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The ‘Cocoon in the Clouds’ Mashpi Lodge wins “Leading Green Hotel in Ecuador for 2014” in the World Travel Awards

On Saturday evening, the Cloud Forests’ Mashpi Lodge fought off fierce competition from some of Ecuador’s top eco-hotels to be awarded the country’s “Leading Green Hotel for 2014” in the World Travel Awards. Celebrated at a VIP ceremony at the spectacular Itchimbía Cultural Center in Quito, the event was attended by South America’s most renowned hoteliers, travel gurus and industry experts.

Serving to recognize the world’s finest travel, tourism and hospitality organizations, the awards span seven continents celebrating the very best in the global travel industry. Hosted by Ecuadorian writer, photographer and television personality Renato Ortega, the Central and South American Awards were for the first time this year celebrated in Quito.  

Prior to the event, Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards expressed that “we are delighted to host our first ceremony in Ecuador, a decision that reflects the crucial contribution that tourism makes to the national economy.”  

A shining example of eco-luxury in South America, Mashpi Lodge has been continually recognized for its eco-initiatives since opening in April 2012. Located in the heart of Ecuador’s Chocó Bio-Region, the 3,200-acre Mashpi Reserve is home to a profusion of plant species from ferns and bromeliads to many newly-discovered orchids. In line with the Reserve’s goal to improve scientific knowledge about the surrounding ecosystem, scientists have been hard at work making inventories of its flora and fauna and discovering new species. Guests of the 22-room glass fronted eco-lodge have the opportunity to experience this work through guided-visits with the reserve’s naturalists to the life centre, eight-story observation tower or by taking a ride on the aerial bicycle which makes for an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close.  

A profound respect for the local people and their communities is at the heart of Mashpi’s sustainability goals and the project has worked on an innovative funding scheme with the Ecuadorian government. This means that in return for a non-refundable credit, an association made up of employees and local people will become shareholders in 10% of the project. The lodge maintains strict standards of energy management, uses and saving;  water-saving and waste disposal processes, recycling and a host of other programs to protect the unique ecosystems of the Reserve and to provide employment, professional training, buying of food products and other resources which benefit the nearby native communities.

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