Since 1974 June 5th has been a day to champion environmental action and encourage people – businesses, citizens, governments – to take measures to protect the world they live in. It’s a platform that inspires change and brings us together as a community, and this year, the theme is biodiversity. The travel industry and the tourists who support the sector both play their part: the former by considering the planet not only when building a hotel but also when running it, the latter by being environmentally-conscious and choosing eco-friendly hotels.
Our eco-friendly hotels span the globe, ranging from wineries with rooms in Italy to elephant conservation camps in Thailand. The common thread? A green ethos and an eco-footprint awareness. Read on for a selection of our eco-friendly hotels.
“Banyan Tree was founded with the core value of driving sustainable development,” says the hotel. Back in 2013, Group Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Operations David Campion said that working with local communities and celebrating their culture was “really a no-brainer” (Green Hotelier). Their mentality is encapsulated in their Brand for Good framework. Measures include: reducing and ultimately eliminating the use of single-use plastics, conserving resources through increased efficiency, and restoring the natural environment by planting trees. Plus lots more… The eco property is located an hour north of Da Nang on the central east coast; spread throughout lush, tropical gardens, the spacious pool villas offer privacy and luxury.
With a Gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) in 2014 and 2011, the team at this Cornish spot are stewards of responsible tourism. Thoughts are firmly on minimising energy and water waste and efficiency. One way they’ve achieved this is by switching to timer and LED lighting. Sourcing sustainable and local ingredients for on-site eateries Brasserie On The Bay with its scenic sea views, and Mediterranean-inspired Garden Kitchen is also key. Over the last half a decade the hotel has injected more than £5 million into renovating the property, and 90% of that money has gone to local suppliers. They also have a Green Information board to let guests know about environmentally-friendly activities and events. When you check into one of the contemporary bedrooms, be safe in the knowledge that an environmental strategy is in place.
Eco-friendly and luxurious, the focus at this Sicilian retreat is to offer nothing but the best Italian hospitality. The estate – once dedicated to olives and citrus fruit – was built in the late 19-century and restored with much respect to the original architecture, and also in keeping with the surrounding countryside. “The aspiration of eco-organic-sustainability is not just a passing fashion, it’s a mission that involves guests who want to be part of a system that respects the balance between the land and the needs of people,” says the hotel. And how do they accomplish that? Plastic use is minimised, much of the required energy is produced in-house via solar panels, and all toiletries and cleaning products are natural.
The first and only eco lodge and restaurant in Taroudant, this boutique property is managed with a keen eye on the environment and sustainability. They’ve been Green Key certified since 2012, and day-to-day, hot water is generated using solar panels, water from sinks and showers is recycled to nourish the gorgeous gardens, low consumption light bulbs are used where possible, and compost is made from kitchen waste. The landscaped grounds are filled with almost 900 species of flora, and as well as looking beautiful they help conserve threatened plants. Designed and built by local artisans using traditional materials and techniques, the bedrooms are individually furnished and decorated in traditional Moroccan style.
This group of eco-friendly hotels has outposts across the world including Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The common thread? Sustainable tourism is the driving force. This is realised by working to preserve destinations, making efforts to conserve ecological resources, taking part in environmental projects, supporting local communities, reducing, reusing and recycling waste, and donating to initiatives such as breeding efforts, coral adoption and mangrove planting. Each aims to achieve Green Growth certification, and the collective has set up a number of organisations across the globe, including The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant and The Mai Khao Marine Turtle foundations. Head to Bali and be greeted by a prime beachfront location; journey to Siem Reap and find yourself at an all-suite property just 15 minutes from Angkor Wat.
Perfectly positioned between the mountains and the Adriatic, this contemporary spot near Tivat has its own private beach, an infinity pool, a spa and several restaurants, and the stylish rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views to Trašte Bay. In tune with their commitment to the environment, the hotel was built using sustainable, energy-saving methods and designed to feel like an extension of the landscape. They’re also part of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification scheme, and have charging points for electric vehicles. Much thought is put into everything they do: if a new facility is in the pipeline, the impact to the earth is considered before proceeding.
This sustainable viticulture property sits perched on a hilltop overlooking the vines, and yet is just 40 minutes from Verona. The interior space has been elegantly restored using reclaimed materials, with the décor designed to harmoniously reflect the natural beauty of the peaceful rural setting. Environmentally-friendly air-conditioning in the bedrooms is powered by geothermal and solar systems, while floor-to-ceiling windows look out to the rolling hills and into the vineyard valley. The estate is dedicated to producing top-quality organic and biodynamic wine, and each day guests can taste a selection down in the wood beamed cellar.
Situated in an enviable enclave overlooking the historic castle of Santa Cruz in Galicia, the hotel’s philosophy of “rest, cuisine and wellbeing” is clearly evident in the personalised service on offer and their attention to detail. They’re committed to sustainability too: renewable geothermal energy is used, plastic use is minimised, water and paper waste has been reduced, and guests are provided with 100% natural toiletries made exclusively for the property. Plus, super-local and seasonal produce is used at the on-site restaurant, a contemporary and airy space where guests can feast on traditional Galician fare with a modern twist. Chef Carlos Cordero learned to cook from his mother and grandma, and his haute cuisine dinner menu includes tasty creations such as seafood cappuccino ravioli, and risotto with Iberian meat and shitake mushroom.