a 90-minute Thai Herbal Compress Ritual in the spa. For each treatment received, a native tree gets donated to the Everglades.
Package is $2,200 based on three nights, with double occupancy. Call 866-888-6780 or click here to book.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands
While the entire Ritz-Carlton Hotel brand participates in a Give Back Getaway program, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman adds a special angle to theirs. The property’s Blue Iguana Recovery Program Giveback Getaway allows guests to join employees in half-day voluntourism projects. Volunteers will work with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment to help save the indigenous and endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguana. Tasks include feeding the animals, assisting with the shelter and using GPS to help track the iguanas.
Zarco, the iguana pictured above, also has an inspirational success story. He was the first male Blue Iguana adopted by the hotel, through their relationship with the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. As an alpha male in the park, he bred with many females, and was successfully released back into his native habitat last year.
The project is available from November through August, for groups as small as two and as large as 15. A fee of $100 per adult, and $50 per child aged 12-15 covers transportation to Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and a donation to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. Room rates start at $383.20 per night. Click here to book.
To help improve literacy in local children, Sandals Resorts is featuring a Reading Road Trip program. Guests of any Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts or Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts can take part. The program lasts for two hours, and takes volunteers in local Caribbean communities to visit adopted schools in Saint Lucia, Antigua, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos or Jamaica to work with small groups of children on their reading skills.
The cost to participate is $20 for adults, and free for children 8 to 12. This includes round-trip transportation and all supplies. Click here for more information, and click here to book.