Planning an environmentally friendly holiday can be tricky. After all, you need to consider not only your chosen mode of transport but also the ecological impact of your accommodation. That’s why many green travellers opt to stay in campsites, yurts and tipis instead of power-guzzling, multi-storey hotels.
However, holiday accommodation today is being built and renovated with the environment in mind. Modern eco-hotels aim to minimise their ecological footprint by using hydro and solar power supplies, recycling wastewater and using sustainable natural resources. So booking an eco-hotel is easier than it’s ever been before.
Where to book eco-hotels
Not sure where to start looking for eco-hotels? It’s a Green World is a handy website that helps you find for eco-friendly accommodation all over the world. There’s a huge selection here across all continents, and you can search by list or map. The highest concentration of hotels listed here are in South America, Europe, southern and eastern Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. However, there aren’t many options currently listed in China, Russia and North Africa. Additionally, you can’t book hotels directly through It’s a Green World but you can submit an availability enquiry.
Another great site is Eco Hotels of the World, although its selection isn’t as extensive and its blog is no longer regularly updated. Environmentallyfriendshotels.com is useful too, and even lets users submit reviews assessing whether a hotel lives up to its green billing.
For something a bit more upmarket, Eco-Luxe Hotels helps you find five-star accommodation with eco credentials. Featured hotels range from seaside outposts in Australia to city-centre retreats in London, like The Savoy and One Aldwych. Top hotel booking site Mrs and Mrs Smith also has a filter for eco-friendly boutique hotels around the world.
Top eco hotels around the globe
For a green luxury experience, you can’t go wrong by staying at the Six Senses Con Dao hotel in Vietnam, whose innovative structure has been designed to reduce the need for air conditioning. In Thailand, Chiang Mai’s 137 Pillars House is renowned for its combination of modern amenities with traditional design, and Six Senses Samui is an indulgent – yet environmentally responsible – retreat on the famous island of Koh Samui.
Sri Lanka, often called “the pearl of the Indian Ocean” also boasts a great variety of luxury eco hotels. Heritance Kandalama near the historic city of Dambula is a fantastic hotel designed to blend into its environment, while Jetwing Vil Uyana near the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya is built on lands that were formerly used for slash and burn agriculture.
Costa Rica in Central America is a haven for eco-hotels too. Check out the award-winning Hotel Punta Islita in Guanacaste and Lapa Rios Ecolodge in Osa Peninsula, both of which are committed to protecting the country’s rainforests.
Looking for an eco-hotel in the city? Crosby Street Hotel in New York combines SoHo chic with green values, while the Hi Hotel in Nice has a Green Globe certification. And the EcoHotel in Rome – which, as its name suggests, prioritises sustainable tourism – is a brilliant place to stay in this historic city.
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