Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat in Vietnam Draws a Feathered Crowd
Surrounded by the primordial forest of Ba Vi National Park, Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat, has no shortage of feathered friends. In fact, the 10,815-hectare national park is home to 115 different varieties of bird species.
Birds like the Large-tailed Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Spotted Dove, and Kingfisher, have made their homes in the tropical jungle and amid the time-worn remains of French colonial ruins that have been reclaimed by nature. To experience the diverse wildlife guests can take part in hiking trips, solo or guided, or slower paced activities such as the retreat’s forest bathing offering.
Guests who prefer not to venture far have the opportunity to feed birds onsite with the hotel being home to around 300 – 400 birds. Daily from 10:00 – 10:30 am and again from 4:00 – 4:30 pm guests are invited to a feeding session where hotel staff help explain (especially to children) the importance of protecting nature and animals.
“We want to move beyond just protecting the local animals in the locations we serve. We want to help them and introduce to others how they may too,” said Ignacio Martin, Meliá’s managing director Southeast Asia. “In Thailand we already took this to the next level at Meliá Koh Samui, when we provided additional land to help feed elephants rescued from exploitation activities.”
Meliá Bali is abuzz about its first batch of homegrown honey.
The oceanfront property, situated along the pristine coastline of Nusa Dua, added bee hives to its impressive 1,000 sqm organic garden over the summer.
“We wanted to play our part in supporting pollination, biodiversity, and a healthy ecosystem, within our garden, and also on a broader scale,” said Eduardo Perera Castro, Meliá Bali’s general manager. “Honey bee populations have long been in decline around the world and these incredible insects are the ones who pollinate the majority of crops people eat. Their survival is essential.”
In order to keep guests safe, Meliá Bali introduced a stingless variety of bee, Trigona Laeviceps, known locally as Klanceng.
“The taste of this honey is unique and different from the typical honey people are used to. It is a bit dark in color, not clear, and has a slightly sweet, sour and bitter taste blend,” added Eduardo. “It is believed to have a higher range of nutrients and nutritional value compared to normal honey bees.”
In true farm-to-table fashion, a concept at the core of Meliá Bali’s food offering and several of the Meliá hotels and resorts in the region, the first harvest will be used in the property’s restaurants and cafe. Guests will also be able to find this honey at the honey bar at breakfast, along with other honey types from around the Indonesian Archipelago. As the yield increases resort guests will be able to purchase their own jar as a reminder of their stay.
In 2021 Meliá Koh Samui launched a 250-square-meter community farm with 200 banana trees, as well as such additional elephant fodder as napier and sweet grass, to support the Samui Elephant Haven.