With growing concerns around the environmental impact of travel, the demand for eco-friendly accommodation options is increasing. Thankfully, we don't have to look too hard to find incredible eco lodges and hotels that are walking the talk and making sustainability an everyday priority, without sacrificing the luxury experience. From an African safari stay to a French surf retreat, these are the spots to know.
If you're looking for complete peace and relaxation, you'll find it in the south-west of France, at Les Echasses. Located just a few miles away from the white sandy beaches from the Atlantic and equally close to some of the best golf courses in Europe, it's the perfect place for reconnecting with yourself and nature. The lodges are built on stilts surrounding a lake, each one with its own private waterfront terrace. Indulge with a Nordic bath, massage or sauna, before tasting the delicious food on offer: the eco-lodge takes a permaculture approach to growing its own vegetables, while providing fruits from its orchard, honey from its beehives, and meat, fish, cheese and eggs from local organic producers.
Nestled in the heart of lush green forests in Ubud, Bali, Capella Ubud is a hidden sanctuary that allows guests to engage with their natural surroundings in personalised and stylish comfort. The unique eco-lodge has won EarthCheck accreditation for its sustainability efforts. Designed by famed architect Bill Bensley, every aspect of the resort has been planned with the goal of minimal environmental intervention, ensuring that all the existing flora and fauna goes completely untouched. This means that the buildings are positioned in line with the contours of the land and between the trees. The eco-conscious efforts don't end there: all meals are made using sustainably farmed produce, the spa only uses locally crafted organic treatments and there are no single-use plastics in sight.
Set on over 7000 acres of conservation reserve in Australia's Blue Mountains, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is committed to the preservation of both the surrounding environment and native wildlife. It's the perfect place to escape routine and find freedom, with an incredible program of adventures and activities that range from horseback riding to stargazing to relaxing body therapies. Choose from a range of luxurious villas, each with a spacious living area, cosy fireplace, private pool and picturesque veranda designed to immerse you in the atmospheric Blue Mountains surroundings.
Located in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, with exclusive traversing rights over a vast 22,500 hectares of wildlife land bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, the Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is the ultimate nature-lover's retreat. Its airy, organic design is a celebration of sustainability, with interior finishes that showcase the craftsmanship of Botswana’s artisans. 70% of the lodge’s extensive energy requirements come from solar energy and water usage is constantly monitored and limited. Furthermore, the hotel is committed to making a difference when it comes to conservation and community, engaging with projects like saving wild rhinos and providing help for Botswana's isolated communities.
Located on the magical Lac de la Lionne in Avignon, France, GCP Wood Cabins Hotel consists of 25 wooden suites that float on the water like rafts. The eco hotel was designed by Paris-based architectural and design practice Atelier LAVIT, who endeavoured to create complete symbiosis with the existing landscape. The use of repetitive vertical shapes creates an elegant upward momentum that blends in perfectly with the lake's reeds. As the seasons change, the architecture integrates with the landscape, camouflaging into the leafy trees in summer or reflecting organic shapes on the icy water in winter. In order to impact the landscape as minimally as possible, the project was largely prefabricated and then rebuilt on site in three months.
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