Travel can be notoriously un-friendly when it comes to our environmental impact. However, low-impact travel and luxury can coexist thanks to an ever-expanding list of properties striving to respect their guest’s desire for environmentally friendly accommodation.
Here’s a look at the top 8 world’s most luxurious eco-friendly hotels:
Pikaia Lodge – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Built using sustainable methods and materials, Pikaia Lodge is a model of elegance and ecology on the island of Santa Cruz, in the heart of the Galápagos. Its rooms and suites, with their simple and refined design, all feature floor-to-ceiling windows with inimitable views of the lush coastal hills. Some even come with a private balcony and plunge pool, perfect for relaxing in complete privacy after a day of exploration.
The Galapagos tourism model is designed exclusively for a controlled number of very selective eco-tourists, who will eschew over-development; this is why people travel to the Galapagos in the first place.
Saffire Freycinet – Tasmania, Australia
Saffire Freycinet is a 20-suite luxury lodge located on Australia’s Tasmanian Coast adjacent to Coles Bay and overlooking the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula. The name “Saffire” comes from the abundance of sapphires found in Tasmania. Just a two-minute walk from the beach, the Saffire is striking in appearance; the organic roof is constructed of curved Tasmanian wood and all suites include floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook the gorgeous landscape and abundant wildlife.
Saffire has been built using a framework of environmental sustainability, with the purpose of rejuvenating the area which had been previously damaged as a caravan park and backpackers’ accommodation.
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole – Wyoming, USA
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole is a luxury, eco-boutique hotel located between Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.
From fluorescent light bulbs to recycled steel, natural and organic mattresses to aluminum water bottles, the hotel strives to be earth friendly in all it practices. All power at the hotel is offset with the purchase of solar, hydro and wind energy.
Explore the landscape while skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, hiking, climbing, cycling, and more.
Camp Glenorchy – New Zealand
Listed as one of TIME Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places,” Camp Glenorchy takes sustainability seriously. It’s New Zealand’s first net-zero energy accommodation.
The property uses 50% less energy and water than comparable resorts and also relies on earth-friendly amenities like a solar garden, smart lighting, solar panels and an advanced onsite energy and water management system. Adding to Camp Glenorchy’s environmental allure is its incredible natural surroundings between the Humboldt and Richardson Mountain range.
The Brando – French Polynesia
The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. With access to the island by private plane, the resort features 35 villas on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. The resort was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture.
Setting a new world standard, the resort is carbon neutral and close to self-sustainable. All building materials used are of local or certified origin, renewable, or incorporate recycled components. The Brando also uses a pioneering deep seawater air-conditioning system to reduce energy demands and rely entirely on renewable energy sources including solar power and coconut oil.
Heckfield Place – Hampshire, United Kingdom
Heckfield Place is a Georgian family home lovingly restored from its classic origins and rewoven into 400 acres of secluded Hampshire landscape.
The estate’s farm abides by bio-dynamic principles, and its lush gardens and orchards form the base of celebrated chef Skye Gyngell’s extraordinary cuisine. The farm also supports pigs, sheep and chickens and relies on its own biomass energy center to power the hotel’s water and central heating. An aerobic digester processes all recyclable waste to supply compost to enrich the garden soil and it also provides pellets for the biomass energy center.
North Island – Seychelles
North Island is one of the Seychelles’ most exclusive private-island hideaways. This incredibly beautiful private island resort has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas, all of them with private plunge pool, overlooking pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters. Once used as a copra plantation (coconut kernels), the resort’s Noah’s Ark project is undoing the resulting significant loss of flora and fauna and restoring the island’s natural habitat.
Alien plant species are continually cleared and have been replaced with 120,000 native seedlings grown in the resort’s nursery. The result: many indigenous wildlife species have returned, including both green and hawksbill turtles.
Petit St Vincent – St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Caribbean
A dream idyll, Petit St. Vincent resort is a stunning Caribbean resort on its own private island. With just 22 cottages providing the ultimate comfort and an extremely high level of privacy and tranquillity, this is the perfect hideaway. The atmosphere at Petit St. Vincent resort is one of understated luxury. Each one of the one- and two-bedroom cottages are wonderfully secluded and scattered over hillsides, cliffs and beaches with breathtaking views of the island and the southern Grenadines. The resort goes out of its way to be ecologically sustainable and conserve the natural beauty of the island.
The property uses a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis desalination plant to processes ocean water to supply fresh drinking water. The hotel also bottles its own drinking water using reusable glass bottles, to prevent the need to import bottled water. Much of the produce served at the resort’s restaurants are harvested from its local organic garden.
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