MPH Appoints Banyan Tree as Operator of Eco-Friendly Resort in Mandai
Mandai Park Holdings partners with Banyan Tree Holdings
To inspire care for biodiversity & sustainability through a unique experience close to nature
Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) announced today the appointment of Banyan Tree Holdings (Banyan Tree) as the operator of an eco-friendly resort to be located within the new integrated nature and wildlife destination at Mandai. This partnership marks the debut of the award-winning, Singapore-based hospitality company on home ground after its global success.
Integrated with Mandai’s natural surroundings, it is envisioned the eco-friendly resort will provide an immersive stay close to nature, offering unique experiences that inspire care for biodiversity and sustainable behaviour. It will provide, for the first time, the opportunity for visitors to stay over in a full-service accommodation at the doorstep of Singapore’s wildlife parks. Guests will be able to enjoy and explore the precinct’s array of offerings, including its five wildlife parks, nature-themed indoor attraction and public green spaces.
Besides convenient access to the parks and their programming, the resort will offer activities that allow guests to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of biodiversity and the environment, such as guided nature walks, native wildlife spotting tours, recycling workshops and educational movie screenings. From design and construction through to operations, the resort will adopt environmentally-friendly and sustainable best practices.
“This stayover experience forms an integral part of our overall vision for the Mandai nature and wildlife precinct - to inspire guests to value and conserve biodiversity through memorable experiences. Together with our operating partner, Banyan Tree, we look forward to creating an exemplary showcase of eco-friendly best practices in Mandai’s resort, which Singaporeans can be proud of. Banyan Tree has a strong track record in developing and managing resorts that are sensitively located and sustainably operated. Through its global portfolio of resorts, it runs many meaningful environmental conservation and community programmes. In this regard, we are deeply aligned,” said Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO of MPH.
“After establishing 43 resorts in 25 countries over the past 23 years, we are excited to partner MPH to plant Banyan Tree’s first flag in Singapore. With MPH’s mission and expertise in wildlife conservation and education, this partnership is in line with Banyan Tree’s ethos and experience in developing sustainable resorts that fit into the natural settings - to create an original and authentic accommodation experience like none other. Together, we hope to provide guests with a memorable stay that highlights Banyan Tree’s signature hospitality experience with a green conscience,” said Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree.
Owned by MPH and operated by Banyan Tree, the resort in Mandai will be jointly created and named by both parties. Following the formation of the partnership, the next steps would entail developing the design and operations plans for the resort, which is scheduled for completion in 2023.
Sensitive Design & Sustainable Operations
The resort will be sited on a 4.6 ha plot of land at the eastern end of the Mandai precinct. Part of this area has already been impacted by the existing back-of-house facilities for the existing wildlife parks, including a sewage treatment plant, animal quarantine facilities and staff quarters. These facilities will be de-commissioned and cleared to make way for the resort.
The resort’s design and development will be undertaken with careful consideration to the surroundings, based on principles and parameters outlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted for the Mandai rejuvenation project. Led by the project’s Environmental Advisory Panel (EAP), a multi-disciplinary work group has been formed to provide expert inputs across the areas of design and sustainable operations
The resort will feature different accommodation types including standard and family rooms in low-rise structures, as well as elevated cabins or treehouses immersed in greenery. To achieve harmony with the landscape, the development will be low-intensity and built sensitively around existing vegetation, respecting existing tree canopies and the natural topography of the area.
Flora of conservation value will be protected, and a 15-metre wide strip of land along the edge of the Upper Seletar Reservoir will be set aside to create a buffer of retained vegetation. Care will be taken to provide habitat connectivity for local wildlife in the vicinity. On the ground, the footprint of the resort will be designed to facilitate local wildlife movements across the site.
To ensure sensitivity to the surroundings, the design and operations of the resort will include specific measures to control lighting and noise emissions. Sustainable design will be adopted to reduce and reuse energy, waste and water. Examples include using energy efficient building design to provide natural ventilation and daylight, as well as incorporating renewable energy sources and materials with lower carbon footprint. In addition, the accommodation experience will be specially designed to encourage guests to adopt environmentally-friendly practices, such as reducing energy and water consumption in their rooms, practising recycling and behaving appropriately around local wildlife.
”The moment we enter Mandai, we step away from the hustle and bustle of our hectic urban lifestyle, to embark on a journey of discovery. With more opportunities for overnight stays in future, we hope to create even more immersive experiences that will bring families and friends closer to nature and wildlife. It is our goal that all our guests leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the biodiversity around us,” said Mr Barclay.
About Mandai Park Holdings
Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) is driving the rejuvenation of Mandai Precinct into an integrated nature and wildlife destination, through its development arm, Mandai Park Development (MPD). MPH also oversees the business and strategic development of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the operator of Singapore’s award-winning Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. For more details about the proposed concept for the rejuvenation of Mandai, please visit www.mandai.com.
About Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (Banyan Tree or the Group) is a leading international operator and developer of premium resorts, hotels, residences and spas, with 43 hotels and resorts, 63 spas, 77 retail galleries, and three golf courses in 25 countries.
The Group’s primary business is centered on four brands: the award-winning Banyan Tree and Angsana, as well as newly established Cassia and Dhawa. Banyan Tree also operates the leading integrated resort in Thailand – Laguna Phuket -- through the Group’s subsidiary, Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited. Two other integrated resorts – Laguna Bintan in Indonesia and Laguna Lăng Cô in Central Vietnam – complete the status of the Group as the leading operator of integrated resorts in Asia.
As a leading operator of spas in Asia, Banyan Tree’s spas are one of the key features in their resorts and hotels. Its retail arm Banyan Tree Gallery complements and reinforces the branding of the resort, hotel and spa operations.
Since the launch of the first Banyan Tree resort, Banyan Tree Phuket, in 1994, Banyan Tree has received over 1,950 awards and accolades for the resorts, hotels and spas that the Group manages. The Group has also received recognition for its commitment to environmental protection and emphasis on corporate social responsibility.
Banyan Tree’s Sustainability Story
Embracing the Environment, Empowering People
As a socially responsible business, Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development. The company seeks to continue being an agent of social and economic development through responsible tourism. Banyan Tree’s triple bottom line (financial, social and environmental) helps direct the company’s sustainable development by inspiring associates, guests, and partners to take a wider consideration encompassing a long-term view when making business decisions.
Its key pillar of protecting the environment and biodiversity is embedded into the entire development process - from initial concept through to ongoing operations. In Banyan Tree Bintan, Seychelles and Cabo Marques (Mexico), Banyan Tree’s resorts were built sensitively amidst trees and boulders, to preserve the natural environment. In Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru (Maldives) and Mayakoba (Mexico), efforts were taken to protect the beach and the surrounding wetlands during construction and operations.
Through its subsidiary, Banyan Tree Global Foundation, the company drives conservation projects ranging from supporting scientific research and fieldwork, to organising activities for guests and communities, such as tree planting, community clean-ups, as well as guided nature walks. It operates the Banyan Tree Maldives Marine Lab in Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - the first resort-based research facility in Maldives which provides visiting scientists with research facilities and support for marine life conservation. Nearer to home, there is the Banyan Tree Bintan Conservation Lab, a research facility catering to terrestrial conservation. The team in Bintan also undertook reforestation efforts involving the planting of trees and saplings into the forest reserve.
In 2007, Banyan Tree launched three groupwide initiatives in line with its efforts to be a leading practitioner of CSR within the hospitality industry:
· Greening Communities, a programme to plant 2000 trees per Banyan Tree Group property, over 10 years from 2007 to 2016, to promote the company’s efforts in raising awareness for climate change;
· Seedlings, a three-phase community support programme focusing on education and vocational trainings for disadvantaged youths which enhances the Group’s and its associates’ abilities to be an agent of social and economic development
· Resource conservation, to explore efficiency initiatives with the aim of reducing energy and water consumption at Banyan Tree Group properties.
In 2014, Stay For Good was developed as an overarching concept to encompass the group’s sustainability efforts and encourage hotel guests to get involved in all initiatives.
Across its stable of resorts, Banyan Tree has been rolling out the EarthCheck Certified programme, the industry’s leading environmental certification and management programme. This process applies the most rigorous global framework for monitoring and reporting sustainable tourism practices. As of last year, 27 out of 39 of Banyan Tree’s resorts have obtained EarthCheck certifications.
About Banyan Tree Global Foundation
Established in 2009 as the sustainability arm of the group, Banyan Tree Global Foundation provides in-house sustainability consultancy services to Banyan Tree Holdings. By promoting as well as enacting strategies and efforts which consider and seek to enhance the social, environmental and economic well-being of all stakeholders, Banyan Tree Global Foundation seeks to direct and guide the continual process of Banyan Tree Holdings’ overall commitment to the sustainability journey. As its long-term goal, Banyan Tree Global Foundation seeks to continue supporting Banyan Tree’s overall ability to “Embrace the Environment, Empower People”. www.banyantreeglobalfoundation.com
The Mandai rejuvenation project involves the development of two new wildlife parks - a Rainforest Park and the new Bird Park, a nature-themed indoor attraction, accommodation offerings and public green spaces. These will join the existing Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari to form a new integrated nature and wildlife destination at Mandai. Development works are currently underway.
This will be the first resort operated by Banyan Tree in Singapore. It currently operates a spa in Marina Bay Sands.
The work group consists of academics and professionals across functions relevant to the resort’s design, development and operations, such as landscape architecture, sustainability, horticulture, acoustics and hospitality.