At NVR, you are nestled right at the heart of business and leisure as it bridges Silay City --- home to turn-of-the-century Spanish ancestral houses of Negros Island --- and Bacolod City --- home to the region's colorful Masskara Festival.
A resort in Visayas has proven that it is possible to offer world-class tourism and accommodation services while remaining environment-friendly.
Nature's Village Resort in Bacolod has been named one of the world's top ten eco-friendly hotels this year by international booking website Agoda.
The hotel fetched four out of five stars in the website's ranking system, which is based on customer reviews.
It ranked highest among the 10 hotels in terms of food and dining and hotel cleanliness.
This is the second time Nature's Village Resort gained international attention.
The hotel was also given the "ASEAN Green Star Hotel Award" in 2010, along with other high-end hotels in the Philippines.
"Hotels that once considered 'eco-friendly' to mean a small environmental footprint and conservation of resources are now taking things a step further..." Agoda chief executive Robert Rosenstein was quoted in reports as saying.
This, as he noted that hotels are also increasingly "cleaning up trash, investing in best-practices, actually improving the sustainability of the communities that surround them."
Negros is the fourth largest island in the Philippines and the province of Negros Occidental is located on the western part of the island. It is bounded by the Visayan Sea on the north, Panay Gulf on the west, Tañon Strait and Negros Oriental on the east and Sulu Sea on the south.
Negros Occidental is often referred to as the land of genteel people and large sugarcane plantations. Negros is basically volcanic, making its soil ideal for agriculture. Eighty percent of all arable land is cultivated. The province’s wealth has always been in its land, its charm in its people, its pride in its cuisine.
Its people, with their endearing lilting accent, are known for their easy-going, old world charm and gracious hospitality. They have a natural knack for entertaining which is best experienced during Masskara, a mardi gras festival in October where there is merrymaking in the streets and parties at private homes in its capital, Bacolod City. The people are also famous for their unrivalled good taste evident in the exquisite arts and crafts that they produce for the local and export markets.
From Nature's Village Resort, you can visit The Ruins, Tana Dicang Balay na Bato, The Negros Museum, The Negros Showroom, San Sebastian Cathedral, and various shopping malls and restaurants.
Nature's Village Resort was nominated by the Department of Tourism through the Tourism Office of Talisay City, Negros Occidental in the ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Awards 2010 at the Empire Hotel in Brunei Darussalam.
NVR is the only resort-hotel that made it to the Top 10 among other tourism establishments in Western Visayas.
The nomination was made on the basis of the DOT's random inspection on NVR's compliance with the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards.
Chaired by Thailand, the ASEAN Task Force on Tourism Standards released the results of their organized search last December.
Tourism establishments that actively advocate sustainable or environment-friendly practices such as proper solid waste management, environmental awareness training plan for hotel staff, use of renewable energy sources, presence of noise control programs, and involvement of hotel staff in waste reduction, reusing and recycling items, waste separation and composting programs among other compliance standards, were recognized by the DOT and recommended for participation to this Southeast Asian search for Green Hotel establishments.
Other ASEAN Green Hotel awardees are the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Shangri-la's Mactan Island Resort and Spa, Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa, Marco Polo Davao, Miniloc Island Resort-Palawan, Lagen Island Resort in El Nido, Palawan, Eden Nature Park and Resort-Davao, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila.
January 22, 2010
Developing the resort started with the planting of hundreds of eucalyptus trees in March 1992. The owners’ vision was to create a recreational complex that replicates nature and a place where the whole family can get together and have fun in a wholesome and relaxing atmosphere.
The Vision-Mission of NVR is to promote sustainable tourism in the country and to educate its guests to care for the environment. In line with this, the owner trains its staff to adhere to green practices that will promote environmental preservation. At NVR, the staff practices proper waste management. As an example, trash bins are seen around the property to facilitate segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. NVR employees also recycle and reuse plastic, bottles and cans. Paper and other biodegradable materials are used for vermi-composting, a sustainable practice wherein soil is aerated by worms, thereby making it fertile for the resort’s organic farm. The Village Farm’s vegetables are used by the kitchen and served fresh to the guests. Inside all hotel rooms, water conservation guidelines are provided and a copy of the tourist’s guide for being a responsible traveler can be found in all the hotel rooms.
The fixtures that you see at Nature’s Village Resort (NVR) were fabricated under the direction of interior designer Nina Paras. She took materials from the resort owners’ collections and designed new ways of using them. The chandeliers in the hotel lobby were fashioned out of glass ocean buoys which were once used as net markers by the fisher folk in the coastal communities of the province. The entry wall of the main ballroom features a set of antique wooden church doors. A collection of items found locally are part of the decor: a dugout canoe made from the trunk of a hardwood tree; pottery jars from Tangub, a suburb in Bacolod City, filled with “lusong” or grainpounders from Sipalay; coconut graters, and “guilingan” or stone grinders used for milling rice from the old haciendas in the area. The furniture and textile frames are fashioned out of antique hardwood railroad ties, the outer portions of which still show the hardwood’s natural grain. The inner slabs were smoothened to form chair backrests, lounges and headboards. These railroad ties were from Victorias Milling Company and Sagay Central, removed when they stopped using locomotives for transporting sugarcane from the fields to the sugar centrals. The lighting, artwork and furniture are all handmade at the Village Workshop by long-time employees utilizing local materials. The railroad ties used on the tabletops, headboards and cabinets including the ironwork that replicates the Ilonggo Vine, a plant that grows in the resort, are original touches that create the ambiance of the hotel. Smaller details like cardholders, lamp bases and local artwork complete its rustic atmosphere.
NVR also takes pride in its collection of international textile folk art at the Village Hotel and Restaurant. Many of these pieces are from the owners’ private collection and some were donated by Ms. Mara Montelibano, an international folk art collector. All of these pieces were painstakingly made, processed or embellished by hand. These are collectively known as folk textile as they were made for specific purposes. They reflect traditions that are increasingly lost due to modernization by the garment industry and are examples of a region’s cultural arts. By presenting them at NVR, it is the resort management’s hope that guests will understand and appreciate their value as cultural icons disappearing in the societies of Asia. You can read about each textile art collection as you pass along the corridors and stairways.
All year round, Nature’s Village Resort’s (NVR) Management seeks ways to organize livelihood programs and environmental protection seminars for the staff and members of nearby local communities. Seminar-workshops and talks on the Seven Environmental Principles, Sustainable Tourism for All, Energy and Water Conservation, Livelihood in Agriculture --- to name a few --- have been held and organized at NVR.
NVR has identified smoking and non-smoking areas in its premises and has a regular maintenance system for the equipment and facilities to ensure good air quality. Regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance are conducted by professionals in the field. Noise control programs are in place to ensure guests’ rest and relaxation in their hotel rooms. Finally, feedback and suggestions for improvement from guests are noted and promptly acted upon.
Bacolod City is the entry point to Negros Occidental. By plane, Bacolod is 50 minutes away from Manila and 20 minutes from Cebu.
Bacolod is accessible by boat from Manila (17 hours) and from Iloilo (45 minutes to one hour) via fast ferries.
By land, Bacolod is approximately six (6) hours away to or from Cebu.