With travel’s post-pandemic comeback comes a more conscientious mindset. Travelers are increasingly looking for eco-luxury hotels, those doing their part to reduce their footprint; leaving the world a little bit cleaner and greener. We scoured the globe in search of the most sustainable hotels where the focus is on eco-friendly materials, organic onsite gardens, green beauty, protected ecosystems, recycling programs, and solar power. Yes, it seems you can have your sustainable cake and eat it too.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Located on its own private atoll in the Indian Ocean, Six Senses Laamu employs a resident marine team dedicated to preserving fragile underwater ecosystems including sea turtles, manta rays, and seagrass meadows. On land, water filters (sponsored by the hotel) eliminate the need for up to 6 million plastic water bottles and provide locals with access to safe drinking water.
Bambu Indah, Bali
The creation of designers (and long-time Bali residents), John and Cynthia Hardy, Bambu Indah began with the restoration of 11 meticulously restored antique Javanese bridal homes. The couple has since added luxurious bamboo ‘tents’ and sustainable initiatives including filtered water, organic bath products, composting, and recycling programs. Bathe in freshwater pools, dine on organic meals served on bamboo leaves (in lieu of plates), and avoid light pollution — at night candlelight, oil lamps and the stars guide the way.
Cielo Lodge, Costa Rica
Set along the stunning waters of the Golfo Dulce on the Pacific coast, Cielo Lodge’s six canopy suites run on solar power and a micro-hydropower system. Sixty years ago the rainforest surrounding the lodge was partially logged and today the hotel is committed to reforesting. More than 4,000 native hardwood and fruit trees have already been planted.
Villa Copenhagen, Denmark
Housed in a 1912 post office (next to Tivoli Gardens), the 390-bed Villa Copenhagen fuses the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into its operations. The rooftop pool is heated by excess energy from the hotel’s cooling systems; the designer ‘Earth Suite’ was created from recycled materials and textiles; while the chic staff uniforms are by Sur le Chemin, a Danish fashion brand committed to sustainable design.
Eustatia Island, British Virgin Islands
Dreamy Eustatia Island is the ultimate private island fantasy. Where else can you rent your own private island (with 14 of your closest friends)? But there is science behind the magic. Fueled by the Caribbean sun, Eustatia is 100% solar-powered. Vehicles on the island are all electric-powered with solar panels mounted on the rooftop for charging.
Song Saa Private Island Cambodia
From its very beginning, the vision for this luxurious sustainable retreat was to be green — inside and out. Each of Song Saa’s stunning villas comes with repurposed furniture, the tables are made from driftwood and the floorboards from old wooden fishing boats and a custom-built wastewater treatment facility cleans all of the water, while 100% of all waste created on the island is recycled.
Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaii
In 2009, this North Shore Oahu hotel established a ‘Green Committee’ to focus on lowering the property’s carbon footprint. Today the stunning oceanfront property, recently renovated, boasts a solar roof, intense recycling efforts, regular beach clean-ups, and preservation of nearly 1,300 acres of private land.
Tierra Patagonia, Chile
Set beside craggy mountains and the glistening Lake Sarmiento in Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra Patagonia is renowned for blending in with its nature-filled surroundings. But most do not know that, during its build, landscape artists carefully removed all of the vegetation on-site and then replanted it when construction was complete. The hotel continues to support reforestation by planting a tree for every guest.