BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 16 June '19

5* Valle dell’Erica Resort, Thalasso & Spa crowned ‘Europe’s Leading Green Resort’ at the 2019 World Travel Awards

The World Travel Awards has named Sardinia’s Valle dell’Erica Resort Thalasso & Spa ‘Europe’s Leading Green Resort 2019’. The resort is owned and run by My Green Pod Hero Delphina Hotels & Resorts, which won the 2018 P.E.A. Award for Travel/Tourism. Click here to find out more.

Valle dell’Erica Resort, Thalasso & SPA is set in 28 hectares of scented shrubland, along 1,400m of unspoilt, sparkling coastline, sandy beaches and wind-carved coves, making it a unique natural oasis.

Moments from the ancient village of Santa Teresa Gallura, amidst the National Park of the Archipelago of La Maddalena and the Straits of Bonifacio, Corsica and La Maddalena Archipelago International Marine Reserve, this elegant resort provides sun, sea, sand and seclusion in abundance.

In harmony with nature

Still run by members of the founding local Muntoni family, Delphina Hotels & Resorts was established on sustainable principles from the very start, and long before it became one of the imperatives for running modern resorts.

‘I remember that from the beginning of us building the company, back in the ‘70s, my brother Francesco was strongly determined, together with his partner Tore Peru, to make every single building fit harmoniously into the surrounding nature, as if it had always been there’, said Delphina CEO Marco Muntoni. ‘This meant doing meticulous surveys to safeguard each individual sapling, using local stones and materials, ensuring the low-level buildings. In the following decades we have always enthusiastically followed this vision in the management of Delphina Hotels and Resorts.

On the award win Marco Muntoni commented: ‘This award is a great recognition for the life of the two founders. We also dedicate this award to all the collaborators who have contributed to this success and to the memory of Popò Vincentelli, a pioneer of Sardinian tourism who, with far-sightedness and environmental sensitivity, began to build the first part of the Valle dell’Erica tourist complex in the ‘50s.’

100% renewable energy

Delphina hotels & resorts President, Francesco Muntoni, now in his 70s, is still in charge of the day-to-day running and development of Delphina. A property developer from Gallura in the northern part of Sardinia, he built his first hotel, 5* Capo d’Orso, for another operator but then took it over in 1992 under the Delphina Hotels & Resorts brand. Today Delphina owns and operates 12 4* and 5* hotels, two exclusive residences, six spas and 23 villas.

Now, as part of its ‘We Are Green’ protocol, Delphina uses 100% renewable energy across all resorts, including its head office, saving the CO2 equivalent of 25,000 trees every year.

At the Resort Valle dell’Erica (as well as in all the other hotels) all vehicles are electric, charged each night on site at the recharging stations. Ecological paper and mineral-free inks are used throughout – even on the brochures used to promote the resort. The spa uses eco-bio and paraben-free products with locally sourced ingredients.

Delphina Hotels & Resorts, Erica

Protecting the local environment

Delphina is also a Corporate Golden Donor in support of the Italian Environment Fund, which works for the protection of the beauty, culture and natural heritage of the country.

This commitment to the local environment goes beyond sustainable energy and products. Delphina takes great care to work with nearby producers to source the very best local food and wine according to season.

Local crafts are also supported, and local maintenance and support firms are used wherever possible. Regular excursions, led by locals, allow guests to appreciate and understand the nature and traditions of the island’s communities, and the land around the resorts is either left wild or planted with local flora, needing little water and fitting in with the natural landscape.

‘When we were growing up our father confronted us with the responsibility we had to the island we lived on, the seas that surround it and the people, animals and plants that live there’, said Elena Muntoni, now the group’s brand director. ‘Now every single action we take is based on those principles. Even the new beach bags we will give our guests for summer 2019 are fully recyclable, made from natural materials and inspired by a local, traditional design. Winning this award at our flagship Valle dell’Erica resort means far more to us than another star-rating. It vindicates all our family have strived to achieve over more than a quarter of a century and helps guide our actions in the future.’