Sustainable Tourism in Mauritius: Sunlife’s Pioneering Efforts

For nearly half a century, the illustrious hotel brand Sunlife, previously known as Sun Resorts, has been at the forefront of tourism in Mauritius.

By focusing on impact-driven travel experiences, Sunlife ensures that the island’s tourism offerings are sustainable and responsible. As Mauritius faces increasing challenges due to climate change, sustainably-minded hospitality and tourism are essential in mitigating the effects on the environment.

Sustainable Tourism in Mauritius: Sunlife's Pioneering Efforts

Combating Climate Change through Sustainable Tourism Practices

As Earth Day approaches, the fight for a cleaner environment becomes more urgent. Climate change effects are becoming increasingly evident, and the demand for decisive action grows. Sunlife is leading the charge in ensuring that tourism in Mauritius does not exacerbate the island’s vulnerability to climate change.

Mauritius, situated in an active tropical cyclone basin, is highly susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change. With temperatures rising at a faster rate than the global average, the country faces accelerated coastal erosion and coral bleaching.

Sunlife’s Proactive Approach to Sustainable Experiences

Sunlife consists of four luxury hotels in Mauritius: the five-star Sugar Beach, five-star Long Beach, four-star La Pirogue, and four-star Ambre, along with the private island Ile Aux Cerfs, which houses the world-famous Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club. Sunlife is proactively developing responsible and inclusive sustainability experiences across its properties.

Sustainable Tourism in Mauritius: Sunlife's Pioneering Efforts

La Pirogue Marine Centre and Coral Farming

La Pirogue Marine Centre, operated by Sunlife, features an innovative coral farming programme that uses a micro-fragmenting technique to promote rapid coral growth.

This process accelerates healing 25-40 times faster than natural reef growth. The first-of-its-kind project on the island, the coral farming initiative collaborates with the Mauritius Research Council and the University of Mauritius. Since its inception, over 2000 coral fragments have been planted.

Guests can participate in coral farming classes at La Pirogue Marine Centre, which was established to protect the surrounding ocean and conduct research into coral bleaching.

The centre’s coral farm utilises a fixed rope to create a floating nursery where coral can grow, and guests can support the reef’s health through Sunlife’s ‘Adopt a Coral’ initiative.

The Endemic Nature Trail at Long Beach

Long Beach offers a bi-weekly Endemic Nature Trail, a 45-minute guided walk led by an in-house biologist, allowing guests to explore the local flora and fauna.

The walk showcases the top ten endemic trees, including the Princess Palm, Mauritian ebony, and the ornamental Flamboyant or ‘flame tree’. Participants also plant a tree as part of Long Beach’s rewilding project.

Adopt a Mangrove Initiative

In a new initiative across all Sunlife resorts, guests can sponsor and plant an endemic tree in the hotel’s gardens or on the lagoon at either Ile aux Cerfs or IIot Mangénie.

This project aims to restore the ecologically vital mangrove forest on Îlot Mangénie to its original state, protecting the coastline from storms, preventing erosion, and capturing emissions.

Bubble Lodge, Ile Aux Cerfs

Golf enthusiasts and paradise seekers can spend the night under the stars at Ile Aux Cerf in a Bubble Lodge. The first and only accommodation on the island, the Bubble Lodge allows guests exclusive access to the island from sunset until tee-off time.

Sustainable Tourism in Mauritius: Sunlife's Pioneering Efforts

The three eco-lodges feature a luxury bedroom, lounge, bathroom, and outdoor heated shower and are situated in secluded, picturesque locations across the island. These lodges have been designed to minimise their environmental impact, using sustainable materials, requiring minimal energy, and being fully recyclable.

Chef’s Garden and Supporting Local Economy

Sunlife is committed to supporting the local economy, lowering its carbon footprint, and promoting food security. The brand takes pride in its Chef’s Garden, where seasonal ingredients used in the resort’s dishes are grown and nurtured. From beetroot to sweet potatoes, the resort’s chefs utilise these fresh vegetables, herbs, and microgreens to create delectable meals.

Sunlife also shares its sustainable agriculture techniques with the local community, teaching them how to harvest seasonal ingredients and produce fresh, homegrown, and organic produce.

Bee Alive Kids and Environmental Education

Sunlife incorporates sustainability messages into activities for younger guests through its new mascot, Izzy the Bee. Izzy helps educate children on the cycle of life and fosters a connection with nature.

Bee-themed activities include observing a bee hotel, attending story-reading sessions about bees, and cooking with honey from the garden. The programme aims to inspire the next generation of environmentally conscious individuals.

Sunlife’s Commitment to Sustainability

“At Sunlife, we’ve made a promise to grow in harmony with, and not at the expense of, the world around us. We live on a beautiful island that we need to protect, so we’ve made a commitment to extending our positive impact far beyond our resorts. We are incredibly proud of the sustainable initiatives here at Sunlife, from the coral nurseries and endemic gardens to switching amenities to refillable soap bottles and collaborating with universities around the world on research. Everything we do is with the intention of leaving our destination better than we found it, and to leave our guests feeling that they too can be proud that they have contributed to this mission.”

Ali Abdool, Sunlife’s Sustainability Manager

Sunlife’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices in Mauritius demonstrates that luxury and environmental responsibility can coexist. By implementing innovative initiatives and engaging guests in sustainable experiences, Sunlife paves the way for a greener future in the tourism industry.

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