With a growing movement underway to live more eco-friendly – whether that’s where we source our food or clothes, how we manage our waste, or the transport we use – it’s not surprising that the demand for more sustainable and responsible tourism options is burgeoning too. But it’s good to know that doesn’t mean you can’t also experience all the luxury and opulence that world travel has to offer too! Here are some of the world’s most sustainable tourism destinations that just happen to offer an experience that’s steeped in glamor, style and luxury too.
Four Rivers Floating Eco Lodge, Tatai, Cambodia
Built on a floating pontoon directly on the Tatai River, the 12 luxury tents that make up this eco lodge definitely offer a one of a kind experience! Beautifully detailed and luxurious on the inside, the lodge is surrounded by the wild and unbelievably lush Cardamom rainforest – where countless birds and gibbons play in easy view. The lodge uses an onsite water treatment system and locally sourced handcrafted furnishings to make as little impact on the environment as possible.
There’s a bar, library and restaurant on site, as well as kayaks to take out for a paddle whenever the mood takes you! Rainforest hikes, village and waterfall excursions will keep you busy by day before you retire to your private deck to take in the sunset!
Thanda Island, Tanzania
Located off the east coast of Tanzania, this remarkable luxury private island comprises two traditional Bandas and a luxurious villa that can accommodate up to 19 of your luckiest friends and family! Everything about the experience here is nothing short of sumptuous – whether you’re relaxing at the onsite spa, enjoying a private yoga lesson, partaking in exquisite fine dining or taking a boat out to enjoy the ocean with a few sundowners. The stunning tropical waters are a haven for scuba divers of all experience levels, and there’s even the chance to swim with a whale shark!
Their green credentials are impressive too – not only does the island reuse their grey water for the rehabilitation of the island’s natural vegetation, but the entire island is solar powered too. They also work hand in hand with the NGO Sea Sense in the research and preservation of the area’s endangered marine life – including sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, and those awe-inspiring whale sharks.
Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, Sichuan Sheng, China
When your airport transfer comes in the form of a Tesla electric car, you know the resort you’ve chosen cares about their environmental footprint! Throw in a dedicated onsite recycling system and organic veggie garden to supply the kitchens, and you’ll feel you’ve really earned the chance to relax and unwind in style.
The location, within a UNESCO World Heritage and Natural Cultural site, is one of the world’s best for getting up close and personal with giant pandas in their natural environment at Panda Mountain. And back at the resort, fine dining, every creature comfort you could wish for, and a range of exquisite spa treatments will have you feeling pampered in no time!
Zarafa Camp, Botswana
With their own solar farm, onsite UV filtration system for treating drinking water to eliminate the need for plastic bottles, and game drive vehicles that run on 75% vegetable oil, Zarafa takes sustainability and preservation of the environment very seriously indeed. Luckily for the discerning traveler, they care just as much about their guests’ comfort! Luxury tents featuring private plunge pools, lavish furnishings, gas fireplaces for those chilly evenings, and gorgeously equipped spacious bathrooms complete with a claw foot bathtub will have you feeling very much at home right in the heart of the African wilderness.
Oil Nut Bay, Gorda, the British Virgin Islands
After working with the government of the British Virgin Islands to make solar power legal in the area, this resort now uses it to power virtually everything on the island, from air conditioning to road lighting and even desalination of sea water. The community is car free, so everyone gets around on bikes and electric golf carts – but don’t let the eco-friendly credentials fool you – there’s luxury galore here too. From taking a ride out in a glass-bottomed boat to enjoy the sparkling waters, relaxing at the resort’s bar and restaurant, and with a range of opulent villas to choose from complete with private pools and breathtaking views across the ocean, this is definitely still paradise in style!
Of course, the most important part of all about choosing a resort that offers all the creature comforts you expect from luxury accommodation without compromising the environment to do so is the message you send with your money. The more demand there is for sustainable tourism opportunities, the more of these amazing places we can expect to see!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.