Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Meliá Chiang Mai launches sustainable farming initiative

Thailand’s Meliá Chiang Mai, a unit of  Meliá Hotels International, is ushering guests onto a nearby 250-acre gourmet organic farm, to meet local farmers and learn more about sustainable farming and healthier eating.

The drive some as part of the hotel’s “A Journey to the Farm Package”.

Under the new hotel’s ‘360° Cuisine’ program its kitchen works closely with ORI9IN The Gourmet Farm in San Sai District, sourcing ‘farm to plate’ organic produce that travels only a short distance. As much of each ingredient is used – roots, leaves, stems, stalks and more – before ‘plate to farm’ food waste returns to the farm as fertilizer in a truly 360° concept.

Priced at THB8,800 nett ($243 nett) per room for two, the A Journey to the Farm Package comprises two nights in a Meliá Room, daily breakfast for two, and a day trip for two to the scenic farm inclusive of a picnic lunch.

The farm experience includes feeding the animals, walking through the farm with a guide to learn about both the cultivation of Meliá Chiang Mai’s fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as Ori9in’s Pharm traditional herbal medicine garden, and a chance to rummage through a garden maze.

According to chef turned sustainable farmer James Noble, who oversees ORI9In, the day trip is a chance for guests to learn more about the journey their food and these products have made, as well as who has been a part of that journey.

“This is tourism that leaves no footprint on the land; we’re trying to show people that you can have a day out without harming what you came to see in the first place,” he said.

Under the partnership between Meliá Chiang Mai and the farm, local farmers grow an array of fruits, vegetables and herbs for the hotel’s restaurants, bar and spa. In addition to local seasonal produce such as young morning glory, red basil, lemongrass and passion fruit, the farm grows various kinds of tomatoes, salad leaves, and specialized ingredients such as padrón pepper that would otherwise need to be imported from Spain for the hotel’s authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

“The partnership is a central plank of our ‘360° Cuisine’ program, under which we aim to work closely with local farmers to help them improve sustainability and encourage ethical production to make communities and the overall food system more resilient,” said the hotel’s general manager Edward E Snoeks.

Towering over Chiang Mai’s River Ping and Night Bazaar, Meliá Chiang Mai opened in April. With a design that pays tribute to Chiang Mai’s charming history and culture with a contemporary flair, the hotel comprises a striking 22-floor tower fronted by an adjoining seven-floor podium building.

Drawing on Meliá’s Spanish origins and celebrating Spain’s famed gastronomy, the hotel’s dining landscape features restaurants Mai Restaurant and Bar and Laan Na Kitchen, bars Mai The Sky Bar and Tien Pool Bar, and lounges Ruen Kaew and The Level Lounge; the latter a 21st-floor executive lounge with panoramic views of the city.

The A Journey to the Farm Package is available to book from now until November 28, 2022 for a stay until November 30, 2022, a hotel statement said.

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