An eco-friendly hotel is an option for tourists choosing both a comfortable stay and a responsible approach to the environment. These hotels are built with organic materials which reduce damage to the surrounding nature, provide visitors with clean water, a menu of locally produced foods, and are often found in protected areas.
The Brando, Tetiaroa (Private Island)
Island Brando in French Polynesia is actor Marlon Brando’s eco-dream brought to life. It’s on of the top eco-friendly resorts in the world. In the past, this heavenly corner was reserved exclusively for Tahiti’s royal family, but today the private island welcomes all visitors and is one hundred percent powered by renewable energy.
The villas have been built away from the beaches, so that they don’t interfere with the sea turtles. Getting to the island is possible only by a private jet from the resort, as the priority is to protect of coral reefs. Tourists can explore the ancient temples of the Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa and even encounter huge coconut crabs.
The Lodge at Valle Chacabuco, Chile
This eco-hotel in the Chilean Chacabuco Valley is located in the heart of Patagonia Park, which once was a pasture for sheep and cattle. Guests have access to hiking trails, scenic camping and hiking tours. Mountain huts made of stone have been quarried in the valley. Decorated with marble and recycled wood, they operate according to a strict “green” policy regarding their use of electricity and biodegradable cleaning products.
The park protects several thousand square kilometers of land and grazing herds of deer and guanaco, walking flocks of pink flamingos, wandering foxes, armadillos, pumas and many other species of birds and mammals.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach, United States of America
Rancho Laguna Beach is an environmental campsite on the Pacific Coast, south of Los Angeles. Here, the negative effect on the environment is minimized. The resort areas use “secondary” water for irrigation and have been since 2015. The project saves more than 84 million liters of water per year. The largest organic garden provides restaurants with seasonal fruits and vegetables.
All cabins adhere to a composting and recycling policy. Guests can relax in the spa-salon and outdoor swimming pool, play golf and see the deer at the grassy slopes, sit outside and enjoy the local wines, as well as trying out classic Californian water sports such as surfing and kayaking.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Australia
Families from all over the world travel to the O’Reilly Rainforest Retreat on the Gold Coast of Australia for outdoor recreational activities — where 48 villas are situated on the hillside.
Guests at O’Reilly have the amazing opportunity to see more than 160 species of sub-tropical birds and other local fauna in Lamington National Park.
Among the many entertainment possibilities are a walk and picnic at any of the five hundred nearby waterfalls, complemented by a visit to the Waitomo caves, local animals and wine from the nearby Kanongry Valley vineyards .
Fregate Private Island, Seychelles
16 villas plus a large estate are located along the rocky coast of the island of Fregate. Each villa is equipped with a terrace and there’s a swimming pool next to the organic garden complex. Guests can swim with the dolphins and whale sharks in the Indian Ocean.
The Seychelles has remained intact throughout most of its history. It’s been used for sugar cane plantations and for cultivating vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. The owners and staff at the hotel embody decades of projects involving the restoration of local ecosystems, for example: farming without pesticides, plant transplants, protecting green sea turtle nests and those of rare tropical birds. They also created a nursery ground for the giant Aldabra tortoise population. The number of tortoises has increased from 150 to more than 2,200 tortoises over recent years!
Il Ngwesi, Kenya
Another option for eco-tourism is to become acquainted with the culture of the Masai, as well as the hospitality of the African people at the safari lodges of Il Ngwesi in Northern Kenya. The complex is built entirely from local materials and is located in the hills near the river Mararoi Ngara-Ndare. A beautifully decorated veranda offers a breathtaking panorama view. The waterfalls also have an “secret” undeveloped recreational area nearby.
The trip includes a visit to the Mukogodo forest, camping, getting to know the local traditions of hunting and gathering honey, and seeing Maasai music and dancing. 85 thousand hectares of land have been set aside beneath the reserve, which is home to rare white rhinos, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, jackals, leopards and lions, as well as bat-eared foxes — a species under threat of extinction. Visitors can explore the reserve with the help of a local guide.
Manawa Ridge, New Zealand
Hotel Manawa Ridgeon is on a
hilltop and has panoramic views of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. This is where eco-tourism has joined up with really creative work. The hotel was constructed using mud bricks, adobe blocks and recycled wood.
The rooms are decorated with sculptures and paintings and offer great organic toiletries. Around the beaches, hills and forests you’ll find many areas for recreation. The staff also organize art workshops where visitors can create their own sculptures from the peninsula’s volcanic rock.
Topas Ecolodge, Vietnam
The town of Sapa is a major tourist destination in northern Vietnam. The Topas Ecolodge is a small mountain resort at the peak of two hills. Electricity use is kept to a minimum, while all the kitchen waste and food scraps are given to farmers to feed their livestock. Empty bottles, jars and boxes are donated to local people for recycling and reuse.
Filtered waste water is collected in special tanks to irrigate the soil in the area. The main part of the tour here is a visit to the mountain villages to see the local tribal culture. The hotel offers local produce for visitors as well as many types of leisure activities, including mountain biking and hiking at the Hoàng Liên National Park, one of the most popular destinations for eco-tourism.
Sápmi Nature Camp, Sweden
Here the reindeer share stories of the traditional Sami way of life with guests at the northern Swedish Sápmi Nature Camp. The owner of the “base”, Pitchha Lennart (Lennart Pittja), is a specialist in the development and promotion of Sami tourism, and he presents guests with a different kind of vacation — one that does not deplete natural resources nor violates the lives of the local people.
Tourists can watch the northern lights and the starry sky from their cozy lodges, visit the reindeer pastures and become better acquainted with the culture of northern Sweden.
Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Greece
A crystal-clear river, bottomless ravines and snowy mountain tops — this is your view from the window at the Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas. Tourists can rent a room or even an entire house with wood carvings in the mountains of northern Greece.
Accommodation is built from stone and wood so that it stays in harmony with the local landscape. The lights all use LED lightbulbs and waste water is processed using a high-tech system of tertiary treatment. Here, waste is recycled to its maximum potential. Visitors can go on a tour of the Vikos Gorge, perhaps try kayaking and rafting, visit historical locations and fairs, as well as enjoy luxurious spa-treatments.