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19 Best Eco Resorts in the world

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Eco-conscious and ecotourism travelers today seek out getaways that align with their values of responsible travel. An eco resort and eco-lodge offers the services and amenities of a luxury retreat but with a focus on sustainability. Staying at one makes for a memorable, fulfilling vacation where you can relax amid nature without guilt over your environmental impact.

But how do you identify trustworthy eco-resorts that walk the walk instead of just talking the talk? This guide explains what constitutes a legitimate eco resort and eco hotels, how to avoid “greenwashing,” and introduces 19 most acclaimed sustainable luxury sanctuaries worldwide.

What is an Eco Resort?

An eco resort resembles a typical high-end resort or hotel but integrates environmental responsibility into its operations. Legitimate establishments build their sustainability principles into architecture, infrastructure, activities, dining, and more.

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Elements that set apart genuine eco resorts include:

  • Renewable power sources like solar and hydroelectric
  • Water conservation and treatment initiatives
  • Waste reduction and recycling policies
  • Sourcing food and products locally to cut emissions
  • Using natural, non-toxic materials and cleaners
  • Fostering nature preservation and community development

By incorporating these practices, eco resorts aim to achieve “net zero” environmental impact – or even go “climate positive” by actively removing greenhouse gases. Their sustainability mission influences everything they do.

Difference From a Regular Resort and Eco hotel / Eco Resort

Conventional resorts focus strictly on luxury, entertainment and profits. Eco resorts add environmental consciousness as an equally important priority. They integrate sustainable architecture, eco-friendly operations, and nature conservation into delivering a lavish experience.

Avoiding “Greenwashing” of some Eco-resort

Given growing eco-tourism interest, some hotels mislead guests with false or exaggerated environmental claims. Reputable certification programs like Green Globe, Green Key Global and GSTC help you identify authentic establishments. The best eco resorts transparently communicate their practices.

Vet sustainability assertions by asking questions. How does the resort conserve water, where does energy come from, what waste and recycling policies exist? Specific, substantiated answers indicate genuine commitment.

Hallmarks of Great Eco Resorts: What to Look for in an Eco Resort

Beyond legitimately eco-friendly infrastructure and operations, the world’s best luxury sustainable retreats also:

  • Spotlight stunning natural surrounds
  • Immerse guests in local culture
  • Offer wellness activities like yoga, meditation and organic spa treatments
  • Provide eco-education programming
  • Support neighboring communities
  • Use food, materials and art sourced locally

These enable visitors to relax, recharge and learn in comfort while protecting the planet.

19 Best Eco Resorts in The World

eco resorts in North America

01. Turtle Bay Resort – Oahu, Hawaii

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  • First Oahu hotel with solar roof, saving emissions equivalent to 4.3 million lbs of carbon dioxide over 10 years
  • Expanded recycling program increased annual waste diversion by 1.8 tons in 2 years
  • Upgraded bathroom fixtures cut water consumption

Why Book: The perfect North Shore base for families to alternate between enjoying beach days, pools, horseback riding, surf lessons and championship golf, while also honoring Hawaiian culture and protecting the ʻāina (land). Join in sustainability efforts like marine debris cleanup drives.

02. The Stanford Inn by the sea – Northern California

Nestled along Northern California’s picturesque Pacific coastline, The Stanford Inn by the Sea epitomizes an eco-conscious wellness escape. This Mendocino hideaway has pioneered organic regenerative practices for over 30 years.

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  • Located along the picturesque Northern California coast
  • Pioneering organic farm supplying the daily farm-to-table cuisine
  • Year-round saltwater pool housed in a large greenhouse
  • Immersive sustainability programming from foraging workshops to college credit courses
  • Offering relaxing wellness activities like seaside yoga and organic spa treatments

Why Book:

  • Ideal for eco-conscious travelers seeking a rejuvenating escape surrounded by nature
  • Dine on the best of the coast’s bounty with ingredients harvested fresh daily from flourishing on-site organic gardens
  • Expand your sustainability knowledge with hands-on programming
  • Welcoming environmentally friendly electric vehicles with EV charging stations
  • Experience California’s laidback luxury at this long-time leader in regenerative hospitality practices

eco resorts Central & South America

03. Playa Viva – Juluchuca, Mexico

  • 100% solar-powered off-grid resort with world-class turtle sanctuary
  • Reforestation improves soil and sequesters carbon
  • Supports community education, recycling and spay/neuter health services

Why Book: Help protect endangered sea turtles while staying in breezy beachfront treehouse accommodations overlooking the Pacific. Give back to the local community through volunteering with sustainability initiatives like teaching English classes, building recycling facilities and organizing spay/neuter clinics.

04. Playa Viva – Juluchuca, Mexico eco hotel

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  • 100% solar-powered off-grid resort with world-class turtle sanctuary
  • Reforestation improves soil and sequesters carbon
  • Supports community education, recycling and spay/neuter health services

Why Book: Help protect endangered sea turtles while staying in breezy beachfront treehouse accommodations overlooking the Pacific. Give back to the local community through volunteering with sustainability initiatives.

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05. Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica – Peru eco resort

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  • Luxury eco lodge with Peru’s longest canopy walkway over 1.3M acre rainforest reserve
  • Research center working to preserve threatened jungle habitat
  • Architecture inspired by indigenous buildings

Why Book: From rustic-chic accommodations tucked into the jungle canopy, spot exotic wildlife on trails with native community guides. Learn traditional practices first-hand while protecting precious biodiversity.

06. Pacuare Lodge – Costa Rica eco lodge

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  • Luxury riverfront rainforest eco lodge only accessible by rafting pristine Pacuare River
  • Partners with Nai Conservation to protect indigenous cabinica birds
  • Works to preserve 500 acresite as a private nature reserve

Why Book: Nestled deep in the jungle along class IV rapids, this remote hideaway minimizes environmental impact while maximizing adventure. Mountain bike, climb waterfalls, zipline through treetops or safari float to admire exotic flora and fauna.

eco resorts in Europe

07. Forestis Dolomites – South Tyrol, Italy

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  • Carbon-neutral mountain retreat with 2 trees planted for every one displaced
  • Locally-sourced gourmet “forest cuisine” from foraged alpine ingredients
  • Yoga and open-air hydrotherapies encourage forest bathing

Why Book: This eco resort architecture is elevated and aesthetic. Bask in alpine serenity with fresh-air yoga sessions surrounded by dramatic Dolomites peaks. Indulge hyperlocal cuisine spotlighting seeds, herbs and vegetables sourced straight from alpine meadows.

08. Belmond Hotel Splendido & Splendido Mare – Portofino, Italy

eco hotel eco resort
  • 14th century abbey and historic landmark reinvented as luxury eco hotel, tended by herb garden
  • First Italian hotel earning LEED Gold certification for sustainability initiatives
  • Partners with local producers and artisans to source environmentally-responsible amenities

Why Book: Step into a prototypical Italian village overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio, its piazzas and side streets dotted with boutiques, bars and gelato stands using organic ingredients from nearby gardens.

eco resorts in Africa

09. Bambu Indah – Bali, Indonesia

eco resort bali
  • Carbon-negative boutique hotel built from natural materials like bamboo over rice paddies
  • Oil lanterns used instead of electricity to eliminate light pollution
  • 100% plastic-free, serves food on banana leaves

Why Book: Escape into a screen-free tranquil paradise to soak up Bali’s lush green jungle and rice terrace landscapes. Drift to sleep atop soft organic linens inside your stilted open-air cottage, serenaded by insects and songbirds.

10. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – South Africa

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  • Leading model for responsible tourism overlooking Walker Bay Nature Reserve
  • Nonprofit Green Futures College empowers disadvantaged youth through hospitality education
  • Protects delicate fynbos biome native to the region

Why Book: Explore vibrant flowering fynbos trails through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your hilltop lodge balcony, spot whales breaching across the bay.

11. and Beyond Phinda Homestead – South Africa

  • Intimate eco lodge situated inside nearly 60,000 acre world renowned Phinda Game Reserve
  • National Geographic Unique Lodge using building techniques minimizing erosion
  • Winner: Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award for commitment to eco-tourism

Why Book: Witness Africa’s famous wildlife, like the Big Five, on twice-daily game drives and nature walks. Retreat back to your rustic-chic suite, tucked into the dunes with outdoor showers and private plunge pools.

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eco resorts in Middle East

12. Six Senses Zighy Bay – Oman

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  • High-end eco resort with extensive sustainability programming
  • Intimate sky pool villas clustered into traditional mountain village overlooking beach
  • Earth Lab center provides eco-education on green living and development

Why Book: Relax in the granite mountains or by Zighy Bay’s mile-long sandy beach. Take in spectacular Arabian Gulf sunsets after regenerating at Six Senses renowned spa. Make your own organic soaps or learn actionable skills from sustainability experts to reduce environmental impact in daily life.

13. Dana Village Camp-Wadi Dana Eco camp – Jordan

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  • Solar-powered desert eco lodge in Dana Biosphere Reserve, stunning landscapes with rare wildlife
  • All-inclusive guest activities like stargazing, candlelit cave dinners and hiking to ancient copper mines
  • Partners with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to preserve migratory bird habitats

Why Book: Completely immerse yourself in the magnificent Wadi Araba desert. This former archeological dig site provides an gateway to explore Jordan’s mesmerizing wilderness, guided by local Bedouin.

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Eco resorts in Asia / South Pacific

14. COMO Uma Canggu – Bali, Indonesia

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  • Luxury beachfront eco resort named World’s Best Sustainable Hotel, designed by Australian architect Max Pritchard
  • World-class surf destination sustaining community with locally grown produce and traditional village access
  • Patrolled beach cleanup efforts, no single-use plastics

Why Book: Relax across manicured lawns, vibrant gardens and the sparkling Indian Ocean. Recharge with fresh farm-to-table flavors at the Beach Club & Restaurant after catching waves from this legendary surf mecca.

15. Soneva Fushi – Maldives

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  • Iconic eco resort spanning tropical island, with architecture built around vegetation to preserve palms
  • Marine Conservation Centre rescues turtle hatchlings and coral fragments for replanting
  • Offers numerous educational EcoCentres focusing on waste management and renewable energies

Why Book: Experience barefoot luxury without compromising environmental values. Dine in the treetops under the stars or relax in your private oceanfront villa. Adventure underwater on guided snorkeling excursions to nurture new coral colonies.

16. ecoCamp Patagonia – Torres del Paine, Chile

eco lodge eco resort
  • Sustainable geodesic dome lodge minimizing footprint inside renowned Torres del Paine National Park
  • Certified Carbon Neutral operations including Hyper-efficient heat and hydro systems
  • Partnered expeditions with RECYCLA Chile targeting plastics removal from wilderness corridors

Why Book: Gateway to Patagonia’s iconic bucket-list vistas and hiking trails. Return to your cozy dome warmed by campfires for farm-to-table feasting. Join sustainability efforts through recyclables recovery team expeditions in one of South America’s most precious parks.

17. Hotel Komune Resort & Beach Club – Bali, Indonesia

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  • Beachfront eco resort offering surf trips, standup paddle boarding and snorkeling reefs
  • Boasts kids club, water slides, beach cinema and adults-only infinity pool
  • Initiated ambitious regeneration projects beginning with 8,500 mangroves

Why Book: Ideal for family getaways, with perfect waves right outside and endless activities across 32 acres of lush tropical coastline. Delight your own little conservationists by planting starter mangroves.

18. Navutu Stars Resort & Spa – Fiji

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  • Remote eco resort mingling casual luxury with vibrant indigenous culture on MaloloIsland
  • Plants coral in partnership with XL Catlin Seaview Survey to restore Fiji’s reefs
  • Supports Natokalau and Matacawalevu village communities

Why Book: Laze in thatched-roof bure suites before embarking on an educational inland tour of medicinal gardens, local handicrafts and a charming church. Give back to this unspoiled slice of paradise through coral gardening.

19. Crystalbrook Riley, Cairns – Australia

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  • World’s first BCorp-certified hotel brand with ultramodern 5-star eco Cairns resort
  • Onsite social outreach team coordinates volunteering including nursery restoration
  • Manages advanced impact monitoring across environment, community, culture and economy

Why Book: Sensational gateway for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest that catalyzes positive change. Enjoy dreamy amenities then volunteer replanting mangroves to revitalize habitats.

Make Eco-Friendly Choices for Accommodation by choosing an  eco-resort

Booking one of these exquisite sustainable sanctuaries lets you travel without compromising your environmental values. Consider offsetting flight emissions too.

Choosing genuine eco resorts over conventional hotels or resorts provides market incentives for the broader hospitality industry to adopt more ecological practices.

As demand grows from conscious consumers, accommodations worldwide will ideally shift investments into renewable infrastructure, waste diversion efforts, local partnerships, habitat conservation and environmental education programming.

Over time, the collective impact of mindful travelers prioritizing establishments like these can help:

  • Preserve fragile coral reefs, rainforests and other threatened ecosystems
  • Safeguard endangered species of wildlife and marine life
  • Sustain indigenous communities through ethical tourism
  • Promote organic farming and plastic-free initiatives
  • Share solutions anyone can implement for living sustainably

So start planning an unforgettable dream vacation at one of these premier sustainable luxury destinations! Recharge your spirit amid abundant nature without guilt over your lodging choice.

And maybe even discover fresh planet-friendly ideas to integrate back home. Small everyday actions like using natural cleaners, reducing food waste, and conserving water and energy collectively make a measurable difference.

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