Luckily, for all of you luxury connoisseurs, staying at an eco-resort doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a tent.
I found out hotels that are solar powered to those serving only locally sourced foods, these hotels combine the finer things in life with serious sustainable efforts.
Whitepod is a foremost example of eco-luxury. Designed to create an alternative experience in the Swiss Alps, the dome shaped tents make for low impact accommodations and are located away from any kind of urban pollution. The Pods are not like any tent you’ve ever seen. Besides offering beautiful views of Lake Geneva, they come with wood stoves, great insulation, luxury furniture and full service bathrooms. There are only fifteen pods and in the center lies a wooden chalet, where guests meet for breakfast or to hangout beside the main fireplace.
AMANGIRI, UTAH, USA
Amangiri resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the resort blends into its dramatic surrounds where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a raw landscape of immense power. The spa features a floatation therapy pavilion, water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge and step pool, fitness centre and yoga pavilion. The resort’s trail system and unrivalled backcountry access allow guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot. Amangiri is operated by Aman.
BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RETREAT, SOUTH AFRICA
Nestled in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains north of Cape Town, South Africa, lies Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat; an ecological oasis within a roughly hewn and magical land. Bushmans Kloof offers a distinctive wilderness experience among open plains and ancient sandstone formations. It is a place to reconnect with the natural world and feel the pulse of an extraordinary and ancient landscape. As a Relais & Châteaux property, the lodge offers splendid luxury, generous hospitality and all modern amenities.
Located on the Maraú Peninsula, this Brazilian hot spot is founded on sustainable ideals. The hotel is partly solar powered and the timber used during its construction originated from reforestation areas. Set on an oceanfront, you can go on boat rides, join in on planned walks, or just hang out by the pool. Kiaroa is place to relax and enjoy Brazil’s natural beauty. We recommend staying in a bungalow, where you’ll have ultimate privacy and your own pool.
The Upper House, Hong Kong
This is a hotel unlike what most people have ever seen. Resting on only the top eleven floors of a 49-story building, every room has extraordinary views. The hotel makes an effort to stay green, by eliminating its use of paper. Instead of an in-room directory there an Ipod touch, as well as the daily e-newspaper. On the sixth floor you will find a “secret garden” where guests can lay out on the grassy lawn or sit on beanbags and enjoy a delicious snack. All the food is locally sourced, so eat away. If you’re looking for something a little stronger than a snack, you can just take the elevator all the way up and have a drink at the Sky Lounge. Sit back, have a cocktail and look at the views of Hong Kong from the 49th floor. That’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
The Scarlett Hotel, United Kingdom
There is a lot to do at The Scarlett. With options like a four-hour deep fishing trip or horse riding on the beach, chances are you’ll be keeping busy. Try tree climbing or take a sustainability and eco course at Mount Pleasant Eco Park, and learn about nature either hands-on or in an educational setting. While luxurious, The Scarlett has taken the initiative to provide eco-resources, like recycling grey water to flush lavatories, which reduces the use of potable water. The hotel also harvests rainwater and its buildings have airtight seals, which keeps warm air in and cold air out, decreasing the amount of heat used from biomass boiler and solar panels.
SAFFIRE FREYCINET, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
Tasmania is a wild and diverse frontier on land and in its coastal waters, and 20-room Saffire Freycinet complements its grandiose surroundings instead of competing with them. Designed by award-winning Tasmanian architect Robert Morris Nunn, the intimate lodge evokes a connection to the sea through references to waves, sea creatures, sand dunes and a flowing, organic form. The lodge’s colours are inspired by the peninsula: the pink granite of the Hazards mountains, the white beaches, sapphire waters and the grey-green of the native bushland. The view from the patio’s is great, but you’ll be encouraged to explore the great outdoors, such as hiking to the nearby white sand beach or take out a mountain bike in search of marsupials.
SOUTHERN OCEAN LODGE, KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Southern Ocean Lodge is Australia’s first true luxury lodge, offering a unique and exclusive travel experience on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, dubbed ‘Australia’s Galapagos’ for its abundant wildlife (e.g. sea lions, kangaroos, and koala). Floating atop a secluded cliff on a rugged stretch of coast, the lodge commands peerless views of the wild Southern Ocean and pristine surrounding wilderness. The lodge’s 21 eco-chic luxury suites have mesmerizing views of the ocean and feature lavish king beds, sunken lounge, dramatic glass walled bathroom and outdoor terrace with occasional seating and daybed.
CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, open from May to September, promises an exotic paradox of indulgent luxury and remote, untamed wilderness in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within the Pacific Rim National Park). This unique 21st-century-safari-style enclave of great white canvas suite tents, dining, lounge, and spa tents, offers exquisite cuisine and breathtaking adventures, giving visitors a rare taste of how the fortunate spent their summers ‘roughing it’ some 100 years ago. Twenty guest and family suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered woodstoves and luxurious amenities. Watch out for bears and whales though!
Sustainability, finally, is becoming real for car, technology, and fashion brands. Hospitality companies are also jumping on the eco bandwagon.
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