Sustainability, at this point, has become the ultimate buzzword for car, technology, and fashion brands. Hospitality companies are also jumping on the eco bandwagon. Luckily, for all of you luxury connoisseurs, staying at a eco-resort doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a tent.
From hotels that are solar powered to those serving only locally sourced foods, these hotels combine the finer things in life with serious sustainable efforts.
Would you stay in an eco-friendly resort? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Whitepod is a leading example of eco-luxury. Designed to create an alternative experience in the Swiss Alps, the dome shaped tents make for low impact accommodations and are located away from any kind of urban pollution. The Pods are not like any tent you've ever seen. Besides offering beautiful views of Lake Geneva, they come with wood stoves, great insulation, luxury furniture and full service bathrooms. There are only fifteen pods and in the center lies a wooden chalet, where guests meet for breakfast or to hangout beside the main fireplace.
Les Cerniers, Les Giettes, Switzerland, whitepod.com.
Lapa Rios Ecolodge and Wildlife Reserve, Costa Rica
Lapa Rios is located in the last lowland rain forest in Central America. You’ll likely see a few monkeys pass through the grounds between the lodges and at dusk you can watch the humpback whale migration. Venture into the rainforest by day and stargaze at night. All the furniture in the lodges is bamboo and handmade. The food in the resort's restaurant, Brisa Azul, is locally sourced and guests can expect to be eating fish likely caught that day. Your stay here will reconnect you to nature in the most organic way.
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, laparios.com.
Located on the Maraú Peninsula, this Brazilian hot spot is founded on sustainable ideals. The hotel is partly solar powered and the timber used during its construction originated from reforestation areas. Set on an oceanfront, you can go on boat rides, join in on planned walks, or just hang out by the pool. Kiaroa is place to relax and enjoy Brazil’s natural beauty. We recommend staying in a bungalow, where you’ll have ultimate privacy and your own pool.
Loteamento da Costa, Distrito de Barra Grande, Município de Maraú, Bahia, Brazil, kiaroa.com.br.
Post Ranch Inn, California
People go to Post Ranch Inn to get a break from the bustle of life. Without TVs or alarm clocks in any of the rooms, feel free to detox your mind. The dining menu is fully organic and healthy, even the wines are biodynamic, and the water is bottled and filtered from a spring on the property. When building the cottages, Post Ranch Inn paid mind to not damage any existing trees and instead built around them. Activities in this resort range from swimming and yoga to nature walks and meditation. A great place to go to slow down and enjoy the simple things of life, like the view of the Big Sur coast.
47900 California 1, Big Sur, California, postranchinn.com.
Gayana Eco Resort, Malaysia
Have you ever had your breakfast delivered by boat? You will at this resort. Besides all the food on their menu being organic and from the area, Gayana is also involved in various other eco practices. In 2012 they celebrated returning 500 hand-reared juvenile Giant Clams to the wild from the their Marine Ecology Research Center. With only villa accommodations, Gayana offers luxury while preserving its natural surroundings. Whether you choose to hike through the nearby jungles to see birds and butterflies or go kayaking through the emerald water, you’ll be immersed in nature.
Malohom Bay Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island, Malaysia, gayana-eco-resort.com.
The Upper House, Hong Kong
This is a hotel unlike what most people have ever seen. Resting on only the top eleven floors of a 49-story building, every room has extraordinary views. The hotel makes an effort to stay green, by eliminating its use of paper. Instead of an in-room directory there an Ipod touch, as well as the daily e-newspaper. On the sixth floor you will find a "secret garden" where guests can lay out on the grassy lawn or sit on beanbags and enjoy a delicious snack. All the food is locally sourced, so eat away. If you’re looking for something a little stronger than a snack, you can just take the elevator all the way up and have a drink at the Sky Lounge. Sit back, have a cocktail and look at the views of Hong Kong from the 49th floor. That’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, upperhouse.com.
Taj Exotica, Maldives
The Maldivian government has long been striving to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country. In line with those efforts, Taj Exotica has EarthCheck’s Certified Silver Status and promotes sustainability, while providing an intimate and lavish setting perfect for a romantic getaway. With their hot water system, Taj Exotica minimizes diesel fuel and electricity use, preserving about 110,000 liters of diesel annually. The hotel also plants only endemic tree species (they require less water for growth) and uses a coral regeneration program. Villas here come equipped with private sun decks, outdoor showers, and private spa rooms—all perfect for a private and intimate stay.
South Male Atoll, tajhotels.com.
Banyan Tree, Indonesia
Banyan Tree is a well-known luxury hotel chain with popular resorts located everywhere from Mexico to China. The Indonesian branch established a Conservation Lab, which helps protect endangered species and works with local communities to protect the surrounding lands. It doesn’t get more environmentally friendly than that. As for its many activities, imagine getting a spa treatment while overlooking the South China Sea. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, go on a boat ride or rent out some jet skis.
Jalan Teluk Berembang Laguna Bintan, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia, banyantree.com.
Turtle Island, Fiji
Turtle Island stands apart from all other eco-resorts. As one of the first ever complete clean energy hotels, about 85 percent of its operation runs on solar energy. After installing 968 solar panels around the island, this resort can proudly say it’s of the most sustainable in Fiji and likely the world. Such innovation allows the island to reduce about 85,000 liters of diesel fuel a year and 220 tons of carbon emissions. Aside from being incredibly clean, the resort also offers plenty of outdoor activities, like sailing, scuba diving, horseback riding, and windsurfing.
Yasawa Islands, Turtle Island, Fiji, turtlefiji.com.
The Scarlett Hotel, United Kingdom
There is a lot to do at The Scarlett. With options like a four-hour deep fishing trip or horse riding on the beach, chances are you’ll be keeping busy. Try tree climbing or take a sustainability and eco course at Mount Pleasant Eco Park, and learn about nature either hands-on or in an educational setting. While luxurious, The Scarlett has taken the initiative to provide eco-resources, like recycling grey water to flush lavatories, which reduces the use of potable water. The hotel also harvests rainwater and its buildings have airtight seals, which keeps warm air in and cold air out, decreasing the amount of heat used from biomass boiler and solar panels.
Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, United Kingdom, scarlethotel.co.uk.