Ever since I wrote the blog post 5 Sustainable Travel Products, I have taken a deep dive into sustainable travel and eco-tourism. The tourism industry is a billion-dollar industry, with millions of people traveling to destinations throughout the world year round. I became curious what hotels and resorts are doing (if anything) to be eco-friendly and environmentally conscious.
To my surprise, I found 7 amazing resorts and accommodations doing impressive and ground-breaking work for the environment and striving to make their property as green as possible. Hotels built from 100% recycled material, powered completely by solar, and using only certified organic farms for their food. Not to mention, these places are absolutely stunning. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list of all of the eco-friendly hotels, resorts, and hostels out there, these are just the ones that stood out to me. If you know of or have stayed in an eco-friendly hotel, please comment below where you stayed and what you thought!
1. The Stanford Inn by the Sea, California, USA
This picturesque sea-side resort is located at the top of my bucket list. Located about 3.5 hours north of San Francisco, this eco-resort has beautiful guest rooms, a top-notch vegan restaurant, a blissful spa, and wilderness activities. Did I mention it is also pet-friendly? This is the perfect place to spend a long romantic weekend in the wilderness.
Read More: 5 Things I Learned from Staying at The Stanford Inn by the Sea
Eco-Friendly Amenities? On-site organic garden, plant-based restaurant Ravens, built with sustainable materials, all food waste is composted, refillable water bottle stations, and eco-friendly spa products.
Price? Prices range from $300s-$400s/night
Book your stay at The Stanford Inn HERE.
2. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Alaska
Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge is nestled on the coast of Homer, Alaska (approximately a 5-hour drive or 45 min. flight from Anchorage). The family-run business offers rustic, hand-built cabins overlooking the beautiful Kachemak Bay. Wildlife watching, sea kayaking, and nature walks are just a few of the outdoor activities Sadie Cove has to offer. Alaska is not just a summer destination. As stated on Sadie Cove’s website, Alaska is “at her best in winter.”
Eco-Friendly Amenities? This off-the-grid Lodge is powered completely by hydro- and wind power. All of the cabins were hand built and are self-sustaining
Price? $550-$600 (per person, per night) *This price is all-inclusive and includes: 3 home-cooked meals a day, private accommodations, access to all Lodge activities, and morning coffee delivery
Book your stay at Sadie Cove HERE.
3. Limalimo Lodge, Ethiopia
Hidden in the Simien Mountains lies the Limalimo Lodge. Ethiopia is a top destination for me because everything I’ve read and heard makes it sound like a magical place full of kind-hearted people, delicious food, and spectacular landscapes. The Limalimo Lodge capitalizes on all of those by offering a wide variety of activities all of which directly benefit the community and environment. The most notable activity is exploring Simien Mountain National Park, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Price? Prices vary throughout the year from $150-$460 USD.
Eco-Friendly? Not only does Limalimo provide jobs to locals, but they ensure every aspect of the lodge positively impacts the environment. From solar powered hot water to the recycled material used to build the lodge, every aspect has been carefully thought out
Book your stay at Limalimo HERE.
4. Jessie Mac’s Hostel, Scotland
I love Scotland and am always looking for a way to return. Jessie Mac’s Hostel is my newest excuse. To be honest, while doing research for this post, hostels did not even cross my mind. Jessie Mac’s mission is to be the greenest hostel in Scotland and it looks like they have achieved just that. The hostel, located in Perthshire, Scotland, offers dorm, private, and family rooms in addition to standard hotel amenities (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.).
Eco-Friendly Amenities? Constantly reducing the amount of energy, recycling 90% of waste, purchasing fair-trade products, and supporting the local economy whenever possible.
Price? $34-$125 USD depending on room size and food options
Book your stay at Jessie Mac’s HERE.
5. The Barefoot, Maldives
The Barefoot sits on the north end of the Maldives, about a 45-minute flight from Male. The beach-front property boasts stunning views, a pure, tranquil environment, and eco-friendly amenities. I have my eye on their incredible beach-front rooms that have direct access to the white sand beaches the Maldives are known for.
Eco-Friendly Amenities? The Barefoot follows strict guidelines to ensure their resort is as eco-friendly as possible. Sustainably grown and sourced wood, solar power, and a full Conservation Center to educate tourists on ‘responsible activities’ just to name a few.
Price? $200s-$300s depending on room choice and whether you would like food and drinks included or not
Book your stay at The Barefoot HERE.
6. Vale Do Rio Hotel Rural, Portugal
Vale Do Rio was originally built because of the existence of hydro-power infrastructure at their location. The property has turned into a beautiful eco-resort with rooms overlooking the Caima River, a Four Seasons spa, and a restaurant that serves local cuisine. The biggest surprise when researching this eco-resort is how affordable the rooms are. You don’t have to sacrifice budget for sustainability.
Eco-Friendly Amenities? Renewable energy sources including: hydro, solar, biomass, and biodiesel
Price? Rooms starting at $92 USD
Book your stay at Vale Do Rio Hotel HERE.
7. Chole Mjini, Tanzania
As if I needed another reason to go to Tanzania! The Chole Mjini is a tree-top resort that offers stunning views of Chole, an island off the East coast of Tanzania. It does not sound like the easiest resort to get to, but it comes highly rated from previous guests. The resort has no electricity, no roads, no cars, and no cell phones. Ok, so it might sound like a nightmare to some but it sounds like pure bliss to me. Take time to relax, listen to nature, scuba dive in the exotic waters of Tanzania, and explore the local village.
Eco-Friendly Amenities? This resort is completely off-grid and runs on no electricity. The money generated from the lodge is given back to the community in the form of village projects. Guests can volunteer for a project while staying at the lodge
Book your stay at Chole Mjini HERE.
That’s it folks. My top seven picks for eco-friendly resorts around the world. By no means are these the only ones out there. There are actually hundreds. I commend all the resorts and accommodations for doing great work to make the world and hostility industry more environmentally friendly.
Until next time, safe travels!