So you want to indulge in luxury travel without harming our Mother Earth? There’s no easy way to do that. That said, there are ways to make your vacation as eco-conscious as possible. From the incredible array of green stays around the world, we handpicked 6 hotels around the world that totally blew our minds by being extraordinary, not just visually, but also being eco-conscious as well, perfect for your ultimate no-guilt vacation.
Campi ya Kanzi is an award-winning boutique lodge in the Chyulu Hills of southern Kenya. This “Camp of the Hidden Treasure” is the only safari lodge on a Maasai-owned reserve spanning 283,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Mount Kilimanjaro and Ernest Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa” form a stunning backdrop for inspiring and sustainable safari experiences. The construction of Campi ya Kanzi is an environmentalist’s dream come true. It was built using local materials — and not a single tree was cut. Water comes from rain collection, gray water is recycled, water is heated by solar panels, and food is cooked using an eco-friendly charcoal made from coffee husks. Moreover, Campi ya Kanzi works in partnership with the Maasai community and donates a portion of its proceeds to local preservation programs.
Chumbe Island Coral Park is an award-winning private nature reserve that was developed for the conservation and sustainable management of uninhabited Chumbe Island off Zanzibar, one of the last pristine coral islands in the region. The reserve includes a fully protected Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve that harbour rare wildlife, a Visitor and Education centre, a small ecolodge, nature walks and historical monuments. All buildings and operations are based on state-of-the-art ecotechnology aiming at zero impact on the environment (rainwater catchment, photovoltaic energy and solar water heating, composting toilets, vegetative gray water filtration, etc.). Get one step ahead and enjoy some scuba diving, hiking, reef observation and a trip deep down the wilderness.
Situated among acres of Costa Rica’s cloud forests and tropical flora, this resort offers guided tours through rain forest reserves and even has a naturalist on hand to point out the native wildlife. This luxury boutique hotel in Costa Rica’s highlands has been committed to sustainability all the way back to its modest beginnings in 1985. Over the years, they have developed a fantastic recycling program– using underground electrical systems that do not interfere with the wilderness, reusing coffee pulp as fertilizer, making all linens from bamboo fibre and making sure that all of their vegetables are organic. The property also boasts solar panels, low-flow toilets and even its own organic coffee plantation.
People have been going to the hot springs at Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a secluded mountainside ryokan resort. Located in Nagano, Japan, the property is set in a beautiful landscape with scenic views of the woods and consists of pavilions that overlook the Yukawa River. It also harnesses the power of nature: the resort and its hot spring bath are powered by geothermal energy from Mount Asama, an active mountain. The rest of its electricity is generated by mountain streams. The resort strives to be green in all areas – they sort trash into 33 recyclable categories, banned the use of styrofoam coffee cups, and switched to long-lasting LED bulbs in their efforts to obtain zero waste.
A five-star resort in the archipelago islands, Six Senses Con Dao has been recognised as one of the world’s top ecolodges. Built using sustainable building materials, the structure of the resort is designed to maximize airflow to reduce the need for air conditioning. The resort and staff are passionately committed to social responsibility via education and reducing the carbon footprint. Close to the beach and surrounded by greenery and jungle, guests will enjoy a relaxing stay in the stunning and extremely private location.
An exclusive 12-bed camp in South Africa, the resort supports the local community through economic empowerment. Locals are offered employment opportunities, with potential for career development, while food and goods are sourced locally where possible. Additionally, guests are invited to offset their carbon footprint by assisting with the planting and growing of Spesbok Trees in the Eastern Cape. The safari is run in partnership with the Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town, and the camp is designed to blend in with the earthy surrounding. Guests will enjoy a unique experience with spectacular views.