Many companies try to stake a “green” claim, but lack bona fide eco-initiatives to back it up. Herewith, six hotels taking environmental responsibility seriously.
Leave the hairdryer at home as there is no electricity at this desert dwelling. But who needs fancy lighting when you have moonlight surrounded by sand dunes, pathways lit by oil lamps and the cozy glow of candlelight. The entire hotel was built exclusively with materials available within 20 miles of the location. Each one of the 40 rooms is uniquely handmade with mud and salt brick. The furniture is environmentally friendly as well. The pool is fed by an underground stream, the doors are made of palm trees and the beds are made from palm fronds.
Just off the coast of Borneo, the 44 over-water villas of the Gayana Eco Resort have been designed with the environment in mind. The chalets are built on timber stilts, which are all constructed out of local woods. Also, this resort features its own on-site Marine Ecology Research Center. The programs are focused on conservation, rehabilitation and restoration of the coral reefs and its key organism, the giant clam.
Before Hotel Punta Islita opened its doors in 1994, the area was overexploited by unsustainable cattle ranching and wood extraction. The surrounding tropical dry forest had been stripped and the economy was in a slump. This changed once the hotel opened, as they provided professional opportunities for the people living in the region and initiated reforestation and wildlife protection programs. In January of 2011, Hotel Punta Islita received the Most Excellent Eco Resort Award by Condé Nast Johansens.
Not only is the architecture modeled by the Saffire Freycinet aesthetically stunning, but it was also designed to keep the environment happy too. The hotel has been built using a framework of environmental sustainability and the roof is made of local Tasmanian wood beams. Saffire engages in bushfire management, rain water collection, energy conservation (in the form of minimal night lighting in landscaped areas), and replanting of 30,000 native plants in the surrounding area.
This is the perfect getaway for eco-travel enthusiasts. Here, traditional Vietnamese architecture using locally sourced materials blend into the natural rocky landscape. Through their water conservation program, rain water is collected in a reservoir, and ground water is retrieved from deep wells to provide the freshwater needed at the resort. To limit the use of chlorine, they use use copper, fish and lotus plants to filter the water. Also, they donate 0.5 % of their revenue to the local community and have already helped provide clean water to 10 schools.
This San Francisco landmark has a comprehensive composting and recycling program. They divert 80% of the hotel’s generated waste away from landfills and use solar powered compactors. They purchase renewable energy credits, making the hotel’s energy use 100% carbon neutral.