In the past, the travel industry has significantly contributed to the pollution and waste that occurs around the world, but this is now beginning to change. Airlines, hotels, and attractions are all looking for ways to be more eco-friendly, without having to have their travelers sacrifice their comforts in the process. OROGOLD reviews some of the best luxury eco-friendly destinations around the world.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Built using recycled materials, the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali is an architectural masterpiece, balanced on a Balinese cliff and designed to blend in to the hilltops. The resort has 61 stylish villas, each with their own 24-hour personal butler service, as well as their own swimming pool and sunbathing cabana, also ideal for watching the gorgeous sunsets in the evening. Although the resort lacks direct beach access since it is sat up on a cliff, the 50 meter swimming pool, with its infinity section overlooking the sea, more than makes up for this, and the resort’s remote location gives you a taste of Bali that many tourists never see. Surrounded by tropical vegetation, the resort is an ideal base from which to explore Bali, and the many classes and activities, from Indonesian cooking to yoga, will keep you busy when you want to do something more relaxing.
Hoshinoya Karuizawa, Japan
Located just an hour from Tokyo is the Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a resort comprising of a collection of cabins in woodland, nestled in a lush valley just below an active volcano. The resort is almost completely self-sufficient when it comes to energy, as they not only harness the geothermal heat from their own hot springs, but also uses hydroelectricity from the fast-flowing mountain streams. The hotel is best known for its natural thermal baths, but there is also a Meditation Bath that is exclusively for hotel guests. In addition to the private wooden tub that each villa enjoys, there is also a spa, a library lounge, and many restaurants, as well as organized daily nature tours and yoga classes.
North Island, Seychelles
An exclusive eco-retreat located on a private island, North Island is only accessible by helicopter or by private yacht. As soon as you arrive, it is time to forget about any hotels that you have been to in the past, as this one is completely different. With no menus, drinks lists, dress codes, or planned excursions, it is more like spending time on your very own tropical island, along with the other guests. Each of the 11 villas has plenty of personal touches, from homemade banana chips to their own personal butler service, as well as a projector home cinema. A chat with the chef on arrival determines your meals for your stay, and everything is completely personalized to your own preferences, making it no surprise that this is where William and Kate decided to spend their honeymoon.
With so many fantastic services and facilities, it is evident that an eco-friendly vacation does not mean that any luxuries need to be sacrificed. Not only do eco-friendly hotels and resorts do their best to minimize their carbon footprint, but they also spend plenty of time and effort on conservation and community projects, so OROGOLD recommends always staying somewhere eco-friendly whenever possible.