5 of the most stunning eco-hotels in the world
These green beauties are so fabulous it feels like the environment is doing you a favour. Here are five of our favourite eco-friendly hotels, from all over the world.
From hemp uniforms to community programmes, each of these luxury eco-hotels resets the bar for what is possible. This isn’t about greenwashing or washing linen a little less, this is putting the planet and people before profit - and creating once in a lifetime amazing stays for you at the same time.
Thu 24 Aug 2017
UXUA, Trancoso, Brazil
Until the 1970s you couldn’t even get to Trancoso by road - it’s a slice of beachside hippy heaven in northern Brazil. But luxury eco-hotel UXUA is a cut above. Made up of different casas, originally built for the town’s fishermen, it’s become an integral part of the town’s experience.
Sit out on the historic quadrado and dine under ancient trees strung by lights. Stay in the luxurious treehouse, made from reused timber, where A-list models often book into (this is one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s favourite eco-escapes). Eco-friendly UXUA has also kickstarted a new artisan textiles industry, funds endless local projects and schools and even employs a lobbyist to protect the beautiful UNESCO heritage coastline against developers.
The Scarlet, Cornwall, UK
The Scarlet sits on some of the prettiest Cornish coast, overlooking the Mawgan Porth bay. Floor to ceiling windows and a stacked container kind of arrangement for its rooms mean that everyone gets the best views of the stunning sunsets.
This adults only eco hotel and eco-friendly spa is one of the best eco-hotels in the UK, where it’s about luxury but not needless overconsumption. There’s a natural pond pool for dipping yourself in amongst the reeds, a wooden barrel hot tub where you can sip local bubbly as the sun is setting. The restaurant focuses on Cornish and seasonal and a daily changing breakfast menu does the same.
The award-winning green hotel has a gold grading from Green Tourism and regularly gives to local charities.Its style and decor has been designed to be as sustainable as possible, there’s no AC for example and as much waste as possible is recycled and reused.
Eco-retreat La Donaira in Spain is a permaculture farm slash luxury eco-escape. The guesthouse sleeps eight, the food is mostly produced on site from its organic farm and the wine’s local - the estate has its own vineyards. Swim in the natural pool, help out in the medicinal and kitchen gardens or hike some of La Donaira’s many trails - there are 250 hectares to explore. Biodynamic and permaculture experts often host residences or you can just kick back in the all natural, all organic eco-spa - we think it’s one of the best in Europe.
1Hotels is an American eco-friendly hotel chain and its Central Park spot is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Manhattan and in NYC. Its living wall can be spotted blocks away, the light and airy lobby mixes high tech with lo-fi natural art. Even the keycards are made from recycled wooden offcuts and the flowers are locally sourced and sustainably grown.
In the rooms, there’s super soft hemp linen, all the wood is reclaimed and you’ll find healthy moss (that's good for the air quality) in the shower. Much of the decor is reclaimed, everything is recycled and even the hangers are made from old birthday cards.
There’s a farm-to-fork restaurant downstairs from wonderchef Jonathan Wexman and a fruit cart in the lobby stacked full of fresh fruit and healthy snacks. The hotel can also hook you into green and environmental goings on in New York, help you find yoga or mindfulness classes or rent bikes to get around. This is urban eco-luxury at its best.
Inkaterra has redefined what ecotourism is both in Peru and across the world. It has been in the business of supporting the environment since 1978 and each of its five eco-hotels and lodges in Peru have been painstakingly built, ensuring they’re not damaging the biodiversity and can give back to the local community from the start.
The Reserva Amazonica sits on the Madre di Dios river and is in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Over 540 types of exotic bird have been found here, there's a seven kilometre trail you can walk and spot lizards, birds and other animals, explore the river at dusk on a guided boat trip or even head into the rainforest at night. You can also experience the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway which spans seven bridges between the tree canopy so you can get a unique view of the jungle.
Want to lighten your footsteps? 5 easy ways to carbon offset your holidays.
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