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How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

Since 1973, the United Nations has recognized June 5 as World Environment Day, an annual event that it says "puts a global spotlight on the pressing environmental challenges of our times". This seems like the perfect time to highlight a few hospitality businesses and their sustainability initiatives.

In the hospitality industry, embracing more sustainable practices is more than a moral imperative; it makes good business sense. That's because sustainable tourism has become a top priority for a large number of travelers. (This is especially true of millennials and members of Generation Z.).  For some in the hotel industry, implementing more sustainable practices might mean taking small steps — they could replace plastic straws with reusable glass or metal ones, for example — or it might mean making major changes to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and eliminate food waste.

According to a 2022 Sustainable Travel Report from, 73% of travelers say they would be more likely to choose an accommodation that has implemented sustainable practices — and 81% intend to stay in an environmentally friendly location at least once in the next year. 

If this is you, read on to learn more about how these 6 hotel chains lead the way in conscious and meaningful sustainability.

Barceló Hotel Group

Barceló Hotel Group is Spain's second-largest hotel chain, with more than 250 four- and five-star urban and holiday hotels, and more than 55,000 rooms across 22 countries. The company's properties are marketed under the brands Royal Hideaway, Barceló, Occidental and Allegro. 

It has an active loyalty program - my Barceló. 

What they’re doing

Recognizing climate change as a global environmental crisis, Barceló Hotel Group has made a commitment to reduce its environmental impact.

At its Occidental hotels in the United Arab Emirates, for example, the company's sustainability practices are implemented through eco-friendly cleaning products, water and energy conservation, and waste reduction.

Occidental Al Jaddaf, for instance, uses solar panels to operate water heaters for energy conservation and features low-flow devices in public bathrooms and showers to reduce water consumption.

Barceló Hotel Group's vice president for sales and marketing for GCC, Raquel López, said in a news release: “We aim to be at the forefront of sustainability within the hospitality industry to ensure that our properties are not only safe for our guests at this current time, but also for the generations of travelers yet to come. The introduction of this comprehensive strategy has allowed us to lay the framework for even more sustainable initiatives in the future.”


Operating more than 100 hotels in 16 countries, Iberostar has built its brand image on its dedication to promoting responsible and sustainable travel. The Iberostar Group's offerings range from all-inclusive beachside resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and Brazil to chic urban hotels in cities like New York, Barcelona, Marrakech and Lisbon.

It has closed its own loyalty program - Iberostar Horizons.  Almost all properties now participate in the IHG One Rewards program via a marketing alliance.

What they’re doing

Iberostar's Wave of Change program signals that the international hotel chain is committed to moving towards a circular economy, promoting the responsible consumption of seafood and improving the health of coastal environments.

In addition to phasing out single-use plastic items in 1999 — eliminating the use of over 420 tonnes of plastics annually — the company has committed to making its operations waste-free by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030.

Earlier this year, Iberostar reopened its Cristina hotel in Playa de Palma, Mallorca, following an upgrade in its energy supply that has eliminated the use of all fossil fuels in favor of electricity from renewable energy sources. This move makes the hotel greener by reducing its carbon footprint to zero without compromising the guest experience.

Iberostar has also pledged that its seafood consumption will be 100% sustainable by 2025, and it has already hit that target in Mexico. Investment in sustainable fishing supports local communities and helps preserve local ecosystems for future generations.

Iberostar is hoping that, by 2025, Wave of Change will be a major driver for 60% of all hotel-room bookings at its properties.

Meliá Hotels International

One of the 20 largest hotel companies in the world, Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 properties on four continents.

It has an active loyalty program -  Meliá Rewards, for which we have a detailed guide.

What they’re doing

Meliá's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement has led it to identify specific medium-term environmental objectives related to combating climate change.

Driven by innovation and technology, Meliá has developed an efficient management system designed to reduce the use of natural resources and shrink each hotel's carbon footprint.

The company's sustainable strategies include:
  • Implementing sustainability criteria throughout the supply chain, beginning with hotel concept and design
  • Using certified sources of renewable energy, standardizing efficient management systems and implementing systems that reduce water usage
  • Reducing or eliminating high-impact waste from the ecosystem
  • Measurement and control of consumption through tools, indicators and scientific criteria
  • Training employees and raising customer awareness through programs focused on respect for the environment and biodiversity

NH Hotel Group

NH Hotel Group is one of the 25 largest chains in the world and operates 356 hotels across 33 countries in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It recently migrated its loyalty program to participate in GHA Discovery.

What they’re doing

NH Hotel Group has dubbed its environmental management plan UP FOR Planet, which is its roadmap for fulfilling the commitments it has made to combat climate change and progress towards decarbonization, the efficient management and consumption of resources and the development of more sustainable products.

The company has set a number of sustainable development goals, with the aim of achieving the following:
  • 64% of energy use by hotel buildings is to come from renewable energy sources
  • 15 million single-use plastic amenities (e.g. plastic straws and cups) eliminated each year
  • 35% yearly reduction in energy consumption per room nights
  • 89% local purchases

Palladium Hotel Group

Palladium Hotel Group is an international hotel chain based in Ibiza, with 48 hotels in six different countries (Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Italy) around the world.  

Palladium has its own loyalty program - Palladium Rewards.

What they’re doing

Palladium's green practices are focused on the following goals, among others:
  • Reducing single-use plastics 
  • Moving towards digitalization
  • Rational, sustainable use of water 
  • Measuring the company's carbon footprint more accurately 
  • Reducing energy consumption 
  • Circular economy initiatives 
  • Reducing, recycling and reusing waste 
  • Protecting biodiversity 
Palladium's sustainability initiatives include a turtle conservation and release program in Jamaica, beach cleanup and maintenance at all of its hotels, and a program that monitors the health of the mangrove forests on its properties along the Riviera Maya.


The state-owned Paradores de Turismo specializes in cultural and nature tourism, with 97 properties throughout Spain's autonomous communities and one in Portugal. In addition to having Paradores in nine cities that have been declared World Heritage Sites, the company also operates accommodations in national parks and other natural areas, often housed in heritage properties such as castles and monasteries.

Paradores has a little known loyalty program - Amigos de Paradores.

What they’re doing

Paradores has implemented a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate its impact on climate change, with the objective of being net-zero in 2030.

A few milestones on Paradores' sustainability journey to date:
  • In 2019, the organization announced that it would replace plastic straws, bottles and cups with compostable alternatives.
  • Starting in 2020, Paradores has calculated the carbon footprint of all of its properties with an eye toward replacing deficient or highly CO2-emitting equipment as well as the improvement of automatic control systems for energy consumption.
  • Electricity at each of Paradores' properties is generated through the use of renewable resources.

To find out more about sustainability in the hospitality industry, visit the website of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance include some of the biggest names in the hotel industry, such as Iberostar, Accor, Hilton and Marriott International.

200 Meliá Hotels Receive 2023 Traveller Review Awards

200 Meliá Hotels Receive 2023 Traveller Review Awards

Meliá Hotels International has had another successful year in the Traveller Review Awards.

More than 200 of the company’s hotels have been rewarded this year for their exceptional performance and for having achieved a satisfaction rating above 8 in the reviews made by thousands of customers on The award winners include hotels from all over the world and from all of the different company brands.

Among the more than 200 hotels, some of the company’s most luxurious properties achieved the highest scores, along with some of the most outstanding of the recently opened hotels: ME Barcelona, a new icon for luxury hotels in one of the most popular cities in Spain, and Villa Le Blanc, a Gran Meliá Hotel, which has revolutionised the luxury resort segment in Menorca by becoming the first carbon-neutral hotel in the destination.

Other luxury hotels operated by the company performed well, including the Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Member of Meliá Collection (Tanzania), located in one of the most stunning natural environments in the world and with an approach to sustainability which has helped it earn the highest score among all the company’s hotels.

Other strong performers include the Gran Meliá Iguazu (Argentina), which offers a luxurious experience with views of one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, and the Gran Meliá Xi’an, one of the luxury hotels the company operates in China.

The Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand achieved high scores with both its city and resort hotels in Asia: Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort (Vietnam), Meliá Vinpearl Hue (Vietnam) and Meliá Chiang Mai (Thailand).

Among other hotels operated under other brands that have achieved outstanding scores are: INNSIDE Liverpool (UK) and INNSIDE Lima Miraflores (Peru), Paradisus Los Cabos and Paradisus Playa del Carmen (Mexico), Sol Beach House Ibiza (Spain) and Sol Oasis Marrakech (Morocco).

If you would like to stay at an award-winning hotels mentioned above, you can discuss with pur associated Travel Advisors booking with one of the brands of Meliá.. Meliá have properties in Asia, Europe and the Americas. They also have a loyalty program -  learn more about how it may benefit you in our comprehensive Guide to Meliá Rewards.

Meliá Hotels ranked as the most sustainable company in the world in the category of Hotels, Resorts and Cruises.

Meliá Hotels ranked as the most sustainable company in the world in the category of Hotels, Resorts and Cruises.

After the recent assessment by S&P Global ESG – the most comprehensive and prestigious international sustainability performance analysis, which evaluates more than 10,000 companies from all over the world –  Meliá Hotels International, has once again been ranked as the most sustainable company in the world in the category of Hotels, Resorts and Cruises.

Meliá has achieved the top position in both the Social and the Economic and Governance dimensions, and particularly high scores in such important areas as climate strategy, human rights, human capital development and customer relations.

As Meliá says."our passion inspires us to respond to the global challenges faced by our planet and continue to move forward to offer you an increasingly more sustainable experience in our hotels".

If sustainability is impotant to you, booking with one of the brands of Meliá is highly worthy of your consideration. Meliá have properties in Asia, Europe and the Americas. They also have a loyalty program -  learn more about how it may benefit you in our comprehensive Guide to Meliá Rewards.

Melia limited time promotion  Up to 40% off and at least 25% guaranteed for MeliaRewards members !

Melia limited time promotion Up to 40% off and at least 25% guaranteed for MeliaRewards members !

Melia has a very attractive promotion running that will appeal to many people looking for some sun and fun. 

For a limited time, if you book through select Travel Agents (including our associated Travel Agency - Rewarding Travel), you receive a discount of up to 40% off !  If you are a MeliaRewards member, a discount of at least 25% is guaranteed.

T&C's apply, including:

  • you must book before 21 March, for stays from March 14 until December 31.  Some hotels could be extended until April 2023*
  • note that 15 hotels are not participating in the promotion
  • note that  some hotels are also including  (1 or 2)  kid stays free deal.
So if you've been thinking about your next break, send me an email with details of your thoughts and I will help you find your best deal.  This may mean joining MeliaRewards, but that's free.

You must act soon, as bookings must be made by 21 March.

S&P Global's Sustainability Yearbook 2022 considered over 7,500 companies across 61 industries around the world and selected 716 companies for this year’s edition based on their S&P Global ESG Scores using this Yearbook Methodology. Prize winners in the 2022 edition included:

Gold:  ANA     Silver:  China Airlines, EVA     Bronze:  LATAM Airlines      Honourable Mention:  Air France-KLM, JAL, American Airlines

Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines
Gold:  Hilton Wordwide      Silver:  Melia Hotels    Bronze:  NH Hotels

Interestingly, both Melia Hotels and NH Hotels are Spanish companies.  Of the total 716 companies selected this year, 26 ( 3.6%) are Spanish companies - a strong showing.

Congratulations and thanks to all whose efforts made the grade for this year’s yearbook !

For more information...

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - the sister organisation of World Travel Awards  - has unveiled the winners of its ninth annual programme. The results follow a year-long search for the world’s leading ski travel, tourism and hospitality brands.

A brief selection of the prize-winners (and their loyalty programs where relevant) is shown below.

  • World’s Best Ski Resort – Verbier, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Hotel -  W Verbier, Switzerland (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • World’s Best Green Ski Hotel -  rocksresort, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Chalet -  Chalet Zermatt Peak, Switzerland
  • World’s Best New Ski Chalet -  Chalet Face a Face, France
  • World’s Best Ski Tour Operator -  TUI
  • Australia’s Best Ski Resort - Thredbo
  • Australia’s Best Ski Hotel -  Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa Hotel (Accor ALL)
  • Canada’s Best Ski Resort – The Lake Louise Ski Resort
  • Canada’s Best Ski Hotel – Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside   (GHA Discovery)
  • France’s Best Ski Resort -  Val Thorens
  • Japan’s Best Ski Hotel – The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort – Mount Hutt
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Hotel -  The Rees Hotel , Queenstown
  • Norway’s Best Ski Hotel – Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil (Radisson Rewards)
  • Poland’s Best Ski Hotel  – Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences, Zakopane (Radisson Rewards)
  • Russia’s Best Ski Hotel –  Rixos Krasnaya Polyana Sochi (non-participating in Accor ALL)
  • Slovakia’s Best Ski Hotel – Grand Hotel Kempinski, High Tatras   (GHA Discovery)
  • Slovenia’s Best Ski Hotel – Ramada Resort by Wyndham  (Wyndham Rewards)
  • Spain’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel – Melia Royal Tanau Boutique Hotel  (MeliaRewards)

Congratulations to all of the World Ski Awards 2021 prize-winners  !