Where we once decided our holiday destinations and resorts based on the number of swimming pools and proximity to the beach, holiday goers are now switching to destinations that help them evolve and impact those around them positively, especially the environment.
While an eco-friendly holiday draws up the image of camping in the middle of nowhere, there are some luxe resorts that allow you to go green glamorously.
Here’s what luxe resorts and hotels are doing to protect the environment and to create a positive global impact:
Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka
Designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Heritance Kandalama is a five star eco-friendly resort that was the first in Asia to receive the Green Globe certification. Despite stellar interiors and stunning views, environment sustainability continues to remain the prime goal for the betterment of the resort. The resort has resorted to the use of a 900kW biomass Gasifier plant to reduce carbon footprints and generate steam for laundry. The resort also has its own water treatment plant and has developed means to use waste water for landscaping and other generic purposes. Along with being environment conscious, the resort has an active CSR policy and runs regular campaigns in the fields of education, health, conservation and hygiene to educate and empower the locals residing in nearby villages. Visit their official website to learn more about their green philosophy.
The Element, Malaysia
Breaking the tradition of eco-friendly stays in remote settings, The Element, is located in the heart of the capital city Kuala Lumpur and is a stone throw away from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Along with being one of the tallest hotels in the city, The Element is designed to be green from the ground up. Built using sustainable construction materials, the hotel has received its Green Building Index certification and is equipped with a rain water harvesting system, 100% non-PVC flooring, energy efficient LED lighting and an indoor air quality CO2 monitor. To experience an eco-friendly stay in the middle of an urban jungle, click here.
Six Senses Con Doa, Vietnam
Sitting majestically in Vitenam’s Con Doa National Park, this five-star resort is committed to improving the carbon footprint that results from its operations. Along with an environment friendly design that supports natural light and wind, the resort is heavily involved in sustaining the ecology of the National Park. The resort consciously protects the bay in front of their property; opening it only to the local fishermen and has developed projects to preserve dugongs, which are a globally endangered species. Along with showcasing immense environmental responsibility, the resort has also established schools and provides swimming lessons to locals who inhabit the island. To know more about the Six Senses philosophy, visit their official website.
Campi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
For every single day that you choose to stay at Campi Ya Kanzi, you are inevitably contributing $110 to ecosystem conservation (and for the glorious view of Mount Kilimanjaro). Following the principle of ‘payback to nature’ the main aim of this environment friendly safari resort is to protect the land of the Maasai Community so that they can keep living up with their traditions and to provide protection to the livestock they rear. This resort which is also one of the world leaders of ecotourism uses photovoltaic panels for energy generation, adapts rain cropping methods, develops eco- friendly charcoal to use in kitchens and composts all their organic waste for further use. Click here, to learn more about Maasai.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
Imagine a luxe resort without air-conditioning! Soneva Kiri on Thailand’s Koh Kood, where guests go to experience a life beyond class, has successfully implemented the practice with no complaints. From organic farming, employing locals, setting up schools to building a water reservoir to harvest rain water, Soneva Kiri is a living example of how luxury and environment consciousness can go hand-in-hand. Along with employing green practices the Soneva Foundation has been working to reduce their carbon footprints by helping with forest restoration, providing access to safe drinking water, implementing measures to conserve wildlife and supporting indigenous communities. Get to know more about the Soneva Foundation here!
Accessible only by boat, Coconut Lagoon, is located along the edge of a fresh water lake in the exotic Indian backwaters of Kerala. While polished timbers, natural cotton, exquisite interiors and top-notch amenities welcome guests, Coconut Lagoon is the most talked about eco-friendly resort of the region. The resort is involved in the protection of endangered mangroves near their property. Along with that the resort uses locally sourced ingredients in their kitchens, practices organic farming and vermicomposting, conducts weekly village clean-ups and even has a biomass digester that uses garden and kitchen mass to produce organic fertilizers for their spice gardens! Get the resort’s tips on being an eco-traveller here.
Whitepod Resort, Switzerland
The Whitepod Resort offers their guests unique accommodations in geodesic pods or dome tents that are low in energy consumption and require less building materials. The resort uses spring water, closed fireplaces, wood from their own forest reserves, locally sourced wine and meats, biodegradable cleaning products and conducts environment awareness programs for their clientele. The highlight of the stay here is that motorized transport within the camp is limited which encourages patrons to take in the fresh Swiss air and lush landscape as they leisurely walk around the premises. Curious about living in a pod? Visit the Whitepod Resort page to know more.
JW Marriott, Hong Kong
With its marbled floors, sleek interiors, rooftop bars and quality restaurants, it might sometimes be hard to imagine that the JW Marriott brand in fact adheres to green policies in their daily functioning. For example, the one in Hong Kong uses energy conserving LED lights, upgraded ventilation systems, environment friendly coolants along with a heavy emphasis on recycling of goods. Along with that the hotel also conducts training for their maintenance workers on the use of non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning agents and on regulating the hotel’s daily energy levels. For an insight into Hong Kong’s finest luxury hotel, click here.
(See also: Where to Eat, Play and Stay in July)