However, sustainable living is more than a fad; it’s a way of life that transcends fashion by encompassing the homes we live in. While some people have resorted to eco-friendly choices in their clothing, the same philosophy has no doubt been overlooked when they develop dwellings. The paradox has birthed another wave of eco-friendly resorts where the innovative resort industry integrates with nature. Spice Village, a CGH Earth experience set in the pleasant climes of Periyar Thekkady embodies the epitome of such ideals. Grounded in the diversity of Mannan’s community tribes, this resort is more than a symbol of responsible architecture; it becomes an oasis where ecology integrates culture and society. The self-sustainable systems provide the overall theme, sustaining health elements in an interactive process that Spice Village promotes.

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From the website of Tripadvisor

Design Concepts:

The backbone of Spice Village is its founding by CGH Earth as the first Eco-friendly Resort near Periyar Sanctuary. The design philosophy of the resort is rooted in careful reconstruction to reflect the lifestyle and community between nature and man, where natural balance blends with cutting-edge modern technology. Cottages as inspired homes portray a harmonious combination of traditional architecture and sustainable novelty. The shelter that is offered by elephant grass roofs with thach, as well as the upcycled furniture made from reclaimed wood crates implies dedication to recycling. Each detail of the design is connected to local culture promoting indigenous skills and materials that encompass much more than the protection, but rather an embodiment of living cultural heritage.

Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet4
From the website of Yatra.com

Sustainable Materials and Construction:

Not only the beauty of Spice Village an eco-friendly resort but also its commitment to sustainable construction practices, this is where lies the architectural marvel. Wattle and daub walls, built using jungle tree branches and clay infill refer to the ancient knowledge of native methods. With elephant grass thatch roofs and traditional terracotta tile floors, the architectural design of the resort is dynamically integrated into its natural environment. The reuse of the packing case’s excess wood for windows and furniture further advances the sustainability story. As a result of this commitment, Spice Village has amassed many prizes for its pioneering approach to sustainable building.

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From the website of Spice Village
Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet5
From the Article INSCAPE_feb_2021

Energy Efficiency:

At the eco-friendly resort, the sun sets over the Periyar highlands as Spice Village shows its green energy, generating 75 % of its power with solar panels. The resort is off the grid, which represents both a pledge to a green future as well an encouragement for guests to contribute proactively to this sustainable mission. Solar energy not only fuels the resorts’ infrastructure but also becomes a token representation of capitalizing on the potency of solar for green living. More than solar power, the resort implements several ways to lower its carbon footprint such as waste management techniques that involve using and recycling materials.

Landscaping and Biodiversity:

With the morning sun shining on Spice Village, the eco-friendly resort’s commitment to sustainable solutions is highlighted by careful landscaping. With organic gardens, the resort has a fresh supply of produce for its dining tables thereby reducing food miles while also promoting the farm-to-table concept. Local dairy and meat supply neighboring households, and women’s groups involved in the production of candles and other local goods have a stage to showcase their handcraft. However, these native construction practices are not limited to the physical structures but also play a vital role in developing businesses for local people. The fact that Spice Village goes beyond the surface in its commitment to biodiversity ensures a symbiotic relationship between the resort and nature.

Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet7
From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village
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From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village
Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet8
From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village

Waste Management:

The muted recesses of Spice Village are where nature’s hum mixes with humanity, and as such waste management becomes an integral part of sustainability. The eco-friendly resort embraces the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle interweaving it into its very nature. Handmade Paper Centre gives a new lease of life to waste paper, by helping it find utility as genuine artisanal craft made out of this trash. Once it is thrown away food waste becomes enriched with nutrients in the two-acre vegetable and herbal garden, completing our sustainability loop. By recycling materials and adopting creative waste management practices, Spice Village drives the circular economy model down which reduces its footprint on nature in measurable ways.

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From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village
Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet10
From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village

Humanizing the Experience:

Looking beyond the physical factors of sustainability, Spice Village surpasses all expectations to humanize eco-friendly resorting. The resort transforms into a canvas where guests are no longer passive viewers but active contributors in the carpets of sustainability. The immersive nature of the experience goes beyond material physical structures and makes visitors feel part of sustainable living itself. These interactive workshops held by local artisans and experts see that, for the guests, there is a firsthand experience from traditional crafting to organic farming techniques. Visitors can join the story fostering awareness of local culture connected to actions performed with a place.

Spice Village culture is embodied by the staff of the resort who live in their midst. Every interaction, from the welcoming warmth of people at reception to guides taking nature walks through this region is a conduit between guests and rich cultural heritage. The resort’s dedication towards cultural preservation is not an abstract ideal but a very tangible reality, where guests are welcome to attend the traditional ceremonies and taste local delicacies to be part of the life rhythm created by music and dancing.

Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet2
From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village
Eco-Friendly Resorts Redefining Luxury in the World of Hospitality Design-Sheet1
From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village

Conclusion:

This luxury and eco-friendly resort nestles in Periyar highlands where Spice Village emerges as not just an environmentally sustainable resort but a creature of everyday phenomenon called harmony between natural living amidst luxuries. As the first Eco Resort concerning the Periyar Sanctuary, its conscious architectural design as a reflection of Mannan community values is very inspiring. Apart from the beauty of it, Spice Village allows visitors to have an educational tour full of autonomous systems in organic gardens and offers them a deeper connection with nature. Spice Village, through innovative design technology of sustainable construction including the commitment to energy efficiency and waste management, provides such a path to honor equal forces related both to environmental responsibility and also local cultures. Under reduction, reuse, and recycle principles Spice Village not only minimizes its environmental impact but also shows the power of eco-oriented hospitality. The combination of this holistic perspective and the humanization strategy makes a tapestry that is not seen as sustainable only in theory but also existing one with real meaning for everyone walking under its rainbow.

Image 12_From the website of Spice Village_https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village

References:

  1. earth, C. (2014) Spice village, spice village- Your eco-friendly retreat. Available at: https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village (Accessed: 15 January 2024). 
  2. indian institute of interior design (2021) INSCAPE Feb 2021, February, pp. 9–9. 
  3. https://www.yatra.com/hotels/hotels-in-thekkady/spice-village
  4. Tripadvisor, .com (2014) Spice Village, CGH Earth. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g7998458-d587399-Reviews-Spice_Village_CGH_Earth-Kumily_Thekkady_Idukki_District_Kerala.html (Accessed: 15 January 2024). 
Author

An enthusiastic architecture student deeply in love with reading and writing, Harshavarthine is eager to explore her growing interest in architecture journalism. Her burning passion for architecture and writing promises to illuminate readers' knowledge in this digital era and aims to captivate their imagination with profound stories about architectural marvels.