Since its inception, Araiya has always stood for sustainability — in its operations, its ethos and its business practices.
So where does sustainability fit in with our purpose, and how does it propel us to do what we do?
Being equitable and transparent partners with our owners is a core philosophy. But it goes far deeper than that. We also believe in working in tandem with the community that resides in each of our locations. While we recruit our staff locally as far as possible, we also incorporate distinct elements of the region’s ethnic culture, its cuisine, wellbeing, and handicrafts, and share these with our guests in a positive manner. For example, when guests stay at Araiya hotels Calicut, they can experience authentic Ayurveda and Marma Chikitsa from Kerala, and our therapists are schooled at Calicut’s renown Ayurvedic centre of learning.
Our people consciousness goes beyond just our properties and our team. We proactively radiate the same philosophy outwards when choosing our partners and suppliers. So when we created uniforms for our luxury hotel at Palampur, we made it a point to partner with fashion designer Payal Jain’s sustainable fashion initiative, Aadira, to come up with functional yet fashionable uniforms for our team. Aadira works with the community of talented weavers and artisans in a remote village called Saidanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
For us, Aadira is an ideal partner because it reflects the same principles in business. It supports the artisans of Saidanpur by providing a source of income, while upholding their cultural heritage, and recycles waste textiles and fabric into funky, eye catching style. It works closely with stakeholders in the community to instils global standards and knowledge of safety, hygiene and international design know-how within the community. Aadira also supports Saidanpur’s village school, where 200 children go to receive their primary education.
In partnering with a like-minded organization to create an integral aspect of our brand i.e. our uniforms, we also create a tangible ‘wearable’ for our team that instils our own sense of purpose in them.
Each of our properties is located amid stunning natural environs. From Himalayan valleys and tea-gardens to Palampur, in the backwaters of Kerala, these pristine ecosystems deserve to remain protected. That’s why we make a concerted effort to maintain a very low ecological footprint, both in our construction as well as in our operations at our luxury resort.
At Araiya Palampur, We designed the property using slate and stone, which is locally sourced from the Kangra Valley itself. Not only are these materials native to the region, they also provide better insulation, which keeps our energy consumption for heating and cooling the interiors, down to the minimum. We deployed an effective waste water management system so that our gray water goes back into our landscaping, while our recyclable waste is collected and taken to a recycling facility nearby.
Our environmental sustainability goes far beyond construction and design, and enters the realm of our guest experiences as well. So when we picked a partner for our in-house amenities and toiletries, we honed in on Raw Nature, whose ingredients are 100% natural.
Raw Nature products are naturally derived, vegan or certified safe-to-use. They use no parabens, artificial colours or fragrances, silicones, petrolatum, or any other chemicals in their products that harm either the environment or your skin. PETA-certified, this brand is both vegan and cruelty-free. They only contain plant-based products and are never tested on animals. Safety and hygiene are always top of mind for us hoteliers. The one thing that we are very particular about, is to use sanitization products that do not cause incremental harm to your skin or to the environment. that’s why we proactively choose BIOSPADA, over other products, for sanitation. The beauty of this alcohol-free and chemical-free sanitizer is that it’s easy on both your skin, and the environment. It’s a long-lasting, multi-purpose solution which is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-mould, pre-empting the need to deploy a variety of products to combat various pathogens in the environment. It contains 99% de-ionised water and just 1% active ingredient, which means that it actually heals (rather than harms) your skin and the environment.
We believe in employing our people from the region in which the property is located. We make it a point to hire our construction teams and staff from the immediate area. But that’s not all. We proactively engage with individuals, NGOs and companies within the area to create synergetic Partnerships and drive income back into the community. From performing artistes to wellness professionals, excursion operators, or local vendors and suppliers, we ensure that our profits have an equitable ripple effect across all the communities in which we work.
Our kitchens use home-grown produce from Neighbouring farms and plantations in the area, as far as possible. We at Araiya palampur also serve ethnic cuisine that is native to the region, using local ingredients, and reaching out to various members of the local community to discover authentic culinary secrets. Local sourcing not only reduces logistic costs (not to mention our carbon footprint) but also supports farmers in the area, building a strong foundation for mutual cooperation.
Our profits are not just financial. We believe in creating a sustainable and harmonious environment where our guests are warmly welcomed and recognized, not only at the hotel, across the destination. This leads to return-clientele, rave reviews, and glowing word of mouth, which only boosts our goodwill and our owners’ bottom-line.
Our environmental sustainability and social responsibility philosophy flows down from the very top of our leadership team. Our founder, Amruda Nair, comes from a long line of hoteliers and is passionate about driving an evolved approach to hospitality. She personally seeks out like-minded partners who not only create a quality product, but also bring a sustainable, responsible and equitable mindset to the table.
An avid dog lover, Ms. Amruda Nair has extended Araiya’s caring philosophy beyond guests and staff, to her canine pals as well! In our office’s backyard in Mumbai, Araiya Hotels & Restore is a proactive supporter of Awaaz, an animal NGO, that takes care of stray dogs in the Neighbourhood. In 2021, we sponsored two and a half months of medical supplies, a month’s salary for a vet, an emergency ambulance, as well as donated furniture for the new accident trauma center. We have also sponsored reflective collars for dogs so that they don’t get run over at night.
What goes around, comes around. What drives us to come to work every day is to generate an infinite cycle of give and take with our community, the environment and our resources so that we build a solid foundation of sustainable, responsible and equitable hospitality for generations to come. While comfort is a given, and experience is a plus, we believe that a brand rooted in sustainability and social responsibility, creates the foundation of partnership that lasts a lifetime.