Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat in Vietnam Draws a Feathered Crowd
Surrounded by the jungle of Ba Vi National Park, Melia Ba Vi Mountain Retreat, has no shortage of feathered friends. The 10,815 hectare national park is even home to 115 different species of bird species.
Birds such as the big-tailed nightjar, Indian cuckoo, Asian cool, spotted pigeon and kingfisher have made their home in the tropical jungle and amid the worn-out remains of French colonial ruins reclaimed by nature. To experience the diverse wildlife, guests can participate in hiking tours, alone or with a guide, or in slower activities such as the retreat’s forest bathing offerings.
Guests who prefer not to go far have the option of bird feeding on site as the hotel is home to about 300-400 birds. Daily from 10am – 10.30am and again from 4pm – 4.30pm, guests are invited to a feeding session where hotel staff help (especially to children) the importance of protecting nature and animals.
“We want to go beyond just protecting the local wildlife at the sites we serve. We want to help them and introduce others to how they can do the same,” said Ignacio Martin, general manager of South East Asia at Meliá. “In Thailand, we have already taken this to the next level at Meliá Koh Samui, when we provided additional land to help feed elephants rescued from exploitation activities.”
Meliá Bali is over the moon about her first batch of homegrown honey.
The oceanfront property, located along Nusa Dua’s pristine coastline, added beehives to its impressive 1,000 sqm organic garden in summer.
“We wanted to contribute to support pollination, biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem, both in our garden and on a larger scale,” said Eduardo Perera Castro, general manager of Meliá Bali. “Honeybee populations have long been in decline worldwide and these incredible insects are the ones that pollinate the majority of the crops humans eat. Their survival is vital.”
To keep guests safe, Meliá Bali introduced a stingless bee species, Trigona Laeviceps, known locally as Klanceng.
“The taste of this honey is unique and different from the typical honey that people are used to. It is a bit dark in color, not clear, and has a slightly sweet, sour and bitter flavor blend,” adds Eduardo. “It is believed to have a higher range of nutrients and nutritional value compared to normal honey bees.”
In true farm-to-table fashion, a concept at the heart of Meliá Bali’s food offerings and several of the region’s Meliá hotels and resorts, the first harvest will be used in the property’s restaurants and cafe. Guests can also find this honey at the honey bar for breakfast, along with other types of honey from all over the Indonesian archipelago. As the proceeds increase, resort guests can purchase their own jar as a memento of their stay.
In 2021, Meliá Koh Samui launched a 250 square meter community farm with 200 banana trees, as well as additional elephant feed such as diaper and sweet grass, to support the Samui Elephant Haven.