10 Eco-Friendly Hotels Around The World To Add To Your Bucketlist
- Soneva Fushi, MaldivesSoneva Fushi, Maldives
- Blue Waters Resort & Spa, AntiguaBlue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua
- Six Senses Con Dao, VietnamSix Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
- Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, FijiJean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
- Capella Ubud, IndonesiaCapella Ubud, Indonesia
- H2Hotel, USAH2Hotel, USA
- Whitepod, SwitzerlandWhitepod, Switzerland
- The Brando, French PolynesiaThe Brando, French Polynesia
- Campi Ya Kanzi, KenyaCampi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
- Hix Island House, Puerto RicoHix Island House, Puerto Rico
Need to add more destinations to your bucket list? Staying at an eco-friendly hotel is one of the best ways to reduce your impact on the environment––while still having a luxurious stay
Covid-19 has impacted our travel plans, putting our travel bucket lists on hold for a while. As we continue to practice social distancing and are staying home, for now we can dream about our next trip once travel restrictions are lifted off and the pandemic is under control.
The hotel industry is responsible for 1 percent of global emissions and as travellers, we are essentially contributing to that. So choosing to stay at an eco-friendly hotel is a great option for both luxury and sustainability, as they make significant efforts to reduce their environmental impact such as installing energy-efficient lighting and using non-toxic cleaning products.
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Soneva Fushi, Maldives
The Maldives is best known as a honeymoon paradise, but the island nation also has plenty of eco-friendly hotels and resorts to choose from, and among them is Soneva Fushi, considered to be one of the best and an eco-pioneer among resorts in the country.
Considering that sea levels are rising, the low lying islands of Maldives are predicted to be gone in the next 80 years. More than ever, the environmental impact needs to be reduced. The hotel––the first in the Maldives to recycle plastic on site––has a "Waste-to-Wealth" program where it recycles 90% of its waste on-site at its own Eco Centro recycling plant. The waste is then transformed into new products.
The food waste, on the other hand, is composted to create nutrient-rich soil for the vegetable gardens. Soneva Fushi is also actively working with the local government to allow other islands to adopt its "Waste-to-Wealth" concept to help local communities reduce plastic consumption.
Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua
Blue Waters Resort & Spa has one goal: to go completely plastic free in the near future. Because of this, the hotel is leading the sustainability movement among luxury hotels in Antigua. The hotel boasts refillable water stations spread throughout and uses complimentary BPA-free water bottles for guests as part of its plastic reduction initiative.
As if that wasn't enough, the hotel also adopts several other measures to be eco-friendly including using fresh produce grown on-site and recycling and providing suitable food waste to local farmers for animal feed. The launch of their proprietary bath amenity brand, Neem Avenue is their latest eco-friendly effort. The brand aims to eliminate about 55,000 single-use miniatures within a year.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam is an eco-friendly paradise. Located on an island archipelago off the coast of Vietnam, the hotel does its best to give back to the local community while still offering the best services to its guests––with personal butlers and private guides on call.
What's impressive is that the hotel has its own turtle sanctuary and guests are welcome to join the early morning hatchling releases on the resort’s beach. Some of its other efforts include partnering up with a local national park to protect the beach area and the coral reefs in front of the property, which also happens to be the home of an endangered dugong.
More impressive feats include bottling their own water, producing natural pesticides, and incorporating local plants into spa treatments. They also have Earth Lab as part of the hotel, where guests can learn about their sustainability and eco-friendly efforts.
See also: How To Create An At-Home Spa Experience
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
This five-star luxury resort in Fiji is named after a conservationist—and rightfully so. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, right from the get-go has always been eco-friendly as the entire hotel was built using local materials such as wood. Today, the hotel uses low-energy bulbs and only uses sustainable methods to grow its produce.
The eco-hotel itself offers an array of activities to enjoy, from snorkelling on pristine waters, a relaxing spa, to stunning waterfall hikes. It also houses a marine biologist––the only one in Fuji––to help guests discover the natural wonders found near the hotel as well as monitor the condition of the coral reefs which is one of the hotel's primary objectives. There are also educational presentations about marine life available.
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Capella Ubud, Indonesia
Nestled between Ubud's rainforest sits Capella Ubud in Bali. Surrounded by lush greenery and nature, Capella Ubud's construction helped preserved its natural surrounding—with zero trees cut during the entire process.
Intended to become a hidden sanctuary, the hotel also has a number of eco-friendly measures including its no single-use plastic policy. To nurture future generations, they also offer educational programs to surrounding villages about their sustainable approach to waste management and eliminating plastic as well as a number of sustainability-focused scholarships available for the local youth.
To get to know more about the local culture, the hotel also employs a Capella Culturist to help you churn out all the best ways you can to enjoy the Balinese way of life.
See also: 25 Ways To Go Green In Hong Kong
Don't underestimate this hotel for its size. Despite only having 36 rooms, H2Hotel is packed with eco-friendly features and is a LEED Gold certified hotel. The hotel makes use of green practices all around––from the furnishings and floors made of salvaged wood to its grass roof that filters and reduces the impact of rainfall fall out on Foss Creek.
As a LEED-certified hotel, this means every aspect of the hotel is designed to lessen energy consumption. Compared to the hotels on this list, H2Hotel's design is a little bit more modern and contemporary. Just walking along the premises will make you feel as if you've entered an art gallery. As soon as you enter, you'll be greeted by a massive artwork of 2000 espresso spoons that rock when water falls on them.
For a stay that's not only eco-friendly but also unique and luxurious––consider Whitepod in Switzerland. Perched over 5,500 feet above sea level in the Swiss Alps, these minimalist chalets are constructed using durable canvas and are raised using wooden platforms so as to reduce contact with the ground and prevent damage to the surrounding environment.
Energy and water used are controlled and products are 100 per cent biodegradable. But that's not all. The hotel's waste is recycled, ingredients are locally produced, and the staff all live within walking distance to avoid carbon emission. In the summer, the exterior can turn camouflage green so it blends in with nature and reduces visual contrast of the Swiss countryside.
The pods' design itself is also eco-friendly. Its geodesic geometrical shape and the absence of stagnant corners make airflow continuous. This results in less energy needed to circulate air and maintain even temperatures.
The Brando, French Polynesia
Situated in the private island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, The Brando is probably one of the places you wouldn't expect to be so technology-driven. But it is. The Brando is one of the most luxurious eco-hotels out there.
The hotel was formerly owned by Marlon Brando who envisioned it to become an ecological paradise. Today's it's still somewhat the same. But has transformed into a secluded getaway for high-end customers as the only way to reach the private island is by plane. Their mission is also all environmentally driven including preserving the biodiversity of Tetiaroa, supporting the local Polynesian culture, and achieving a negligible carbon footprint.
The hotel also lauds its eco-friendly practices. The energy used is generated from solar panels and coconut oil biofuel, while waste water is used for sustainable irrigation. What's impressive is their cooling system which takes cold water from 900m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, convert it into cool freshwater and uses the air to circulate the premises––all of which uses very little energy.
Campi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
Campi Ya Kanzi in Kenya is a prime example of an eco-friendly hotel. Other than its environmental efforts, they also put community development on top of the list. Led by Luca Belpietro and his wife Antonella Bonom, who established the Maasai Community Wilderness Trust to help the local Maasai people who are employed at the hotel and also helped built it.
In terms of its electricity, they boast zero carbon footprint––the electricity used throughout the camp are generated by the sun. They are also the only lodge in East Africa whose water needs are entirely covered by rain cropping, once again boasting zero carbon footprint. Waste is recycled, low energy dishwashers and washing machines are used, leftover food is scrapped for use in the organic vegetable garden, and your overall stay there is certified carbon neutral.
If these ecological efforts aren't enough to impress you, the hotel combines 5-star luxury, wilderness adventure, amazing wildlife, and authentic immersion in Maasai culture.
Hix Island House, Puerto Rico
Escape to the Caribbean for some peace and healing and stay at Hix Island House in Puerto Rico. This innovative eco lodging's design was purposely built to capture cooling trade winds and water and electricity solar-generated. Used water is also collected and helps grow the guavas, bananas, papayas, and lemons on the property. Hix Island House is also the first Sustainable Tourism Facility certification from Puerto Rico Tourism.
But there's more to the design than meets the eye. The luxurious retreat aims to provide a zen-like setting, with the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi––to find beauty in imperfections and to discard decorations that aren't integral to the structure. The lofts provide matchless views of the Caribbean landscape. At night, it's even more impressive as you see the star-studded skies all while surrounded by the natural scenery.
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