Tis’ the season for giving, and in the spirit of the holidays a number of luxury hotels, resorts, and tour operators are spearheading initiatives to give back. This season, enjoy immersive holiday travel experiences that are as meaningful as they are enjoyable. Stateside travelers can support local charities at properties across the U.S. from The Greater Boston Food Bank at XV Beacon in Boston to the Alzheimer’s Association Southland Chapter at InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. Those looking for international travel with a cause can spread holiday cheer by supporting organizations such as Conservation South Luangwa at The Bushcamp Company in Zambia. Read on for philanthropic holiday programming in both domestic and international destinations, and Happy Holidays!
Charitable Cross-Country Travel
Spread Holiday Cheer in NYC at InterContinental New York Barclay
New York, NY
InterContinental New York Barclay is embracing the holiday spirit by giving back to the community. Throughout the holidays, the luxury property in the heart of Manhattan is partnering with three nonprofit organizations – Cross Road Community Center at St. Bart’s, New York Cares Coat Drive, and St. Mary’s Kids Toy Drive. With the help of these community-driven groups, InterContinental New York Barclay plans to collect toys, coats, and canned foods for those in need. Their culinary team, led by Chef Peter Betz, is also participating in Fare Share Friday and will be cooking for the homeless to ensure no one is without holiday cheer this holiday season.
Give Back to West Valley at The Wigwam
Litchfield Park, AZ
The Wigwam invites locals and travelers alike to celebrate the season of giving at Holiday Nights in Lights every Friday evening in December leading up to Christmas. Guests can give back to West Valley while enjoying fire pits, s’mores kits, and photo-ops with Santa, and for each festive train ride, one dollar will be donated to Goodyear Firefighter Charities. The Wigwam will also host a new and unwrapped toy, game and book drive for Goodyear Firefighter Charities in partnership with Hilgers Pediatric Dentistry & Hilgers Orthodontics.
Thanksforgiving at XV Beacon
Boston’s most celebrated boutique hotel, XV Beacon, is welcoming guests to give back to Bean Town this holiday season. When guests of the historic property book the Thanksforgiving Package, $20 per night will be donated to The Greater Boston Food Bank to provide a healthy holiday meal for a family of five. Guests can also enjoy a Thanksgiving-themed welcome amenity on arrival.
Donate Food and Toys to Texas Children at The Woodlands Resort
The Woodlands, TX
Located a few miles North of downtown Houston, The Woodlands Resort is spreading Christmas cheer to the major Texas city by joining forces with Interfaith Toy Donations and Montgomery County Food Bank. From November 23rd to December 6th, the resort is inviting travelers and locals alike to get in the spirit and meet the needs of those in The Woodlands and the surrounding community by donating new toys at drop off locations throughout the property. In partnership with Interfaith Toy Donation, The Woodlands Resort is dedicated to ensuring that every child receives something to smile about this holiday season. Guests can also join in the festivities and give back by donating non-perishable food items during The Woodlands Resort’s 2nd Annual Grand Illumination Ceremony on November 23rd. That evening, several drop-off stations will be located throughout the property, providing everyone with the chance to give this season.
Giving Back to Portland with the Nines
Set in the former Meier & Frank department store building, the Nines is a luxury hotel located in Portland, Oregon offering contemporary design, fashionable décor, and impeccable service. In the spirit of the holiday season, the Nines is giving back by partnering with several local non-profit organizations including New Avenues for Youth. The hotel will be volunteering at the New Avenues for Youth’s Education Learning Center as well as holding its annual coat drive collecting “layered” clothing to include coats, scarfs, gloves, jackets, and sweaters for those in need.
Impactful International Adventures
Jewelry Benefitting Conservation South Luangwa at The Bushcamp Company
South Luangwa, Zambia
ELE Collection, the new handcrafted jewelry line by The Bushcamp Company inspired by the majestic elephants who march through the lodge lobby annually was born out of a commitment to protect elephants and wildlife, while sustainably supporting local communities. When travelers purchase and wear ELE Collection jewelry, they are helping to fund vital wildlife conservation efforts as well as helping communities who live in close proximity to wild animals access clean, safe drinking water. Sale proceeds go to support Conservation South Luangwa’s award-winning anti-poaching programs and The Bushcamp Company’s Commit to Clean Water project, an ambitious and extremely valuable ongoing mission that has already drilled over 85 boreholes in local villages and will continue to expand. Each jewelry piece is tailor-made per the customer’s preference and available in 18-carat gold, sterling silver, and with various choices of ethically-sourced gemstones.
Travel to Latin America and Empower Local Artisan Women
Big Five Tours & Expeditions has recently introduced their partnership and alliance with the nonprofit women’s cooperative, Awamaki. Guests traveling on Big Five’s’ itineraries to Latin America will be making a positive impact on the world, specifically with this special organization. Awamaki was founded in 2009 to connect indigenous artisan women to markets outside their villages in Quechua, Peru. Through Big Five Tours & Expeditions, travelers can support the nonprofit by helping fund education and training initiatives that Awamaki offers women. With support from Big Five travelers, these women improve their skills, earn income and lift their families and villages out of poverty.
Empower Andean Communities with Mountain Lodges of Peru
Mountain Lodges of Peru offers unique adventure travel to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas with lodge-to-lodge trekking and cultural immersion. The spirited adventure operator has a high degree of commitment to social and environmental sustainability. In 2006, Mountain Lodges of Peru sponsored the creation of Yanapana Peru, a non-profit organization dedicated to social and environmental responsibility and improvement. The organization takes most pride in the joint venture with the people of Huacahuasi, called Kuska Purispa: Walking Together. A strong belief in empowering Andean communities led to the collaboration with the local people in this remote hamlet to build the Huacahuasi Lodge. Not only are the members of this community active investors in the property, but they also provide them with the hospitality training necessary to join the lodge’s personnel team.