Global interest in eco-tourism has increased dramatically as people start to drift towards greener consumption. The hospitality industry has had to adapt to meet these demands, willing to pay more for sustainable travel and have actively begun to seek out conservation experiences.
With this eco-lodges have popped up all over the world. Providing the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature while supporting local conservation and communities. Often these environmentally-friendly accommodations are remote and in wilderness locations, yet with all modern comforts are an attractive feature for travellers seeking a unique experience without giving up on the amenities. Coupled with alternative activities and a massive focus on sustainability, eco-lodges are quickly becoming a popular choice for tourists.
What are Eco-Lodges?
It’s all in the name. Eco lodges are environmentally sustainable lodges that are structured to minimise ecological impact. They aim to reduce the carbon footprint created by hotels and lodgings and promote sustainable tourism. Going beyond sustainable practices, the lodges focus on empowering local communities and conserving resident wildlife. Each lodge functions differently depending on their natural environment. But the priority is minimising waste, reusing, and recycling as much as possible, using non-toxic products and locally sourced food.
The best part, these lodges do their best to make you feel as close to nature as possible. By weaving structures into the environment, visitors are treated to a completely immersive experience. These are some of the Best Luxury Eco Lodges Around the World.
Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge, Costa Rica
Costa Rican lodges are pioneers in eco-tourism and the country has become a hot spot for sustainable travel. Most tours of Costa Rica include conservation programs and educational activities. And of course, eco-lodge accommodation. Lapa Rios is eco-luxury at its best, with only 17 open-air bungalows designed to envelop you in nature. Guests share their wild space with sloths, macaws, toucans, and monkeys. It seems preposterous that you can be so close to nature while soaking in a pool on a sun deck. But Lapa Rios is a wonderful mix of luxury and raw wilderness. Besides implementing sustainable operation methods, the lodge has designed activities to educate guests in nature and conservation. For example, the expert-guided ‘twigs, pigs, and garbage’ tour.
Daintree Wilderness Lodge, Australia
Located in the ancient Daintree Rainforest, this lodge is an accredited eco-lodge and provides an unprecedented forest experience. Crossing the Daintree river, you enter into an untamed and pristine environment like no other. And in the midst of it, sits Daintree Wilderness Lodge. Each stilted cabin has a private walkway and a large sunroof. Guests can lie in bed and gaze up into the forest canopy, spotting a number of exotic birds and the native cassowary. Or soak in the outdoor spa with the sounds of the forest as background music. The lodge takes careful measures to ensure that the old forest is protected. From the design of the bungalows to the meticulous waste and pollution programs. Visiting this lodge will leave you feeling as though you’re part of the forest.
Campi Ya Kanzi Eco Lodge, Kenya
The ultimate luxury safari experience combined with an honourable commitment to sustainability gives you Campi Ya Kanzi. Guests are given a truly wild experience, with a personal Masaai guide to assist in navigating the wonders of the bush. The safari lodge prioritizes rustic and authentic experiences over hot tubs and private pools. Electricity and hot water for the entire lodge are run off of solar power. All the water is rainwater which is then recycled and used in watering holes for wildlife. Each guest can be sure that their carbon footprint is almost completely neutral, and this without giving up the luxury which is pretty impressive.
Topas Eco Lodge, Vietnam
In the mystical mountains of Hoang Lien National Park, 33 mountain bungalows perch on a hilltop overlooking the valleys at Topas Eco Lodge. Each authentic bungalow has a balcony with spectacular views over the terraced rice fields and ethnic villages. It is recognized as one of the unique lodges of the world by National Geographic. The rustic lodge has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment and empower the local community. The staff is local from nearby villages and many of the goods are sourced locally too. This does much to enrich the surrounding local communities. Among wastewater treatment facilities and recycling 100% of the glass used, are comforts and luxuries. The stilt restaurant offers an unbelievable dining experience and hot days can be spent at the pool bar, sipping cocktails, all in the middle of nowhere.
Described as an ‘eco-luxury’ hotel, these glamourous pods are the epitome of sleek swiss design and sustainability. Each aspect of the Whitepod’s operation is done as eco-friendly as possible. The geodesic pods are heated by pellet stoves and change colour to mimic the season. Locally sourced products, recycling programs, and minimal motorised transport work to create harmony between hospitality and ecology. The views from the pods and surrounds are simply breathtaking and can be enjoyed from a fully furnished, private terrace. The hotel is a quintessential swiss postcard scene with luxurious sleeping pods. And a bunch of exciting outdoor activities to choose from. The ultimate spot for relaxing and revelling in nature without sacrificing superior comfort or harming the environment. Ecotourism.
Eco-resorts: The New Face of Tourism
The value of ethical travel has become widely recognised. This has resulted in people seeking out methods of travel that have minimal carbon footprints. A huge part of this has been a rise in eco-lodges, which provide travellers with exactly that. Plus you have the bonus of intimate interaction with nature and unique experiences while still basking in luxury.
Let’s keep dreaming about travel, and when we are allowed to move again, let’s all make sure that it is with a focus on supporting eco-lodges.
** Pics sourced.