Luxury hotels embracing green in innovative ways, creating holidays that are better for you and the planet. From a new spa resorts to private island retreats and Antarctica.
These eight hotels show luxury hospitality and sustainability as natural partners, inspiring hundreds of others to follow their new ideas.
CERVO Mountain Resort, Zermatt, Switzerland
The best hotel in Zermatt generates 90% of its own electricity through geothermal and solar. Almost everything, from building materials to restaurant ingredients comes from within 150 kilometres of the resort. Used water is recycled, reheated and returned to the system clean.
We love CERVO because it embodies its destination, the car-free town of Zermatt. Here they enable nature to thrive and have evolved year on year, to balance an eco appearance with five-star hospitality.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Six Senses are the global leaders for sustainable luxury hospitality. They’re building the world’s first energy-positive hotel, Six Senses Svart. They’ve been bottling their own drinking water in 2003 and are attempting to become entirely plastic free.
We could include many great Six Senses hotels in this list, like Ibiza or Douro Valley. Six Senses Laamu is groundbreaking for its marine conservation success. Their conservationists collected data on manta rays, sea turtles and dolphins, which was used by the government to establish a new marine national park.
Lefay Resort & Spa, Lake Garda, Italy
A biomass plant fed by wood chips creates thermal energy to heat the pools and spa. Two microturbines fed by methane gas power the hotel’s heating and cooling systems. The hotel restaurant’s cupola is constructed entirely from solar panels.
Thanks to its bio architecture, Lefay Resort & Spa blends naturally into its Lake Garda forest surroundings and saves over 1000 tons of carbon emissions per year. We love how it looks and feels highly opulent, completely opposed to the traditional notions of “eco.”
Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Building a lodge on the edge of mountain gorilla habitat is an important undertaking, especially when there are only around 1000 of the world’s largest primates.
Bisate Lodge has just six forest villas, in the style of Nyanza kings. This is not colonial Africa. It’s pure, authentic and contemporary Africa.
What’s most amazing is the holistic approach to protecting the region. Reforestation and habitat restoration combined with local community upliftment, contributing to an increase in the number of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Want Your Luxury Holiday to be Sustainable?
Soneva tackled the challenges most people were afraid to talk about. Like how do you power a private island retreat? And how do you dispose of all the waste?
Soneva’s Maldives resorts recycled 90% of its solid waste and turned some of it into art pieces. They saved 300,000 litres of diesel per year by using solar to power the island. Desalinating water for guests saves 1.5 million plastic bottles per year. And it’s also top-tier luxury.
Soneva Jani is one of the best island resorts in the world, spectacular whatever your age and always with the wow factor.
White Desert, Antarctica
The only company taking guests to the interior of Antarctica. You fly to the white continent on a business jet and land on an ice runway. Then do excursions to penguins, unclimbed mountains and the South Pole. Can it be sustainable? Oh yes.
White Desert has been doing carbon offsets since 2007. Their two camps have zero permanent impact on the land. All the waste is taken out. And they’re now transitioning all their aviation fuel to biofuel.
Lapa Rios, Costa Rica
Many lodges claim to be luxury eco lodges. Not too many have succeeded in delivering top level luxury and sustainability. Lapa Rios is the ecolodge that has inspired the world. Built in the 1990s, it’s been sustainable since long before sustainability was talked about.
Sustainable architecture? Local ingredients and materials? Protecting and enhancing the natural environment? We love Lapa Rios because you experience the results. This is what happens when you invest in sustainability for 30 years.
Reimagining Your Next Holiday
These are only a selection of sustainable hotels that have inspired us. There are so many more. This isn’t about the best eight in the world, it’s about celebrating and discovering hotels that are doing things differently.
They are not only hotels but destinations, where sustainable holidays are better holidays.