New Urban Hotel Opens Organic Farm with Michelin-Starred Chef
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 13, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Meliá Chiang Mai, a 260-key hotel to soon debut in Thailand’s mountainous north, has embraced the ‘farm to table’ social movement by establishing a farm to harvest produce for its restaurants, bars and spa.
The hotel, due to open on April 8 on Charoen Prathet Road in the heart of Chiang Mai, has partnered with ORI9IN The Gourmet Farm, a 198-acre gourmet organic farm located in nearby San Sai District overseen by two-star Michelin Chef turned sustainable farmer James Noble and his wife May.
Noble, a Briton who has run Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK, will work with local farmers to grow an array of fruits, vegetables and herbs for the hotel on its own two-acre farm on the broader ORI9IN property.
In addition to local seasonal produce such as young morning glory, red basil, lemongrass and passion fruit, the farm will also grow various kinds of tomatoes, salad leaves, and specialized ingredients such as padrón pepper that would otherwise need to be imported from Spain for the hotel’s authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
The partnership is a central plank of Meliá Chiang Mai’s ‘360° Cuisine’ program, under which the hotel aims to work closely with local farmers to help them improve sustainability and encourage ethical production to make communities and the overall food system more resilient.
The 360° Cuisine program not only gives guests peace of mind about where their food comes from but encourages them to visit the hotel’s farm to meet local farmers and learn more about sustainable farming and healthier eating.
Championing local procurement and sustainably sourced food, ORI9IN is the only farming operation globally that partners with a network of restaurants and hotels to focus on import substitution and reducing its carbon footprint without sacrificing flavour.
The hotel’s menus will highlight appetizers, main courses and desserts that feature ingredients from the farm. Example dishes include ‘Salmorejo con Tomate Triturado’ (fresh chilled tomato soup), ‘Fattoush Salad’ and ‘Fruta de Temporada’ (seasonal fruit platter). Ingredients from the farm will also be in various beverages at the hotel’s bars and Meliá’s signature YHI Spa.
“In addition to pursuing ‘farm to plate’ by sourcing organic produce that travels only a short distance to our hotel, our partnership with ORI9IN also comprises ‘plate to farm’ where we separate our food waste and bring it back to the farm as compost, thus minimizing waste as part of a truly 360° concept,” said Meliá Chiang Mai’s general manager Edward E. Snoeks.
The hotel will offer guests day trips to the farm that include a picnic lunch and a chance to learn more “about the journey their food and these products have made, as well as who has been a part of that journey”, said Noble.
“People often don’t know where food comes from, so we show them, albeit underscored by our passion for locally grown, sustainable ingredients,” he said. “This is also tourism that leaves no footprint on the land; we’re trying to show people that you can have a day out without harming what you came to see in the first place.”
Drawing on Meliá’s Spanish origins and celebrating Spain’s famed gastronomy, Meliá Chiang Mai’s dining landscape will feature restaurants Mai Restaurant and Bar and Laan Na Kitchen, bars Mai The Sky Bar and Tien Pool Bar, and lounges Ruen Kaew and The Level Lounge.
Asset World Corporation (AWC) is Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group, a member of TCC Group, one of Thailand’s most prominent conglomerates. AWC’s core focus of real estate development and management projects encompass two business groups: Hospitality helping Thailand become the top destination for sustainable tourism with hotels in key locations in Bangkok and popular destinations throughout Thailand serviced by management teams from internationally acclaimed hotel groups such as Marriott, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Okura, Banyan Tree, Hilton, and Sheraton; Retail and Commercial Buildings (covering retail, and wholesale facilities with mixed-use properties and office buildings) providing well-balanced and unique offerings a best-in-class customer experience that meet business and modern lifestyles with high-quality and innovative real estate development projects overseen by a qualified and experienced management team to build long-term value for stakeholders.
AWC succeeded in listing the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in the real estate and construction industry under the property development category on October 10, 2019. AWC’s market capitalization was the highest in the history of the SET (According to Bloomberg Database). AWC recognizes the importance of operating with a focus on sustainability – incorporating the needs of stakeholders, the environment, society, and contributing to ongoing improvements in Thailand’s economy with a purpose of building a better future.
About Meliá Hotels & Resorts
Meliá Hotels & Resorts is the best-known international brand in the portfolio of the Meliá Hotels International company; it has more than 100 city and resort hotels in the main leisure and business destinations of Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The brand offers exemplary meetings and events facilities in all important business cities as well as in exotic locations, catering to the ever-expanding conference and incentive travel market. As part of its innovation philosophy and new positioning, Meliá Hotels & Resorts has reinvented itself to cater to every aspect of the guests’ wellbeing. Unique experiences are created for guests and are defined by relaxation, quality time and personalised services. For a balanced lifestyle, Meliá Hotels & Resorts instinctively understands the guests’ needs and lifestyle expectations, which is an integral part of its redefined identity.
About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 hotels (portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries, under the brands Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSiDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham. The Group is one of the leading companies in resort hotels worldwide, while also leveraging its experience to consolidate the growing segment of the leisure-inspired urban market. Its commitment to responsible tourism has led the Group to become the most sustainable hotel company in Spain and Europe in 2020, according to the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). It also has ranked seventh in the Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world (and the leading travel company) and is the only Spanish travel company included in the list of “Europe’s Climate Leaders 2021” by Financial Times. Meliá Hotels International is also included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market index and it is the Spanish hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking).