These days, sustainable travel is easier than ever thanks to a slew of travel companies and hotels committed to eco-friendly practices. The best part is you don't have to sacrifice luxurious amenities in the name of reducing your carbon footprint. These 14 hotels are taking extra steps to go beyond green, while still offering their visitors a fantastic experience.
h2Hotel, United States
Located in Healdsburg, California, in the heart of northern Sonoma Wine Country, h2Hotel features 36 eco-chic rooms where earth-friendly still feels fabulous. This quirky hotel holds the gold standard in sustainability with its LEED NC 2.2 Gold Certified Green award and features bicycles and bicycle parking for all guests and staff, a cool-roof system, an eco-friendly elevator, salvaged wood flooring, and more.
Fairmont Waterfront, Canada
Vancouver is already an earth-friendly city, but the Fairmont Waterfront takes it one step further. This high-end hotel features its own rooftop garden and apiary, which produce over 20 varieties of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and edible blossoms that you'll sometimes find on the restaurant menu alongside sustainable, local seafood. The Fairmont Waterfront also has a hotel for bees on its rooftop in order to produce their own honey and offer a stable habitat for these important creatures.
The Green House, United Kingdom
This boutique hotel in charming Bournemouth, England is a beautiful restored, 32-room, Victorian-style villa, but The Green House doesn't let its historical architecture prevent it from being eco-friendly. Everything from the energy-efficient lighting and electric car charging ports to its design using local, 100% wool carpeting, wood furniture from felled trees, and wallpaper made using vegetable ink help earn The Green House its sustainability status.
Tierra Patagonia, Chile
In order to build the Tierra Patagonia, all on-site vegetation was stored in a greenhouse and then replanted when the hotel was complete. Inspired by its location outside of Torres del Paine National Park, designers of Tierra Patagonia worked hard to ensure the architecture blended naturally into the landscape. The hotel also participates in reforestation projects around Chile and uses LED lighting and thermal heating.
Daintree Ecolodge, Australia
This eco-friendly hotel is in the heart of the oldest rainforest in the world, the Daintree Rainforest, and partners with the local Aboriginal community to conserve the surrounding area and fight deforestation. Daintree Ecolodge is partially powered by solar panels and is considered a carbon-neutral property. The hotel also features a biocycle waste water treatment plant that allows 100% of the water to be recycled and used for irrigation and watering.
Hotel X Toronto, Canada
Hotel X in Toronto might seem swanky, but it's still dedicated to maintaining sustainable practice. With six green roofs, a strict recycling program, on-site renewable energy systems, and much more, this high-rise hotel doesn't sacrifice eco-friendly practices for luxury.
Hotel Verde, Tanzania
In Zanzibar, Hotel Verde encourages guests to be eco-friendly with its own currency system for those who engage in energy-efficient actions such as taking the stairs, reusing towels and sheets, and correctly sorting trash and recycling. "Verdinos" can be used towards your final bill or for coffee and food at the hotel. Hotel Verde also uses LED low-watt lighting and has grey and black water recycling systems.
W San Francisco Hotel, United States
As the first LEED-EB Platinum-certified building in North America, W San Francisco Hotel features beehives and an aquaponics system on its roof (it has fish on the bottom and hydroponically-grown plants and flowers on top). The honey and flowers are used in several dishes and cocktails in the hotel. Going green has never looked or tasted quite so fabulous.
Proximity Hotel, United States
The Proximity Hotel in Greensboro may be the eco-friendliest hotel in the United States. With over 70 sustainable practices in place, it has the distinction of the being the first hotel in America to receive the LEED Platinum certification. Beyond a solar paneled roof and recycling program, the North-Carolina based Proximity Hotel also uses geothermal energy for refrigerators and elevators that re-generate power.
JW Marriott Hotel, Singapore
The JW Marriott Hotel in Singapore features numerous eco-friendly elements, but one of the most impressive is its microclimatic canopy. The canopy mimics the shape of an ocean wave and has solar panels and harvests rainwater. Its design encourages airflow and has spectrally selected glass, which keeps the building one to two degrees cooler underneath.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Soneva Fushi led the charge for eco-friendly resorts in the Maldives. Activities are carbon-neutral including guests’ flights to the island and the island is self-sufficient — using rainwater and desalination processes. Their waste-to-wealth program converts shredded Styrofoam and concrete into lightweight bricks used for staff housing, which remain cool during hot summers. Soneva Fushi has also become a center for glass art by turning empty wine and spirits bottles into gallery showpieces as well as plates and cups for the restaurants.
Located in the Swiss Alps, Whitepod is a series of eco-luxury pods with wood stoves heated by locally-sourced wood. There are LED bulbs to light the pods and local spring water in place of water bottles. They recycle waste, control the use of water, and purchase local ingredients. Even the staff walks to work — which is no surprise given how stunning the natural surroundings are.
Bardessono, United States
Napa Valley’s prestigious Bardessono is one of the only LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the United States. Given that the property had been in the family for decades before the resort was built, every aspect was carefully designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. During construction, salvaged wood was used for flooring, walls, and doors and 93% of waste was recycled during the construction phase. The hotel also includes drought-resistant plants throughout the grounds, geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and plenty of solar panels.
Olas Tulum, Mexico
Located in southern Tulum, every aspect of Olas Tulum is eco-friendly. The design of the hotel captures the best Caribbean Sea breezes to eliminate the need for air conditioning, while solar panels power the entire property. This resort is the only LEED Platinum-certified property in Mexico. Olas Tulum also built underground water sources and rain collection systems and they compost all organic and kitchen waste, which is used to feed vegetation. All of the resort’s food is also locally sourced from neighborhood farms.