– For the responsible traveler, a good night’s sleep takes more than fluffy comforters and a mint on the pillow. It is a challenge to find a hotels that truly respect the environment, giving their guests peace of mind in addition to a peaceful stay.
To make matters worse, the going green has become trendy enough that the industry has started greenwashing, or adopting superficial eco techniques that are mostly for show. We’ve all seen the resort pumping gallons of water through its lazy river with sign in the bathroom urging you to save water by reusing your towel. Doesn’t true hospitality means you can have fresh towels whenever you want? Saving the planet doesn’t have to mean compromising the comfort of the guests. The climate talks in Warsaw may be struggling, but these seven hotels, built from the ground up with the environment in mind, are all excellent independent choices perfect for letting your travel money do the talking.
Two hotels that that kept even the construction process green are the H2 Hotel in California, and the Orchid Hotel in Mumbai. H2’s leadership believes that “sustainability starts with the materials used,” and maintained this approach with the use of salvaged materials. Almost all the materials used in the Orchid’s construction lived a past life; the concrete and cement mostly consists of fly ash, the internal panels are made from fertilizer waste, and the wood comes from recycled cotton stalks.
While some eco hotels focus on what is in the walls, others try to break down the barriers altogether. Posada Amazonas is a gorgeous Peruvian eco-lodge that is situated in one of the most biodiverse regions in the Amazon basin. The hotel strives to maintain almost total sustainability to stay in harmony with its natural surroundings, and has even been declared a nature preserve because of the protected wildlife that roam the property. Move from South America to Africa and you will find similar efforts at Campi ya Kanzi. Working to stay in sync with the surrounding nature, this hotel has 30 game rangers on watch to prevent poaching of the stunning wildlife on the property and surrounds. In Australia, Saffire Freycinet features organic, nature-inspired architecture to blend with the landscape. Their core principles are “the protection of healthy sites” and the “healing of damaged sites”, which are put into action through their many sustainability projects on the hotel grounds and beyond.
Not all hotels are located in the middle of a rainforest, so they’re taking different routes to sustainability. The Green House in England is a major innovator in water conservation. Their usage is extremely low, and the grounds are irrigated solely through harvested rainwater. Hotel InterContinental in Miami recently became the largest green power purchaser in the state, now utilizing 100% wind power. The solar-powered H2 Hotel in California has a similar focus on reducing energy consumption. Smart sensors even turn off lights, air conditioners, and fans when the rooms are empty.
While all of these hotels have very different approaches in how they reduce their footprint, it is clear that they make the environment top priority in their daily operation. This true environmental awareness has nearly every material accounted for. So when the fibers are recycled and the laundry is powered by rainwater, you can use as many towels as you want. Everybody wins.