Eco-Friendly Hotel Stays: A Guide to Sustainable Travel

Gone are the days when travel and environmental responsibility were mutually exclusive. Today, travelers are increasingly seeking eco-friendly options that allow them to explore the world while minimizing their carbon footprint. From rainforest protection to renewable cooling systems, hotels across the globe are pioneering innovative sustainability initiatives. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top eco-friendly hotels that are setting a new standard in hospitality.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba:

Location: Aruba

Winner of the Global United Nations 2020 Climate Neutral Now Award and the 2023 Energy Globe Award, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is committed to sustainability. The resort reuses water from sinks and showers for the grounds, utilizes solar power to heat water, and boasts the lowest per-occupied-room electricity usage in Aruba. Additionally, it supports community wildlife conservation efforts.

Drake Bay Getaway Resort, Costa Rica:

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

This resort achieves a carbon-negative status by protecting 160 acres of untouched forest and employing renewable energy sources like solar-based water heating. Located in the rainforest, it is dedicated to being a steward of the land.

The Brando, French Polynesia:

Location: Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

The Brando utilizes a pioneering AC cooling system that reduces energy usage by 90 percent. Other sustainable practices include composting food waste, reusing wastewater for irrigation, and relying on solar panels for energy.

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Japan:

Location: Kyoto, Japan

Famed for its traditional tea ceremony, this hotel makes its vegan carrot cookies in collaboration with a local farm, utilizing leftover coffee grounds as fertilizer. The result is a delicious treat with a sustainable twist.

Soneva Jani, Maldives:

Location: Maldives

Soneva Jani’s Soneva Foundation ensures carbon neutrality, sources ingredients from its organic garden, and fosters dialogue between environmentalists and local communities. Additionally, the foundation funds projects worldwide using proceeds from a carbon tax placed on guests.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam:

Location: Hoi An, Vietnam

This retreat takes a holistic approach to sustainability, incorporating practices such as water bottling, and waste composting, and inviting guests to learn about caring for the earth through Vietnamese cultural rituals.

Oasyhotel, Italy:

Location: Via Privata San Vito, 1, 51020 San Marcello Piteglio PT, Italy

Oasyhotel is dedicated to not-for-profit rewilding, situated in the Pistoia Apennines among sustainable wood lodges overlooking chestnut, beech, and fir forests. The hotel is part of the WWF-affiliated Dynamo Oasis and supports eco-sound agriculture, breeding programs, and scientific research while offering activities like hiking, biking, and wolf-tracking.

Playa Viva, Mexico:

Location: Juluchuca, Zihuatanejo, Playa Icacos, 40834 Gro., MexicoPlaya Viva is a light-touch eco-lodge on Mexico’s Pacific coast, offering total immersion through biophilic design. Bamboo treehouses fuse with the natural setting, and the resort is off-grid with solar power and soft lighting to protect nesting turtles on the beach.

Hotel Marcel, Connecticut:

Location: 500 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT 06511, United States

Hotel Marcel focuses on passive house power, utilizing efficient heating and cooling methods in its 1970 Brutalist monolith building. Solar panels and a Power over Ethernet lighting system provide energy, while electronic shade treatments and all-electric kitchens conserve resources. The hotel is on track to qualify as the USA’s first net-zero hotel.

As travelers become more conscious of their environmental impact, eco-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular choices. From rainforest protection to renewable energy initiatives, these hotels are setting a new standard in hospitality while preserving the planet for future generations. So, the next time you plan a getaway, consider staying at one of these eco-friendly retreats and make your travels a force for positive change.