Taking an eco-break has just got a whole lot more fancy with these stunning resorts.
Words: Victoria Tait
You might have read the recent headlines that movie star/environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has plans for an eco-resort. Named after the small island off the coast of Belize on which it is being built, Blackadore Caye aims to create a model for green hospitality and is due to open in late 2018. The resort will feature 36 bungalows and 36 estate homes, all of which will be powered by 100% renewable energy harvested from solar panels. Rainwater will be collected and filtered on-site and combined with solar-powered desalinisation devices to meet the resort’s water needs. The major impact this Island resort will have is showing travellers that eco resorts are not about roughing it in the wilderness but rather creating a luxury experience further enhanced by protecting the surrounding environment. With this in mind, we have put together some of our top eco travel destinations, from right on our doorstep in New Zealand
to further afield.
Northern Territory, Australia
This resort consists of 15 luxury “tents” near Ayers Rock. Situated on top of a sand dune, the tents are built on stilts in order to leave the desert sand undisturbed. The entire resort runs on solar power. Guests are treated to outback cuisine and local wines while they dine under the stars.
Finca Rosa Blanca Inn
Situated among the forests, this resort is unrivalled when it comes to sustainability – it’s the highest ranked in the Sustainable Tourism Certification programme and the only hotel that has achieved a perfect score of 100. The property has solar panels, low-flow toilets and even its own organic coffee plantation.
A collection of dome-shaped tents offers a unique, low-impact way to experience the Swiss Alps. Accessible only by foot, the resort ensures a peaceful, personal experience for each traveller. Guests stay in pods pitched upon a wooden platform, covered in green canvases in summer and white in winter to help them blend into the landscape. Whitepod Resort has won a number of awards for its ecotourism, including; the World Prize for Sustainable Tourism and the Responsible Tourism Award for Innovation.
Abel Tasman, New Zealand
The only way to get to Awaroa ecolodge is by kayak, water taxi, on foot, or helicopter. The lodge is so committed to sustainability that it is a contributor to the Nelson-Tasman Sustainable Tourism Charter. The lodge also works within the world-recognised Green Globe 21 standards, which ensures you are staying in a certified eco resort. It operates a “What you take in, you take out” policy, so you are responsible for getting rid of your rubbish.
Campi Ya Kanzi
Located a mere 32km from Mount Kilimanjaro, every aspect of this camp was designed to be environmentally friendly. The construction used local materials, and impressively not a single tree was cut down. Water comes from rain collection and is heated by solar; greywater is recycled, and the food is cooked using an eco-friendly charcoal made from coffee husks. Campi Ya Kanzi also works in partnership with the Maasai community and donates a portion of its proceeds to local preservation programmes.