In an era where ethical tourism is shaping the future of travel, we invite you to discover a world where luxury meets sustainability, where every step you take contributes to a better tomorrow. Here’s a list of nine sustainable hotels around the world that will empower you to travel responsibly and make a positive impact on the planet.
TL Conscious List (Part 2)
9 Sustainable Hotels Around the World
Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands
Located in one of the most ecologically diverse hotspots—Galapagos Islands—Pikaia Lodge offers an exclusive boutique experience in its 29 rooms. A Relais & Chateaux property, this contemporary luxury eco-lodge blends perfectly with the unique crater topography and was built using the lowest possible quantity of concrete. Instead, steel and natural Galapagos lava stone and tiles have been used on most floors and walls. As for most furniture, doors, and decor, sustainable, agro-cultivated teak and bamboo wood from the Ecuadorian mainland have been used. The property also tackles the problem of deforestation seriously. Not only were the endemic trees retained during the construction, but many were replanted to offset any carbon emissions. Pikaia Lodge’s commitment to reforesting with native and endemic species has led to creating a favourable environment for the return of wild tortoises and birds to their natural habitat.
Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary
Offering guests an immersive experience of the local way of life, Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary is designed like a mountain fortress from a bygone era and is an ideal retreat to sign up for a bespoke wellbeing programme. Located high up in the Neyphu Valley, it is built in traditional dzong architectural style with all the rooms offering floor-to-ceiling windows and uninterrupted views of the valley. Following ‘The Restful Mind’ philosophy, the Sanctuary aims to create a lasting positive change in its guests’ daily lives while living in harmony with the surrounding forests and farmland on the remote mountainside. The in-house traditional medicine doctors design a tailor-made programme for you following ancient techniques in meditation, mindfulness, and movement. During the course of your stay, you’re also encouraged to meet the monks from Eutok Goenpa Monastery opposite the Sanctuary and share a meal with local farming families.
Mosvold Villa, Sri Lanka
Located in the coastal town of Ahangama in the Emerald Isle, Mosvold Villa promises an immersive, luxurious getaway. This beachfront villa has 16 rooms making it the largest villa in the area. The decor reflects fine Sri Lankan aesthetics, enhanced with an enviable display of antique furniture and gorgeous artwork, including batik panels by award-winning batik designer Sonali Dharmawardene. The specially commissioned batik panels and custom wall tapestries that line the entrance atrium of the property are handcrafted by Sri Lankan artisans. Additionally, the bedspreads and pillow covers found in Mosvold Villa have also been designed by this team of batik artisans. Although batik originated in Indonesia, the Dutch introduced it to Sri Lanka, and over the years it has evolved as a unique form of textile art in Sri Lanka.
Desa Hay, Indonesia
Desa Hay, a serene escape for conscious travellers, has been built sensitively, keeping in mind the verdant surroundings as well as respecting local customs. Located amidst the lush forests of southern Bali, 40 per cent of the hotel’s land has purposefully been left as a green space and the rest has been landscaped using native Balinese plants, further asserting the resort’s committment to being sustainble. Local artisans have created all the artwork at the resort and Indonesia-inspired architectural details can be found everywhere, from the North Sumatran-style villa roofs to the traditional Javanese joglo restaurant. Abstaining from all single-use plastic, this solar powered resort provides bamboo combs and toothbrushes, and biodegradable slippers made from coconut husks to all their guests. Desa Hay exclusively recruits Indonesian staff and attempts to further support the local community by hiring local guides and drivers to offer cultural and spiritual activities as well as Balinese cooking classes.
Domaine des Etangs, France
Domaine des Etangs is an idyllic country retreat in Massignac. Its history dates back to the 13th century, hence during the recent renovation interior designers, local craftsmen, and carpenters were hired especially for their ancestral expertise to respect the castle’s history. Apart from top-notch wellness programmes, there are guided nature walks with a forest ranger, as well as visits to the beehives with the gardener. Within the estate, 100 per cent electric bicycles and cars are provided to guests with two charging stations to explore the 1000-hectare grounds. Local tree species have been planted thoughtfully to keep the environment as authentic as possible and there is also a certified organic vegetable garden.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, Nepal
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is perched 305 metres above Pokhara Valley, on a ridge, against a spectacular Himalayan backdrop. Living up to the ethos of ecotourism, the lodge offers high-end regenerative tourism experiences in a rural mountain setting, away from the bustle of Nepal’s cities. When here, expect immersive experiences far beyond a luxurious holiday. Think engagement with the local community and integration with the forest and mountain landscape. Besides being an ideal base for guests to enjoy the surrounding mountains pre and posttrek, travellers here are also encouraged to make a lasting impact in the local community through their Community Support Partnership Programme that supports Community Forest User Groups, local schools, health posts, local, national and international charities, environmental research and monitoring, and so on.
Located amidst the thick forests in the Dolomites, Forestis is a boutique wellness hotel that runs on 100 per cent renewable energy, replacing outdoor artificial light sources with open fireplaces where possible. Honouring the forest area that it is nestled in, for every tree felled in the construction, two new trees were planted. Local wood has been repurposed into fencing and furniture, and wood heating and steam cleaning systems ensure that sustainability is practiced at every step at this luxury retreat. Originally built in 1912, the wooden façade of the historic building is under monumental protection, and the traditional South Tyrolean wooden ceilings and stairs have been carefully preserved. Extending its committment to being sustainable beyond the estate, the hotel’s concierge encourages guests to use the Brixen Card, a free public transport pass throughout South Tyrol to visit nearby vineyards for wine tasting, artisanal markets to purchase local produce, and even museums and historical buildings.
Arctic Bath, Sweden
If we had to pick one hotel to enjoy the scenic Swedish Lapland , it has to be the dreamy and sustainable Arctic Bath. Whilst it offers all the comforts of being indoors, the surrounding nature has been incorporated seamlessly into the cabins and suites. Built entirely with natural, sustainable materials, the Arctic Bath features glass walls, floating walkways, and sky-gazing decks that connect the interiors with spectacular outdoors. While the indoors sport a chic Scandinavian design created with wood, stone, and luxe textiles, the surroundings include frost-covered forests, and if you look closely, you’ll even find tracks in the snow left by moose and reindeer. The entire retreat is run on 100 per cent renewable energy, with natural fi replaces filled with recycled pellets in the cabins and saunas. In the rooms you’ll find locally made kicksleds, snowshoes, and hiking sticks. The restaurant also showcases hyperlocal ingredients that are sourced from the surrounding forest and Arctic Bath farms.
Nayara Tented Camp, Costa Rica
Nayara Tented Camp in Costa Rica is a luxury resort inspired by African safaris but adapted to a tropical Costa Rican rainforest. The hotel’s tents, offering sustainable luxury, are propped up on stilts in order to leave a minimal footprint while maximising the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding rainforest and the volcano. Every tent is airconditioned, fitted with a luxurious tub and a four-poster bed to lend it an indulgent, romantic feel. And it gets better with a private plunge pool, where water is fed from natural mineral hot springs. Located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, the property has been designed keeping in mind the space for wildlife and wilderness. An ambitious reforestation programme has further expanded the tropical rainforest providing safe habitats for sloths, monkeys, and butterflies. The camp also works actively on supporting the local community by providing employment at the property and various social initiatives.
This is part two of a four-part series —TL Conscious List (compiled by Team Travel+Leisure India & South Asia, along with contributor Shibani Bawa) — which lists 40 immersive experiences and extraordinary sustainable hotels.
Click here for part one, here for part three, and here for part four.
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