Environmentally conscious comes in all packages these days - not just tie-dye and cheesecloth. Case in point: hotels – gone are the days when "sustainable" was synonymous with "rugged".
The travel gurus at Kayak.com shared their top picks for the world's most beautiful eco resorts, offering sustainability and style in spades. Here are seven of their top hotels that won't cost the earth — at least, not literally.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of urban Indonesia, Alila Villas Soori is set between the rice fields and coastline. Designed in accordance with the EarthCheck international environmental standards, the resort is completely water efficient, using rainwater to meet all of their water needs. More than half of all ingredients, goods, and services are purchased from the local area and locally sourced materials such as sandstone and natural stones were used in building the resort.
The beachfront Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is all about luxury. What’s more, it was the first hotel in Hawai’i with an LEED certification (one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide). Designed to minimise waste and harmful emissions as well as reducing energy and water consumption, this hotel stresses the importance of sustainable design. The hotel boasts a solar hot water system, variable speed chillers, and motion sensor lighting controls. The rooms also have an automated temperature control and their glassware is made out of recycled wine bottles.
1 Hotel South Beach lives and breathes sustainability. From the closet hangers made out of recycled paper to the recycled glassware and water filters, this hotel is fiercely committed to eco-friendly practices. Treat yourself to healthy food from the plant-based menus and sunset yoga to make your stay extra special.
The Park Hyderabad has fused local culture with innovative design to ensure its LEED Gold certification. The exterior of the hotel maximises natural light, meaning that the Hyperbad has been able to reduce the need for electricity. It also offers green transport including bikes and electric cars for all guests.
The Spice Island Beach Resort is a luxurious destination that aims to blend and co-exist with the island’s native environment. There is a focus on maximising the preservation of the island through actions including community clean-ups, solar heating, and non-chlorinated pools. Not stopping there, the resort has also banned smoking of any kind to minimise littering and help place emphasis back on body and soul renewal.
Located on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, The Andaman takes eco-friendly to the next level. Substitute energy is used for the majority of its functions such as energy efficient light bulbs, low-flow shower heads, and pre-programmed light and air conditioning settings. Motorised water sports activities are also prohibited to reduce water pollution and coral damage. Guests are also encouraged to do their bit with guest activites including coral reef enhancement and tree program.
Hoshinoya Karuizawa was built around century-old trees and rivers running down from Mount Asama. The river plays a key role in powering the hotel with hydroelectricity that provides 70% of the resort’s energy. The resort has been famous since the first hot spring bath was dug there in 1914. Once you’ve experienced bathing in the soundscape of Hoshinoya Karuizawa, you will understand the pull this hotel has with its guests.
Jetwing Vil Uyana can be found within a man-made wetland and nature reserve, home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, butterflies, and amphibians. The hotel itself is made of recycled materials, with woven reed walls, and a cogon grass roof. Take a step back to simpler living by spending a week here, waking up to the sun glistening over the paddy field every morning. Can you think of anything better?