When you think of sustainable accommodation, you probably think going back to basics, camping outdoors and roughing it cave man style...
Well, think again. Tree houses, green jungle retreats, ultra-cool igloo’s, slamming city escapes, spectacular safari spots and island paradises are pretty much how it's actually done. Boasting unparalleled locations, often mind defying architecture and serious Instagram credibility, sustainable sleeps are pretty much where it's at, and these places prove it:
Bangkok Tree House, Thailand
Enviromental gadgets and upcycled materials (including the likes of discarded juice cartons) have never looked so good. The collection of eco-friendly nests, positioned on the banks of the Cho Praya River, sure do boast a whole heap of sustainable perks, including bamboo curtains, outdoor showers, natural river breezes instead of air con, and the fact it’s only accessible by foot, bike or boat. An array of trees, plants, exotic lizards, birds, fireflies, cicadas and butterflies, make this one treetop kingdom you’ll never forget, and as an extra push, for every booking the hotel cleans up one kilogram of rubbish from the surrounding river.
Tri, Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka
Comprising of 10 unique villas situated in the midst of lush landscape, Tri is Sri Lanka’s first truly contemporary, sustainably designed luxury hotel. Green roofs, living walls, solar hot water, recycled wood, a rainwater system and unparalleled 360-degree walls make up an aesthetic guided by nature. Add on private plunge pools, sunset facing terraces, a treetop yoga studio, a luxury spa, beach, lake, fitness and wellbeing activities – and you’re in for one hell of a treat.
1 Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach, FL
Situated on one of Miami’s top beaches, this palm-laced, lounger-lined, adult-only hotel marries sustainability and style. Each hotel room is designed with natural elements including hemp-blend Keetsa mattresses, eco-friendly cleaning products and triple-filtered water, whilst the nature inspired design creates a unique setting that merges outdoors into an interior aesthetic. Expect recycled and repurposed woods, preserved moss, hangars constructed from recycled maps and books, glassware crafted from old wine bottles and in-room water filters that eliminate a need for plastic bottles. Oh, and a 110-foot rooftop swimming pool.
Taking things to the next level, the hotel chain have recently signed a commitment to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent in the next decade.
Urnatur Sweden, Sweden
Sustainable travel doesn’t get much more authentic then this. Charming tree houses built from the likes of old spare windows, plank walls and a paper roof. The simple designs are brought to life in the magical surroundings that offer magnificent views and a true experience in nature.
The Whitepod Eco Resort, Switzerland
Designed to combine ecology and luxury, Whitepod Eco Resort takes unique accommodation to a whole new level. The pods are made up of minimal materials, use of energy and water is controlled, waste is recycled, ingredients are purchased locally, staff are locally sourced so that they can walk to work and motorized transport is limited. This sustainable ethos is made that bit sweeter with the breathtakingly off the scale views and surrounding landscape.
The Hix Island House, Puerto Rico
Like the sound of getting your zen on in Caribbean tropical island serenity? Well, these self-contained eco lodge apartments sure do tick all the boxes. Surrounded by 13 acres of nature, panoramic views, private terraces, outdoor showers, a fully stocked kitchen, and all just a stone’s throw away from the dreamiest of beaches, The Hix Island House knows how to make sustainable tourism uncompromisingly attractive. With solar panels running electricity and water flow collected and taken straight back to nature, you wont feel guilty about splashing the cash on this sustainable sleep.
The URBN hotel, China
Making sustainability sleeps painfully cool, URBN occupies a converted factory warehouse come boutique hotel in stylish Shanghai. Claiming China’s first carbon neutral hotel, URBN uses recycled and locally sourced materials to make up the contemporary, minimalist and eco-chic design. The exclusive 26 room stay doesn’t fall short with its 21st century touch and amenities – A 24 hour gym, trendy restaurants & bars, and in-room beauty and spa treatments are all at hand. Sustainability just got real swanky…
The Campi ya Kanzi, Kenya
Tucked away in the Chyulu Hills of southern Kenya, Campi ya Kanzi is an award-winning boutique eco safari lodge. The Massai-owned reserve offers a sustainable safari experience, leveraging the benefits of tourism to protect the local environment and preserve the Maasai culture which is the main tourist draw for the area. Spanning a whopping 283,000 acres of African awesomeness, the camp offers 6 luxury tent suites, outdoor adventures, unforgettable wildlife encounters plus authentic connections with the Maasai locals.
Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica
Monkey safaris, zip lining, horseback riding – this place has it all. Hotel Punta Islita, part of Grupo Islita, is all about emphasising the integration of local communities and ensuring cultural authenticity. The self-proclaimed planet friendly resort includes complimentary eco-adventures, cultural activities, private villas, an infinity pool and learning sessions to make the stay as fun, meaningful, and unforgettable as possible. But it’s the hotels strong relationship with its neighbouring communities that really ensures their long-term commitment to sustainability. From the creation of the Islita Art Museum, to the development of the New Islita School, Hotel Punta Islita is dedicated to ensuring Costa Rica retains its enviable sustainable status.
Sleeping under the stars on your bucket list? This is THE spot for you! Sleeping in geodesic domes with panoramic views of the park, guests are treated to an experience with nature like no other. Situated in the gorgeous Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, activities include trekking, mountaineering, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, skiing, wildlife observation and wine tours. And to keep things on a local level, guides and staff are locally sourced from the neighbouring towns of Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas.