Travel Inspiration

7 Eco-Friendly Properties for Conscious Travelers

Fora Shella Zelenz Travel Agent wears grey rimmed glasses and brown shirt with ocean in the background

Travel Advisor

Shella Zelenz

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Image courtesy of Galapagos Safari Camp

If you’re like me, you want to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel, which starts by staying at an eco-friendly hotel. But finding an environmentally conscious place to rest your head is intimidating – especially for those without an ecology degree (so, most of us…).  Between the countless buzzwords, trendy topics and, yes, shameless ‘greenwashing’ in the hotel industry, it’s tough to know what hotels are really prioritizing our planet. I get it and I got you. 

Sure, many hotels overplay their green efforts. But many others are pioneers in this space, leveraging cutting-edge technology, community programs and inspiring creativity to do right by Mother Earth. Read on to discover my favorite eco-focused hotels across the globe – each with a unique take on going greener –  from Ibiza to Brooklyn. 

Heckfield Place

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Image courtesy of Heckfield Place

Set on a romantic estate in the British countryside, Heckfield Place is where Bridgerton magic meets conscious travel. On its nearly 500 acres of lush forest and shady meadows, a fully certified biodynamic garden and home farm is the backbone of the luxury hotel, where produce is grown without artificial chemicals – only compost and all-natural fertilizers. No detail has been spared to ensure Heckfield’s carbon footprint is close-to-zero, from the heat systems (generated from sustainable boilers burning wood pellets) to the water source (rainwater is harvested and filtered to reduce consumption). But don’t be fooled, however, this eco-friendly resort is hardly rustic - it’s ‘rumored’ that Meghan and Harry babymooned here. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in / out whenever possible.

Soneva Fushi 

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Image courtesy of Soneva Fushi

Paradise – and make it earth-friendly. Located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on one of the largest islands in the Maldives, this Castaway-style luxury resort lives and breathes forward-thinking green practices. The Soneva brand was a trailblazer in eco-luxury, debuting the first solar farm in the Maldives and starting a charitable foundation to improve the carbon footprint of all Maldivian islands (with gardening courses and recycling education).  At the sustainable resort in the Maldives, 90 percent of the resorts’ waste is recycled, and a glass factory converts glass waste to stunning artwork. And did I mention the epic overwater villas with water slides and direct access to coral reefs?

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Six Senses Ibiza

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Image courtesy of Six Senses Ibiza

Don’t worry, Ibiza doesn’t strike me as the most eco-minded place in the world either. But the Six Senses, located on the island’s rugged north coast, is blazing a trail as the first resort to be BREEAM-certified in the Balearics. This accreditation is a result of the hotel’s solar panel technology, geothermal cooling systems, sustainable farming and conservation initiatives (such as replanting seagrass). The eco-friendly beach resort is all about celebrating nature, with ‘cave’ accommodations and a holistic spa. Here, guests can indulge in treatments at the massage catacombs and lounge by the organic gardens, where botanical ingredients are sourced for their spa treatments. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade based upon availability.

Galapagos Safari Camp

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Image courtesy of Galapagos Safari Camp

For those looking to immerse themselves in the flora and fauna of Darwin’s paradise, there’s no better place than this awe-inspiring safari retreat. While staying at this eco-resort, guests sleep under the stars and wake to the sound of birds outside their high-luxury, Hemingway-style safari tents. Days are spent exploring on bespoke safaris by both land and sea. Galapagos Safari Camp earns its place on this list for its efforts to bolster and strengthen the local economy (with programs with local schools and communities) and its commitment to reforestation in the area. On property, there is an innovative rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, and, of course, very limited use of plastic. 

Blue Waters Antigua

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Image courtesy of Blue Waters Antigua

Another paradisiacal property, but this time in the Caribbean, Antigua’s Blue Waters is exactly what a tropical resort should be: sleek suites with pops of coastal color, thatched-roof pergolas shading freshwater pools and lush gardens framed by palm trees – all leading to Antigua’s signature white-sand beach. The eco-friendly resort has built a legacy for its commitment to green practices, particularly around the use of single-use plastics. There are refillable water stations around the property, and they even have their own eco-focused bath amenity brand. There is also an on-site water treatment process, lighting powered by solar energy and a garden providing produce to the restaurants. 

Habitas Bacalar 

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Image courtesy of Habitas Bacalar

I like to think of Habitas Bacalar – an oasis hotel nestled on a lagoon in Quintana Roo – as a trip back-in-time. The hotel, which has sister properties in Tulum and Namibia, encourages guests to truly get away from it all (in the lap of luxury, of course), and offers holistic wellness programs and breezy tented suites. Habitas is recognized for its impressive eco-minded efforts, including its eco-conscious construction and elimination of single-use plastic. The hotel group also commits to improving the local communities in which their hotels operate; for instance, proceeds from Habitas Bacalar’s regular concerts and screenings go directly to reforestation efforts in the area. 

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

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Image courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Facing a year-long delay and new regulations from the floods of Hurricane Sandy, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t miss a beat in showcasing its innovative sustainability practices. Half of the hotel was built from recycled and regionally sourced material, and its rooms are decorated with upcycled art, works of local artists and plenty of Brooklyn style. On the tenth floor, the plunge pool is supported by cafes with locally-sourced ingredients. 

Fora perks: 

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • $25 daily breakfast credit.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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