Chic eco hotels
You don’t have to give up the glam to go green any more. Just check into one of these gorgeous eco-lux hotels instead
Natural wonder: Laguna Lodge
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
A modish Mayan retreat on the edge of glassy Lake Atitlán, from the moment you arrive at Laguna Lodge, you feel immersed in the local culture. The Maya people live in villages all around, and the building and furniture were crafted in the indigenous style. Guests stay in seven individually designed suites, all with views of the lake and the three volcanoes on its edge. A week here is an idyllic mix of nature, culture and nurture, with watersports, forest and volcano hikes, visits to Mayan sites and native-inspired treatments in Laguna Lodge’s spa, making it perfect for adventurous couples and eco-chicks.
When it comes to green credentials, this hotel ticks every box, from construction to operations. It was designed using local materials, uses ethical and environmentally friendly toiletries and cleaning products, energy comes from solar panels and wind turbines, and staff, including disabled and older men and women, are from the local area and paid far above the country’s minimum wage.
City slicker: Boutique Hotel Stadthalle
Open your bedroom window, close your eyes and breathe deeply. When staying at Stadthalle, you might be in the middle of Vienna - walking distance from the city centre and the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace - but you’ll feel like you’re in the countryside as sweet scents waft down from the hotel’s lavender roof garden.
Book a room overlooking the ivy-swathed courtyard garden for a tranquil night’s sleep. But if you’re travelling with a friend rather than a boyfriend, make sure to choose one with a separate bathroom rather than the intimate sci-fi shower pod.
The green ethos at Stadthalle focuses on energy, with solar-panel covered walls and groundsource water pumps combing to provide all the hot water and energy the hotel needs, while the green roof, plant-filled courtyard and green walls – irrigated only with rainwater - are an urban sanctuary for bees, birds and wildlife. Stadthalle is one of the first hotels in the world to be certified by the Passive House energy-efficiency standard.
Beach beauty: North Island
Even before Will and Kate honeymooned here, this was the private island of choice for the jet-set, thanks to its exclusivity and eco-lux ethos. With just 11 villas scattered over 200 hectares, the island hosts a maximum of 22 guests at a time, who stay in 450-square-metre thatch-roofed villas, tucked into palm forests above white-sand beaches. Days are spent snorkelling, diving, kayaking, island-hopping, having spa treatments, flopping on the beach and splashing in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Conservation has been the key focus of North Island’s eco efforts, and it’s made huge strides in returning the land to its indigenous roots. This has been a boon for wildlife, especially the endangered giant Hawksbills turtle. Sustainable building design, ethical purchasing policies and water conservation add to its green credentials.
See the article online here: www.misscittykitty.co.uk/2011/10/16/chic-eco-hotels-natural-wonder/ See more luxury green hotels at www.ecoluxhotels.com
See more luxury green hotels at www.ecoluxhotels.com