5 luxury eco-friendly hotels you need to visit now
Thanks to the new gen of eco-friendly hotels, saving the planet has never felt so luxurious.
Climate change is legit. So, too, is woman’s need for a luxury vacation. Enter the ultimate fusion: eco-friendly spots that blend a minimal environmental footprint with maximum indulgence. The only thing that could make these five properties better is an appearance by the high priest of the planet-friendly revolution himself, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Tri In Galle, Sri Lanka
If you’ve ever wanted to cross “Treetop yoga class with Sienna Miller’s and Gerard Butler’s go-to yogi” off your bucket list, this is the spot for you. Guests at this intimate resort – which is in the jungle on Koggala Lake, on the country’s southern coast – get a personalized yoga itinerary. That means you can downward dog as much as you want between the customized Ayurvedic massages and luxe treatments offered at the on-site spa.
One of the villas at Tri.
Eco Cred Before construction, the hotel commissioned a biodiversity report to ensure that the resort would have as small an impact as possible on local flora and fauna. Builders used discarded cinnamon bark from nearby plantations for the facade of the chic water tower (inside which rooms are hidden). The water in your shower is primarily heated by the sun, and when you step outside your room you’ll be able to admire the vertical gardens and green roofs, a trompe l’oeil that makes the property seem to almost disappear into the surrounding mountains.
Pro Tip If you attend one of the hotel’s retreats, staff plan your meals and holistic treatments based on your dosha (your Ayurveda body type).
Domaine de Misincu in Cap Corse, France
This five-star getaway (which opens this summer on Corsica’s rugged northern tip) is all about getting back to nature – with a heaping side of indulgence. Sleep on luxe eco-friendly linens, and then rise early for a hike. Or “accidentally” forget to set your alarm and head straight to the hammam spa and pool.
A view of the Domaine de Miniscu in Cap Corse.
Eco Cred Green-minded guests can raise a champagne toast to the only boutique hotel in the region to receive eco certification from the local environment office. The designers refurbished an existing estate, which now houses 26 rooms, and built 10 private villas that blend in with the surrounding orange, lemon and fig trees by using only local stone and wood. The main building and villas are powered mostly by solar panels, and much of the food is organic, with herbs, fruit, veggies and honey harvested from the hotel’s garden.
Pro Tip Want a quick tour of the grounds? Hop on an electric bike – the hotel has a whole fleet.
Phum Baitang in Siem Reap, Cambodia
If it’s plush enough for Angelina Jolie, who stayed here with her brood while directing her latest film, it’s plush enough for… you guessed it. Phum Baitang, which means “green village” in Khmer, is a hamlet of 45 sprawling private villas on stilts nestled among lush gardens and rice paddies. And it’s conveniently located about a 15-minute tuk-tuk ride from the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage site.
Phum Baitang at night.
Eco Cred All the villas were built by artisans from the area using salvaged or sustainably harvested regional woods and local stone. Our fave building is the restored 100-year-old farmhouse, home to a cocktail lounge where you can sit down with a ginger basil martini and watch the no-filter-needed sunsets. Like the nearby temples, the spa is carved out of stone, and even the treatments take a cue from Cambodia’s heritage, with scrubs made from roots, herbs and spices sourced from nearby gardens and put to bliss-inducing use during the massages.
Pro Tip Try a private Khmer cooking class in the outdoor kitchen. You’ll master dishes like fish and pineapple curry or lemon-grass grilled beef skewers with ingredients that are grown practically right outside your room.
1 Hotel Central Park, New York
This midtown hotel is so lush you may be tempted to skip Central Park altogether – even though it’s just a block away. It boasts a living wall on the outside, and more than 24,000 plants – from golden pothos to hanging staghorn ferns – fill the rustic-chic interior. If you refuse to go north of the East Village, try the equally woodsy (but far more hipster) sister location, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which just opened in February.
The lobby at 1 Hotel Central Park.
Eco Cred This LEED-certified (LEED is like the Birkin of environmentally friendly building certification – highly covetable) build makes good use of reclaimed and salvaged wood and has a vibe that’s more summer in Montauk than shipwreck. Once you check in and head to your room, you’ll find triple-filtered tap water served in glass tumblers made from recycled wine bottles and showers with five-minute timers. (Yes, it’s possible to deep condition in that time, we promise.) Gone are the usual paper notepads in favour of a chalkboard for jotting down the info for that Gossip Girl tour. (No judgment.) What’s more, organic linens from India and a mattress that’s partially made with sustainable hemp guarantee sweet, environmentally friendly dreams.
Pro Tip Tuck into seasonal local food dished out by celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman at the laid-back Jams. And when you don’t feel like walking home from Barneys, a Tesla is at the ready to take you anywhere within a 15-block radius of the hotel.
Atix in La Paz, Bolivia
La Paz is about 30 seconds away from being crowned 2017’s It destination, thanks to a thriving food scene and this environmentally friendly hot spot located in the city’s upscale district of Calacoto. The parallelogram-shaped structure is a celebration of all things Bolivian, from the native stone (used in city design in the ’20s and ’30s) to the rich textiles and minimalist furniture produced mostly by local artisans. Shout-outs to homegrown talent don’t stop there: The art commissioned for the common areas and rooms is by Bolivian artist Gastón Ugalde, a.k.a. the Andy Warhol of the Andes.
Atix at night
Eco Cred All of the building’s exterior lights are solar powered, and rainwater is captured and reused for the laundry – which, rest assured, someone else does for you. Floor-to-ceiling windows in your room (we recommend the Atix Suite, which has a private terrace and kitchen) provide plenty of Instagrammable views, plus all that natural light means you can save power. Finally, the 100-percent-organic food – from alpaca steaks to fresh veggies and fruit—dished out in the Ona restaurant is seasonally sourced from Bolivian farmers.
Pro Tip Hit up the +591 Bar by the rooftop infinity pool and order one of its eight signature cocktails – we like “El Uno,” made with gin, orange juice and hibiscus syrup. We also recommend booking online – a portion of the profits from Web reservations goes to a local anti-child-poverty charity.