Go that extra mile on your next trip to Thailand by choosing a hotel that’s not only beautiful but also helps local organisations, the environment, and people in need
Lamai Homestay offers an unforgettable experience in northeast Thailand’s Isaan region, and 75% of its revenue is put back into the community. Food is locally-sourced, staff are treated fairly, all crafts on sale are made by villagers, and wildlife is respected and protected.
Much more than just a place to stay, this hotel provides a way to experience and get involved with authentic Thai life, in an area that’s untouched by mass tourism.
Akha children in Chiang Mai (Shutterstock)
Despite being part of a larger chain of hotels, U Chiang Mai keeps things local when it comes to charity. The resort helps out three different organisations in the region: Baan Kingkaew Orphanage, Wild Flower Home for young single mothers, and a foundation for children with mental disabilities.
This program, named ‘U Make a Difference’, donates $1 to these charities for every night a guest stays at the hotel. Weekly visits to the charities are also arranged, so that you can see the changes that these donations are making.
‘Responsible tourism’ isn’t the first thing you think of when you step into a luxury resort, but The Sarojin in Khao Lak is an exception to the rule. Helping with a range of projects – from teaching and child care, to animal welfare and disaster relief – the Sarojin Khao Lak Community Fund works in the local area, wider Phang Nga Province, and Myanmar (Burma).
As a guest, you can either give a donation or lend a hand at The Camillian Social Centre, which is funded by the hotel and helps children with disabilities. Volunteer in an arts and craft class, or cook lunch for the staff and children with The Sarojin Chef.
Banyan Tree is one of Phuket’s most decadent resorts, but the hotel works just as hard on social responsibility as it does on quality. One of their biggest commitments is helping the environment: the hotel plants 2,000 trees per year, and aims to reduce its carbon emissions as much as possible.
Banyan Tree has also helped disadvantaged children with education costs, and repaired dozens of boats for fishermen who were affected by the 2004 tsunami that devastated the island.
Responsible tourism is a part of everyday life at Faasai Resort & Spa near Chanthaburi – each aspect of the hotel is designed to live in harmony with the surrounding area. On top of supporting the community by using both local staff and tour operators, Faasai is working to create their own edible garden, so that fresh produce can be used for the hotel, reducing the amount shipped from elsewhere.
Due to this mindfulness of the surrounding area, hotel guests can enjoy a vast array of wildlife, in particular over 100 species of birds. By staying at Faasai, you’re supporting the shelter and protection of this biodiversity.
Chiang Rai, Thailand (Shutterstock)
Set deep in the hills of Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, with an unbeatable view of Laos and the Mekong Delta, Lanjia Lodge offers a chance to discover the Hmong and Lahu people. Run by villagers, for villagers, this hotel offers accommodation and tours that help you get to know the hilltribes of this region.
A percentage of Lanjia’s profits go back into the communities in the surrounding area, all focused on improving the quality of life for locals. As a guest, you can take tours runs by locals, and walk around the village with your host to understand more about the hotel’s life-changing projects.