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Parley for the Oceans and Belmond announce a new partnership with the ambition to champion and inspire a network of Ocean Guardians, forge an enduring legacy for the oceans through education, active conservation, and define a new standard of hospitality. Attuned to the delicate beauty and fragility of the planet and nurturing a sense of connection to place, time, and community, Belmond believes that “as connectors and curators, we must first be caretakers”.

The collaboration with Parley for the Oceans will provide Belmond’s properties with a framework for expanding their commitment to be loyal custodians of the ecosystems and communities they collaborate with. With an existing legacy of sustainable practices, Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya, has been selected as Belmond’s symbol of change to pilot this new partnership.


Essential to all life on Earth, oceans cover 70% of our planet and hold 99% of the biosphere, regulating climate, producing half of the world’s oxygen, and providing food and livelihoods for millions of people.  As human activity has profoundly impacted the Earth, our oceans are under severe threat, due to plastic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels driving global warming, and vast biodiversity loss. Understanding the gravity of the threats to our oceans and striving to work towards a more sustainable future, Belmond and Parley for the Oceans are working together to face these challenges and incorporate initiatives that mitigate their impacts.

Surrounded by emerald jungle and the Caribbean Sea, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to the world’s second-largest coral reef and four endangered species of sea turtles: White, Loggerhead, Hawkbill and Leatherback. Over the past decade, Maroma has implemented several sustainability initiatives, from its turtle conservation programme and working with Amigos de Sian Ka’an, to supporting local fisherman and its long-running partnership with Mayahuum to house and protect hives of the endangered Melipona bee, which are considered sacred by Maya and ancient cultures of the Yucatán Peninsula and are prolific rainforest pollinators critical to the local ecosystem.

The collaboration with Parley, which consists of locally tailored initiatives following the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign) is rooted in community-led conservation efforts and will build upon Maroma’s existing commitment to honouring Mayan culture and its people as natural custodians protecting local heritage. Setting the example for continuing to actively protect and support the coastal and marine ecosystems surrounding Maroma and the greater Quintana Roo region, it will be an illustration of how Parley and Belmond will collaborate at other seaside properties in the future, with the intention to instill a sense of stewardship and responsibility that drives impact.


The partnership will see initiatives and areas of impact that range from active conservation and operational changes to ocean education, designed to drive long-term positive changes in the surrounding community and ecosystem.

Launch initiatives include:

  • Educational programmes with hotel team members to foster a deep understanding of the oceans and embrace and inspire community stewardship. Tailored Parley AIR Talks hosted at Maroma with the hotel team will raise awareness for the state of the oceans and garner support for initiatives that protect oceans, with two talks hosted to date and four more planned throughout the rest of 2024.
  • Creation of Maroma’s ‘Ocean Guardians’ programme, celebrating employees’ role in protecting their local environment alongside Parley’s network of experts, and creating engaging content that educates guests about the biodiversity found along the Riviera Maya coastline. 10 of Maroma’s team members have been certified to date as Ocean Guardians, through a series of immersive courses to help lead the community forward.
  • Collaborating with coral experts and local scientists, Parley and Maroma will support crucial conservation, restoration and citizen science projects that protect coral reefs.
  • Expanding protected zones and nesting areas for sea turtles, bolstering biodiversity and long-term conservation.
  • Connecting with Parley’s wider network to identify innovative approaches that minimize the impacts of abundant invasive sargassum, ensuring the ongoing preservation of this coastal ecosystem.
  • Taking action against plastic pollution through beach clean-ups, to support the hotel staff’s leadership role in present and future environmental efforts to preserve and protect native biodiversity.
  • Developing materials and programs in collaboration with Maroma staff and community to engage hotel guests in ocean education and exploration programs that inspire ecological stewardship


“Every project and partnership we explore at Parley begins with a mutual love for the oceans and a desire to foster closer connections to the natural world,” states Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans. “Our alliance with Belmond is not about ‘eco-tourism,’ it’s about redefining luxury travel that is rooted in purpose and the sense of connection to place that is already central to the Belmond ethos, to support and empower local Ocean Guardians. Maroma will become an epicenter and facilitator for change. It goes far beyond removing plastics from the hotel, this is about recognizing that each hotel isn’t isolated but rather an influential part of an interconnected community and ecosystem.”

“Our “Think Global, Act Local” approach values each property’s first-hand knowledge and recognises the specificities of every context, and with this approach in mind, we are very excited to begin our collaboration with Parley at Maroma,” says Dan Ruff, Belmond CEO.  “The Ocean Guardians program will empower our teams, guests, and the local community to help conserve this precious ecosystem. The partnership will amplify the role of Maroma as custodians of the coastline, writing a new chapter in the hotel’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship. And guests can be confident that by staying with Belmond they’ll not only enjoy a deep connection with the place and culture, but also protect and shape the heritage of tomorrow.”


Meticulously renovated and relaunched in August 2023, Maroma has brought its passion for preserving the environment to the next level, including partnering with Fundación Selva Maya and building an on-site Melipona bee sanctuary to further expand resident hives and host educational workshops that raise awareness of this key species; sourcing 90% of Casa Mayor restaurant’s ingredients from Mexico and almost half from the Yucatán peninsula; and creating an onsite nursery that produces over two thousand endemic plants, some of which are in danger of extinction.

Maroma is also an important nesting and breeding area for Olive Throated Parakeets and White-Fronted Parrots, both of which are endangered species, and as such help to conserve these endemic bird species in danger of extinction, identifying and protecting nests and hatchlings found on site and providing better environments for their reproduction. In addition, Maroma has received its certification with Starlight, a nonprofit organization that recognizes hotels that reduce evening lighting to protect the night sky. Maroma were proud to achieve EarthCheck Design certification for the refurbishment programme. EarthCheck, the world’s preeminent scientific benchmarking, certification, and advisory group for travel and tourism, sets a high standard for sustainability in the industry with their Design certification guiding new construction and refurbishment projects towards environmental and social responsibility.

Following the pilot launch at Maroma and in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, Belmond will continue to roll out impactful activities across its seaside destinations within the Belmond portfolio throughout 2025.

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