Eco-traveller: 5 luxe sustainable hotels to choose for your next holiday
Environmental sustainability is one of the fastest growing concerns in the world right now. And with the growing realisation that our world and its resources indeed do have limits, the movement is here to stay. Sustainability has changed the way we buy our clothes, food and resources; and the hospitality industry has been quick to catch on. So if you’re the type to use a keep cup, carry calico shopping bags and say no to fast and disposable fashion, then you might want to consider making a sustainable change to the way you travel by staying in eco-friendly accommodation. Below, we’ve listed a few of our favourites.
Treehotel, Sweden (above)
Comprised of seven treetop suites suspended high in a pine forest surrounding Lule River in north Sweden, the Treehotel is what happens when you leave architecture in the hands of nature. Boasting cutting-edge design and construction techniques, the hotel is built from environmentally friendly materials so that it remains unobtrusive to the natural environment. True to its name, the ‘Birds Nest’—a 17-metre-square suite accessible only via a retractable staircase—blends into its surroundings with its branch-like form. The ‘Mirrorcube’ is equally impressive, camouflaging with the natural environment thanks to mirrored walls that reflect the woodland surrounds.
For more information and to book, visit: treehotel.se
White Pod, Switzerland
Arguably an advocate for sustainability before the (very necessary) trend filtered its way to the travel industry, White Pod in the Swiss Alps won the First Choice Responsible Tourism Award in 2005 for its forward-thinking approach to design and environmental sustainability. The dome-style accommodation requires approximately 30 per cent less energy to heat and cool the space, and the hotel has also implemented various water-and-power-saving initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including restricting transport on site so that guests and staff are encouraged to walk.
For more information and to book, visit: whitepod.com
Proximity Hotel, North Carolina
In terms of LEED certification, there are three levels of standards that apply—certified, silver and gold. But what happens when a restaurant or hotel exceeds these standards? Proximity Hotel in North Carolina is the first hotel in the United States to be awarded a Platinum LEED rating for its sustainable practices, which include more than one-squared-kilometre’s worth of solar panelling to produce the hotel’s hot water. Add to that, energy-saving construction technology, incentives to reduce environmental erosion, use of geothermal energy and unparalleled recycling standards—and you can see why its eco rating went off the charts.
For more information and to book, visit: proximityhotel.com
Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives
Proving that a tropical island vacation doesn’t need to compromise on ecological sustainability, Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives is certified as a sustainable tourism destination by Green Globe. In 2013, the hotel installed a water bottling plant as part of an ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. The plant provides mineralised drinking water to guests and staff, saving up to 100,000 plastic bottles each year. Supporting marine conservation, the resort has a resident marine biologist on site and regularly runs outreach programs that involve clean-up initiatives for the reef and island.
For more information and to book, visit: jumeirah.com
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico
This luxury five-star resort in Playa del Carmen is situated along a beautiful lagoon and strip of beach for maximum serenity, but its 129 rooms have been built with the environment firmly in mind. Designed to blend in with nature, it boasts Rainforest Alliance Certification thanks to a waste management program which recycles plastic, cardboard, paper, aluminium, scrap metal and paraffin, and donates organic waste to a local pig farm. Water is sourced from wells and treated by reverse osmosis, and the hotel uses biodegradable products to launder its linen. Furthermore, Rosewood Mayakoba is committed to supporting the local community by buying food, clothing, bags, decorations and crafts from local producers and artisans.
For more information and to book, visit: rosewoodhotels.com