Campi Ya Kanzi utilizes solar energy and composts its waste. // © 2017 Campi Ya Kanzi
Feature image (above): Bardessono was the first hotel in California to become LEED certified. // © 2017 Bardessono
Rarely are private pools and personal butlers associated with “going green.” Instead, most people think of carrying reusable grocery bags and composting vegetable scraps as ways of being eco-friendly. But with environmental concerns increasingly at the fore of most consumer and suppliers' minds, a growing number of hotels are making strides to be eco-conscious.
Though some properties may find it hard to go green while still offering top-notch accommodations and amenities, the following six resorts around the world have seemingly mastered the combination.
This Napa Valley hotel and spa is the first in California to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. This designation is given to buildings that are resource-efficient, use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Bardessono achieved this accomplishment by utilizing glass windows to control temperature and provide lighting for each suite, as well as installing bathroom fixtures with low water flow. The structure itself is made out of reused materials that came from the original existing structure and salvaged trees that would have ended up being burned. These features don’t take away from the overall luxurious feel of the property and of its suites, which each include a spacious living room and a private courtyard.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
Sitting alongside Aruba’s Eagle Beach, the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort features 104 accommodations that range from standard rooms to penthouse suites. Twosomes can enjoy the hotel’s various couples-focused offerings and excursions, including a side-by-side massage at Purun Spa, or have a meal at on-site Elements Restaurant with views of the property’s 14-acre stretch of beach.
Along with ensuring guests have a romantic experience, Bucuti & Tara also strives to be environmentally friendly. Its long list of eco-friendly actions include ventilating the fitness center with only open air; using light sensors in areas such as the business center and laundry room; utilizing biodegradable detergents; and employing deck furniture made from recycled plastic. It’s no wonder this resort is considered one of the Caribbean’s greenest hotels since its opening in 1987.
Campi Ya Kanzi
At the foot of eastern Kenya’s Chyulu Hills sits Campi Ya Kanzi, a luxury resort made up of six tented cottages, two tented suites and the Kanzi House, one of the few private safari villas families can rent in Kenya.
The resort works directly with the local Maasai people, employing them as guides and as hotel employees. The sun provides the resort’s electricity through solar panels, while rainfall is stored and used for water (and the water in Kanzi House’s swimming pool comes only from rainfall). Food is cooked on eco-friendly charcoal to reduce smoke production, and all food scraps and organic waste are turned into compost that is used in the on-site organic vegetable garden. The rest of the hotel’s waste is either recycled or incinerated.
El Nido Resorts
Located in the Province of Palawan in the Philippines, El Nido Resorts comprises four smaller resorts, located on four different islands. Each resort caters to different types of travelers with varying activities and amenities. Miniloc Island, for example, offers snorkeling excursions for more adventurous types, whereas guests on Pangulasian Island can relax at the on-site spa.
But the one feature these four resorts have in common is upholding a strict sustainability policy. Each operates a sewage treatment plant that ensures no raw sewage is expelled into the sea. There is also a rainwater harvesting system in place to preserve and filter rainwater for guest and staff use, as well as a desalination plant that converts saltwater into potable water to prevent using the limited freshwater supply on each island.
Evason Hua Hin
A nearly three-hour drive south of Bangkok will take travelers to the city of Hua Hin, home to Evason Hua Hin resort. Along with traditional rooms and suites — which feature balconies or terraces that provide guests with stunning views — there are also 40 villas that each include a private pool and an outdoor bathtub.
However, these luxurious accommodations don’t get in the way of the resort’s efforts to be environmentally friendly. Rechargeable batteries are used for battery-powered electronics, and old bed sheets are turned into wrapping cloths and laundry bags. An organic vegetable garden, where staff grows goods including chili peppers and herbs, employs recycled materials such as beer and wine bottles and aluminum cans. The mulch used in the garden comes from the resort’s very own mushroom hut, where oyster and wood ear mushrooms grow on sawdust.
Just outside Northern Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Longitude 131, a luxury resort composed of 15 tented guest pavilions and a main lodge with a restaurant.
All structures are elevated and staked into the ground, resulting in the least amount of ground disturbance possible. Each pavilion provides stunning views of Ayer’s Rock, and guests can enjoy their surroundings on the outdoor daybed located on the spacious balcony. The entire resort runs completely on solar power, and all glass windows are designed to control indoor temperature and conserve energy.