In the past few years we’ve seen many hotel owners making it a priority to add sustainable elements to their designs in addition to their business practices. When we used to think of green lodging, the words “amazing” and “luxurious” certainly did not come to mind. But due to consumer demand plus the option to save money in the long-run, hotels have certainly been kicking it up an eco-notch.
If you’re adding upcoming vacation destinations to your Pinterest list, then you definitely want to check out these eight eco-hotels that will absolutely be on ours.
Treehotel, Harads, Sweden
Is staying in a treehouse on your bucket list? You can check that off with a stay in a modern hotel room in the trees at Treehotel in Sweden. Elevated above the ground, each of the six rooms allow you to take in the beautiful views that overlook the Lule River Valley. It’s “a place where nature, ecological values, comfort and modern design are combined for an exciting adventure.”
Each treeroom is designed differently, but all provide luxurious relaxation with a low carbon footprint. Building in the trees means that none had to be taken down to make way for the structures and little harm has been done to the ground below. But we have to admit that what really amazed us are the bathrooms. Because there’s no sewage system, Treehotel had to be innovative so each room is equipped with an eco-friendly and odorless combustion toilet where everything is incinerated by the use of electricity at 600 degrees Celsius. The sinks do have running water and showers are located in a separate building with a view of nature. Treehotel has plans to offer a total of 24 rooms.
Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
With a slew of awards from magazines all over the country, Hotel Terra calls themselves the “new generation of hotel.” Located less than a mile from Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Hotel Terra is in a prime location offering ski-off convenience. As a Silver LEED certified hotel, it is the first in a collection of green hotels launched by the Terra Resort Group. While this means all the things that we think of when we think LEED, such as energy efficient heating and cooling systems, radiant heating, Energy Star approved windows, and water conservation systems, Hotel Terra has taken it one step further in other aspects as well. For example, the elevators include recycled leather tiles, the roof is made from 100% recycled “Eco Shake” shingles made from reinforced vinyl and cellulose fiber, and 90% of the hotel interiors capture natural daylight.
We also like the upcycling of so many materials, such as recycled seatbelts in the café chairs, reclaimed lumber in lobby pillars, reused pickle barrel tops on all balconies, recycled glass in bathroom countertops, and recycled skyscraper glass in bathroom soap dishes.
Paradise Bay Eco Resort, Queensland, Australia
Located in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands in Australia lies Paradise Bay Eco Resort. Formed from drowned volcanic islands, the Whitsundays are mountainous and mostly uninhabited. Because of the unspoiled nature that surrounds Paradise Bay, it means the resort needs to go to great lengths to keep it exactly that way without compromising the vacation experience. Prior to building, Paradise Bay removed all of the non-native plants from the area to encourage growth of native vegetation and wildlife. Guests experience an incredible amount of wildlife like dolphins, turtles, hump back whales, soft and hard corals, dozens of species of birds, butterflies, tropical fish, goannas and wallabies.
When scanning the buildings on the property, it’s remarkable to know that all of the materials used to build the resort were moved there by hand and then built using light power tools. Each building is elevated slightly so not to cause to the land and to minimize erosion. For its energy, Paradise Bay utilizes its vast solar field which powers 85% of the resort including the commercial kitchen. Perhaps one of the things about Paradise Bay that we found to be interesting is that they take the time to educate their guests about their sustainable initiatives. By showing guests how Paradise Bay is operated, they hope that guests will be enlightened by the “Behind the Scenes” tour, which includes the solar field, solar hot water heaters, waste water treatment, and much more.
The Vigilus Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy
Surrounded by the Dolmite Mountains in South Tyrol, Italy stands The Vigilus Mountain Resort, a destination where you can fully detach from the outside world. This eco-friendly mountain hideaway, can only be accessed by cable car (and by foot in the summer months), so the noise of cars and the street can be left behind in the valley below. The architect of the Vigilus Mountain Resort, Matteo Thun, was influenced by the property’s natural surroundings, and that is apparent from the outside in. Built around hundred year old larches, the hotel resembles a fallen tree amongst them while its wooden façade is meant to resemble its bark.
With floor to ceiling windows and huge balconies, guests can take in the panoramic views and the mountain air. The hotel utilizes a grass-covered roof that assists with energy conservation, while nature-based materials such as clay, glass, stone, and linen have been used inside the facility as warm color accents. The Vigilus Mountain Resort is a year-round destination with plenty of activities to take part in, such as archery, hiking, mountain biking, Nordic walking, skiing or crossing the winter landscapes with snowshoes. With an amazing spa and Pilates and yoga classes, you’ll have time to relax as well.
Adrère Amellal, Cairo, Egypt
If you’re seeking a quiet sanctuary in a not-so-traditional hotel then get ready to pack your bags for Cairo. Adrère Amellal is like no other destination that we’ve seen before, with 40 hand-built rooms that are constructed using palm roofing, mud, and rock salt. This sandcastle-like eco-hotel is meant to blend into the landscape and is situated perfectly so guests can take in the views of the shimmering Siwa Lake in addition to the Sahara Desert.
The facility relies completely on solar energy and electricity has been banned entirely so visitors use beeswax candles, oil lamps and, of course, the desert sky light the way. While the hotel may seem primitive and a step back in time, it doesn’t skimp on luxury. The Roman pool is spring-fed and is one of only a few found in the world and dinner is served in a different spot on the property every night amongst salt crystals and candles. One guest is quoted as saying “At night it’s so quiet that you can begin to hear the stars.”
Magic Mountain Lodge, Patagonia, Chile
Huilo Huilo is a private and protected area in the middle of the beautiful Andes Mountain Range in Patagonia, Chile. With hundreds of thousands of acres, Huilo Huilo is known as the “Biological Reserve at South of the World” with loads of natural forest and biological diversity. Located in this nature lover’s paradise is Magic Mountain Lodge,, truly unique accommodations that are built to resemble a mountain and volcano.
Built by local craftsmen from local materials, the lodge grows as the forest does throughout the seasons. It weathers the snow and then the rainy season provides for beautiful flora and fauna in the warmer months. The inside of Magic Mountain looks as though you are staying inside of a tree with gnarled, native wood. On the Magic Mountain grounds are mini golf and a “kids club” playroom so this destination is very family-friendly. For the adults, there is a spa with a large variety of treatments, a bar, a sauna, and soaking tubs in ancient tree trunks with naturally heated water (how cool) to relax after a day of activity.
White Pod, Le Cerniers, Switzerland
If a ski destination with fresh powder is what you’re looking for then no doubt you’ll want one without the crowds. How does a ski estate with private slopes and two private lifts in the heart of the Swiss Alps sound? Accessible only by skiing or snowshoeing in the winter, Whitepod is aiming to be a model for sustainable tourism. As a member of Eco Luxury, a collaboration of the best sustainable retreats in the world, Whitepod’s 15 dome-shaped tents are built on wooden platforms to minimize impact. Each is equipped with a woodstove, luxurious organic bedding, a private bathroom, and a deck to take in the view.
Set in an untouched environment, guests can explore the Swiss Alps at Whitepod through not just snowshoeing and skiing, but also by dog sledding, paragliding, and other activities. At the center of the pods stands a wooden chalet that was built in the 1800s, which is home to the traditional Swiss restaurant and newly-built spa. To blend in completely with nature, the domes are green-colored in the summer and covered in a white canvas in the winter.
Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York
For some of us, a getaway to the City is exactly what we’re looking for and what better way to spend it then in an eco-hotel. Located in the heart of New York City’s SoHo neighborhood is the Crosby Street Hotel. SoHo is known for its cobbled streets, eclectic eateries, and wonderful shopping, and the Crosby Street Hotel, is right in the middle of it all. With its LEED Gold certification, the hotel has become the greenest in New York City. What drew us to the Crosby Street Hotel is the landscaping that has been carefully planned in every outdoor area possible with 61% of the site considered “open.”
The American Woodland Meadow has over 50 varieties of native plants while the Sculpture Garden is a relaxing green, leafy space. And on top of the hotel on the 12th floor is another story in itself. This is where the kitchen garden is planted, an urban vegetable patch that supplies the hotel’s restaurant with tons of seasonal ingredients, including everything from melons and blueberries to tomatoes and herbs. Also on the roof is a Tudor style chicken coop, which houses four Araucana chickens. The unique, pale blue eggs are used in the kitchen as well. Inside, light is maximized with floor-to-ceiling windows and each room is individually designed. Another cool feature is the hotel has a state-of-the-art screening room. If you happen to be at The Crosby Street Hotel on a Sunday, all are welcome to join the Film Club, which meets each week and a different film is screened.