When you are jetting off on holiday it’s hard to imagine how you can be green and help conserve the environment. We have compiled a list of the top eco-friendly hotels leading the way by being as environmentally conscious as possible. If you want to ‘go green’, these are the hotels to go to…
1. Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel and Alpine Experience – Swiss Alps
Although these pods may look like something out of a Sci-Fi film, they are actually part of a luxury eco-friendly hotel in the Swiss Alps. The pods are dome-like and their surroundings are green in the summer and white in the winter.
To reduce carbon emissions each pod has its own wood-burning stove with wood pellets and energy-efficient LED light bulbs. They also stay green by using organic luxury bedding and local spring water, and work to reduce their electricity and water use. The restaurant serves sustainable fish and locally-sourced meat.
Take note – This Swiss hotel won a Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor in 2013. The hotel’s Ecological Policy is in place to show it is dedicated to being part of sustainable tourism.
2. Hotel Catalonia Ses Estaques – Ibiza
This hotel is at the north-eastern tip of Santa Eulalia, located in a rocky peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The resort is aimed at couples rather than families as they do not accept children under the age of sixteen.
As part of their green initiatives the hotel has eco-friendly housekeeping, allowing guests to reuse towels and bedding when they want to rather than them being changed every day.
Take note – The hotel won a Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor in 2013 and a Travelife Gold Award. One of the many requirements needed for the hotel to achieve this award was to record energy consumption on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
3. Urnatur resort – Sweden
Urnatur can be translated as meaning “You are nature.”
Nature is the ethos of this resort in the middle of southern Sweden. The family business grew from a small farm to a holiday resort. The wood hermitage sits next to the farm and hosts a collection of cabins and a treehouse. If you enjoy some after-dark reading on holiday you can use the light of kerosene lamps, candles or solar powered lights. The treehouse does not have electricity so it’s wise to take a torch (preferably a wind-up one to be as green as possible).
Dine on lamb from the farm’s own flock, accompanied by homegrown vegetables cooked with wild herbs, berries, mushrooms or birch sap, which are foraged in the Halaved Forest. By using local ingredients you are reducing the journey your food makes to your plate.
Take note – The hotel received five stars from Eco Hotels of the World and is a member of the Ecotourism Society of Sweden.
4. El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma – Mexico
This hotel has all the bells and whistles, including seven a la carte restaurants, butler service on the shorefront and beach barbecues. You know you are headed for a special holiday when you are welcomed with a glass of champagne.
The El Dorado Seaside Suites not only achieve excellence in luxury, but also work to protect the loggerhead turtles on the beach by ensuring the environment is ideal for nesting season.
Take note – The resort was voted in the top 25 hotels for romance on TripAdvisor and has won a Travelife Gold award. This year the hotel was the winner of the Travellers’ Choice award for 2014.
5. Milia Mountain Retreat – Crete
This scenic retreat in Greece is surrounded by trees and mountain tops, providing some great opportunities to enjoy walking tours in the valleys. Located in the area of Kissamos, this retreat has a sense of history as it was originally an authentic 17th century mountain settlement that has been transformed into a modern retreat.
Cottages contain orthopaedic-ecological mattresses, hot running water and a garden or balcony. They focus on solar energy and cooking is done with a wood burning stove in the kitchen.
Take note – National Geographic gave it their stamp of approval describing it as “a top ecolodge for family, active adventures and local culture.”
6. Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa – Eagle Beach, Aruba
A trip to this Caribbean resort is a paradise for those who love being a stone’s throw from the sand. The resort is located on Eagle Beach, which has been named by TripAdvisor as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It is also the widest stretch of sand in Aruba.
The two-storey Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa has 70 ocean and garden view rooms, so you are guaranteed to wake up to the sound of the waves. To be more energy-efficient all of the deluxe guest rooms are insulated by weather strips and the patio sliding doors are tinted with double glazing to improve the efficiency of the air conditioning.
Take note – The resort saves water and electricity through an effective towel and linen reuse program. Glass bottles, aluminium cans and paper are collected by room attendants and recycled. Little wonder then that this hotel has achieved the Travelife Gold award.