The travel and hotel industry is decidedly not eco-friendly. But if there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it is that we need to take a long, hard look at the ways we travel. Sustainable travel is one conversation that is picking up and honestly? We’re here for it. These luxury eco-hotels clearly share the same sentiments when it comes to lessening our carbon footprint!
So, while we wait for planes to return to the skies, why not bookmark this page and put these luxury eco-hotels on your bucket-list? Who says you can’t be sustainable and enjoy luxury all at once?
1. Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
One of Thailand’s best luxury eco-hotels, sustainability is the top priority at Six Senses Yao Noi. The folks here believe that to take care of their guests, they first have to take good care of everything around them. And we mean everything – energy efficiency, water and waste management, social commitment, protecting natural surroundings, air quality and noise control.
The restaurant and kitchen at Six Senses practice a farm-to-table initiative, and they favour artisans, farmers, fishermen and suppliers who live nearby and believe in the same standards. More impressively, the property produces its own water, and has helped to provide a clean drinking water system for Baan Bang Doung and the Special Children Center in Phang Nga.
2. Camp Glenorchy, New Zealand
New Zealand’s first Net Positive energy visitor destination, Camp Glenorchy encompasses a stunning homestead and a full range of accommodation options. This includes eco-cabins, multi-bed bunk huts and powered RV/campervan spots. The property is built according to the Living Building Challenge™, which represents the world’s most rigorous sustainability standards. Clearly, they take sustainability very seriously!
TIME Magazine has even named Camp Glenorchy in the World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019. Adding to its allure is its location between the Humboldt and Richardson Mountains at the head of Lake Wakatipu. The property definitely offers something for everyone, from the peaceful to the exhilarating to the sublime.
3. Mumbo Island, Malawi
Perhaps one of the most underrated luxury eco-hotels in the world, Mambo Island is the ultimate destination for a digital detox. There is no electricity, no WiFi and cell phone service – which forces guests to disconnect from the outside world. There is also no running water too, and your hot shower is brought to your lake view bungalow by bucket!
Without any electricity and internet connection, what will you do? Reconnect with yourself, other people and Mother Nature, of course. There is no lack of fun activities here. You can swim in the crystal clear water, snorkel in fish-filled bays, kayak around the island and explore hidden coves and caves. Or, hike trails which traverse the island and meander through the beautiful Miombo forest. If you want to take it easy, enjoy the beach from the comfort of the beach loungers or swing in your private hammock on your deck. There is also a small book exchange and a selection of games – including the local game of bawo!
4. Saffire Freycinet, Australia
A luxury eco-hotel within the magnificent Freycinet National Park in Tasmania, Saffire Freycinet is built using a framework of environmental sustainability. Core principles that shape its development are the protection of healthy sites as well as the healing of damaged sites. Consideration has also been given to energy-efficient insulation, bushfire management, collection and conservation of rainwater and many more.
How do we know Saffire Freycinet is one of the best luxury eco-hotels in the world? The property has consistently clinched the Best Luxury Hotel in Australia by TripAdvisor, and also the World’s Best Luxury Hotel! By staying here, you are also contributing to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, an effort at developing a vaccine for Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) – a fatal and infectious form of cancer affecting the Tasmanian devil.
5. Capella Ubud, Bali
Nestled within the heart of lush green forests, this unique tented camp sits in harmony with the surrounding nature. No tree was cut during the construction of this property, and it provides a truly unique experience of Bali’s untouched natural surroundings. To help foster that connection. TVs and sound systems are only supplied upon request.
There is also a no single-use plastic policy here, and a farm-to-table approach at its restaurant. As custodian of the community in Keliki, Ubud, Capella is dedicated to the enrichment of the surroundings and the community. As such, there are a variety of sustainability-focused scholarships programs for the local village’s youths.
6. 1 Hotel Central Park, New York City
Surprised with an eco-hotel right in the heart of Manhattan? We are too! In this urban retreat inspired by nature, greenery is present at every turn. Thoughtful touches bring nature into the space with reclaimed wood, treetop views, organic mattresses and sheets. In-room water filtration systems remove the use of plastic bottles and offer a fresh supply of drinking water.
The hotel chain aims to make the world better by sparking conversations around socially responsible hospitality. With a farm-to-fork, no plastic approach and initiatives for change, we think they’re doing a pretty good job!
7. The Outpost, South Africa
It’s not our first time writing about The Outpost, and they deserve many mentions because of their strong environmental awareness. It’s clear that they feel strongly towards protecting Kruger National Park! It accommodates just 24 guests in 12 open plan, en-suite luxury spaces.
The construction and operation of the lodge is based on the principle of creating as little impact on the landscape and environment as possible. We love that they acknowledge this as an ever-evolving process, and it grows more efficient with new technologies and practices each year.