10 LUXURY ECO-FRIENDLY HOTELS & THEIR SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES
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Eco-friendly hotels are definitely my thing and with each destination, I meticulously research my home away from home ensuring they are kinder to their surroundings, and both can work symbiotically as much as possible. For me, the absolute epitome of luxury is nature and being able to live within its endless boundaries and possibilities simultaneously!
When selecting the perfect eco-friendly residence I take into account a few initiatives that are being followed from a more diverse list, which comprehensively include, energy conservation, water conservation, in-house bath amenities, key-cards made from plastic alternatives, compostable ingredients used from an on-site garden, recycling, waste reduction, locally sourced produce, employment of the local community, social responsibility projects, spa treatments including indigenous plant products, education schemes as well as bottled water alternatives. This is by no means an exhaustive list!
Read on for ten examples of some of my favourite eco-friendly hotels I’ve visited (Tivoli Ec-Resort, Gaia River Lodge, ! Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and Blue Lotus Hua Hin) as well as some that are on my bucketlist for ‘one day in the future’ moments!
Be-lavie’s Top Sustainability Tip: Ask the hotel for a copy of their sustainability policy so you can get a feel for their initiatives prior to arriving.
1. The Svart Hotel, Norway
The Svart Hotel has not yet been constructed but will be located in the Arctic Circle and aims to generate more energy than it will use in its entire lifetime! This will be done by means of the raw materials it will be built from, to the building process, the daily ins and outs of operation and also its eventual demolition has been taken into account even before it is built! Think futuristic design, which doesn’t look out of place in its polar landscape, solar panels, a place where every sustainable need is taken care of.
2. Mashpi Lodge Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge has been on my bucketlist ever since I knew of its existence! A suspended cloud forest lodge in a contemporary design yet seamlessly blended in with the surroundings of the perma-mist that hovers over the Mashpi rainforest reserve in Ecuador.
It is surrounded by over 500 species of birds, trees and frogs, which are completely unique to this setting and boasts an unspoilt eco-system, lying 3,00 feet above sea level. The resident team of naturalists ensure the local community is supported as well as promoting the biodiversity. The lodge is set to expand the surrounding Mashpi Reserve by around 2,500 hectares for more scientific research on the diverse plant and wildlife.
The hotel itself compromises nothing and is a leader in Ecuadorian fine dining and hospitality and it’s tastefully designed 22 rooms.
3. 1 Hotel, Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Many call this NYC’s greenest hotel and having visited this stylish haven, it not only ticks the eco-friendly boxes but also has some the best killer views of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Island. The entire hotel is run on wind power and guests are able to borrow from a selection of electric Tesla cars. There is also a beautiful living plant wall and mattresses come blended with hemp.
Over half of the materials used in building the hotel are reclaimed, featuring pine floors from an old Kentucky distillery and beams from a former Brooklyn sugar factory. The rooftop bar associated with the 1 Hotel, Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge, has been furnished with reclaimed 100 year old barn wood throughout.
4. Tivoli Eco-Resort, Praia do Forte, Brazil
I visited this resort located close to a fishing village, in Salvador de Bahia, in North Brazil a couple of years ago and I can only describe it as picture-perfect! Sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters and plenty of coconut trees!
Set on one level with the villas doted amongst the pre-existing rainforest and boasting seven pools, has made an incredible effort not to disrupt its surroundings. The hotel runs a number of social projects, including the Projeto TAMAR, involved in rescuing turtles and also encourages guests to actively educate themselves around the rainforest via activities such as trekking and boat trips.
5. Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
One of the most remote eco-friendly hotels in the world, Pacuare lodge is only accessible by private gondola via the Pacuare River and braving the rushing rapids, if you dare!
This hotel is known for its adventure, adrenalin junkie activities but a true gem as with many places in Costa Rica, it has a sterling sustainability policy.
The lodge focusses on energy and the electricity is generated by a turbine in a nearby stream. All your meals have to be pre-ordered to ensure nothing is wasted as in the case of buffets! The bungalows are lit by lanterns, the water in the rooms and infinity pools is heated by solar panels right in the heart of the rainforest.
6. Gaia River Lodge, Belize
Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest in Belize, Gaia River lodge overlooks the Five Sisters Waterfalls, which provide the small boutique resorts with much of the property’s sustainability. There are a huge variety of native plants in the landscaped gardens designed to run off storm water as well as allowing local farmers to engage in soil enrichment and composting.
They have installed a clean hydropower system where the energy is stored in batteries, which then in turn ensure the lodge is supplied when required. Gaia also have an on-site organic garden harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs used in the restaurant and are proud owners of the Green Globe certification.
Guests are very much encouraged to take part in the sustainable activies and the lodge have their own fleet of trucks and guides that are on hand to take you to visit some of the country’s finest Mayan monuments.
7. Tri Lanka
Located on the shores of Sri Lanka’s largest natural lake, Tri Lanka is a contemporary styled sustainable hotel set above the lake banks.
There are only 11 suites, constructed from only local materials and allows the interiors and exterior design to blend into the lakeside landscape. The suites feature green roofs, edible gardens, solar arrays and recycling throughout. Tri Lanka is a 100% plastic free zone, LED lighting and an electric boat at your disposal.
8. Blue Lotus Hua Hin Resort
(Formerly: Evason Six Senses Spa & Resort)
By far one of my favourite eco-friendly resorts I’ve stayed in to date is at the Evason Hua Hin. As with each of their properties they have one of the best sustainability polices I have ever seen and I was able to work directly with their sustainability manager to learn of their efforts in education and employment of the local community, social responsibility projects, recycling, reducing plastic wastage and accessing the resorts organic garden where all the food is grown. They also have an on-site world-renowned plant-based cookery school named Blue Lotus, which supports their sustainable ethos.
9. Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Having a slight fascination with Genghis Khan and Mongolia led me to the Three Camel Lodge, situate din the Gobi Desert. It’s nestled between the Bayanzag Cliffs and the Altai Mountains. It’s made up of a cluster of small eco-conscious gers, which are circular felt tents decorated in a traditional Mongolian style with local materials and hand painted interiors.
It looks beautiful amidst the Gobi Dessert, but also takes social responsibility very seriously. It has banned plastic use, protects wildlife and puts its profits to good use by supporting struggling nomads.
10. The Brando, French Polynesia
“Tetiaroa is beautiful beyond my capacity to describe.MARLON BRANDO
One could say that Tetiaroa is the tincture of the South Seas.”
If you tell me, you don’t want to visit French Polynesia then I know you’re lying!! The Brando is located on a small atoll of islands and occupies Tetiaroa, east of Tahiti. It has 35 villas overlooking a white sandy beach with a plethora of unique wildlife including turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. When I visited French Polynesia, we looked into staying at The Brando (you know, just to humour ourselves!!) and yep this private island celebrity retreat really does not come cheap but if money was no issue, I would stay here because I’m fascinated by their sustainability efforts. As well as all the usual eco-friendly features, it has a swanky seawater air-conditioning system (SWAC), which reduces energy demands by greater than 80%!
Read More About my favourite Hotels: 30 Beautiful Hotels Around The World
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That’s my round up of some of my dream Eco-friendly hotels that are on my radar or I have already visited. There are so many out there and we have many right here in the UK too. Let me know what makes up a dream hotel for you in the comments below.