Ten Of The Best Eco-Friendly Resorts In The World for the Eco-Conscious Traveler
Sustainability is one of the hottest trends globally in luxury travel.
As an expert Australian travel writer and sustainability enthusiast, I’m thrilled to showcase some of the world’s most extraordinary eco-friendly resorts.
These destinations not only offer unparalleled luxury but also prioritise environmental sustainability and community support, the pillars of the new sustainable luury.
In this article, we’ll explore 10 remarkable eco-friendly hotels across the globe, showcasing how travel can be a powerful force for positive change. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable eco-conscious adventure.
Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
This extraordinary luxury tented resort was created by American landscape architect and South East Asian luxury hotel wizard Bill Bensley. The land was fist purchased by Bensley in partnership with local hotelier Sokoun Chandpreda to save it from poaching and logging, and has become an icon of sustainability within the luxury hotel space.
Part of the project is a partnership with the Wildlife Alliance who patrol the area daily to ensure animals are not hunted, but the 15 ultra luxe tents offer the finest accommodation within the natural environment for guests from around the globe.
The Shinta Mani hospitality school in Siem reap provides education, training and jobs to some of the world’s poorest people, changing the lives of entire communities. Guest arrive by zip line if they choose, and enjoy the advnture of a lifetime and leave with a far better understanding of the importance of sustainability and a pathway to exactly how it can be done.
GoldenEye, Oracabessa, Jamaica (North America):
Once the creative haven of James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, GoldenEye in Jamaica is now a testament to sustainable luxury.
This iconic property owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell offers a blend of history and modern eco-consciousness.
GoldenEye is dedicated to sustainable fishing practices, sea turtle protection, and coral reef restoration.
During the pandemic, the GoldenEye Foundation supported local communities by establishing agriculture-based initiatives. Their commitment to community well-being and environmental restoration is commendable.
Nihi Sumba, Sumba Island, Indonesia (Asia and Oceania):
Nihi Sumba, located on Indonesia’s Sumba Island, showcases how luxury coexisting with local empowerment.
The upscale luxury resort an eco hotel prioritises community development through its Sumba Foundation, which funds projects like clean water access, healthcare, and education.
Guests can visit local villages and engage in traditional practices while enjoying modern, upscale accommodation. The private surf break, Occy’s Left, adds an adventurous element, attracting surf enthusiasts from around the world.
Hidden Hotel, Paris, France (Europe):
In the heart of Paris, Hidden Hotel is an eco hotel that defies the stereotype of a typical green city stay. Tucked away near the Arc de Triomphe, this boutique hotel with 35 rooms boasts eco-conscious practices, including 100% LED lighting, which minimises energy consumption and waste, no single use plastics and a certified partnership with Green Globe to ensure as many elements as possible are sustainable.
Much of the hotel operates on a paperless basis, and water fountains have replaced bottled water.
Natural textures and tones permeate the hotel’s design, creating a calming, natural atmosphere. Hidden Hotel’s commitment to sustainable materials and eco-friendly amenities is a testament to its dedication to the environment.
Forestis Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy (Europe):
Nestled 5,905 feet above sea level in the majestic Dolomites, a UNESCO world heritage site, Forestis Dolomites offers an elevated experience in more ways than one. Many refer to a stay here as a quiet retreat from the world.
This 62-suite sanctuary, a modern take on the Alpine retreat, boasts peace as the new luxury and is committed to carbon neutrality. Guests stay right in the heart of nature.
Roland Lamprecht’s “forest cuisine” showcases local foraged ingredients, and even the drinking water is sourced from the Plose Mountain. Teresa Unterthiner and Stefan Hinteregger, the creators of Forestis Dolomites, have transformed this former royal sanatorium into a Vatican-bequeathed wellness retreat rooted in nature.
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Oman (Africa and the Middle East):
Six Senses take sustainability seriously and have a full time head of sustainability and staff to ensure every resort pays attention to eco-friendly practises. Six Senses Zighy Bay, perched on the dramatically rugged Musandam Peninsula, has taken eco-conscious luxury to new heights with its Earth Lab—an ecology and sustainability centre open to all guests.
Here, visitors to the eco hotel can learn about on- and off-site development projects and acquire practical skills for a more sustainable lifestyle. There is a focus on the local community, the local environment and reducing waste.
The resort, nestled between rugged mountains and a pristine sandy beach, offers a range of accommodations, including the iconic “paragliding arrival” experience, where guests can arrive via paraglider.
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada (North America):
Perched on a rocky island off the coast of Newfoundland, Fogo Island Inn is an eco design hotel that has set new standards for transparency and community support.
The inn’s founder, Zita Cobb, wants to revitalise the economy of this remote community that suffered from overfishing in the 1990s.
With its Economic Nutrition Certification Mark, Fogo Island Inn ensures full transparency about where revenue goes.
Guests can even embark on fishing industry experiences, mix with the local community and gain insights into the local way of life.
Heckfield Place, Heckfield, England (Europe):
Heckfield Place in Hampshire is a 438 acre biodynamic eco-friendly refuge nestled in the English countryside with 45 rooms including six generous and elegant suites. It is located right in the heart of Jane Austen territory.
Recognising the importance of soil health in today’s environmental landscape, this cultured hideaway earned biodynamic status as the first luxury hotel in the UK.
Culinary director and famed British chef Skye Gyngell oversees Michelin Green-Starred restaurants Hearth and Marle, offering farm-to-table delights.
In 2023, Heckfield Place will unveil its world of wellness, promoting a deeper connection with nature through activities like forest bathing and cold water immersions.
Soneva Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives (Asia and Oceania):
In the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is a beacon of sustainable tourism and was one of the eco hotel industry’s global leaders when it opened in 1995, and was the first to introduce a spa to the Maldives.
This luxury resort with 42 villas is committed to protecting the fragile marine ecosystems that surround it.
The Soneva Foundation, founded by the resort’s owners, spearheads numerous environmental initiatives, from reforestation to clean energy projects.
Soneva Fushi’s creative Eco Centro even transforms waste into new items. Guests can partake in educational activities like coral planting and stargazing, deepening their appreciation for the natural wonders of the Maldives.
Swinton Park, Masham, England (Europe):
Swinton Park, a luxury castle and eco hotel in North Yorkshire, is a prime example of sustainable heritage tourism. T
he estate, spanning 20,000 acres, focuses on regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and conservation efforts.
Guests can explore the property’s vast woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, all while enjoying the grandeur of a historic castle.
Swinton Park’s commitment to rewilding has led to the return of species like the red squirrel, demonstrating how eco-conscious practices can revitalize ecosystems.
These 10 eco-friendly resorts exemplify how sustainable luxury can create positive impacts on both the environment and local communities.
Whether it’s protecting endangered wildlife, supporting indigenous tracking traditions, or promoting regenerative agriculture, these resorts show that travel can be a force for good.
As an eco-conscious traveler, you can choose to stay at these remarkable destinations, where luxury and sustainability go hand in hand, leaving a positive mark on the world one trip at a time.