A boutique hotel made by artisans — that's this 58-suite hotel in Seminyak's tagline. Every detail of Katamama has been handmade or handpicked, using Indonesia's centuries-old traditions. Andra Matin’s bold architecture used 1.5 million red bricks and artisans in leafy Darmasabavillage were deployed for two years, hand-pressing the slender blocks usually used to build temples – it was a commission which saved their business, and the economy of its community. That's just the start of the story.
Uxua, Trancoso, Brazil
Authenticity is the greatest luxury a visit to Brazil's picturesque and historic Bahia state can offer. And no place delivers the experience like Trancoso's Quadrado, its car-free, Unesco-protected town square. Restored by designer Wilbert Das alongside local artisans and reclaimed materials, half of UXUA's casas date back 500 years. The result is a place to stay that lives and breathes local soul.
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada
On Canada’s rugged, rocky easternmost coast this 29-room hotel and its angular art studios at the edge of the Atlantic has, in its short life, graced many a style magazine thanks to Todd Saunders’ arresting architecture. It’s the MO of its founder, Zira Cobb – creator of the Shorefast Foundation – that will have you thinking differently about luxury travel.
Bambu Indah, Ubud, Bali
Sustainable bamboo is the story behind this stay. Bambu Indah means "beautiful bamboo" in Bahasa combines traditional Balinese architecture, rustic design, with a modern attitude and sustainable practices. It all started when John and Cynthia Hardy brought antique Javanese bridal homes to Bali so that friends and family could be immersed in nature and the history of Indonesia, care of a boutique eco hotel.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
10-story sustainable ground-up development right by Dumbo in Brooklyn. Many of the 194 guest rooms promise views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and New York skyline. Bamford Spa, Field House fitness centre, 50-seat screening room. Triple Clear water filters in every tap, sink, and shower; rainwater reclamation; state-of-the-art, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and more.
Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Epirus, Greece
Owner of this 24-room retreat in the Pindus Mountains, Vasilis Iosifids hiked many trails in the Zagori region before finding the perfect place to settle — the quaint village of Aristi. While building his own house, with views towards Vikos Gorges’ eastern wall and the snowy peaks of Mt Astraka, Vasilis vowed to share this pristine environment with others, so he built a hotel. Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas has been built in complete harmony with its surrounding landscape and architecture, and that’s just the start of its green story…
Song Saa, Cambodia
When they first journeyed to the Koh Rong archipelago in 2005, Song Saa founders Rory and Melita Hunter took inspiration from the beauty of the islands and the smiles and energy of the people. When they starting building Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia’s first luxury coastal resort in the Archipelago, they knew that a commitment to preserving the local environment and culture, had to underpin everything they did.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Hermanus, South Africa
Every aspect of Grootbos' scattered, luxury lodges has been designed to integrate with, and accentuate, the surrounding 2,500 hectares of pristine botanical paradise, two hours from Cape Town. As well as having staggering views of Walker Bay, guests in the villas and suites often glimpse the Marine Big Five from the shore of this milkwood-forest-enshrouded retreat. The owners of Grootbos are seriously conservation-minded — so much so that funds generated by the resort are invested back into the Grootbos Foundation, supporting environmental and social initiatives here in Hermanus, close to the Garden Route.
The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell, London, United Kingdom
One of the greenest hotels in London would you believe it; thanks to The Zetter Group, this 13-bedroom Georgian townhouse proves that sustainability doesn’t in the least bit hinder personality. While guests enjoy supper bowls from chef Bruno Loubet and award-winning cocktails from drinks titan Tony Conigliaro, the hotel is busy ensuring that the local environment, community, and its employees are equally well taken care of.
Whitepod Eco-luxury Hotel, Valais, Switzerland
Since the creation of this eco-luxury hotel & Alpine experience in southwestern Switzerland in 2004, Whitepod has been proving that five-star hospitality and conservation can coexist for the benefit of all. Under two hours from Geneva and Chamonix, the six geodetic pods have all the comforts of a hotel despite having virtually no impact on the environment. Whether a romantic snug or family suite, guests are embedded into the hillside, surrounded by nature and with nothing other than the magnitude of the Alps to ponder. A true Bouteco Hero, this hotel is one of the original eco-pioneers.
Tri, Koggala, Sri Lanka
Sustainable intelligent luxury in southern Sri Lanka. Rob Drummond’s luxury eco-conscious hotel on six green, leafy acres by Koggala Lake was designed with Shanghai-based A00 and architect Raefer Wallis, a trailblazer in sustainable design.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, the Blue Mountains, Australia
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is as high-end as conservation‐based resorts get. Two and a half hours from Sydney, this secluded five-star luxury retreat sits between two national parks — the Wollemi National Park and the Gardens of Stone National Park — in the World Heritage‐listed Greater Blue Mountains. It occupies only one per cent of a 7,000‐acre carbon‐neutral conservation and wildlife reserve, operating at the highest level of environmental credibility. Practices that protect the regional biodiversity support a broad range of threatened species and the extensive conservation work helps ensure a brighter future for many of the region’s 1,500 native and endangered species.
The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Arguably the UK's best boutique eco hotel, The Scarlet's award-winning Ayurveda-inspired spa and art-filled restaurant are part of why this glam grown-up getaway is also fantastically green. Perched on cliffs overlooking Mawgan Porth beach, every room comes with its own balcony or outdoor ‘pod’ with soul-stirring sea views. Since its inception they've thought about the impact their every action and activity has on the environment and their local community and their ‘Cherish the World’ ethos is embraced by the whole team. Clifftop hot tubs, a natural reed-bed swimming pool and a knockout of a location along Britain's south-west coast.
Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Just three hours overland from buzzing Singapore this 15 hectare private island is graced with pristine white sand beaches, coral reefs and its own thriving rainforest. Traditional Indonesian architecture and materials help keep beach houses cool, as does 'nature's aircon' — a steady sea breeze. Responsible tourism commitments go well beyond the environment with most team members being from the local community, alongside all supplies brought to the island and in 2010 Nikoi's founders set up The Island Foundation, which has so far educated more than 3000 local people.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Soneva takes great pride in supporting conservation and restoration efforts and is the original desert-island good guy — Soneva Fushi is their paradise in the Baa Atoll in the Maldives. Set in a Unesco Biosphere Reserve Soneva Fushi there are many initiatives under the Soneva Foundation umbrella. The preservation of the environment is essential to them and responsible tourism plays a key role in the protection of the ecosystem and endangered species.
Saffire, Tasmania, Australia
By connecting with its environment this award-winning Tasmanian luxury hotel generates authentic, enriching, rejuvenating and uplifting experiences. Built using a framework of environmental sustainability, core principles underlying the development were the protection of healthy sites and the healing of damaged areas.
Suarga Padang Padang, Bali, Indonesia
Suarga means heavenly world or paradise in Sanskrit: set on the north-western coast of the Bukit Peninsula overlooking one of Indonesia's best surf spots, this rough-luxe retreat strives to be part of the solution.
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