8 eco-friendly hotels around the world to visit in 2022
Sustainable actions come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and many now go far beyond banning single-use plastics. From installing new geothermal and solar energy production facilities onsite to fostering partnerships with local communities and organizations, these eight properties have set their sights on a more regenerative, ecological future and are sustainable hotels to add to any conscious travellers list for this year.
At Carlota in Quito, Ecuador, much of the materials found throughout the property are re- and upcycled, including the carpeting and wood panelling. In addition to having worked to reduce water consumption by 50 percent, the hotel also now features an advanced filtration system that allows for greywater to be recycled, and bath amenities are accordingly all-natural and biodegradable. Moreover, the property’s dining options focus on locally sourced organic vegetables and spices, and 30 percent of energy used by the hotel comes from onsite solar panels.
Similarly, solar panels abound at Cervo Mountain Resort in Zermatt, Switzerland, where a newly constructed geothermal pump also allows the hotel to generate 95 percent of its energy requirements for hot water and heating. The resort’s three restaurants are stocked with locally cultivated produce, and a herb garden on the property grounds provides guests with plenty of tea brewing options. Partnerships with the local community and nearby food suppliers as well as initiatives like SlowFood and myClimate expand the property’s sustainable ethos even further.
Solar power is also relied upon by Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica, for hot water. Here, natural features like thatched roofs and locally sourced timber and stone are used not only in guest accommodations but also in the hotel’s wood workshop and production facilities, where members of the community produce candles and bath amenities. Additionally, Rockhouse harvests rainwater for reuse, has robust recycling and compost programs in place, and is home to an organic garden and plant nursery.
Patina Maldives, on the Fari Islands in the North Malé Atoll, has an equally all-encompassing view when it comes to letting sustainable actions speak louder than words. The numerous dining options all feature organic produce grown on-island, and all off-island ingredients are accredited by EarthCheck or the International Pole and Line Foundation. Additionally, all of the resort’s drinking water is processed and bottled (in glassware) at an on-island facility. It’s all rounded out by an extensive solar panel network that powers most of the resort’s energy needs, and an original initiative where for each stay 10 kilograms of marine plastic is collected, cleaned and repurposed into Parley for the Oceans material.
Encinitas, California, is known for its commitment to the environment as well as its local farming and food movement, and the town’s intimate Twelve Senses Retreat reflects this spirit. Beyond an interior concept that sees the four guestrooms designed according to the four elements of nature, recycled fibreglass is incorporated into the property’s insulation and recycled felt is used for bottles, while ocean plastics have been transformed into beautiful tiles, seen at the rooftop bar, as part of a collaboration with Seaform.
Elsewhere, the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, reflects the vibrancy of its continent: the property’s décor was entirely sourced from African artists and artisans. Furthermore, the in-house restaurant, Jiko, offers a seasonal menu that’s based on the produce available from local farmers, with an emphasis always placed on fresh, organic ingredients.
A focus on local cuisine and produce also takes centre stage at Cretan Malia Park’s restaurants. Here, the menus are created with produce from an organic onsite farm as well as a network of local farmers and the Phāea Farmers Program. Through this initiative, the resort offers staff, many of whom are farmers in the off-season, training in organic farming methods and sustainable land use. The produce cultivated by staff in the cooler months—ranging from aloe, herbs, fruits, and vegetables to dairy products, raki, wine, and olive oil—are then used to stock the restaurants’ kitchens when Cretan Malia Park reopens. The property also has active organic waste management and compositing systems, as well as a Green Key certification, which requires a commitment to adhere to the strict criteria set out by the Foundation of Environmental Education.
London’s Inhabit Hotel also has Green Key certification, and the in-house restaurant Yeotown offers a plant-based menu created with the optimization of physical and mental health in mind. Additionally, the property has established partnerships with consciously minded organizations like Globechain and Goldfinger. The former connects businesses and charities with individuals to enable the redistribution of goods to social causes rather than landfills. The latter is a social enterprise that teaches the craft of woodworking to marginalized young people, who work with skilled artisans to produce unique furniture and objects from reclaimed and sustainable materials.