These cutting-edge retreats are beautiful places to stay. And they’re pioneering novel approaches to more sustainable luxury travel.
These properties combine two priorities. Your in-the-moment comfort and experience. With the planet’s long-term future.
We love how these properties demonstrate sustainability from entirely different perspectives.
The Brando, French Polynesia
We’ve long celebrated The Brando as one of the world’s ultimate private island holidays. This is where Margot Robbie, Barack Obama and Ellen DeGeneres bumped into each other in a tropical island gym.
The resort is powered by over 4000 solar panels and they recently implemented a pioneering Seawater Air Conditioning system.
Cold deep-ocean water is pumped up to the resort and circulated through the buildings. Like many large air conditioning systems, the colder water absorbs heat and cools down the building. The Brando saves 90% energy versus its previous system, because it doesn’t need to chill the water. In large air conditioning systems, the water warms and excess heat is dumped into the atmosphere by evaporative cooling. At The Brando, the warmed-up water is returned to the ocean at a higher depth.
The Brando has inspired other properties in French Polynesia, like Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort, to adopt this green technology.
Passalacqua, Lake Como, Italy
This 18th-century villa on Lake Como is a vivid celebration of local craftsmanship. Hundreds of artisans used traditional, sometimes forgotten, techniques to restore the property.
The devotion to decorative detail is astonishing, the sustainability all about keeping artisanal crafts alive.
They included glassblowers hand-blowing chandeliers on site, metal smiths, stonemasons and leather workers making vintage-style steamer trunks.
Cap Karoso in Indonesia has a similar approach, preserving traditional Sumba island art and architectural techniques. Not only is this an important element of sustainability, it creates a far more unique and interesting stay.
Angama Mara & Angama Amboseli, Kenya
Angama have successfully demonstrated a long-term solution to increasing habitat for animals in East Africa.
They sublease land from local Maasai landowners, meaning local communities receive viable and consistent income from their land. In turn, the land is conserved rather than used for livestock grazing, and the community becomes a large anti-poaching unit. It’s particularly effective because it opens and preserves corridors for wildlife to move freely between protected national parks and reserves.
Angama Mara is one of our favourite designer safari camps and it’s where wildlife flourishes beyond the borders of the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Opening in late 2023, Angama Amboseli takes a similar approach on the edge of Amboseli National Park.
Six Senses Properties Around the World
Six Senses remain the global pioneer for sustainable luxury hotels. Earth Lab is where they inform guests about a property’s initiatives, involve them in conservation activities, and educate them on sustainable everyday practices.
For example, at Six Senses Fiji you can help grow and care for coral reefs. At Six Senses Zighy Bay you learn about farm-to-table gastronomy.
You can visit Six Senses Zil Pasyon’s reverse osmosis plant to see how tasty bottled water is produced with zero carbon footprint. The Six Senses Douro Valley is about sustainable healthy food habits, like producing yoghurts without electricity.
In edition II of Explorer magazine we interviewed Jeff Smith, VP Sustainability for Six Senses. It’s a fascinating insight into the brand’s philosophy.
HBD Principe, Sao Tome & Principe
On a remote jungle island, off the coast of West Africa, HBD Principe has reimagined how to sustainably develop luxury tourism in a completely new and unknown destination. (HBD stands for Here-Be-Dragons if you were wondering).
HBD Principe demonstrates how sustainable practices are the best way to combat the typical challenges of creating five-star luxury in a very remote place.
They turned an old cacao plantation into a self-sustaining farm to feed guests and staff. The beautiful tented suites at Sundy Praia are built into the jungle canopy, using recycled wood and canvas roofs.
A close connection with the local island community is key to their success too. At Sundy Praia you enjoy a unique cultural experience, while staying on an enormous empty beach, on an undeveloped island entirely covered in jungle.
Forestis Dolomites, Italy
Local architect Armin Sader achieved carbon neutral construction of Forestis by focusing on traditional Tyrolean design and exclusively using natural materials.
Forestis is entirely powered by renewable energy, including the use wood pellets for sustainable heating. Water comes from a pristine nearby spring and the kitchen has a strict zero-waste philosophy.
The surrounding nature is spectacular, a prime reason to stay at Forestis. We love how this nature is also powering a sustainable stay.
Celebrating More Sustainable Holidays
There’s not a sustainable holiday and a non-sustainable holiday. Every holiday can be sustainable in a different way.
These hotels inspire us to think about sustainability from different angles, when we’re creating holidays.
We’re here for people who think about their holidays differently, people who value a creatively tailored holiday just for them. We won’t give you an instant quote. Our approach takes time, because like the artisans of Passalacqua, quality takes time.