These 12 ecoresorts are just a few of the many resorts around the world that strive to make a difference in the health of the environment as well as the financial health of the communities they operate in. All beautifully designed for comfort and style while maximizing the healing benefits of the natural surroundings. This is why we travel.
What makes it unique: Desa Seni is a village resort that offers a true cultural experience in a setting that resembles staying in a small village in Indonesia. The houses are built with recycled, repurposed or sustainable products from local sources. The impact on the land the local waterways have been kept to a minimum.
The resort has set aside 40% of it’s land of organic farming, producing 80% of the food needed for the restaurant. Not only do they a minimum impact on the environment, but they also have a maximum impact on their community by giving back and donating resources.
What makes it unique: It takes advantage of the nature terrain, hugs and almost disappears into it. The result? A seamless space where the lines between indoors and outdoors have been indiscriminately blurred, causing minimal impact to landscape. With 13 luxurious suites to choose from, including the Amber Presidential suite, Sabi Sabi proves that environmentally friendly safari accommodations can be more than just a well-appointed tented structure.
Sabi Sabi also has an extensive conservation Habitat Management Program that seeks to educate visitors and protect their beautiful natural resources. Their approach to ecotourism is to “effectively link tourism with conservation and the community”, focusing on the interdependence of tourism, conservation and local communities.
What makes it unique: Located high in the Atlas Mountains and built using local materials and craftsmen, the Kasbah’s approach to ecofriendly, sustainable tourism centers around the local population. Not only is the hotel fully staffed by members of the local community, a 5% fee added to every guest’s bill provides scholarships for local girls to continue their education.
The well-appointed guest rooms and suites are designed in a cozy mix of local traditional Berber style and modern comfort. From the hand woven textiles, to the floor to ceiling glass walls that offer up views of the Atlas Mountains, the Kasbah is truly a sensory experience.
What makes it unique: Pikaia Lodge doesn’t limit their environmental and sustainability efforts to their buildings and operations. Their very close working relationship with the Ecuadorian environmental authorities allows them to help preserve the delicate flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. It’s commitment to Social responsibility through providing employment for the local population of the island of Santa Cruz, mentoring staff and donating to the local schools means that Pikaia is not only an amazing eco lodge, but a great neighbor.
The accommodations are sleek, modern and minimalist without feeling cold and sparse. The buildings all have floor to ceiling windows, warm earth tones, clean lines and all of the comforts of home designed to take maximum advantage of sustainable architectural principles.
Chumbe Island - Zanzibar
What makes it it unique: This privately managed nature reserve and uninhabited island is home to one of the last pristine coral reefs in the region. The reserve not only includes the coral reef sanctuary, but also a forest reserve that is home to rare species such as coconut crabs and the critically endangered mini-antelope.
The accommodations are built using local materials and traditional building methods, these beautifully simple architectural gems hide their ecofriendly features in and out of plain sight. From solar panels to rain water collection, you can experience Zanzibar with the least amount of impact.
The Gibbon Experience - Laos
What makes it unique: Created to stem the growing tide of slash and burn in the Bokeo Forest, The Gibbon Experience works with the local people of the forest and Laotian authorities to protect it and the wildlife. Situated in the Nam Kan National Park, the project has worked to help preserve 336,000 acres of pristine forest. Employing over 120 local people who provide trend-setting tourism.
It’s a treehouse! The accommodations are built as high as safely possible above the forest canopy. Built with a combination of platforms and steel cables, these tree houses are a modern take on a childhood fantasy. Complete with kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and sleeping areas there’s no worrying about privacy up here.
The Lodge and Spa at Pico Bonito - Honduras
What makes it unique: Pico Bonito Lodge sits in one of Central America’s largest rainforests on over 400 acres. Home to beautiful waterfalls and exotic species, whitewater rafting, a manatee reserve and breathtaking views. The lodge is also home to a butterfly farm that has over 40 different species of tropical butterflies.
The luxury ecofriendly cabins are designed using local materials and feature wooden ceilings, floors, hammocks for lounging while taking in the beauty of the surrounding rainforest. All the conveniences of home, without the huge environmental impact.
What makes it unique: Like a scene out of a sci-fi movie fantasy, Keemala tells the story of the four klans of Phuket through the fantastic, other worldly architecture. Offering a range of holistic wellness programs from yoga and meditation to Thai boxing, spa treatments and cooking classes.
There are four different styles of villa representing the four clans, Pa-Ta-Pea (Earth) Clan, Khon-Jorn (Wanderer) Clan, We-ha (Sky) Clan and the Rung-Nok (Nest) Clan. Each villa is designed to honor Thai history while allowing guests to relax in modern comfort.
Posadas Amazonas - Peru
What makes it unique: Posadas Amazonas is a beautifully designed 30 room lodge owned by the local Infierno community and sits within a 500 acre private reserve.
The accommodations are designed using local materials such as cane reeds, mahogany flooring and the Yanchama bark harvested by artisans from Eseeja. The high ceilings and single open sidewall of the rooms allow for natural ventilation and allows you to experience the Amazon in elegantly simple, indigenous style.
What makes it unique: Founded upon the principals of developing a true partnership with the Maasai, the land that the camp sits on belongs to 26 Maasai families from the local area and provides income for the community. The camp has continued their environmental efforts and low impact on the surrounding area for nearly 20 years.
The fifteen elevated tents each offer simple safari comfort, with beautiful hardwood floors, full bathrooms with soaking tub and shower, and nightly turn down service complete with hot water bottle to keep the nighttime chill away.
What makes it unique: Set in the Swiss Alps overlooking Lake Geneva, Whitepod is a luxury eco-resort in Valais. Built to have low impact on the environment, the pods are elevated above the landscape using minimal materials and take advantage of water and energy conservation.
The geodesic pods are designed for maximum efficiency and luxury. Each pod is a cozy ensuite unit with views of the valley below. With all the comforts of a traditional hotel room and a wood burning stove to take the chill off of the evening mountain air, the pods can be enjoyed all year round.
What makes it unique: Built entirely from one woman’s dream of a sustainable luxury ecolodge, Jicaro was designed to take advantage of the stunning views of Lake Nicaragua with as little impact as possible. Maintaining the existing character of the small island, the land dictated the shape the resort has taken.
Using only reclaimed timber from trees downed during Hurricane Felix in 2007, each casita is a two story luxury home away from home. Raised above the ground for minimal impact and maximum comfort, each casita is designed to take advantage of basic sustainable architectural principals without sacrificing style.