Grootbos accommodation, forest lodge exterior
Overlooking Walker Bay near Hermanus, Grootbos has won numerous accolades for its work. In addition to Fair Trade Tourism certification, it is one of 10 Long Run Global Ecosphere Retreats and is a founding member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Both Tatlers Travel Guide and Fodors have rated Grootbos as one of the best 100 hotels in the world.
The award-winning, five-star nature reserve was one of the first properties to be certified by Fair Trade Tourism in 2006 and is renowned for its environmental conservation and social development projects run through its non-profit arm, the Grootbos Foundation. Since 2003, the Foundation has been active in conservation and community projects, reaching over 10,000 members of the local community and conserving over 16,000 hectares through the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
Besides offering spectacular vistas, luxury accommodation, and cuisine, Grootbos offers a wide array of activities such as shark-cage diving and whale watching, botanical fynbos safaris, bird watching, horse riding, spa treatments and tours of its conservation and community projects.
Says General Manager, Sean Ingles: “After an absence of almost three years, Grootbos is proud once again to be a brand ambassador for Fair Trade Tourism. The principles of sustainability, transparency, respect and progressive tourism are fundamental to the Grootbos DNA and we work tirelessly to follow these guidelines in every aspect of our business – in our conservation efforts, our community outreach programmes and in the lodges themselves. We look forward to sharing our practices and ideas with others in the Fair Trade network and to getting guidance from the Fair Trade team as we forge our path ahead.”
Fair Trade Tourism MD Jane Edge adds: “The fact that Grootbos opted for recertification is a great vote of confidence in us. Their exemplary responsible tourism practices have long been an inspiration to the industry and we stand to learn much from the Grootbos team.”