10 Eco-Friendly Hotels To Bookmark For Your Next Vacation
Travel is notoriously hazardous to the environment, but the places we stay at don’t have to be. That’s why we’re spotlighting 10 eco-friendly hotels with progressive, green initiatives and sustainable efforts that make hospitality not only good for you, but good for the planet, too. From resorts with LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to savvy solar panel heating systems and non-toxic cleaning agents and organic bedding, these home away from homes are alluring on every front. Click through to bookmark your next escape!
Canadian design duo Byron and Dexter Peart — founders of Goodee, a sustainable e-commerce brand — were tapped to reimagine Matachica with their purpose-led sensibility. The property is a study in sustainability, incorporating key details like Danny’s Tree Bar, a circular bar built around one of the resort’s lush trees, and villas are kitted out with eco-friendly bedding and natural toiletries. “The result is a redefined Belizean beach experience that honors craftsmanship, sustainability and functionality,” says Dexter.
Tanzania: Zuri Zanzibar
There’s no doubt that white sandy beaches and sea-front properties are luxurious, but Zuri Zanzibar proves that high-end design and eco-friendly living go hand-in-hand. Their energy use per guest, per night is 52% below the EarthCheck baseline for similar developments. Plus, the resort implements a “Keep Kendwa Clean” project, to provide a healthier environment for the local community through waste management on the island.
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, look no further than Whitepod. Nestled sky-high (over 5,500 feet above sea level) in the Swiss Alps, these eco-luxury chalets are constructed with durable canvas and anchored by wooden platforms with little contact to the ground (so it won’t harm the environment it sits upon). In addition to a controlled use of energy and water, products are also 100% biodegradable.
New York City: Crosby Street Hotel
Guests can bask in the colorful Kit Kemp-designed rooms while embracing a commitment to sustainability through water-efficient landscaping, reduced pollution and locally sourced produce. The hotel‘s rooftop is even host to a garden and a Tudor-style chicken coop! It’s no wonder the luxury boutique became the first hotel in New York to attain Gold Standard status (the second highest) under the LEED rating system in 2011.
San Francisco: h2hotel
Relatively small in size (the hotel boasts four stories with 36 guest rooms), h2hotel is actually quite grand in design. A collaboration among David Baker + Partners, Andrea Cochran and interior designers Marie Fisher and Jennifer Gadiel, the eco-conscious property thoughtfully incorporates green practices into every aspect of the hotel’s experience. From the furnishings and the floors made from salvaged wood to a green roof that filters and lessens the impact of rainfall runoff on Foss Creek (located behind the property), it’s no wonder h2hotel was the first LEED Gold certified hotel in Sonoma County.
Italy: Vigilius Mountain Resort
Vigilius Mountain Resort is free of automobiles and is a masterclass in environmentally sound design. With a dedication to nature’s wellbeing, each room incorporates biophilic design and is heated by biomass rather than oil or gas in an effort to echo the resort’s motto, “Eco, not ego.” Plus, the Instagram-worthy views of the mountain ridge is only accessible by gondola.
Vietnam: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
You’d never know it from the picturesque collection of villas, but Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort is actually a pioneer in sustainability and luxury design. Found on an island archipelago off the coast of Vietnam, this dreamy piece of real estate is committed to improving our carbon footprint, and is one of the world’s top eco-friendly hotels. Adhering to strict sustainability standards, the resort adopted solar panels for heat and lighting and grows local produce — plus provides still and sparkling remineralized water from an on-site reserve osmosis plant (which saves landfills from around 10,000 plastic bottles per month). The hotel also takes part in a number of worthy causes including educational and employment programs to better serve the local community.
Canada: Fogo Island Inn
Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn is a sustainable success story surpassing environmental laws while investing in all things local. From the hotel’s Community Host program that matches guests with a resident from the island to orient them with the landscape, to the room’s custom-made quilt made by a local artisan, Fogo prioritizes supporting the tight-knit fishing community it resides in. It’s hardly a surprise that the inn also uses renewable solar and wood-burning energy sources — plus collects rainwater from the roof and filters it for the use of toilets, laundry and appliances.
Austria: Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort
Balancing luxury design with a responsible outlook for the future, Kitzhof Mountain Resort is making sustainable tourism easy. Offering incredible, Austrian alpine accommodation alongside small-scale organic farming methods, natural products and a smart, solar-heated pool. The idyllic, picture-perfect property strives to leave a minimal footprint on the environment.
England: The Green House
In the heart of Bournemouth lies a beautifully-restored, 32-room Grade II Victorian villa that’s chock full of over 100 green initiatives. From a company car that runs on recycled cooking oil from the kitchen to wood furnishings made from trees felled by storms (even their coffee beans are used to compost the on-site community garden), everything at The Green House is vetted to produce the most environmentally-sound estate.