Holidaying in a ‘green’ way used to mean camping in a field surrounded by cow manure. How times have changed! The emergence of eco-chic holiday homes means that now you can play your part, respecting the planet, whilst relaxing in comfortable or even luxurious surroundings. Here’s five of our favourites from one of the UK’s best vacation rental sites, Holiday Lettings.
Sustainability in South Africa
Ladlau Drive, Simbithi Eco Estate, Kwa Zulu Natal
5 bedrooms, sleeps 12
This stunning South African home, with all mod cons and a private heated swimming pool, is close to the beach and a great base to explore the game parks.
Ladlu Drive is on the Simbithi Eco-Estate which takes every precaution to minimise environmental impact including geology and soil assessments, water resource and drainage appraisals, land use and vegetation studies and aesthetic, historical and cultural appraisals, ensuring a development perfectly in tune with the natural surroundings. Read more…
Get closer to nature in this lovely French Farmhouse
The Gite at Rigal, Dordogne
3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
The Manor de Rigal is a stunning organic farm, painstakingly renovated in 2007, with reclaimed materials. Eco paints have been used throughout, water recuperation tanks are sunk into the garden and the estate is heated using an eco-friendly wood burning boiler system. Rigal creates zero fuel miles and is totally carbon neutral. The pool is heated via solar panels and a heat exchange system connected to the wood burning boiler making Rigal a great experience for you and a low impact on the environment. Read more…
Glamping in the English countryside
Tom’s Eco Lodge, Isle of Wight
3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
Relax in one of 5 luxurious safari tents on the Isle of Wight! Located in the glorious surroundings of Tapnell Farm, these eco-lodges provide the comfort of a cosy home, in the perfect setting for an eco-friendly adventure. Rent all 5 safari tents for groups of up to 40 people.
The farm has some interesting musical history, as it hosted the original Isle of Wight Festival back in 1970. Read more…
Scottish simplicity of the Isle of Skye
Skeabost Wood Cottage, Isle of Skye
2 bedroom, sleeps 4
Skeabost Wood Cottage is a brand new eco-house designed by a renowned local architect. Set in 3.5 acres of unspoilt woodland, the cottage overlooks the River Snizort – one of Skye’s best salmon fishing rivers, and yet is just a few miles from picturesque Portree with great restaurants, supermarket and shops. Read more…
Australian luxury by the beach
Alinghi Beach House, Noosa, Queensland
4 bedrooms, sleeps 12
This Antipodean eco-palace is just metres from the beach and is set in 14 acres of pristine Australian bushland. The house was designed to be as environmentally-sensitive as possible. Clever positioning and design mean that the house can be completely opened up to nature via sliding glass doors and windows, taking full advantage of the fresh ocean breezes. The house also boasts its own rain-water harvesting and grey water system for the garden. With its own private swimming pool, grass tennis court and entertaining BBQ cabana, plus direct access to the private beach, this is everyone’s dream holiday house. Read more…
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We’re visiting Dordogne in April – I cannot wait!!
Oh, Dordogne is beautful! I look forward to hearing all about it 🙂
Have a brilliant time and take lots of photos – such a lovely area.
Going by looks and first impressions, that French farmhouse (Manor de Rigal) caught my eye as a place I’d like to stay someday. And if it’s eco-friendly, all the better.
A popular choice Lee and as you say all the better for being eco-friendly.
They all look lovely and of course as the more aware we become of this type of travel, the better. I love stonework, so am especially drawn to the French farmhouse. For those of you who don’t realise, if you get up close and personal with a hen, don’t wear red lipstick! 🙂 Great read, thanks Kathryn.
Do I take it you once had a nasty run in with a hen? Sounds like the making of a great blog post! And yes, the farmhouse is lovely (with or without the hens)
These are great examples of how luxury and wow factor remain even if you’ve picked an ‘eco-friendly’ place to stay – in fact reading these, even more impressive as a result!!
The amount of wastage in any paid accommodation is normally staggering – the frequency that sheets and towels are changed, the number of pots of toiletries that are thrown away half-used, the amount of mood lighting at a hotel overnight etc etc
I would love to see hotels really take account of this and do more than leave guidance on where to put towels if you want new ones!!
UK listed groups (plc’s) now have to report publically on their carbon emissions, no doubt hotel chains will fall into this either in the UK or elsewhere – it will be interesting to see what they say and what changes!!
I couldn’t agree with you more! My biggest bugbear for a long time was hotels leaving every TV, in what could be hundreds of rooms, all on standby! At least now modern TVs don’t use up as much power as they did (even on standby) but it used to drive me mad! And don’t get me started on towels in hotels…. you leave them hung up because you don’t want them changed and they change them anyway!
Those are all very nice destination homes to visit, I think my favorite in terms of lifestyle and aesthetic would be the last home, but then who wouldn’t want to stay in an amazing home like that?
I like the look of that property in South Africa especially. Seems ideal for a large family gathering.
As for Skye, that’s one of the Scottish islands I’ve yet to make it to, but am hoping that might change this Summer. We shall see… 🙂
These all look excellent options for a relaxing getaway but I am certainly drawn to the Australian eco-palace that just looks to be set in a perfect paradise. We were in Brisbane for our honeymoon, January 2013 and had a great experience there so it would be awesome to go back to Queensland just to sit back, relax after a long flight and take in the ocean views from that deck.
I think we are going to see a lot of countries adopting this new eco-friendly approach with their accommodations and although I personally feel it will take a while for many of these to take off, likely will need some of the leading brands and hotel chains to pick up on this, it is certainly appealing for folks who have that mindset – unfortunately not everyone does and many will still go with that cost-effective approach. I’m sure I fall into that category but there is nothing wrong with at least considering these other options available to us and if we all did our part, we would make our globe a much healthier and sustainable place to live.
Your quite right Chris, eco-friendly isn’t always wallet-friendly but that isn’t always the case and no matter what your budget we should all have a good look at our options and play our part, wherever we can, in protecting this beautiful planet.