The issue of single-use plastic will continue to be a hot topic in 2019 but environmental concerns are predicted to turn into greater action. Travellers are looking for sustainable holiday experiences, while accommodation providers are trying to reduce plastic usage and increase their green credentials.
Recent research from Booking.com revealed that a whopping 86 per cent of holidaymakers say they would be willing to spend time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay, with over a third (37 per cent) willing to clear plastic and litter from a beach or other tourist attractions.
But an eco-friendly holiday doesn’t have to mean giving up those all-important luxuries and to show you how you can reduce your carbon footprint while lapping up the finest things in life, we're bringing you some of the best five-star sustainable stays, from a stunning safari camp in South Africa to a great British bolthole in Oxfordshire…
1. Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa
Overlooking the Makalali Game Reserve, this exclusive 12-bed camp is designed to blend in with its earthy surroundings. Taking pride in supporting the local community through economic empowerment, locals are offered employment opportunities with the potential for career development, while food and goods are sourced locally where possible.
Garonga continually looks for ways to be environmentally sustainable. On the property guests can explore unique sustainable systems including solar powered panels, heater pumps, bio gas cooking and an onside vegetable garden. You can also take part in a truly unique experience of assisting with the planting and growing of Spesbok Trees in the Eastern Cape to offset your carbon footprint.
BOOK NOW From £666 per night for a Luxury Tent
GET FLIGHTS From £737 return
2. Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Australia
Set on over 140 acres of native forest and boasting a private beach, this eco-friendly wildlife retreat is situated near the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. This secluded sanctuary is nestled on a coastal headland and offers magnificent views of the sparkling Coral Sea.
The property features an organic coconut plantation and natural swimming pools formed by granite boulders and waterfalls. Guests can plan guided nature tours, which includes tree planting, stargazing at an outdoor observatory, beach discovery, wildlife walks and bird-watching tours.
BOOK NOW From £222 for a Standard Bungalow
GET FLIGHTS From £606 return
3. Lapa Rios Lodge, Costa Rica
Surrounded by over 1,000 acres of protected rainforest on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, this is a green wonderland of its own. Set on the Pacific Ocean, it sits adjacent to Corcovado National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
The 16 thatched roof bungalows make use of cooling ocean breezes, while the salt-based pool, open-air restaurant, yoga classes and Ayurvedic massages provide the ultimate eco-friendly experience, which never feels anything less than luxurious. Additionally, there is an array of community-based initiatives including installing water pumps and solar panels to supply clean water and electricity to local communities.
BOOK NOW From £763 for a Deluxe Bungalow with breakfast, lunch and dinner
GET FLIGHTS From £415 return
4. Artist Residence, Oxfordshire
This exquisite hotel is conveniently located 15 minutes by car from Oxford’s city centre and a 20-minute drive from the Cotswolds. Guest staying here can expect fresh air, fresh food and fields of green, making it the perfect place for an eco-weekend getaway. The bedrooms are beautifully decorated with features such as roll-top baths, private terraces and cosy log burners.
Committed to reducing its carbon footprint, the property serves all food sourced within 25 miles wherever possible and all grown in their own kitchen garden, allowing you to enjoy the very best of local dining.
BOOK NOW From £140 for a Shepherds Hut
5. Whitepod, Switzerland
One of the most magical places in the Swiss Alps, the domes here require minimal building materials and are all highly energy efficient. The amount of energy and water is proudly controlled, waste is recycled and ingredients are sourced locally and by region.
Guests can embark on some of nature’s best activities when they book one of the many experiences Whitepod offers, such as paragliding, cani-rando, mountain biking, hiking and more.
BOOK NOW From £236 for a Cosy Pod with a superb breakfast
GET FLIGHTS From £22 one way
6. Topas Ecolodge, Vietnam
The main attraction for tourists visiting Sapa is to visit the villages. Sapa offers many opportunities to experience the hidden trails, breathtaking scenery, fascinating local culture and way of life of its local people.
This ecolodge is the only one of its kind in Vietnam and has a perfect location – situated atop two cone formed hills and set deep in the spectacular Sapa valley of northern Vietnam. Based on sustainable principles to ensure minimum impact on the surrounding environment, it employs people from nearby villages and uses local products and goods to bring economic benefits to the community. Not to mention, it uses a wastewater facility to avoid polluting the area.
BOOK NOW From £224 for a Premium Executive Bungalow with breakfast
GET FLIGHTS From £345 return
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