3 mins

The best eco hotels and lodges in the world

When it's time to travel again, it's time to go green. And since 22 April is Earth Day, let's daydream of the world's best eco sleeps, including luxury hotels, eco-friendly lodges and safari stays...

Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica (Shutterstock)

1. Svart, Norway

Svart Hotel (Snøhetta Plompmozes Miris)

Svart Hotel (Snøhetta Plompmozes Miris)

Located just above the Arctic Circle, Svart will be the world’s first energy-positive hotel when it opens to guests in 2021. The circular property has a 360-degree view of the Svartisen glacier, and aims to reduce its yearly energy consumption by 85% compared to other modern hotels, by using solar energy. 

Explore Svart's official website

2. Jetwing Surf, Sri Lanka

(Jetwing Surf)

(Jetwing Surf)

Experience a piece of eco-luxury on the beaches of Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s south-
eastern coast. The hotel’s construction and design
has been inspired by nature with structures made from wood, palm leaves and dried iluk grass, built to create as little disturbance to the surrounding vegetation 
as possible.

Where feasible, natural ventilation and lighting is used and waste water is biologically treated to protect the natural habitat.

Explore Jetwing's official website

7 Sri Lankan sleeps we love

3. Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

(Garonga Safari Camp)

(Garonga Safari Camp)

Get back to nature in more ways than one
 at this luxury tented camp in the Makalai
 Conservancy. The camp does everything it can to reduce its carbon footprint including using solar panels for 30% of its energy consumption.

The property 
also has a heater pump system to reduce electrical power by 80%, and a bio-gas system to turn food and natural waste into natural gas to cook with. Used water is filtered and cleaned so it can be fed back into the camp’s waterhole for the animals.
 

Explore Garonga Safari Camp's official website

4. El Nido Resorts, Philippines

(El Nido Resorts)

(El Nido Resorts)

The four resorts in Palawan live by a green ethos, which includes buying their products and employing staff locally, giving guests the opportunities to experience nature and the area’s culture, and building new sustainability programmes every year.


As well as green design and architecture, the resorts offer sustainable menus and plenty of nature-based activities in their verdant environment. 

Explore El Nido Resort's official website

5. Soneva Kiri, Thailand

(Soneva Kiri)

(Soneva Kiri)

Soneva is committed to sustainability across all its resorts, but at Soneva Kiri it has developed a Carbon Calculator to monitor the full footprint of its operations; from energy consumption to freight, food, paper, waste and water.

Explore Soneva's official website

How to travel Thailand responsibly

6. Kachi Lodge, Bolivia

(Kachi Lodge)

(Kachi Lodge)

Kachi is the first permanent lodge of its kind in Saral de Uyuni, Bolivia's otherworldly salt flats. Sitting at the foot of the Tunupa volcano, it offers a sleek, solar-powered spin on glamping, all set at a breathless altitude (3,600m).

Here, its six white domes seemingly float on the horizon. Lanterns keep you warm at night, and local cuisine comes courtesy of the chefs from La Paz’s much-lauded Gustu restaurant, which also serves as a foundation to give under-privileged youths a start.

Explore Kachi Lodge's official website

What can you do at Kachi Lodge?

7. Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

Three Camel Lodge (Nomadic Expeditions, Michael Kleinberg)

Three Camel Lodge (Nomadic Expeditions, Michael Kleinberg)

In the light of the Gobi Desert, the Three Camel Lodge appears like a mirage, nestled between the Bayanzag cliffs and the Altai Mountains. A cluster of comfortable, eco-conscious gers: round, felt tents, decorated warmly in the Mongolian tradition, with local materials and hand-painted interiors. 

Yes, it looks sensational, but most importantly it’s socially responsible – the solar-powered ger camp has banned plastic use, protects wildlife and uses profits to support struggling nomads in winter. 

Explore Three Camel Lodge's official website

Wanderlust reviews Three Camel Lodge

8. Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica

(Pacuare Lodge)

(Pacuare Lodge)

Set deep in the Central Highlands’ rainforest, no roads lead to this eco-lodge, so if you decide against navigating the Pacuare River’s rushing rapids, you can cross the river by a hanging gondola instead.

It's typically known for high-octane adventures, natural beauty and exotic animal sightings, but commitment to sustainability is evident throughout the lodge.

Clean energy is the big focus, with electricity generated by a turbine in a nearby stream. There are no buffets here - you pre-order the superb meals so that nothing is wasted. No trees were felled to house the bungalows, which are lit up with lanterns, creating a natural warmth. You can then wash off the day with the solar-heated water – or take a dip in the infinity pool, framed by rainforest and the sounds of nature.

Explore Pacuare Lodge's official website

Go deeper inside Pacuare Lodge

9. Bambu Indah, Bali

(Bambu Indah)

(Bambu Indah)

With its handful of hand-carved teak houses and bamboo ‘tents’ set among the treetops, Bambu Indah is super-stylish yet sustainable – and won't blow your budget.

After a dawn yoga session, bathe in the freshwater pools and breakfast on organic ingredients – the restaurant has even replaced plates with bamboo leaves, and straws with papaya stems.

Explore Bambu Indah's official website

See more of Bali's best green hotels

10. Karinji Eco Retreat, Western Australia

(Karijini Eco Retreat)

(Karijini Eco Retreat)

With its hulking gorges, thundering waterfalls and rolling hills strewn with wildflowers and wallabies, Karijini National Park is one epic spot for hiking, climbing and canyoning.

What’s more, this eco retreat (based in the park) treads lightly on the landscape, thanks to its solar power, lack of air conditioning and non-permanent (yet beautifully furnished) tented suites. 

Explore Karijini Eco Retreat's official website

See more of Australia's dream sleeps

11. Rewa Lodge, Guyana

Rewa Lodge (Simon Chubb)

Rewa Lodge (Simon Chubb)

Owned and operated by a local Amerindian community, Rewa Lodge in Guyana has garnered many accolades among lovers of wild places. It first opened in 2003, when manager (and community chief) Rudy led the charge to open an eco lodge to benefit the local community and wildlife.

Rewa Lodge is an example of true grassroots tourism, with the community running it and directly benefitting. Rudy took our editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes to the nearby village, where a newly consecrated church, a health centre, nursery school and primary school were all funded through the lodge.

Explore Rewa Lodge's official website

Lyn Hughes discovers the spirit of Guyana

12. Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

Mashpi Lodge (Michael Kleinberg/Mashpi Lodge)

Mashpi Lodge (Michael Kleinberg/Mashpi Lodge)

Ecuador’s extraordinary Mashpi Lodge is an eco-wonder set deep in the amazing Chocó-Andean Cloud Forest. At night, you can sleep well, knowing that not a single tree was removed during its construction.  

During all hours, you'll be treated to uninterrupted views of rainforest from your room, and the hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, and jungle frogs that call this jungle home.

Explore Mashpi Lodge's official website

Related Articles