The top 10 green hotels
by Jetwing · Published · Updated
For travellers who want to balance the joy of the journey with the needs of the environment, here are the Top 9 eco hotels, according to Agoda.com
WHY do we go green? Well… mainly because it’s the right thing to do! Today, many hotels have implemented the green programme and it has proven to give a lot of benefits including saving costs.
One of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites, Agoda.com, and Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group recently released their 2014 list of the world’s most eco-friendly hotels, properties that are perfect for travellers who want to balance the joy of the journey with the needs of the environment.
To qualify for this list, a hotel needed to do more than recycle water or use biodegradable soap. Hotels were considered based on a sustained and dedicated commitment to environmentally-friendly operations throughout their property.
For these properties, ecological responsibility is more than a tagline in a brochure. A stay at any of the hotels on the Top 9 Eco Hotels In The Planet promises to be equal parts educational, enjoyable and memorable.
1 – THE BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS, SOUTH AFRICA
In Clanwilliam, South Africa, the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is a five-star award-winning eco hotel which has spent years creating a beautiful wilderness escape.
Under a comprehensive environmental management plan, its workers consistently monitor water quality, soil condition and the health of vegetation and wildlife.
They also utilise a high tech waste disposal and stringent energy reduction practices to cut waste even further. Plus, generous contributions are made to local conservation policies, charity programmes and educational initiatives.
On top of that, to ensure that the hotel sticks to the highest standards possible, management decisions are overseen by a board of trustees with experience in wildlife management, botany, archaeology and cultural heritage.
2 – JETWING VIL UAYANA, SRI LANKA
The Jetwing Group is committed to community outreach and sustainability programmes, and the five-star Jetwing Vil Uayana in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka is among of the standouts.
Built on a specially constructed wetland system and nature reserve, it constantly aims for the highest standards of eco-friendly tourism.
Energy-efficient equipment is used wherever possible, and the hotel has worked with suppliers to the point that 98 per cent of them use environmentally-friendly packaging.
Its initiatives also help support various environmental and community causes, from school and hospital construction projects to youth development programmes and responsible whale watching excursions.
3- PARKROYAL PICKERING, SINGAPORE
Looking up from the busy streets of Singapore, the lush greenery overhanging the ParkRoyal Pickering’s curving terraces immediately marks it as unique among the island’s densely packed towers.
The five-star hotel is committed to urban eco-living by utilising solar power, rain harvesting and distinctive architectural designs to reduce its environmental impact.
It boasts 150,000 sq m of gardens and uses efficient LED bulbs and motion sensors throughout for a 20 per cent reduction in lighting power. In fact, its annual energy savings can power 680 households.
4 – PAPERBARK CAMP, AUSTRALIA
Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay is one of the pioneers of ecotourism in Australia. It was built basically to create an authentic, ecologically sustainable Australian bush experience.
There are 12 canvas tents built under the shades of the eucalyptus trees, providing superb comfort with a tiny ecological footprint. During construction, no large trees were cut down, and tents were designed to sit on shallow pilings to avoid disturbing the fragile wetland system.
Wastewater is pumped to a nearby water treatment plant, and steps are in place to prevent feeding of wildlife, which will interfere with the natural ecosystem. Even the soaps and lotions guests are provided with are handmade with natural ingredients.
5 – FIVELEMENTS PURI AHIMSA
The hotel is committed to eco-friendly operation and was built around three main pillars of sustainability — environmental awareness, social sustainability and having a positive impact.
The five-star hotel is committed to eco-friendly operation since the beginning of its construction, with the help of local ecological experts and the use of natural materials which ensured zero net impact.
In fact, no structures are closer than 5m to the Ayung River, and 20 per cent of the site has been preserved for naturalised gardens, providing a friendly habitat for the 58 animal species near the property.
In addition, stewardship of civic waste management programmes gives the hotel a direct link to its community. The use of water pressure controls, wastewater treatment and creative landscape design have also minimised the upset of existing ecologies.
In addition, super-efficient LED bulbs have reduced electricity used for lighting by 95 per cent, while uniquely designed Sycamore ceiling fans provide even further savings.
6 – TERRA’S TREE HOUSE, MALAYSIA
Perched among the rolling tea plantations of Cameron Highlands, each Terra’s Tree House structure is hand built by the indigenous Orang Asli, using bamboo and palm leaves.
Fresh water is piped in from a mountain stream and electricity is only available from 7.30am-10.30pm, when the generator is running.
The common kitchen is stocked with organic ingredients, and mealtimes are often a social experience, with workers and guests alike pitching in to create delicious meals.
Well, the view from the tree house is, unsurprisingly, spectacular!
7 – LANGHAM PLACE
MONGKOK HOTEL, HONG KONG
In such a crowded city, Hong Kong hotels have to work extra hard to stand out, and the Langham Place Mongkok Hotel does that by being one of the city’s leading eco-properties.
One of the pioneers of eco-friendly tourism, the five-star hotel recycles food waste into compost and offers a charging station for electric vehicles.
It donates its excess food to charity to help disadvantaged communities, and recycles used cooking oil into biodiesel to fuel delivery vehicles.
On top of that, an onsite organic garden helps supply the kitchen and food waste is processed into fish food. Strict measures are in place throughout the property to reduce the use of electricity, water and chemicals.
8 – SIX SENSES YAO NOI, THAILAND
Built on the site of an old rubber plantation in Phuket, Thailand, the five-star Six Senses Yao Noi has put a lot of work into building around the natural landscape.
Indeed, careful planning preserved many of the original rubber trees to provide shade and reduce soil erosion. It has worked with local government authorities and led a project to rejuvenate the area’s mangrove forests. Guests can see firsthand the success of the project via a 500m boardwalk through the lush natural landscape.
The hotel uses heat recovery systems to reduce wasted energy, and has banned imported water, preferring to bottle its own in reusable glass bottles.
Organic vegetables, eggs and chickens raised on-site help reduce waste even further while various funds have been set up to support local educational and health programmes.
9 – VERAVIAN ECO RESORT, THAILAND
Preferring to let the location speak for itself, the resort blends perfectly into the natural surroundings, with rooms set into the sloping landscape and roofs covered with grass to act as natural insulation.
Guests love sitting outside to take in the view across the rolling green hills, with fresh air and a constant gentle breeze.
To bolster its power needs, solar cells and windmills are set up around the grounds, which are popular as a great backdrop for pictures.
In addition, mealtimes are ultra-healthy affairs, with vegetables from its own hydroponic garden. For an extra bonus, guests can enjoy stunning sunsets across one of Thailand’s largest national parks every evening.