Leave No Footprint
The latest in eco-luxury resorts.
Want to stay in a hotel with environmental credentials that are as green as its golf courses? A new crop of luxury resorts will fit the bill.
Once upon a time, reusing your towels made you a ‘green’ hotel guest. But as we increasingly lead our lives with one eye on the environment, luxury accommodation has followed suit. Here’s what’s going to be hot in 2015.
Nature’s building materials
Taking green to the next level, holiday resorts are increasingly relying on natural materials when it comes to constructing everything from poolside bars to secluded villas. The approach might sound pretentious – bioclimatic architecture – but the concept couldn’t be more down-to-earth. Think air-cleaning vertical gardens, sustainable bamboo and insulating volcanic rock. Taking the trend and running with it is Costa Navarino in Greece, where rooms are built into the hillside to avoid disrupting the landscape and topped with living roofs made up of native grasses and flowers.
Engaging with your environment
Today, luxury means more than just an infinity pool, his and her fluffy dressing gowns and a world-class restaurant. People want an experience. And with 70 per cent of travellers opting for green hotels, that means an eco experience. What’s the point of heading to some far-flung destination and learning nothing about your surroundings? In 2015, guests will leave their sun loungers behind in favour of natural and cultural activities – from spearfishing lessons with the locals in Fiji to touring Costa Rica’s legendary farmers’ markets and spotting rare and endangered birds in New Zealand.
There’s no denying it – our tummies dictate our holidays. In fact, almost 30 per cent of Australians choose a destination based on the food they can find there. And with sustainability high on the agenda of the responsible and ethical traveller, globetrotting gourmands are seeking out stays with access to quality local ingredients. Hotels relying on their own organic vegetable gardens and fruit-filled orchards (and even the odd full-blown cattle ranch) to feed their guests are in, while dishes that are heavy on the air miles are a big no-no in 2015. Evason Hua Hin in Thailand even has a specially constructed hut for growing mushrooms.
Pitching a tent
If you haven’t been in a tent since your scout days, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with the joys of camping and spend a night or two under canvas. Forget memories of soggy sleeping bags – we are talking glamorous camping, or ‘glamping’. With crisp linen sheets, plunge pools and en-suite bathrooms, these luxury campsites allow guests access to some of the most stunning and remote locations in the world. How would you like to stumble out of your room in the morning to watch the sun rise over Kenya’s national parks or fall asleep to the sound of the exotic animals that inhabit the Galapagos Islands?
Being kind to the environment while taking it easy might sound too good to be true, but by checking into eco-friendly holiday resorts you can take the guilt out of your trip.