Hotel Sugar Beach is proud to hoist the Blue Flag for the ninth consecutive year. The flag acts as a certificate of good health – vouching for clean seawater, a clean beach, clean drinking water and getting the local community involved in keeping their beaches in good shape.
Most importantly, it gives tourists the option to choose beaches they know are safe, and to support the communities that work hard to keep them that way.
The national Blue Flag program mirrors the international program by the same name. It began in with the aim of encouraging coastal businesses and communities to protect Costa Rica’s beaches, and has since expanded to include the conservation of forests, improved protocols in hospitals and clinics, and environmental education in schools.
In order for a beach to be granted a Blue Flag, several elements are assessed: the quality of both seawater and drinking water, beach cleanliness, waste disposal, safety for tourists, sanitary facilities, environmental education and community participation. Water quality is monitored periodically throughout the year to ensure consistent compliance.
Hotel Sugar Beach is always looking for ways to make its operations more eco-friendly, and to maintain positive ties with the local community. Thanks to a lot of hard work and dedication, the hotel has made sure its beach has sported its blue colours for nearly a decade.
How is this done? First, the hotel internally monitors seawater and potable water quality, in addition to regular check-ups from the water authorities. Our guests have access to pure drinking water from local aquifers, and swim in seawater that is free of contamination.
Our staff pick up any inorganic debris that washes up on Sugar Beach, and dispose of it accordingly; we recycle what we can, and make sure the rest goes to a proper facility.
We use only biodegradable products for our laundry, kitchen and general cleaning, and we go the extra step of filtering and treating our grey water so it can be used to irrigate our gardens. This reduces the amount of water we need to use to maintain our grounds, which is incredibly important in a region where no rain falls for nearly half the year.
The hotel makes use of energy-saving devices, and we encourage our guests to be conscious of their energy usage too, by turning off lights and air conditioners when not needed.
We also recognize that our efforts count for little if they’re not taken up by the next generation, so we get the kids in the nearby town of Potrero involved in every way we can. We’ve organized tree-planting with them, brought in speakers to discuss a variety of environmental themes, and recently we donated t-shirts for them to wear which highlight the importance of caring for the natural world.
Finally, we give back. A percentage of all our tours is donated for reforestation projects, and 1% of all our reservation income goes to local organizations that are doing good work in our community.
We’re honored to have our efforts recognized, but more significantly, we’re delighted to give our guests a tangible means of participating in the health of this country’s spectacular beaches, to be enjoyed for decades to come.