Who knew taking care of the environment could be so luxurious? Maintaining wildlife conservancies, serving local produce, and reducing their environmental impact are just a few ways these hotels participate in sustainable tourism. There is no doubt that sustainable tourism is in the front of many traveler’s minds, and it is great to see so many hotels and resorts already ramping up their efforts to protect the planet. See all our eco-friendly hotels.
Pulu Gaya, Malaysia
The resort’s mission is to protect and preserve its underwater neighbors and their home. It has its own Marine Ecology Research Center – the MERC – that was launched in 2007 as a learning & education center but has since evolved to also highlight the threats that are directly impacting the island and its marine life. Their two key initiatives are the Giant Clam Restocking and Reef Regeneration programs, which both seek to actively undo some of the damage to the island and its ecosystem. There is even a program tailored specifically to children ages 7-12 to teach the next generation how they can help the oceans.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts recently received the esteemed Green Globe certification for this resort and nine others. In order to qualify for this certification, the hotel started its own sea turtle conservation program, participated in a solid waste management program overhaul, and utilized green energy optimization technology to ensure that they were operating the resort in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In response to one guest’s annoyance with the rocky beach at the resort, the proprietor responded “we are proud to be an eco-friendly hotel, and part of this is not altering the coastline in any way.”
North Male Atoll, Maldives
For a resort on an island, there is almost no limit to the number of steps you can take to ensure your impact is minimal. Coco Bodu Hithi resort has earned the prestigious Travelife Gold certification for its sustainability efforts and turtle rescue center. They are also participants in Sharkwatch, a group that helps protect the local shark population from poachers, and Manta Trust, who monitor local ray populations to ensure they are growing. On a smaller scale, guests can help reef life by adding pieces of broken coral that they find to living coral in order to help it grown again.
From the hotel rooms to the golf course, Chateau Elan has implemented sustainability initiatives in all corners of the resort. At the golf course, the greens are kept their greenest with recycled water from the Town of Braselton, and all over the grounds if a tree falls or branches block a path they are turned into mulch. The hotel has 8 electric vehicle charging stations, six exclusively for use with Tesla cars, and 3,294 LED energy saving light bulbs that conserve 164,700 watts of energy. This winery and resort is constantly revamping its sustainability programs while maintaining the highest standard of luxury and guest comfort, and has several improvements including composting and automatic lights on the horizon
This pet-friendly hotel, close to Taormina’s crystal-clear sea and wonderful beaches, has earned the ISO 14001 environmental certificate. The NH Hotel Group, owner of this property, have a set of standards that all of their properties must adhere to in order to move towards a carbon neutral future. These standards include water saving, energy saving, and a commitment to “going local” whenever possible. At the NH Collection Taormina, the breakfast spread includes many organic and local fruits, vegetables and meats and daily ecotours of Taormina and its surrounding areas are provided nearby.
Banyan Tree Seychelles, with the oversight of the Banyan Tree Global Foundation, takes its eco-friendly status very seriously. The resort is committed to using local produce, adheres very strictly to Seychelles’ 2017 ban on single-use plastics, and was constructed using local materials wherever possible. Not only are the beaches pristine, but there is an on-site Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation Centre that specializes in monitoring endangered local turtle populations as well as managing and removing the invasive Crown of Thorns starfish, which contributes to coral reef degradation.
Cap Estate, Saint Lucia
St. Lucia is home to three different sea turtle species – Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Green – who nest every year on the island. From March to November, the turtle hatchlings try to make their way from their nests to the ocean. While there is always the risk of a natural predator, some hatchlings never make it due to malicious human intervention. Enter the “egg guard”! While visiting The Landings, guests have the opportunity to volunteer for shifts as an “egg guard” to protect the eggs from poaching and deter sand mining for construction projects. If you are looking for something a little less hands-on, you can also book a beach walk with a knowledgeable local guide.