Luxury hotels offer voluntourism programs
Here’s a novel concept coming out of the affluent hotel world: luxury meets charity.
New this year, the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea is offering a variety of volunteer opportunities for guests who may want to offset their luxurious spending by helping to build a home or dishing out food for the homeless.
Is voluntourism simply a way to exonerate guests from feeling guilty of their spendthrift ways? Maybe. But is it well intentioned? Definitely.
On the winter-spring itinerary this year are partnerships with the local Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers would help build homes and landscape for those in need of shelter.
Guests with green thumbs can contribute their talents at a botanical garden where volunteers meet every week to help maintain indigenous plants.
Guests can also lend a hand at the local soup kitchen, which serves free hot meals every day. Duties include food preparation, cooking, serving and home delivery for the disabled.
The Ritz-Carlton has also designed a Give Back Getaway program that invites guests to participate in half-day community activities that include everything from saving sea turtles in China or the blue iguana in the Grand Cayman islands to volunteering at a soup kitchen in New York.