About the community
GBB resort is intimately linked to the fabric of the island. It is the foremost employer on Ko Phra Thong, employing ca 30 people all year around, supported by a further 20 or so during the tourist season. 90% of our staff are islanders, and most are related: the housekeepers’ husbands work in the garden, or in transportation or maintenance; fathers of our staff operate the daily boats; uncle and nephew work side by side in the bar, etc. We have also reached the stage after 20 years or so where we are now employing the second generation of staff members.
We operate the resort very much on a family basis. Don’t be surprised to see local children riding the housekeepers cart: during the season some of our staff cannot get help to supervise their children so we welcome the children to spend week ends and holidays with their parents at the resort where all food is free for family members. In the same spirit, we support the local school where most of the staff's children are educated. We associate the school to activities at the resort whenever fitting. Children will come and dance at GBB for a fee at Christmas for instance, to generate some much needed extra income for the school. On one occasion last season, we invited the children to spend a day at the resort throwing clay pots with Thai artists during our pottery workshop.
All our transportation needs are in the hand of the islanders’ boats. We depend on them for everything from transferring guests and bringing us our food daily from Kuraburi market to taking our garbage back to the mainland, and shipping over our building materials during the rainy season. We could have bought our own boats, but have opted instead to foster links with the local community so this is how we continue to operate. What the boats lack in glitz and creature comfort they make up for with charm and quirkiness, a fairly unique experience, and the warm knowledge that you are directly contributing to the local community.
some environmental practices in place at the resort...
we built our own water tower and setup our purification station so we no longer have to bring in our drinking water from the mainland;
hot water for showers derives solely from solar panels;
low wattage lighting in place on pathways not to disturb the wildlife;
we compost all our food waste for use in the gardens;
all our non -compostable waste, a large part of which is derived from our regular beach cleaning, is sent by boat to the mainland facilities;
our staff sends all recyclable plastics, cans and glass bottles back to processing units on the mainland and keep the proceeds;
coconut leaves are shredded and used as mulch to protect tree roots;
detergents at the resort are all environmentally friendly;
dishwashing liquid is made from the peel of the oranges squeezed to make juice at breakfast;
bathroom toiletries are largely made from organic ingredients in Northern Thailand and are not tested on animals;
as part of our waste-minimising policy we no longer use plastic straws but paper straws instead;
all disposable containers are made of bamboo;
we have banned plastic bags for housekeeping purposes;
as far as possible we transport everything to and from the mainland in reusable crates and large plastic-lidded boxes;
during the rainy season, we switch off the generator at 11pm.