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7 eco-friendly hotels for your next vacation

Sustainable tourism has been a dominant trend in luxury travel, with many hotels, and travel companies promoting an eco-friendly jet setter lifestyle. It seems like every organisation is gearing up for green, responsible and ethical travel — not that we are complaining. Such tourism is much needed, considering how many destinations are at risk of climate change.

Going green does not mean scaling back on the luxuries, though. Instead, it is quite the opposite. Many five-star hotels and travel agencies have recognised the increasing trend for environmental sustainability — striking the perfect balance between treating guests to unparalleled luxury while being gentle on mother earth. These organisations are dedicated to conservation efforts, or contribute to local communities by using furnishings and textiles handmade by homegrown craftsmen.

In lieu of Earth Day, we bring you the most awe-inspiring, eco-friendly hotels around the world to consider for your next vacation. From privately owned beach hotels in Kenya to a chic resort in Southern California and one of the grandest hotels in Las Vegas, here are 5 beautiful places where you can indulge in a lavish yet eco-friendly experience. There’s no longer a reason to feel guilty about pampering yourself.

(Featured image credit: Hotel Tierra Patagonia)

Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania

Located on Coles Bay, a two-and-a-half-hour scenic drive from Hobart, and two hours from Launceston, Saffire Freycinet is one of the most beautiful hotels in Tasmania. The hotel was created for the purpose of rejuvenating an area that was previously damaged, while reducing the impact on the environment.

The hotel has implemented sustainable practices such as energy efficient water usage and lighting, natural cycle air flow systems, and double glazing. Eco-consciousness is not only limited to the hotel’s operations, but the kitchen as well. Ingredients used in its cuisine are sourced on site or from local vendors, to minimise the hotel’s carbon footprint.

Saffire Freycinet, 2352 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, Australia

The Majlis, Kenya

Originally a private African home-away-from-home locale, The Majlis is now a privately owned luxury beach hotel on Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago off Kenya’s northern coast. The boutique hotel offers 25 deluxe rooms and suites, divided into three beachfront villas.

Each villa is constructed using the archipelago’s natural resources, combining white coral blocks with hand-carved timber — exuding an understated elegance that reflects Lamu’s rich local tradition and style. The villas are also strategically positioned and integrated among their surrounding indigenous trees and plants, to preserve the beauty of the local surroundings.

The Majlis, Ras Kitau Bay, Manda Island, Lamu, Kenya

The Palazzo, Las Vegas

Las Vegas wouldn’t be the first city to spring to mind when it comes to eco-friendly luxury. But considering that it is a little city in the middle of the desert, that makes sense.

The Palazzo, located in the heart of Vegas, is the largest LEED-certified building in the world. Its conservation efforts saves enough water to provide each Nevada citizen with some 266 eight-ounce (267-ml) glasses of water a year, and enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 12,100 years.

The Palazzo, 3325 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA. 

Ksar Char-Bagh, Morocco

This beautiful private palace in Morocco is inspired by 14th century Moorish architecture, featuring ramparts, marble floors and organic gardens. Providing the perfect refuge from bustling Marrakech, this grand hotel offers twelve Harim suites that each feature a private terrace or garden.

Ksar Char-Bagh ensures it supports the local community, with all bills incurring a five per cent charge that benefits Village Association community projects.

Ksar Char-Bagh, Djnan Abiad La Palmeraie BP 12478, 40000, Marrakech, Morocco

L’Auberge Del Mar, San Diego

Overlooking the Pacific in the heart of Southern California’s coastal village of Del Mar is L’Auberge Del Mar, one of California’s most eco-friendly resorts.

Committed to sustainable tourism, the luxury hotel incorporates green practices into its daily operations, such as having energy efficient light bulbs and 100% biodegradable guest room key cards. It also participates in recycling and linen reuse programmes.

L’Auberge Del Mar, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA

Six Senses, Con Dao

Located on Vietnam’s untouched archipelago, the picturesque Six Senses Con Dao is committed to improving the ecological and carbon footprint resulting from resort and spa operations.

The resort prides itself on environmental responsibility, with protection programs for the dugong population that reside within the local national parks. It also promotes the development of educational establishments around the island for local children.

Six Senses Con Dao, Dat Doc Beach, Con Dao Dist, Con Son, 74000, Vietnam

Hotel Tierra Patagonia, Chile

Blending seamlessly into its picturesque natural environment, the Hotel Tierra Patagonia boasts stunning architecture that complements the flow of the geology of the area. It also has all-encompassing views of Torres del Paine National Park, which was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978.

The hotel uses low-energy lighting, wooden walls that help maintain a comfortable temperature, as well as furnishings and textiles handmade by local Chilean craftsmen using natural materials from the region.

Hotel Tierra Patagonia, On the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, Torres del Paine, Chile

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.