Breaking Travel News interview: Elena Muntoni, brand manager, Delphina hotels & resorts.
Having taken a number of regional titles at the World Travel Awards earlier this year, Delphina hotels & resorts has gone one better and been honoured with the trophy for World’s Leading Green Independent Hotel Group.
Here Breaking Travel News chats with Elena Muntoni, brand manager with the company, to find out how it feels to have won and what we can expect from the company as we head into 2022.
Breaking Travel News: Congratulations on your victory at the World Travel Awards Grand Final – how does it feel to be considered the best-in-the-business by voters from around the world?
Elena Muntoni: To be recognised as the greenest independent hotel group in the world by the leading authority in travel and tourism is one of our proudest achievements to date, and something we have been working towards as part of our brand DNA for nearly 30 years.
At that time, the topic of sustainability was not yet so widespread, but it was already at the center of our projects.
We built all the hotels and resorts spread across and integrated into the surrounding landscape, among native plants and local essences, using as much as possible materials made and supplied by local artisans: wrought iron, cork and ceramics.
The unique nature of Sardinia is our primary resource: which is why our offer has always been based on sustainable principles, continuing to balance luxury resorts with an eco-friendly management philosophy.
The result is our We Are Green protocol, a collection of good practices to represent our commitment to the environment.
A forward-looking project that we implement every year has led us to be the first Italian hotel chain to use 100 per cent green energy from fully renewable sources, saving 3,536 tons of CO2 every year.
We also use electric buggies re-charged on-site to transport guests, eco-label products to clean rooms, eco-bio and paraben-free spa and courtesy products.
We gifted all staff with reusable water bottles to refill in specially installed fountains and replaced single-use plastic water bottles for guests with glass bottles and recyclable cans.
Every season we save 68,700 plastic bottles.
We also work hard to promote local events, activities and excursions and we consciously choose to work with Sardinian companies, suppliers and craftsmen to cater for all needs.
For the same reason we ensure high-quality and locally sourced nutrition through our own quality brand “Genuine Local Food Oriented” to offer a healthy cuisine based on authentic and organic ingredients that respect seasonality, preferably at zero kilometres.
Delphina also promotes local excursions to introduce guests to the unique nature, archaeology and history of Gallura.
BTN: Delphina hotels & resorts has a successful relationship with the World Travel Awards – having also taken a top title last year. What do you think attracted voters to the brand this time around?
EM: Our guests truly appreciate our continued efforts and actions to prioritise and enhance our green philosophy which has always been based on sustainability, a love for nature and providing a genuine local and familiar touch.
We are a family-run chain, and this is the land we were born and raised in so we are very proud to share it with visitors from across the world, and I think that comes across to our guests in every way.
Gallura is famous worldwide for its unique landscape and crystal-clear waters, but also for its hospitality.
So, when we built our five- and five-star hotels, exclusive residences, spa and villas on the north Sardinian coast, it was only natural for us to extend this spirit of welcome to all our guests.
That’s why a holiday with Delphina is unique and authentic: our guests can experience the pristine nature first hand, and they are conscious to give their contribution to respect and preserve the natural environment too.
For us, a genuine and eco-sustainable holiday also means discovering the traditions and flavours of Sardinia, through our carefully selected cuisine, for which we choose only fresh and genuine local ingredients.
Extending this to all-over wellness, the herbs, oils and essences from Sardinia are all essential parts of our line of spa treatments, Sardinian Signature, and the excursions we offer showcase expert local guides leading our guests to the most stunning places of northern Sardinia.
BTN: The travel industry is poised for a significant rebound as we head into summer 2022 – in what ways will Delphina hotels & resorts be promoting itself in order to maximise demand?
EM: We are ready to give our all, even more now that holidays have become even more important and necessary for people.
We believe that it is also the right moment to restart honeymoons, which is why we have created Liberi, a series of memorable experiences for new spouses or those celebrating anniversaries, that from this year we will offer with a dedicated catalogue.
We think that Sardinia, with its immaculate beaches, beautiful scenery, culture and traditions, can rival any destination in the world as the perfect romantic and wholesome location for proposals, weddings, honeymoons, babymoons, anniversaries and more!
We have created an amazing program of exclusive activities for every couple, such as scenic helicopter flights from the airport to the hotel, private boats just for two, exclusive guides for land excursions and qualified instructors for canoe tours that end with a swim in a hidden cove, and even a private driver for fun in the Costa Smeralda until the early hours.
We propose a new way to celebrate the feelings of lovers: to make them feel Liberi, free.
Free to choose between different ways to experience the journey and free from the usual formalities in a luxury environment, but all with the highest quality and standards, because each couple is unique and deserves to cherish these special moments in a way that suits them.
BTN: Are there any developments at your Sardinian properties you would like to share with us; what investments will be you making to ensure you win again next year?
EM: Our next goal is to maintain our position as the greenest in the world and to continue to innovate and improve our sustainability standards.
We wholeheartedly care about the local land, it is very precious to us, so we’ll preserve it in every way possible.
We are sure that operating responsible tourism while respecting the environment is one of the best ways to create value, especially in a region like Sardinia.
Every year we make major investments to enrich the offer and services because for us providing a quality holiday also means welcoming guests in ever-renewed and welcoming environments.
Even the most loyal guests who have been choosing Delphina for many years can find some news or improvements in the experience.
We will also increase investments in training for collaborators: they are the real added value for high quality hospitality, even more so if they are aware and sensitive to environmental and social sustainability issues.
Find out more about Delphina hotels & resorts on the official website.