Extravagant holidays are not always easy to justify for the eco conscious among us. When you’re travelling thousands of miles to huge, energy consuming resorts, it’s not always easy to think of the environment and keep your carbon footprint down. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of hotels, B&B’s and lodges that do the work for us and are incredibly eco friendly. Whether it’s powering their property through renewable energy sources or caring for the environment and wildlife around them, the following are 10 amazing holiday destinations tailor-made for the eco friendly.
Natural Retreats – Yorkshire Dales, England
If you want to spend a week getting away from it all in beautiful surroundings, then Natural Retreats could be your ideal holiday. The pristine lodges are located within 55 acres of stunning Yorkshire countryside and are just a short walk from the beautiful market town of Richmond. Each lodge is built from wood and glass (in order to absorb the heat of the sun) and has a roof garden to absorb the rain and help insulate the buildings.
Bulungula Lodge – South Africa
A stay at the Bulungula Lodge doesn’t just benefit the resorts owners but also the whole community. The lodge is made up of 10 ‘roundavels’ that get their energy from sun, rain and wind power. Guests are encouraged to take part in a number of activities with the local community, including maize stamping, brick making and even beer brewing. If that wasn’t enough to convince you that the Bulungula Lodge is the perfect holiday destination, just take a look at that view!
Bryn Elltyd Eco Guest House – Wales
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly holiday with plenty of adventure, Bryn Elltyd Guest House should be top of your list. The delightful B&B is powered entirely by renewable energy sources and has received Tripadvisor’s Greenleaders programme award. The guest house is located at the foot of the Moelwyn mountains and is the perfect starting point for adventures on either foot or bike. If that wasn’t enough, the B&B also has a grass-covered ‘Hobbit Room’ in the garden and has the Ffestiong steam railway running right around the grounds of the house.
Kinderhotels – Austria
If you’re looking for a family friendly hotel that also cares about the environment, the Kinderhotels chain should tick all the boxes. The Austrian holiday resorts not only have a huge variety of activities and facilities for kids (swimming pools, slides, cinemas, shows, table tennis, playgrounds and 70 hours of free childcare per week), they also use alternative energy and heating systems and separate their waste into 5 different categories ready for recycling. It’s the perfect location for the eco conscious family.
Knoydart House – Scotland
Eco friendly living doesn’t have to mean a lack of luxury and Knoydart House in Scotland proves this point perfectly. The beautiful lodge features oak beams and four poster beds but is also powered by a thermal heat pump, a private community hydro system and has high grade insulation to keep energy costs to a minimum. Knoydart is also famous for having one of the best hot tub views in the UK, with guests being able to enjoy the stunning scenary of Loch Nevis while sipping champagne.
L’Hôtel Les Orangeries – France
L’Hotel Les Orangeries is located in the west of France and combines both the old and the new to great effect. The 18th century farmhouse still maintains its rustic charm but has also been environmentally restored to keep energy usage to a minimum. The hotel is perfectly located to explore the stunning towns and countryside of Western France and with electric bike hire included in the cost, there’s absolutely no excuses for not getting out and seeing the sights.
Refugio Amazonas – Peru
If you like the idea of an environmentally friendly expedition holiday, then Refugio Amazonas should perfectly suit your needs. The eco-lodge is located right in the heart of the Peruvian rainforest and is run in collaboration with the indigenous Ese-Eja community of Infierno. This means any money paid to the tour guides is used to promote conservation of the rainforest and provide income to the local communities, while at the same time guests get to explore the incredible Peruvian rainforest.
Misool Eco Resort – Indonesia
The Misool Eco Resort is located in Indonesia’s Raja Amat archipelago and really is a slice of eco-friendly paradise. The resort is made up of 13 bungalows, each handcrafted from salvaged driftwood and located above Southeast Asia’s stunning ‘Coral Triangle’. The crystal clear waters surrounding the resort are the perfect place to snorkel and swim among the thousands of species of exotic fish, while the hotel also provides tours to a number of the local villages and communities surrounding Misool.
Great Ocean Ecolodge – Australia
Australia is famous for its wildlife and one of the best places to witness Aussie animals up close and personal is at the Great Ocean Ecolodge. The lodge is located on the grounds of the Conservation Ecology Centre in Victoria and also borders the Great Otway National Park. Guests are able to see wild kangaroos and koalas from their hotel window and are also encouraged to help the staff nurse the injured and orphaned animals that are cared for at the lodge. If that wasn’t enough, the Ecolodge is also located right next to the famous Great Ocean Walk, which provides some of the best views in the world.
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat – China
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat may only be an hour’s drive from the city of Guilin but it feels a lifetime away. The Ecolodge is located at the foot of limestone mountains and has no televisions or telephones to speak of. Guests are able to enjoy the secluded peace of the lodge or enjoy a walk along rivers and rice fields, where many water buffalo graze. The more adventurous can enjoy mountain biking and rock climbing and the retreat also offers trips to local villages, where a number of initiatives help the local community.