Eco-friendly travel is becoming more popular than ever as travelers look to practice preserving the beautiful world that they experience on vacation. Tourism accounts for around 8 percent of carbon emissions worldwide — which is a lot — and more and more hotels and resorts are starting to up their eco-friendly game and offer a service that impacts the world in a lesser way. From hotels that use more efficient cooling, lighting and heating systems, to hotels that feature recycled and sustainable materials, there’s a lot of accommodations that are improving their footprint. Subsequently, eco-friendly hotels are popping up around the world, with many in exotic, tropical destinations, offering stunning views and luxury accommodation, while supporting the environment and giving something back to the local community. New-York-based travel start-up AllTheRooms has pulled together the best eco-friendly sustainable hotels in the world:
1. Jumeirah Vittaveli Resort, Maldives
The incredible Jumeirah Vittaveli Resort in the Maldives has perfected the combination of eco-friendly travel and a luxury vacation experience. In the past, the hotel has been awarded Green Globe Certification (GGC) after a sustainability audit, meeting very strict standards to gain certification.
The Jumeirah Vittaveli has incorporated eco-friendly features such as LED light bulbs, pools heated by generators that run on heat recovery systems, and a water purification system that’s used to treat seawater and create fresh drinking water.
This water system saves the need to important 70,000 plastic water bottles yearly — which is an impressive eco-friendly achievement. Jumeirah Vittaveli also uses sustainable fishing practices and ethical food purchasing. The resort itself is five star, with stunning rooms and incredible sea views.
Its villas feature an open-concept layout, so guests can soak in the tropical beach views, while being graced by cool breezes, and therefore needing less air conditioning.
Its villas offer direct access to the beach or the adjacent lagoon.
2. Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Six Senses Con Dao is a stunning five-star resort located on the South China Sea in Con Dao, Vietnam. The resort is surrounded by jungle and white sand beaches and is home to stunning villas, private infinity pools, and outdoor showers.
You can also kick back and unwind at its onsite spa — which is a pure slice of luxury (discover what it takes to be labeled a luxury hotel). Six Senses Con Dao has been named one of the world’s best eco-friendly resorts by National Geographic, and it’s no surprise why: the resort was built using sustainable materials and its most impressive feature is that the structure of the resort was designed to maximize airflow and therefore reduce the need for air conditioning.
This has been hailed as a significant achievement for a destination such as Con Dao that has a humid, tropical climate.
3. Svart Hotel, Norway
Svart Hotel in Norway’s Arctic Circle is set to be one of the world’s most impressive eco-friendly and sustainable hotels.
The hotel has been built with the idea that it could produce more energy than it consumes in the coming years, making it an ‘energy-positive hotel’.
Svart Hotel is being constructed with solar panels to produce energy and using a variety of techniques it’s aiming to run on significantly lower energy consumption rates, creating a surplus.
This has been achieved by strategic placement of solar panels and the careful mapping of sun and weather patterns.
Svart Hotel is set to open in 2021 and is being built in a circular shape offering a 360-degree view of the stunning Svartisen Glacier.
4. H2Hotel, California
The H2Hotel in Healdsburg, California is one of the best, eco-friendly hotels in the US. It’s home to a grass-covered, curved roof that has been built specifically to filter and preserve rainwater.
The hotel has been kitted-out with rooftop solar panels, which direct energy to both heat the swimming pool and create hot water in the bathrooms of the hotel’s guest rooms.
H2Hotel was crafted to be as eco-friendly as possible. It was built on the former site of a gas station, and before the hotel’s construction, all previously contaminated soil was removed and the land was remediated. Its bathrooms use a dual-flush toilet system and low-flow faucets and fixtures, which reduce water use by 20%.
As for the hotel’s design, it features a luxury urban-come-eco-friendly interior, with sustainable bamboo flooring and detailing. The hotel also emphasizes its use of locally-sourced food, wine, and drink.
5. Tierra Patagonia, Chile
Tierra Patagonia lies on the edge of the Torres del Paine, Chile, and offers incredible views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and sweeping Patagonian valleys.
The upscale Tierra Patagonia hotel was constructed with maximum care for the environment. The vegetation that had sat on the land before the hotel’s construction was temporarily moved to a greenhouse and then replanted around the hotel once its construction was completed.
Tierra Patagonia uses LED lighting and the rooms have been fitted with thermal heating to reduce energy consumption. The hotel has been built in a style to fit into the natural Patagonian landscape and it features a stunning wooden design, plus it sits right next to a lake, so there are rooms that have lake-side views.
The hotel offers all-inclusive packages and features an onsite spa.
6. Hotel Verde, Zanzibar, Tanzania
The Verde Hotel in Zanzibar, Tanzania, takes eco-friendly one step further. This is one of the eco-friendly sustainable hotels that actually offers its guest rewards for sustainable activities, and the rewards, known as verdinos, can be used towards the final cost of your stay.
You can also pay in verdino currency for food, drinks, and coffee. Sustainable activities include walking up stairs instead of taking a lift, re-using towels and sheets, and properly recycling in the rooms bins.
It’s also been built with a reduced-energy heating and cooling system. The hotel offers luxury accommodation with rooms that have a private balcony facing the tropical mangrove forest. It’s also known for its incredible customer service.
If you can’t afford to visit some of these eco-friendly sustainable hotels — which often come with a high price tag — here are some tips to make any vacation more eco-friendly. There are various eco-friendly Treehouse hotels and Ice hotels as well which adds to the growing list of eco-friendly sustainable hotels.
Carmela Rodriguez: Carmela is a journalist from London. She’s traveled from Asia to South America, where she got (temporarily) lost in the Peruvian Amazon.
She quit the rainy UK and moved to Medellin, Colombia, where she has lived for two years.