Would you like to travel more responsibly but don’t want to give up your creature comforts?
If yes, then we have to agree with you, this is our favourite way to travel too. Whether you are after a luxurious eco-safari in Africa, an Arctic cruise or a stylish European city break here are our suggestions for an eco-friendly holiday.
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Nihiwatu’s Eco Lodges on the Indonesian Island of Sumba
On the little-known island of Sumba, Nihitwatu eco lodges are located between the rich jungle and the golden sands leading into the Indian Ocean.
There are just 21 stunning villas, hand-built by local craftsmen, using materials indigenous to Indonesia. Reflecting traditional Sumbanese architecture each one features spacious outdoor living areas and open-plan interiors bringing the simplicity of island life to the villas. With a 90% Sumbanese workforce, the eco lodges bring the best of local culture and hospitality into the resort with profits being funnelled into the Sumba Foundation aiding community-based projects.
You won’t be lost for something to do here either. There are a myriad of daytime activities including hiking, yoga and horse riding and watersports such as surfing, while the Jungle and Hilltop spas offer treatments to rejuvenate.
For more information visit ScottDunn.com or call 020 8682 5020.
Enjoy an Eco-Safari with Singita Explore in Tanzania
Singita Explore in the Singita Grumeti Private Game Reserve in Tanzania is as close to nature as you can get. It offers an unparalleled eco-safari experience right on the epic migratory route that’s crossed annually by more than one million wildebeest.
With a maximum of 6 tents, each camp is put up at the request of private groups often in the most remote areas of the reserve. It can be moved directly into the path of the annual migration or to a particularly scenic location in the reserve depending on the season, the weather and movement of the animals.
Everything about the camp is designed for minimal energy consumption with little environmental impact. Completely off the grid, the camp is completely run on solar power.
Singita Explore is a return to the simplicity and authenticity of safari life but without having to forfeit the comforts or attentive service that are intrinsic to the unrivalled Singita guest experience.
For more information visit Singita.com or call 021 683 3424.
The Inspira Santa Marta, boutique hotel in the heart of Lisbon
It’s not often you come across a city centre hotel so totally committed to sustainable tourism yet this is what you will find at the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel. Within easy walking distance of the city’s main attractions, this charming eco-chic hotel is the perfect base whether in Lisbon for business or pleasure. Their commitment to sustainable tourism and social responsibility is exemplary.
All of their services, from the rooms to the spa, were designed based on the principles of feng shui and they also offer rooms specially designed for guests with reduced mobility.
“Being sustainable is not only limited to recycling and using environmentally friendly materials. It is a philosophy of life and a daily attitude. It aims to minimise the environmental impact of the life cycle of the business in its entirety – from development and construction to the daily operation in all its aspects. It is a constant quest for improvement, to help reduce the environmental footprint. Sustainability is not a luxury – it is an indispensable asset for all.” General Manager, Nicolas Roucos.
For more information visit Inspira Hotels or call +351 210 440 900.
Sustainable Luxury at Brazil’s Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Hidden amongst huge tropical trees on a small bend of the Cristalino River in northern Mato Grosso State, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge is one of South America’s foremost conservation projects and eco-lodges.
The lodge can only be accessed by water; guests arrive by motorised canoe and walk up the path to a series of comfortable and spacious solar-powered wooden bungalows set in a jungle clearing. The accommodation comprises of eight rooms and four bungalows with private bathrooms. The highlights are the bungalows and the superior rooms, which were carefully designed in wood, with ceramic tile floors. All rooms have solar water heating and biological waste treatment, emphasising the importance of environmental sustainability.
A series of trails (22 miles in total) and river trips can take guests to six different ecosystems within the reserve, that vary from rocky savannah to dense primary rainforest. There is also a spectacular 50-metre canopy tower, arguably the best in the Americas, the perfect spot for keen bird watchers.
For more information visit ScottDunn.com or call 020 8682 5030.
Luxury and Sustainability at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
In an area of extreme natural beauty stands Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, a spectacular beach property situated on the beautiful central Vietnamese coastline. Awarded Eco-Spa of the Year 2013, Six Senses’ sustainability and responsibility to the environment spreads throughout the entire property and worldwide brand. The 59 luxury private pool villas are elegantly furnished with rustic natural woods and neutral fabrics and have all been built to blend in with the natural environment either on the beach, over the water or into the amazing rock formations.
Photo credit: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Six Senses have partnered with two marine biologists to establish a swimming and snorkelling pathway through the reef and to create an inventory of marine life – both fish and coral – with the aim of protecting the reef from further damage. The partnership will also focus on coral preservation and reef restoration.
For more information visit SixSenses.com or call +84 58 3524 268.
Discover Arctic Norway with a Hurtigruten Cruise
The words ‘cruise’ and ‘sustainable tourism’ are rarely seen together and while the mega cruise liners that ply the Caribbean and the like, are anything but eco-friendly, on a Hurtigruten cruise around the Norwegian Arctic coast you can rest assured that your carbon footprint is not damaging the glorious wilderness, destroying remote communities along the way. In fact, the villages and towns spread out along the Norwegian coastline rely on the Hurtigruten ships in many ways, including for the transporting of goods and people, delivering essential supplies and even the post.
Hurtigruten is very much part of the local cultural and have been for a long time. They strive to give their guests an authentic local experience, through which they can discover the real Norway, including the incorporation of local produce and cuisine into the on-board menus.
While Hurtigruten ships may not be the height of luxury, they are most definitely comfortable and if cruising is your preferred style of holiday or you have always dreamed of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights, we think they’re the perfect choice.
For more information visit Hutrigruten.com or call 0203 468 548.
Sustainable Comfort at Song Saa Private Island Resort, Cambodia
Tucked away in an untouched corner of the Cambodian coast Song Saa Private Island focuses on luxury and sustainability. Inspired by local fishing villages, the resort uses thatched roofs and driftwood with features and facilities designed to work in harmony with the environment including the treatment and reuse of water on the island ensuring not a single drop is wasted.
A dedicated sustainability management plan is implemented by the resort including the creation and management of Cambodia’s first marine reserve improving the diving since the restoration of coral began.
The 27 thatch and stone villas, some with their own private pool, are dotted among the jungle or perched above the sea with stunning views of the ocean. We think Song Saa Private Island Resort is the idyllic place to escape the pressures of modern life, relax and rejuvenate and it all adds up to a superb eco-chic holiday.
For more information visit AmpersandTravel.com or call 020 7819 9770.