5 of the Best Eco Hotels in the World and How They're Helping Make the World a Better Place
The future of tourism looks confusing, to say the least. With the world in dire states because of the novel coronavirus and the looming consequences of Climate Change, responsible travel has become more crucial than ever. The tourism industry, however, employs 1 in 11 people in the entire world. It supports economies and provides for people’s livelihoods. We can’t go cold turkey on travel, but what we can do, is make conscious and responsible choices about where we stay and how we travel.
Eco hotels have been an important niche part of luxury tourism for decades, but we predict that more and more adventurers will, in the future, opt for a greener way of travel. Keeping that in mine, we’ve put together a list of five of the best eco resorts in the world and how they’re doing their bit to improve their natural environment and support local communities.
Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru
This hideaway in a cloud forest in the Andes is located a short while away from Machu Picchu Pueblo. The cloud rainforests that surround it are protected by its parent company, Inkaterra. The lodge works in conjunction with Inkaterra Association to benefit the natural eco system. Eco-initiatives include supporting scientific research by promoting the discovery of new species, to conservation efforts protecting vast areas of the Amazon rainforest. Guests can partake in these efforts by participating in nature walks and other planned experiences in and around the property.
Tierra Patagonia was constructed with a purpose. The purpose of exhibiting and preserving the natural beauty of Patagonia. The interesting architecture blends into, and embraces the surrounding natural environment. The construction materials of the lodge are primarily local Lenga wood which is designed to minimise heat loss and reduce energy consumption. This is essential in Patagonia, where the weather changes rapidly and dramatically.
To top it all off, the lodge supports an active reforestation program — seeking to plant 1,000,000 trees in the region.
This off the path eco hotel in Iceland has a 9-hole GEO-certified sustainable golf course. Much of the energy used by the hotel is created by harnessing the power of thermal spring water that bubbles up through craters and lava landscapes. To support the energy consumption, the hotel owners have built three hydroelectric power plants which capture the power of the surrounding nature. The hotel is run completely on energy from these sources.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Lizard Island offers an intimate look at one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Lizard Island has come to be known as the first certified eco-lodge in the world. Not only does the lodge assume responsibility towards the national park around it, but also respects the traditions and beliefs of the Dingaal people, native islanders who have called the island home for many centuries.
Here, environmental impact is minimised by using biofuel and solar power. The hotel has a rigorous composting and recycling program. Nearly 60 percent of all the waste generated by the lodge is either recycled or used for an alternative purpose. To top it all off, guests are given stainless steel water bottles for the duration of their stay to prevent the use of single use plastics.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
In Malaysian Borneo’s Kinabatangan River basin, jungle waterways and lush forests make a home for a diverse species of animals. Near the river’s edge, perched on stilts, you will find Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
Maintaining a symbiotic relationship with nature is essential at the lodge. This entire complex was built by local craftsman and is connected by wooden boardwalks. This makes it easy for guests to explore while avoiding the erosion of the land and the soil, and allowing the plants and animals to thrive without disturbance.
in Kinabatangan lowlands, the lodge is involved, along with the local community to work on a variety of sustainable tourism projects designed to promote conservation. These include reforestation, organic farming, securing clean drinking water and a Wildlife Corridor Rehabilitation Project.
All photos courtesy of National Geographic. Information is sourced from National Geographic’s unique lodges of the world.