Sustainability and adopting a green lifestyle has become the new vogue. Environmental awareness has become second nature for most of us, and that includes when we travel around the globe. Eco-friendly resorts are becoming more and more common as the trend towards environmentally-friendly tourism increases, and businesses cater to this growing market.
However, especially in the Asia Pacific region, eco-friendly resorts and hotels are not nearly as common as they need to be to ensure continued growth of the tourism industry whilst maintaining environmental care, according to Sustainable Tourism Online (STO).
Feature image photo credit: Marina del Castell/Flickr
Photo credit: Frontierofficial/Flick (Fiji)
1. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
Overlooking Savusavu Bay, the eco-friendly resort is built in traditional Fijian village style, and offers a tropical island paradise for guests to get lost in. The resort maintains an organic garden through Fijian and international sustainable agriculture practises, and guests also have access to abundant tropical fruits at their leisure, including coconut, pineapple, guava, lime, mandarin and mango. The resort offers education in nature preservation and sustainable commerce to young guests.
Further attributes of the resort include:
- No reef fish or farmed prawns are served in the restaurants
- The marine area around the resort is protected
- A water reclamation and waste treatment plant
- Low voltage lighting, solar water-heating, and locally sourced timber for construction
2. Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
The Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam is part of a long chain of eco-friendly resorts and hotels, and was recognized by National Geographic Traveller as one of the top eco-friendly resorts in the world. The chain was founded in 1995, and is credited with pioneering the benchmarks of sustainability in the hospitality industry.
3. Sapphire Freycinet, Tasmania
The lodge is built on the site of an old caravan park, and has repaired the damage sustained to the landscape in its prior state. Revegetation with local plants has helped to restore the flora and fauna of the area. Primarily local ingredients are used in the restaurant, rainwater is conserved and minimal lighting is used at night.
4. h2hotel, California, USA
The h2hotel is constructed from a large proportion of recycled materials, uses smart sensors for air conditioning and lighting to control energy usage, and low-flow faucets to control water consumption. It is also designed to use less energy for heating and cooling the building. It even goes as far as using energy efficient and eco-friendly elevators. Bicycles are provided free for guests to use.
5. Grootbos, South Africa
If you’re headed to South Africa then one of the amazing places that you can stay is the 5-star luxury lodge Grootbos. The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is nestled between both mountain and sea and is only two hours away from the mother city, Cape Town.
Grootbos may not be the most green hotel on the list, but it does its part in ecotourism by funding the Grootbos Foundation, as well as the development of sustainable nature-based livelihoods amongst local communities.
Photo credit: kyhuskers2/Flickr (Swiss Alps)
6. White Pod, Swiss Alps
White Pod offers an exciting concept for eco-friendly travelers because, as the name suggests, you will get to stay in a white pod: an architecturally fascinating high-tech tent. The luxury accommodation features a wood-burning stove, bathroom, terrace and tea kitchen. You can also enjoy unobstructed views of Lake Geneva and enjoy the Japanese bath and Finnish sauna, all while knowing you are reducing your carbon footprint by choosing eco-friendly accommodation.
7. Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Lapa Rios Ecolodge is located along a ridge in a 1000-acre Rainforest Reserve, where you can listen to the sound of monkeys howling and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing. The eco-friendly resort has many sustainable initiatives including heating its water with solar power and using locally made, biodegradable and organic soaps, lotions and shampoos.
The lodge also pledges to protect the 1,000 acres on it’s private reserve against the effects of poaching and deforestation, both of which are big problems in the Osa Peninsula area. The hotel has no internet, phones, TVs or radios, and is a perfect centre for the technologically-addicted to overcome their addictions.
As you can see from the list above, there is certainly no need to worry about poor amenities and reduced luxury at these eco-friendly resorts, just a clear conscience and good night’s rest. So if you’re passionate about ecotourism, book your next vacation at one of these great eco-friendly resorts.