Most people love to travel. I for one am a big fan of exploring new places and seeing the world. While some people prefer backpacking and camping, others might prefer to stay in a luxury hotel somewhere. The issue is that many of those luxurious places are simply far from sustainable and often do more harm than good. Yet, wanting to experience luxury while traveling does not have mean being super unsustainable or harming the environment. An increasing number of hotels are taking steps to become more eco-friendly. Sustainable luxury is possible to some extent and the following hotels prove that:
Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, Maldives
Soneva is a luxury hotel brand that has done a lot of work to become one the most sustainable chains out there. On top of that list is the Soneva Fushi, which is known as the pioneer of eco resorts on the Maldives. Recycling their material and using the initiative “Waste-to-Wealth” to recycle 90% of the resort waste are two of the ways the resort is working toward eco-friendly luxury tourism. The “Waste-to-Wealth” initiative also teaches locals swimming and surfing while also educating people about sustainable activities and protecting the environment. The sister-resort Soneva Jani is as eco-friendly. The hotel grows its own vegetables and spices and supports tree planting operations that guests can participate in. They also propagate 50,000 corals a year at each resort.
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
Oman is a country filled with beautiful nature, white beaches and impressive Wadis. No wonder, Six Senses Zighy Bay is doing all it can to preserve the natural wonders of the place. Local produce, its own drinking water production and a zero-waste policy which makes sure that more than 80 percent of the hotel’s waste is either re- or upcycled, are some of the ways, this 5-star property has become one of the most eco-friendly resorts.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
Another Soneva resort made this list. The Soneva Kiri in Thailand has its own carbon calculator that measures any hotel emissions precisely, whether that is paper usage, food, water usage or waste. That way the resort is able to keep its emissions in check. They also have protection initiatives for the flora and fauna in the region.
Capella Ubud, Bali
Bali is a long-time favorite among travelers, which has also caused a lot of harm throughout the years. The Capella resort is surrounded by rainforest and rice fields and has fully committed to protect the nature of the island through various initiatives including sustainability and education programs.
Jetwing Surf, Sri Lanka
The open designs of the cabanas means that Jetwing Surf hotel barely needs any energy in terms of air conditioning or ventilation. The natural materials that were used for the construction contribute significantly to the environmental friendliness of the hotel and ensure a very low impact on the surrounding vegetation, making it one of the most sustainable hotels on the island.
Secret Bay, Dominica
The first hotel of the Caribbean island that was awarded the Green Globe Certificate for its sustainable measures. The resort recycles all its waste, and food is prepared with local ingredients. Moreover, they only use biodegradable materials and the architecture of the property was built to use as little energy as possible.
Pikaia Lodge, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are well known for its extraordinary flora and fauna and the Islands are extremely protective of the environment. The Pikaia Lodge uses renewable energy, climate-neutral systems, biodegradable materials such as cleaning products and has also implemented a large social responsibility program to benefit future sustainable initiatives on this piece of paradise.
El Nido Resorts, Philippines
There are actually four of the El Nido Resorts in Palawan on the Philippines. All of them have fully committed to being fully sustainable resorts, which makes sense considering the islands on which they are located—Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island and Pangulasian Island—are all surrounded by lush flora, white beaches, crystal clear waters and beautiful natural lagoons.
The list of sustainable luxury hotels can go on and thankfully more and more resorts and hotels are joining in. While of course, luxury travel and sustainability will most likely never align to 100 percent, these properties are taking very important steps. People will always travel, it’s very unlikely that everyone would just stop visiting different places. In case you are a traveler that enjoys staying in luxury hotels at least this list can help in making a more conscious and eco-friendly decision on where to stay on your next trip.
Any luxury hotels that you would add to the list? Let me know! 🙂
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Photo: Soneva Fushi; Capella Ubud