QALIA’s Essentials sustainability framework for Luxury Rental Brands

As the entry level of our certification, this sustainability framework provides a solid foundation for luxury rental brands to implement responsible tourism practices into their operations. The criteria focus on the guest experience and ensure that properties are meeting the evolving expectations of conscious travellers.

We are aware that many properties may have already implemented some of the criteria as part of their operating processes to maintain excellence in their hospitality values. Accordingly, our team will work with each property individually to determine which criteria have already been met. We will also identify those which are not yet available or feasible within the destination. Together we will create a plan to implement the remaining criteria with an achievable timeline. There is little to no capital investment to implement the Essentials criteria.

The sustainability framework consists of 37 criteria, all of which are designed to promote sustainable practices in luxury tourism. In order to demonstrate leadership in conscious luxury tourism practices, properties must meet all of the 37 criteria to receive the certification. To ensure compliance, evidence such as documents, videos, and images must be submitted through our secure online platform. We take the confidentiality of all information provided very seriously.

NB: We use “luxury rental brand” as a generic term for high standard and exclusive stand-alone properties. This would include chalets, villas, lodges, private islands, castles and mansions. Eligible properties have the attributes of conscious luxury accommodation. They sit sympathectically within the location and its surroundings with elegant design features. The interiors showcase space and comfort with state-of-the-art amenities, stylish décor and quality furnishings. The ultimate goal of our sustainability framework is to provide an outstanding conscious luxury experience to discerning travellers. We aim to demonstrate that it is completely possible to offer this type of responsible hospitality without compromising the guest experience. In fact, this mindful approach actually enhances their stay.

1LED lighting makes up for 100% of the property’s lighting
2Property uses a sustainable email marketing software (ie,
3Property uses eco-friendly web hosting (verify with
4Property uses refillable bulk dispenser for the bathroom amenities (replacing single-use plastic containers)
5Water for Guests is in glass bottles or via drinking water dispenser (replacing single-use plastic bottles)
6If provided, the property has reusable plastic/acrylic cups (replacing single-use plastic glasses) for outdoor use
7Property uses organic straws & strirrers (replacing single-use plastic ones)
8Laundry bags are made of re-usable or recycled material (replacing single-use plastic bags)
9Property provides resuable shopping and grocery bags
10Property has a recycling plan in place for at least four waste types (glass, paper, plastic, organic)
11When regular cleaning/towel change service is provided, a towel re-use program is available to guests
12When regular cleaning/linen change service is provided, Guests are offered the option of a less frequent linen change
13In-house vegetarian and/or vegan menu options are offered or guests are recommended a list of vegetarian restaurants
14Plants in pots are used for decoration (replacing cut and/or plastic flowers & plants)
15When cooking services or a pre-stocking list are provided, at least 80% of the food ingredients offered by the property is organic and/or home made and/or locally sourced (country-based accepted) or guests are recommended a list of organic shops / restaurants and local producers
16When available, at normal occupancy, property offers "À La Carte" meals (replacing buffet style) to avoid food waste
17Property is using 100% natural and/or eco-friendly cleaning products, DIY a plus
18Coffee, Tea and chocolate suppliers are fair trade or locally produced (depending on destinations)
19Wild (non-domesticated) animals are not displayed/interacted with or captive on the property or consumed, or sold
20Garden refuses are used as compost (or at least not burned)
21Property features charity project(s) on its website to raise awareness supporting charities for the under-privileged locally, regionally or worldwide
22Property doesn't promote any tour or activity involving the use of animals (elephant riding, birds / tiger / snake / water animals shows, ...)
23When available, property clearly identifies and primarily promotes eco-friendly activities in the destination
24Property offers bicycle rental (outsourcing possible) or electric bicycle charging stations
25Guests are offered sustainable tours and activities organised by local guides and businesses
26Property provides guests with information regarding visitors' etiquette
27Property communicates its sustainability practices, actions and performance to all stakeholders and seeks to engage their support (ie its website and/or a digital welcome book)
28Property practices wage parity and offers higher than average salaries and benefits to its employee
29Property measures and reports resources/energy consumption (templates provided)
30Property has a clear policy and communication or raises awareness on sex trade and human trafficking (cf, membership not required
31At least 80% of the food products offered during events is organic and/or home made and/or sourced locally (country-source accepted)
32Tables and settings decoration are from sustainable sources
33Property has a communication plan for employee and guests on how to deal with food leftovers from buffet-style events to avoid wastage
34Property or event planner excludes the promotion of any entertainment involving the use of animals
35Property or event planner uses re-usable cutlery, dishes and glasses/mugs (replacing single use)
36Property offers wellness and mindfulness activities to guests (in or out of property)
37Property offers yoga matts and meditation cushions/area and/or fitness equipment to guests
QALIA Framework V1.2, April 2023

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