Planning a luxurious vacation but want to make sure you keep on Mother Nature’s good side? Super-green trips to the eco-lodges of the world are proving more enticing than ever, as they innovatively marry the exotic luxury of a pampered getaway, but also can give a more rugged feel (if you so desire) and promise to keep travelers more in tune with nature. Plus, you can jet-set with a clear conscience knowing that each locale is fastidiously protecting the delicate ecosystems inherent in their surroundings. Read on to get the scoop on our picks for the most outstanding eco-lodge options from across the globe!
1) The Misool Eco-Resort – Indonesia (pictured above & directly below):
If you weren’t taken in my the 13 charming bungalows handcrafted from locally salvaged driftwood, you’ll definitely be hooked by the stunning vistas and waterfront (literally as close to the crystal-clear marine depths as possible) wonderment. The Misool is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia’s fabled and revered Coral Triangle, meaning that the proximity to stunning sea-life and gorgeous white sand beaches is unlike anywhere else in the world. Plus, each private villa (all 13 are different) offers refreshing amenities and accommodations that both pamper and befit the ecological nature of the resort. Opt for some snorkeling and diving for a taste of local adventure.
2) Bushmans Kloo Wilderness Lodge – South Africa:
Located in the Cederburg Mountains on the Western Cape of South Africa, this unique resort is the ultimate partnership between the awe-inspiring ruggedness of the African wild, and the delicious feeling that comes from letting oneself recline into the lap of total luxury. Choose from standard hotel rooms, or larger suites and soak in the best of both worlds. All accommodations feature state-of-the-art amenities – like pool & spa access, in-suite fireplaces, and genuine heritage art collections decking the walls. The resort also includes the Koro Lodge – a historic farmhouse on the grounds that is now available to rent privately for larger groups and families. If adventure is what you crave, the property staff will set you up on excursions like biking, hiking, canoeing and fly-fishing – all in the midst of some of the most jaw-droppingly fantastic scenery on the continent.
3) Inkaterra Reserva Amazonia – Peru:
Nestle yourself deep in the Peruvian rain forest and experience both the simple side of life and the impossibly luxe side. At this eco-friendly locale, you get all-natural accommodations, situated in complete serenity. The screened-in porches, plush robes, organic complimentary toiletries and tropically charming rooms will have you wanting to set up camp permanently. Plus, with offerings of rain forest excursions, stargazing balconies, a top-tier spa and on-site restaurant/bar, you’ll never experience a moment that’s not steeped in relaxation, bliss and wonderment!
4) Millia Mountain Retreat – Greece:
Immerse yourself in all the fabled charms that the Greek islands have to offer on an ecologically sound vacation at the Millia Mountain Retreat on the ruggedly beautiful isle of Crete. Consisting of a network of traditional Greek cottages – complete with Pinterest-worthy local decor (think rich tapestries, boldly contrasting colors and crisp linens), private gardens, functional fireplaces (or wood stoves) and quaint terraces. To top it all off, the property features a scrumptious restaurant (every stay includes complimentary daily breakfast buffets) that serve up fresh fare unique to the region – you’ll feast peacefully on local cheeses and yogurts, fresh fruits, and home-baked bread. As part of their strict environmental policy, the Millia strongly favors seasonal ingredients…so you always get the best taste and myriad of health benefits!
5) Jicaro Island Eco-Lodge – Nicaragua:
Standing like a beacon of exotic relaxation on Lake Nicaragua’s tranquil shores, the Jicaro Island Eco-Lodge is the ideal getaway destination for any traveler looking for an experience that is equal parts lakeside loveliness and faraway fantasy. Kick back in a lazy hammock on the deck of your own private casita and simply soak up the multitude of plant and animal like flourishing around you. Jicaro prides itself on being the perfect spot for a yoga-centric vacation, as well as ideal for romantic couples trips and adventurous journeys.
6) Damaraland Camp: Namabia:
Travel back to basics with an invigorating stay at Namibia’s Damaraland Camp. Nestled snuggly in the breathtaking Huab River Valley (widely considered to be the crowning jewel of Namibia’s scenic spots), this traditional camp will lend an air of romantic rusticity to your vacay. While the property features a charming shared living and dining area (decked out in handsome brown wicker furnishings), guests can enjoy their own private huts for solo downtime and resting time. Whether or not you opt for any high-caliber safari adventure during your stay, the overall vibe is one of au-naturel exploration and discovery.
7) The Six Senses Con Dao – Vietnam:
Sometimes all you need to transport yourself to a state of pure bliss is a poolside lounge chair, some tasty cuisine and an abundance of lush flora. The Six Senses Con Dao, located on Vietnam’s so-called “untouched archipelago,” offers all that and more. Cloaked in aesthetic that evokes everything that restorative retreat dreams are made of, this environmentally-responsible property is the essence of fusing local charm with modern indulgence. Float the day away in a private infinity pool, or watch in wonder as local sea turtles make their egg-laying pilgrimage to the resort’s surrounding beaches. You truly can have it all and sleep well at night at the Six Senses!
8) Hacienda Santa Rosa – Mexico:
If the subtle scent of fragrant florals floating through the air on a warm evening, coupled with a glowing bonfire, poolside vistas and first-class rooms sounds like your kind of eco-vacay, then the Hacienda Santa Rosa is your dream destination! Designed to echo the carefree feel inherent to the property’s Yucatan locale, the Hacienda has everything you need to achieve an intense state of inner and outer relaxation. A robust roster of activities leaves you with a full itinerary, while azure pools, a luxe spa and unrivaled cuisine leave nothing to be desired in terms of top-tier property perks!
9) The Laguna Lodge – Guatemala:
Like something out of a movie or off the cover of a romance novel, the Laguna Lodge stirs the senses in ways that rarely occur in one’s everyday life. Quaint thatched roofs top off a charming structure that is literally built into the leafy hillside of Guatemala’s verdant landscape. Face front and you get equally breathtaking vistas of the aquamarine-toned waters of Lake Atitlán. Recharge at the health-centric Hummingbird Spa, or spend your vacation days drinking in the staggered level of biodiversity, absorbing the rays from the regions’s spectacular sunsets, or sampling local eats.
10) Orange County, Kibini: India
Come for the idyllic waterfront location, and stay for the infinity pool, spa, and access to infamous Indian national parks (one that holds – it’s reported – a legendary Bengal tiger or two). Delight every one of your sense with a visit to the resort’s mesmerizing spa, which is renowned for its mastery of traditional Indian healing treatments. And at the end of the day you can lean back with a sampling of the two on-site restaurants’ delectable dishes, crafted from locally sourced ingredients.