New eco-resort Coulibri Ridge, created by Canadian entrepreneur Daniel Langlois, is open for reservations in 2023 in Dominica, the Caribbean’s Nature Island. Its two charitable organizations are addressing post-hurricane Maria sustainability in Dominica too.
Sustainability at Coulibri Ridge
Coulibri Ridge’s 14 luxury studios and duplexes are on 200 acres of lush hillside in Dominica, overlooking the island of Martinique. Both constructed and operated sustainably, there’s no greenwashing here and the 20-year long development project provides a model for others to emulate.
For Dominica Geographic, Paul Crask interviewed owner Daniel Langlois about the extensive project and details the extensive research and careful development that went into building the newly-opened resort.
From the perspective of hotel guests, you’ll want to the know that solar energy and wind turbines provide Coulibri’s power and that rainwater is gathered and purified before filling the resort’s two large main swimming pools plus its private pools, and before it runs out of taps ready for use inside the studios and suites. The materials used for interiors and furnishings are either fully recyclable or from sources that are renewable. The wood you see might be teak from old boats and buildings recycled by an Indonesian company or it might actually be coated aluminum that looks like wood but is more durable, sustainable, and mold and termite resistant. There’s so much more.
While you can see the solar panels on the roofs, you can’t see much of what makes this resort’s operations so sustainable. For example, water cisterns hold 200,000 gallons of chemical-free drinking water that’s been UV-sanitized and there’s a bank of batteries that can hold 730 kilowatts of power. You probably won’t notice that each set of solar panels is set at a different angle and pitch in order to maximize the power harvesting, just as you’re unlikely to realize that the two wind turbines are specifically designed to blend in to the surrounding trees but not be invisible (and therefore deadly) to birds. And while you’ll certainly admire the design of the buildings and how they’re situated for the views of the island of Martinique, invisible to you is the careful considerations and extensive planning that ensured the complex does minimal environmental damage in both the short and long term.
In addition to the sustainability efforts on the property, Langlois and Coulibri Ridge founded two non-profit organizations on the island, including Resilient Dominica (REZDM) which supports local and self-sustainable projects. It first focused on work in response to hurricane Maria, the category 5 storm that severely damaged much of the island’s infrastructure in 2017.
REZDM projects include, for example, redesigning and the sustainable construction of the primary school in Soufriere after the hurricane, building a jetty at Scotts Head to help with evacuations in case of another emergency, developing a coastal plan and resilient alternate energy solutions, and restoring coral in the Soufriere-Scotts Head Marine Reserve. While Coulibri Ridge will grow some produce in its gardens, part of its sustainability efforts are supporting local employment by being a regular customer of Dominica’s farmers and fishers.
Coulibri Ridge is part of Preferred Travel Group’s Beyond Green portfolio, an exclusive set of properties that are rigorously vetted against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other international tourism standards for sustainability. The portfolio was launched in 2021 and you can make travel a force for good just by choosing Beyond Green Hotels.
The island of Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica (it’s pronounced “Dom-in-ee-ka”) is the youngest island in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles archipelago. Between Guadeloupe and Martinique, you can fly here from Miami and Puerto Rico and via regional flights from other Caribbean hubs (see these airline details). Dominica’s official language is English and French-based Dominican Creole is also spoken.
The volcanic island is known for its lush rainforests, waterfalls and hot springs—check out Dominica: Swim In Champagne Bubbles (But Not The Boiling Lake Please), excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, year-round whale watching, and its relaxing atmosphere ideal for, as Discover Dominica’s website describes, “travelers seeking solace in a place that time has forgotten.”
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