Everything is going green. Eco-friendly tourism is really picking up and this isn’t just about conserving water and recycling programs. Green hotels are built on policies of sustainability and most areas have strict requirements before a hotel can be classified as truly “eco-friendly”. More people are looking to reduce their carbon foot prints and are therefore looking to stay in green hotels during their holidays. With the emergence of eco-friendly hotels across a wide range of countries this has become easier in recent years.
1. Chumbe Island Coral Park
This eco-lodge in Tanzania is situated within a system of coral islands, just 12 km from Zanzibar Town and offers guests an unforgettable stay in seven bungalows overlooking the sea. Privacy is guaranteed, as only 14 guests are allowed to stay here at any one time. Each bungalow is solar-powered, composting toilets are provided and the food is a delicious fusion of Indian, African and Middle Eastern cultures.
2. Turtle Island
This fabulous eco-lodge in Fiji definitely deserves its place in the 10 best green hotels list. Here the guest is king – quite literally, since some 150 staff are looking after just 14 couples’ every need. The island consists of some 500 acres, on which the owner has created an organic garden. Black volcanic rock formations line the coast. Snorkelling is a favourite activity to explore the coral reefs.
Found in Egypt at the Red Sea coast is a resort at the verdant foothills of the Sinai Mountain range. Guests stay in bamboo cabins and villas on the beach. The resort accepts a maximum of 250 visitors at any one time. Swimming in the crystalline blue waters to see the coral reefs is a favourite past-time in this family oriented gem among green hotels.
4. Alandaluz Hosteria
This green hotel in Ecuador uses only locally sourced green building materials for creating their green hotels. The beach is lined with the astagua-palm tree; the tree’s leaves are turned into anything from roofing material to cabin walls. Organic gardens provide produce for the excellent dishes served up at dinner time.
5. Daintree Eco-Lodge
This award-winning green hotel in Australia lies within beautiful surroundings complete with waterfalls and ancient rainforests. Here guests stay in fifteen basic villas and can enjoy activities like snorkelling or diving at the Great Barrier Reef or trekking with a guide into the rainforest.
6. Arenal Hotel
Among some of the world’s most beautiful regions is Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano and the Arenal Hotel is one of the country’s finest examples of eco-tourism as it should be. The Arenal Hotel has spectacular views over the volcano and is near to Arenal Volcano National Park.
Nikita’s lies in the centre of Lake Baikal in Russia on the island of Olkhon. The wooden houses with steam baths and roaring fires to keep visitors warm at night have a homely, friendly atmosphere. The hosts are knowledgeable about the delicate eco-system on the island, famous for its wild flowers blossoming during Russia’s short spring and summer.
8. Blumau Hot Springs Village
A rather different aspect of green hotels is provided by Blumau Hot Springs Village in Austria, where the environmentally aware architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser created a whole village around the natural hot springs of the Styria area. The chalets come complete with roof gardens and composting toilets.
9. Chalalan Lodge
The Chalalan Lodge in Bolivia is an eco-lodge with a difference, since the water recycling, solar-powered lodge lies within the Madidi National Park and is managed by the Quechua people. Here guests get a real insight into the heritage and culture of an indigenous people, who have taken charge of their own destiny.
10. The Tree House
The Tree House in India in the Green Magic Nature Resort in Kerala is not a green hotel for the faint hearted. It’s located some 27 metres above ground and only accessible by a rickety bamboo lift. Being at canopy level provides spectacular views and the opportunity to watch wildlife in its natural habitat.
Choosing green hotels doesn’t have to mean compromising on any of the things you expect from a vacation. Sun, sea, sand are all in abundance but there’s usually the addition of jungles, forests, mountains, seascapes and nature reserves thrown in too. Green hotels also offer all the luxury you might want too, and this is luxury without a guilty conscience. If you want a getaway you will truly remember why not choose from this 10 Best Green Hotels for Holidays?
Have you tried out eco-tourism yet? Did it live up to expectations?
Top Photo Credit: Bodhi Surf School