Right now, our environmental conscience is bigger than ever. From free-range food to organic cosmetics and energy-saving light bulbs, we’re seeing a great shift in how we are choosing to live. Now, responsible travel is in the spotlight as more and more of us choose to enjoy eco-tourism.
A recent travel survey found that although aspiring eco-travellers want to stay in greener accommodations, they don’t want to sacrifice their plush hotels, meaning that boutique hotels with sustainability programmes are cashing in on this fantastic travel trend. Whilst many of these BoutiquEco hotels dress their re-claimed wood beds with organic silk sheets, we have unearthed some are some that are so luxuriously responsible that even royalty approve. Here are our top picks…
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
Drift off to sleep in a private clifftop residence or a vast beach-side villa at Soneva Kiri, safe in the knowledge that your impact on the stunning Koh Kood island has been creatively reduced. Sustainable-luxe architecture provides reclaimed wooden verandahs that makes the most of the sea views, whilst environmentally friendly electric buggies (with Rolls Royce Phantom-inspired dashboards) help you get around in bare-foot style.
Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Misool Eco Resort is an exclusive diving paradise in Indonesia and a model for caring for the community it lies within. Surrounded by pristine coral reef, you can eat fresh fish, caught from outside their “No-Take Zone” or take part in a Reef Restoration Experience before sleeping in your luxurious Water Cottage, which rests on stilts in the temperate water.
Bambu Indah, Bali
Serving organically grown produce that’s picked fresh every day, Bambu Indah invites you to stay in one of its eleven “recycled” teak bridal homes, brought to this Bali from Java, where they were crafted over 100 years ago. After swimming in the chemical-free pool and dining on exclusive meals created from time-honoured recipes, guests are encouraged to learn about sustainable bamboo architecture on a Green Village Tour.
Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
As one of South Africa’s most exclusive game reserves, Lion Sands offers an incredible boutique experience where personal butlers serve your every need in romantic treehouse-style lodges. In addition, this reserve supports the Bhubezi Community Projects trust, which works to provide families with better education, living standards and healthcare.
Mnemba Island, Tanzania
This “award-winning barefoot beach paradise” on one of Zanzibar’s pristine, white-sand beach islands, will help you return to source in unrivalled style. Like all of &Beyond’s properties, Mnemba Island is built with a small environmental footprint and its tours and safaris exist to educate as well as delight. This boutique hotel works with its community development partner, Africa Foundation, to empower communities and promote conservation.
Adrere Amellal, Siwa, Egypt
Resting in the Siwa Oasis, Adrere Amellal offers a unique boutique hotel experience deep in the Egyptian desert. Free from the electrical hum of 21st century life, each candle-lit building is crafted from the surrounding earth, enabling it to blend perfectly into its environment, cocooning its guests in an all-natural calm.
Laguna Lodge, Guatemala
Set in its own nature reserve, Laguna Lodge perches on the edge of the sublime Lake Atitlan, where volcano views are enjoyed with a glass of delicious organic wine from your minibar (powered by renewable energy from 180 solar panels). Rooms are decorated with superb indigenous antiques and Maya weavings, rainwater is harvested, the gardens are filled with edible plants and absolutely everything is recycled, composted or re-used.
Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize
The peaceful Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize has its sustainable tourism practices verified by the Rainforest Alliance. In strong support of the country’s commitment to eco-tourism, this exclusive Family Coppola resort combines a love for beautiful design with a passion for progressive sustainable practices. Elegant dwellings are cooled by clever ventilation, plush sheets are washed in biodegradable detergents and vegetables for the restaurant are picked from the hotel’s organic garden.
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
From intelligently designed spaces to the use of solar energy, Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa enables you to take in the majestic splendour of Torres del Paine from your bed, your private bath or the indulgent Uma Spa. This minimalist boutique hotel features luxurious Patagonian textiles and proudly supports Reforest Patagonia, which aims to plant 1,000,000 trees in Chilean Patagonia.
Hotel Endemico, Ensenada, Mexico
Hotel Endemico is a collection of twenty luxurious cabins, designed by Gracia Studio and built by a team of local tradesmen to offer unobstructed views of Mexico’s wine region. Blending in seamlessly with the breathtaking landscape, these wooden pods provide you with a personal and private space to relax in, complete with a Mexican Kiva.
Uxua, Bahia, Brazil
Artisanal, authentic and sustainable all perfectly describe the rustic elegance of Uxua hotel in Trancoso, southern Bahia. A place of inspiration and tranquility for the global art community, this boutique beach hotel provides organic spa treatments with its potent signature ingredient, Almescar resin. It also offers Capoeira classes with 100% of the class fees going to Trancoso’s Capoeira Sul da Bahia academy.
Offering a truly unique collection of treehouse lodgings for you to escape to, Treehotel is Sweden’s most magical boutique hotel. Never losing style over sustainability, this imaginative woodland retreat lets you dream as you’re suspended up to six metres off the ground. The structures are built on live trees without destroying the tree, hardly ever affecting the natural surroundings at all.
Kalnoky, Transylvania, Romania
Kalnoky, focussed on creating a peaceful atmosphere for its guests, is Prince Charles’ private nature retreat in Transylvania. Surrounded by meadows and forests, this exclusive boutique residence has been traditionally restored and lovingly cared for. One of its smaller properties is now being converted into a training centre for traditional crafts and rural skills to help sustain Romania’s villages.
Emulating the peace and soulfulness of ancient monasteries, Eremito offers space to meditate and de-programme from the system. Its luxuriously silent rooms are free from modern disruptions like Wi-Fi and televisions and instead focus on healing stressed minds and bodies with natural materials, hemp-yarn bedding and green valley views.
In the heart of the Swiss Alps, Whitepod is an eco-luxury boutique hotel, designed to blend environmental conservation and superior hospitality seamlessly. Menus and each of the 15 pods (energy efficient geodesic domes) are adapted seasonally to blend in with the surroundings and maintain a low impact on the environment. Night lighting is minimal, water and energy usage is sensible, private ski lifts are as standard.
…Finally you made it to the end of our our long post. Thanks for reading, M&K
We were happy if you answered our questions:
Have you stayed in a BoutiquEco hotel? What did you love about it?