Looking for a greener hotel for your next vacation? Head to the country or coast. While it’s possible to find affordable hotels in Los Angeles and other major cities that work hard to reduce their carbon footprint, rural hotels are often leaps ahead.
With the freedom to build environmentally-sound properties and to source food from local farms (or grow their own), our seven recommended rural eco hotels make an exceptional effort to reduce their environmental impact. There’s also no hint of ‘roughing it’ with any of ‘em – each is stylish and safe, great for solo travel, girls’ getaways or breaks with your partner.
Read more about each below…
1. 1. Eco Hotels — Il Cantico della Natura, Perugia, Italy
Perfect for gals who like four-poster beds and spa treatments, Il Cantico della Natura in Perugia backs up its rustic-luxe aesthetic with staunch eco credentials. Meals are made with local, organic ingredients; electricity comes from renewable resources and water is conserved with grey water recycling and low-flow showers. It all adds up to a guilt-free country escape.
2. 2. Eco Hotels — Palmlea Farms Lodge & Bures, Vanua Levi, Fiji
Want to go snorkelling round a coral reef, muck in on an organic farm or spot rare birds on a coastal walk? Palmlea Farms Lodge & Bures makes it easy for you to explore its natural Fijian surroundings without damaging the ecosystem. The resort runs off solar power and water is pumped from a mountain stream, while you’ll stay in a traditional Fijian bure. Food comes from an on-site organic farm run by locals, which you can help out on.
3. 3. Eco Hotels — Centre Ecologic Llemena, Girona, Spain
Centre Ecologic Llemena sits 25kms from Girona in the midst of the Catalan countryside, and is perfect for total country relaxation. Everything’s designed with sustainability in mind, from the 100% latex mattresses to the naturally heated outdoor pool. The restaurant is veggie-only, with produce straight from their organic garden. For eco-girls who like to shop, the on-site boutique sells only organic products.
4. 4. Eco Hotels — Rivertime Resort and Eco Lodge, Ban Thadindeng, Laos
Not a single tree was cut down to make way for Rivertime Resort and Eco Lodge, no mean feat considering it’s in the middle of the Laotian jungle. Traditional lodges are built with 100% local materials and there’s an organic fruit and veg garden. Explore the wild surrounds with a boat trip down the Nam Ngum river or take a jungle trek with a local guides. If you’ve got an adventurous streak and don’t mind bugs and mozzies (unavoidable in the jungle), this one’s for you.
5. 5. Eco Hotels — La Casa Verde, Banos, Ecuador
La CasaVerdes is 2km away from Ecuadorian hot springs town Banos in a peaceful and beautiful rural setting. Whether you’re here to take a natural spa dip, climb nearby volcano Tungurahua or simply relax, the working farm proves itself an excellent base with organic breakfasts, eco-friendly spa treatments and local craft décor. Its calm and quiet location means you feel relaxed and secure, with Hostel Bookers customers giving the hotel a 96% safety recommendation.
6. 6. Eco Hotels — Hedonisia Hawaii, Pahoa, Hawaii
Clinging to the side of an active volcano in the heart of the jungle, the welcoming and friendly Hedonisia Hawaii is one for those wild at heart. Running off geothermal energy, the lodge offers a full gamut of environmentally-friendly facilities from recycling bins and to a girls’ ‘pee garden’ which does away with the need for flushing toilets and paper altogether… a novel concept indeed! If you’re a fan of quirky eco-design, you can choose to sleep in an old school bus or a hut made of natural strawberry guava.
7. 7. Eco Hotels — Port O’Call Eco Lodge, Port Douglas, Australia
Voted ‘Best Eco Accommodation’ in 2011 by HostelBookers customers, Port O’Call Eco Lodge in Australia’s Port Douglas has a seawater swimming pool, solar heating and lighting powered by wind turbines. There are also water and waste-minimisation systems in effect. Beach babes rejoice: golden sands are a five-minute walk away, and you can go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef just off the coast.
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