MIAMI—Mexico’s El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma has introduced the philosophy of using fresh, local and sustainable produce to the Riviera Maya. The resort’s 70,000-square-foot greenhouse facility now provides produce not only for El Dorado Royale, but also for its sister El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels throughout the region.
The expansive greenhouse—the first resort greenhouse in the region—celebrated its first harvest in August 2009. Now in its fourth harvest, the greenhouse produces a variety of organic vegetables and herbs, including cucumbers, bell peppers, chilies, basil, cilantro, and mint, supplying produce for El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort; El Dorado Casitas Royale; El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort; El Dorado Seaside Suites; Azul Beach Hotel; and Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma.
“We are delighted to be able now to source a sizeable percentage of our produce right here on property,” said Jeroen Hanlo, vice president food and beverage operations for El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels. “Not only does it positively impact our guests in terms of the quality of their culinary experience and by allowing them to experience the greenhouse firsthand with tours and cooking demos, but it’s also an eco-friendly initiative that our associates are excited and proud to be a part of.”
Cooking Seminars Offered
El Dorado Royale’s greenhouse heightens guests’ Gourmet Inclusive culinary experience by ensuring that only the most flavorful, organic vegetables and herbs are used. In addition, the guest experience is further enhanced with educational tours of the greenhouse, complete with interactive planting activities and cooking seminars, where guests learn about the organic and hydroponic processes of the greenhouse, the environmental impact, and have the opportunity to taste fresh vegetables right off the vine.
By growing vegetables on-property, El Dorado Royale also reduces emissions created during the transportation of products from their harvest locations to the resort. The greenhouse is the latest addition to El Dorado’s extensive Pasión por el Medio Ambiente (Passion for the Environment) program, which sets the environmental standard in Riviera Maya and includes solar heated water, tree plantings and major recycling efforts.
Comprising 14 greenhouses in all, including a central, 54,250 square-foot greenhouse dedicated to tomato harvesting, the greenhouse facility allows the resort to control the growing environment and choose specific produce characteristics such as taste, size, and color while “extending the seasons.” Any surplus produce is exchanged for fruits—which at this time the property does not grow—with top local farmers. The greenhouse also offers employees the opportunity to purchase the vegetables grown on-site.
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