Going Green: 5 Hotels Leading the Way in Sustainable TravelBy Heidi Fuller-love
Today, savvy travelers seek to minimize their negative impact on the environment while maximizing their positive effect on local communities and enjoying a more locally relevant experience. With that in mind, here are five of the globe’s best resorts where you can stay sustainable while easing your (eco)conscience in style.
As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.
The Pioneering Paradise in the Heart of the Seychelles
Beachside luxury meets barefoot living at North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, which boasts a pioneering conservation and rehabilitation program, creating a space where giant tortoises roam freely and single-use plastic is banned.
Enjoy total immersion as you laze on the luscious, sugar-white beaches of this private Seychelles atoll surrounded by pristine turquoise seas. Relax in the luxury of your private villa decked out with driftwood decor and natural fabrics, or head out to discover rare and endangered species on guided hikes and dives led by the resort’s trained conservationists.
The Eco-Hangout in Hip Helsinki
From hybrid and electric airport transfers to eclectic staff uniforms made with sustainable materials and a winter garden that invites guests to connect with nature in an urban setting, Hotel U14, Autograph Collection offers the perfect eco-stay in the heart of Helsinki, a renowned hotbed of contemporary art, culture and tech innovation.
Run entirely on green energy, this hip hotel is known for its quirky decor, zero-waste policies and locally sourced gourmet food. Guests will find a constantly evolving organic living space where they’ll come closer to understanding why environmentally friendly Finland has repeatedly been named the happiest country on Earth.
The Ice-Cool Eco-Stay near Reykjavík
For tons of eco-aware luxury in spellbinding natural surroundings, you can’t do better than ION Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, a spectacular futuristic space created by Sigurlaug Sverrisdóttir, an Icelandic designer renowned for her passion for local authenticity.
The glass-sided building, perched high on the purple flanks of the Mount Hengill volcano, has breathtaking views over the lakes, hiking trails and other awe-inspiring attractions of Thingvellir National Park.
On property, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a totally immersive experience featuring locally sourced artwork, recycled furniture, fair-trade organic bedding, spa products made from the region’s mineral-rich volcanic ash and clay, and farm-to-table feeding at Silfra Restaurant.
The Bedouin-Style Conservation Retreat near Duba
Designed to resemble a Bedouin encampment, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa is an exclusive haven for Arabia’s natural wonders, where conservation efforts go hand-in-hand with a raft of thrilling immersive experiences.
Highlights here include riding out on horseback with highly trained local field guides to see the largest free-roaming herd of twizzle-horned Oryx in Arabia; spotting Rueppell’s fox and other rare animals during a sunset camel trek, or watching ospreys and eagles soar overhead from the panoramic terrace of your private villa.
The Green City Haven in Charming Copenhage
With policies to foster diversity and inclusivity and a groundbreaking seawater cooling system to conserve energy use and reduce waste, a sustainable stay is guaranteed at Copenhagen Marriott Hotel. The property overlooks the bustling harbor of this Danish city, which aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital in 2025.
Whether you explore the home of fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen on one of the city’s electric bikes; take a local-led canal tour; visit CopenHill, a waste-to-energy plant cunningly disguised as a ski slope; or even leap into the pristine waters of the harbor bath right outside the hotel, a green stay is guaranteed.