In this age of easy global travel, exploring the world while maintaining an eco-conscience can feel like a near impossibility; after all, everyone deserves a little luxury from time to time, but indulging while “leaving only footprints” can often feel like a contradiction in terms. Happily, five star luxury travel is increasingly being served up with a side order of environmental awareness. Check out these eco-friendly resorts and recommended by the experts at Flight Centre recommend.
1 THAILAND: Soneva Kiri
Hidden on the little-known island of Koh Kood, Soneva Kiri is a hideaway destination that’s as stylish as it is sustainable. This pioneering resort group leads the way in eco-transparency, publishing a full annual report detailing its environmental efforts. On-site, guests luxuriate in some of the world’s largest resort villas, complete with infinity pools and outdoor bathrooms. When it comes to Soneva’s food, sustainably sourced ingredients are perfectly complemented by memorable surroundings, including a treetop pod for the ultimate in private dining.
2 BORNEO: Gayana Eco Resort
Situated just off the coast of Borneo, within the protective boundaries of a marine ecology research centre, eco-friendly Gayana Eco Resort is working hard to conserve the surrounding sea life. Guests are invited to participate in the restoration of damaged coral reefs, encouraging a vivid and diverse marine population into the surrounding area, making it a diver’s paradise. The lavish tropical villas marry traditional Bornean materials and building methods with thoroughly modern comforts such as Frette bed linen, air- conditioning and luxurious bathrooms to create a memorable getaway.
3 VIETNAM: Six Senses Con Dao
An island hideaway with a conscience, eco-friendly Six Senses Con Dao is fully committed to the eco cause – even their golf balls are biodegradable! This luxury resort takes its role in protecting this unspoilt archipelago seriously, with initiatives to reduce waste, promote sustainability and protect the area’s wildlife, while sales of their mineral water go towards building a clean water supply for the local school. Located in the brilliant natural beauty of Con Dao’s national park, this is one tropical paradise you’ll never want to leave. Your own private villa, your own private pool and your own private butler – not to mention optional diving trips, island escapes and rainforest hikes – make this the ultimate retreat from everyday life.
4 MALDIVES: Gili Lankanfushi
Going green never looked as good as it does at Gili Lankanfushi – its stunning villas-on-stilts are constructed from sustainable materials, its restaurants use fresh ingredients from their organic garden and the whole resort is committed to reducing its carbon footprint via numerous energy-efficient initiatives. Guests can get in on the action too, with island eco- tours, coral-planting expeditions, dolphin cruises and night snorkelling adventures that showcase the wondrous beauty of the Maldives – and how it should be protected for generations to come.
5 INDONESIA: Nihiwatu
Nihiwatu – recently voted the world’s best hotel by Travel & Leisure magazine – operates an ethical, eco-friendly business model. Employing 90 percent of its staff from within the local community, this spectacular island resort provides funding for education, healthcare and infrastructure projects through its Sumba Foundation, meaning you can unwind guilt-free. And what could be more relaxing than an overnight “spa safari”? Stay in a picturesque Sumbanese bale enjoying unlimited spa treatments while listening to the waves crashing on the shore below. Prefer a little more action? The secluded Coconut Cove Surf School will have you board-ready in no time.
To book one of these getaways, visit Flight Centre Hong Kong at 17 Lyndhurst Terrace (Central), Shop 8B, 10 Sing Woo Road (Happy Valley) or 66-68 Queen’s Road East (Wan Chai), call 2830 2730, or go to flightcentre.com.hk.
This article first appeared in the Apr/May edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
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