We all know I love visiting gardens when I travel, and this one is near and dear to my heart. The greenhouse at El Dorado Royale is, I believe, the only place of its kind. I’m not aware of another hotel that grows so much of it’s own produce. If you know of one, please tell me in the comments because I will go visit!
This 75,000 square foot greenhouse provides produce for all of the Karisma hotels in Riviera Maya, as well as providing produce for staff members to take home for personal use. A fully outfitted processing center is onsite to prepare produce for use or for delivery to the other hotels.
As a Rainforest Alliance certified greenhouse, they must agree to the following:
- We do not mix our own products with other products.
- We preserve and protect the environment.
- We respect the local flora and fauna.
- We keep our water sources clean.
- We are inclusive with our workers and visitors.
- We do not hire workers under 18 years old.
- All the greenhouse workers receive a salary above the minimum wage.
- We always use the personal protection equipment for each laborer.
- We do not cultivate genetically modified organisms.
Those all sound like things we can get behind, right?
The greenhouse is operated with an extensive system of tanks, water lines and computers that regulate the amount of nutrients and water that flow to each plant.
The growing medium they use is coconut coir. This is an infinitely renewable resource, especially in this part of the world. I use it for my worm boxes. It’s perfect in this application since all of the nutrients come from the irrigation.
Workers are busy in the greenhouse every day harvesting, planting, working on keeping the greenhouse healthy and happy. In the big greenhouses they grow primarily tomatoes and cucumbers.
The greenhouses themselves are only part of the growing operation here. They also have smaller greenhouses where they grow mint, basil, cilantro and other things.
Even abandoned bathtubs from a recent hotel renovation get into the act!
I love seeing different situations where food is produced. I love seeing people and organizations take advantage of their assets to produce food. This is a perfect example. The hotel has the land, they have the climate so they went for it! It’s been tremendously successful. The guests love it and it plays right into the other “green” aspects of the hotels. They also have solar hot water, and extensive recycling program and even a compost operation.
Loved visiting the El Dorado Greenhouses. If you’d like to arrange your own visit, contact Legacy Travel at 866-329-7157