As part of the our Sustainable Hospitality initiatives, the Luxury Sustainable Hotels International Association (LUSH) presents a leadership interview series where we invite CEOs and key executives to discuss crucial management qualities that drive successful sustainable transformation.
Today I have the pleasure of sharing this interesting talk with Jose Manuel Delgado on sustainable tourism and best practices at the Caribbean. He´s the General Manager at Villas Flamingos, a beautiful luxury boutique hotel located at amazing Holbox island, in Mexican Caribbean. This little island is, indeed, one of my most beloved places in Mexico.
Villas Flamingos is a boutique hotel on the beach with 40 rooms, all with partial or total views of the sea, it also has a beach extension of 180 linear meters of coastline. The decoration, simple and sophisticated at the same time, is inspired by island life: bright colors, beach details, paintings on the walls that reflect the beauty of this place in the Mexican Caribbean.
Mr Jose Manuel Delgado and Mr Hector De Castro. Photo by LUSH assoc., 2022
1. Jose Manuel, do you consider sustainability has become a marketing tool or do you really perceive a change in the industry?
I honestly think both. Although many more changes and evolution are still necessary. The future is undoubtedly linked to the use of renewable energies to minimize carbon footprint.
2. In your opinion, what makes a hotel truly sustainable?
For a hotel to be sustainable, the company’s vision must be aligned with sustainability and the interest in conserving natural resources, promoting respect for the environment and promoting local economic activities.
3. What kind of experiences are VILLAS FLAMINGOS guests looking for?
The guest who visits Villas Flamingos seeks to forget about everything, get closer to themselves and nature, rest, relax, pamper themselves and above all seeks to find unique, original, totally personalized experiences closely linked to local culture and gastronomy.
4. What differences do you perceive between Spanish, Mexican and North American tourists when it comes to eco-luxury?
When we talk about customer profiles in search of eco luxury, we find marked differences between Spanish, Mexican and American tourists, especially in terms of their consumption habits, their expectations and their previous experience in this type of tourism.
5. What actions is VILLAS FLAMINGOS undertaking or implementing to promote sustainability in its facilities?
We are currently about to finish a majestic project that will become the flagship of our hotel. We are talking about our new lobby, built mainly of bamboo, made up of immense domes and that makes it unique and one of the largest in its category in all of Latin America. Bamboos grown on plantations tended by local Oaxacan farmers who promote the local economy are being used for manufacturing.
The future new lobby, built mainly of bamboo. Unique and, once finished it ‘ll be one of the largest in its category in Latam.
…and what about the environment?
Eco Hotel Villas Flamingos is championing a project in conjunction with CONAM for the conservation and development of coastal dunes in Holbox.
Amazing pool facing white sand beaches
VILLAS FLAMINGOS is a unique boutique hotel to enjoy and relax mind and body.
Beautiful bedrooms, natural materials, caribbean concepts and atmosphere, facing white sand beaches.
6. How has VILLAS FLAMINGOS evolved after the COVID19 pandemic?
We have opted for excellence, personalization, attention to detail in all our operations to improve the customer experience. We carry out an improvement plan focusing on the renovation of rooms, services, facilities and we have opted for quality in our gastronomic offer and mixology.
We have replaced our buffet breakfast with a gourmet breakfast with many options and we have made our cancellation policies more flexible.
Regarding our sales strategy, we have relied heavily on social networks, creating a multitude of organic content that has allowed us to show the hotel as it is to our guests, future guests and those who have already become regular customers who cannot wait to visit this wonderful island of Holbox.
7. What news does VILLAS FLAMINGOS present for this summer?
For this summer we’ve launched a new weekly event, pre-Hispanic cuisine. It is a 5-course haute cuisine dinner where our Executive Chef Juan Uuh delights us with the best avant-garde pre-Hispanic cuisine with a Yucatecan character, in the same way we have a special ritual show at sunset to thank the universe for the beauty from Holbox.
8. Now that there have been recent elections in Quintana Roo, imagine that you are the Governor, what actions would you implement to promote sustainable tourism in the region and in Holbox island?
Without a doubt, promoting and reducing bureaucratic obstacles in search of energy self-sufficiency from renewable energies for hoteliers on the island.
9. Would you recommend to colleagues and experts to be part of the Luxury Sustainable Hotels Association (LUSH) community?
I would definitely recommend all boutique hotels to join LUSH association to enjoy all its benefits and support of its expert members.
No doubt I’ve enjoyed this combination of luxury and nature, perfectly focused on the Caribbean experience.
Its impressive round pools stand out with an enviable location and views. We cannot forget the Caribbean design suites, with palapa roofs and large windows overlooking the sea and white sand beaches. But a detail that makes this place unique is the opportunity to enjoy the bioluminescence on a night walk along the beach. An unforgettable and unique experience.