Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang: Custodian of Classic Khmer Culture

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang

Nature is the essence of Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, which means “green village” in Khmer

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, June 17, 2022 / -- Nature is the essence of Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, which means “green village” in Khmer. No wonder the resort is dedicated to protecting the environment. Consisting of eight acres of preserved land, the resort has been designed to respect and value the surrounding grounds – most of it being paddy fields.

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang’s dedication to sustainable practices is evident in the methods employed throughout the hotel to create a sustainable environment. 2022 is the first year of Green Globe certification for Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang.

The Installation of a Water Treatment Facility to Preserve Water
Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang is equipped with an autonomous water treatment facility that provides clean drinking water. The purpose of this treatment and water bottling plant is to reduce the use of plastic water bottles within the property and to provide guests with clean, fresh, and drinkable water all year long.

Guest drinking water in their villas is supplied in re-useable ‘grosch top’ glass bottles. These “Refill Not Landfill” bottles are also offered for tours and excursions. The reusable glass bottles may be re-filled at several stations throughout the resort. Not only does this technology replace the use of plastic bottles in every room, but it delivers water right across the resort.

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang’s water is sourced on site from five deep wells. Phum Baitang’s water is crystal clear and filtered by reverse osmosis, the finest filtration method known up to now. Guests, therefore, feel safe knowing that the water they are consuming at the resort is the healthiest possible.

As for the grey water produced at the resort, this goes through a bio-digester and used for watering the garden and topping up the two water ponds.

Creation of a Vegetable Garden and Ecological Pond

Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang possesses a wonderful garden, composed of rice paddies, private yards, landscaped garden with trees, flowerbeds, grass areas, and more recently a vegetable garden and a new ecological pond.

The resort is working with five local villagers, who are employed within the gardening team of 15 people. The villagers oversee tending the paddies and harvesting the crop, using local techniques. Traditionally cultivated with the help of water buffaloes, the rice is served in the two restaurants straight from surrounding paddies, in the staff canteen as well as offered to guests as a local organic gift from Cambodia to take back home. There are four crops a year, and guests are invited to participate in the planting and harvesting phases. The resort is home to four buffaloes, that plough the rice paddies and keep the lawn areas trimmed. Garden refuse is collected, mulched, and used as natural compost, along with excrement from the buffalo which is used as fertilizer to regenerate fields and encourage biodiversity.

Recently, the gardening team created a new lotus pond near the buffaloes’ shed and existing water lily pond. The idea behind the project was to add an extra water source, reinforce the biodiversity with new insects attracted by the flowers, use the lotus flowers for internal decoration, and provide a refreshing pond for the water buffaloes. Only a few months after its inauguration, the pond is 90% covered with lotus plants.

This approach is in line with the resort’s desire to preserve techniques such as growing plants from cuttings, rather than bringing in plant stock from far away. All plant species planted at Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang are endemic. Tropical fruit plants have been planted including mango, banana, coco, papaya and palm trees. These farming techniques are driven by the local villagers who wish preserve local horticultural knowledge, while creating amazing greenery areas around the lodge.

In addition, Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang has enlarged its vegetable garden, that is now 270 sqm. Divided into 16 patches, it provides fresh ingredients used in the kitchen and at the spa, as well as an extraordinary open classroom for visiting children (and adults). A wide variety of vegetables and herbs are cultivated in the organic gardens, including eggplants, bok choy, betel leaf, sweet basil, mint, dill, hot chili, holy basil, morning glory, ginger, aloe vera as well as lemongrass, which is used for drinking straws in the Pool Bar and at the Sunset Lounge.

Produce that cannot be resort-grown is sourced from local organic farms. Wherever possible and available, the resort partners with local or domestic Cambodian companies for the supply of honey, eggs, coffee, chocolate, various beers, rum, and fresh natural juices. The resort also makes its own bakery items using only natural ingredients and baked in a wood fired oven.

Team Building Activities around Sustainability

All the team at Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang is sensitized to the importance of preserving the environment. Team members gladly participate in regular actions at the local level, organized with the encouragement of the General Manager and HR & Training Manager.

Besides internal training on procedures for separating and recycling all trash (paper, glass, plastic, and metal materials), the 150 members of staff are invited to attend bimonthly actions outside of the resort. For instance, they actively participate in cleaning events removing all garbage from the neighborhood, including plastic bags which has become a critical issue in Cambodia. On top of bonding with neighbors, these activities also educate the local community, especially the younger generation, about waste management. On average, one bag per person is collected per action, and sent for recycling, which equates to several tons of trash removed by the resort’s team.

Helping guests become aware of a greener way of living is also the resort’s leitmotiv. Besides visiting traditional Cambodian heritage sites such as Angkor Wat, Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang also promotes environmental conservation through activities such as bird watching, silk farms visits, and buffalo cart trekking excursions. The staff also teaches guests about traditional Khmer living habits. For instance, initiation by water blessing ceremonies, and the discovery of seasonal farming methods, are traditional practices that can be learnt by visitors to the resort.

Other on-site activities promoting Cambodian culture and sustainable Khmer practices are often organized for guest participation. These include cooking lessons for both amateurs and aspiring professional chefs using only local ingredients. This is a unique opportunity for those interested in authentic Cambodian cuisine to learn three traditional Khmer recipes. The resort chef accompanies guests to the local market to pick ingredients and spices, as well as to the resort’s own garden to collect homegrown herbs. And of course, when the meals are prepared they are accompanied by rice straight from surrounding paddies.

Quentin Guiraud
Public Relations and Communications Manager
Zannier Hotels
Jozef Plateaustraat 33
9000 Ghent, Belgium
M. +32 (0) 472 05 57 19

Bradley Cox
Green Globe
+1 310-337-3000
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