Conserving water and energy. Protecting wildlife and habitats. Whether we’re on a city break or kicking back in a luxury hotel, we all want to lessen our environmental impact. So, to help, we’ve put together three eco-conscious resorts that are leading the way in eco-tech – so you can start your next trip on the greenest foot.
Very few places come close to the tranquillity and beauty of the Cook Islands. You can experience both at the award-winning Pacific Resort Aitutaki, where you’ll have over 19 acres of tropical gardens and 1.5km of pristine white sand to call your own. Rooms come courtesy of thatched beachfront bungalows, while days can be spent lounging by the infinity fresh water pool or indulging at the Polynesian style spa.
Feeling in touch with nature here, however, goes further than enjoying beauty treatments on the beach. It even goes beyond cruising around Aitutaki Lagoon and feeding the native electric blue needle fish. This boutique resort is committed to the highest levels of hospitality and environmental initiatives. These include treating water by using a harmless electrolysation process and hypochlorous acid which is naturally produced in the human body. The hotel also offers oxybenzone-free ‘reef-safe’ sunscreen – a clever invention where any cream not absorbed by the skin doesn’t wash off in the ocean.
Sitting among the leafy canopy in this Miramón Forest retreat, it’s easy to feel like you’re floating on air. Located in the heart of Spain’s Basque Country, Arima Hotel boasts two gastronomic restaurants serving locally-grown ingredients and the most stylish spa in the region. Above all, this is where sleek, contemporary architecture and floor-to-ceiling windows beautifully complement the ‘live green, love green’ philosophy.
Designed to run on clean energy systems, the hotel meets the stringent Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency in a building. It does this by regulating heat and ventilation through slats on the walls which open and close like a set of blinds. And when it comes to water conservation, guests can indulge in a drenching shower, safe in the knowledge that their bathroom is using clean and filtered rainwater, collected nearby.
Step out onto the veranda of your beachside cottage in Tiamo Resort. Take a dip in your private pool. This is Caribbean style at its most luxuriously secluded. Tucked away on South Andros Island in the Bahamas, the resort’s 13 cottages are constructed from sustainable local pinewood with natural thatched roofs. Solar panels power the 100% LED lights, while solar water heaters and air conditioning uses energy efficient reverse osmosis. There are no power-hungry televisions in the bedrooms to interrupt the island’s peace and quiet. And the resort only buys services and seasonal fruit and vegetables from the local community. It also composts any kitchen and restaurant waste in its gardens.
Situated next to the third largest reef in the world between Andros and Nassau, Tiamo Resort promises extraordinary scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities. Fancy gazing at the colourful sealife beneath your feet? Rather than booking a glass-bottomed boat tour, hire a shallower kayak fitted with a glass base – and you cut the risk of damaging the fragile underwater ecosystem.