Make Mother Earth proud by exploring our pick of the best eco-friendly hotels – caring for the environment on holiday has never been so luxurious
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The world’s best eco-friendly hotels
Singita Grumeti, Tanzania
One of Africa’s leading conservation companies, Singita is not only trailblazing anti-poaching tactics but also brings new meaning to privacy. Set in the magnificent 350,000-acre private concession, guests have this wild stretch of Africa all to themselves while staying at Singita Sasakwa. An incredible experience for guests include sundowners at one of Singita’s high-flying anti-poaching observation points and meeting the anti-poaching task force for a first-hand insight into the new era of tactics Singita have introduced to combat wildlife poaching. Following their experience in Singita Grumeti, guests can combine their stay with Singita Mara River Tented Camp – the epitome of sustainable tourism which consciously seeks to eliminate the unnecessary use of energy and non-biodegradable material and relies entirely on custom-designed solar system for its power.
HOW: Rates at Singita Sasakwa Lodge start from US$1,500 per person per night and rates at Singita Mara River Tented Camp from US$1,375 per person per night. This is based a full board basis, including twice-daily open Land Rover safaris and return road transfers between the airstrips and lodges.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans
Taj has taken great care to construct a 72-villa world-class resort within 46 acres of jungle, forests and mangroves while preserving the fragile eco-system of the island. The surrounding coconut and Arecanut trees as well as the mangroves remain undisturbed and have been incorporated into the resort’s design. An onsite bottling plant, waste disposal system and a sanitation treatment plant for water purification have been set up. Guests can meet with the in-house Naturalist who will work closely with the local NGOS and authorities towards the preservation of the marine life and the natural environment. Havelock Island is well known for its dive sites and Taj can offer interesting destination experiences including underwater photography, kayaking through the mangroves, diving through the rich marine life or just relax and take in the stunning views of the Radhanagar and Elephant beaches.
HOW: Prices start from INR 25,000 excluding taxes (approximately £280 per night).
Locally-owned Baros Maldives has been renowned as one of the best diving locations in the Indian Ocean and is home to the first Dive Centre to open in the archipelago. With a beautiful house reef, only 15 to 30 metres from the shore, the hotel provides guests with the chance to take home a PADI registered diver certificate, alongside unforgettable memories, even if they are complete diving beginners. Baros Maldives started their Reef Rehabilitation Programme around their own stunning house-reef, which starts just 15 metres from shore. During the diving trip, Baros teaches guests about reef conservation and to reduce their own carbon footprint by sponsoring a coral tray with their names engraved on it. This year-round activity teaches us about the impact of our actions on the environment and allows guests to come back year-on-year to watch their coral tray grow and flourish.
HOW: The PADI Package rates start from $859 per night in a Deluxe Villa, based on double occupancy on a B&B basis, excluding 12% GST. Rates applicable for a minimum of seven nights respectively and include return speedboat airport transfers, a full diving course, equipment, boat trips and refreshments.
Fregate Island Private, Seychelles
The prestigious Oetker Collection’s idyllic Indian Ocean private island – is home to seven of the most beautiful beaches, each with their own unique character and charm. Fregate Island Private is also the perfect place to receive an introduction to conservation, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting up close and personal with rare wildlife. Upon arrival, it feels like walking into Jurassic Park with the luscious green landscape, thousands of birds circulating in the sky and charismatic Giant Aldabra Tortoises. The luxury retreat occupies an entire private island the size of Monaco in the middle of the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
HOW: Private Pool Residence from €3,250 (currently approx. £2,853) per residence per night, including all meals anywhere on the island, soft beverages, house wines, local beers as well as personal laundry, island buggy, non-motorised watersports and guided nature walks. Kids Club programmes available for children ages four and up.
Six Senses, Yao Noi
Sustainability and a commitment to the environment are top of the agenda at all Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, with numerous practices in place at all resorts to minimise guests’ carbon footprint and to sensitively preserve the natural landscape in which hotels and resorts are built. The resort is fortunate enough to have its own mangrove forest – here, guests can immerse themselves in nature first hand on an expertly guided Nature Trail. Six Senses Yao Noi has also been authorised by the local government to rejuvenate and protect the public mangrove area for educational purposes. Together with the local community, Six Senses has built a wooden walkway and planted over 3,000 mangrove seedlings, allowing guests to enjoy the mangroves and allow them the unique opportunity to spot some of the fascinating wildlife on the island, with minimal disruption or damage to the destination’s biodiversity.
HOW: Rates at Six Senses Yao Noi start from US$695 (approx. £494) per night in a Hideaway Pool Villa. Rates are inclusive of taxes and services charges.
Knai Bang Chatt, Cambodia
Knai Bang Chatt is a chic, modernist boutique hotel revealing Kep Sur Mer – a relatively undiscovered beach destination on Cambodia’s South Coast, once the 1960’s escape for the elite. Knai Bang Chatt has a genuine connection to the local community and environment, supporting several initiatives including the ‘Hand in Hand’ Cambodia social economic empowerment project. The owners realised during their first visit to Cambodia that many neighbouring and impoverished communities were in need of improved health, clean water, more livelihoods opportunities, and better education for their children. The Hand in Hand programme has made many positive impacts to improve the lives of more than 3,000 community members. Knai Bang Chatt continues to support the community with a focus on higher education and providing university scholarships.
HOW: Rates at Knai Bang Chatt start from $188 (currently approx. £135) per night. This is an accessible coastal location, just over a two-hour drive from Phnom Penh airport and is an integral part of a Cambodia itinerary.
Atlantis, Paradise Island
With a focus on supporting the local community and preserving marine life, Atlantis is wholly dedicated to bringing to life it’s mantra of ‘Bahamas at Heart’. Most recently it launched a Sea Turtle Release Program for families, enabling them to help release a sea turtle back into the wild after its rehabilitation at the resort. Atlantis is the only full-service resort with the medical laboratory, research and holding capacity of an independent marine facility dedicated to conservation, rehabilitation and education. Atlantis works closely with The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources & The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation to help with animal rescue, rehabilitation and welfare. Guests can be immersed in the ultimate Bahamian experience by the local experts themselves, connecting guests to the rich history, art, people, food and festivities of The Bahamas.
HOW: Rates at Atlantis, Paradise Island start from The Beach rooms at $200, The Coral Rooms at $249 per night