See the World, Save the Environment: Three Eco Hotels That Have Us Dreaming of a Greener Future

The late, great Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” Of all the ways humans have found to pass their days on this planet, traveling may well be the most rewarding. It exhilarates you, it humbles you, and it changes you, leaving its indelible mark on your mind, your body, and your heart. Immersing yourself in a foreign landscape or culture is one of the most powerful ways to bear witness to the vast beauty of the world that surrounds us, yet reaping the rewards of travel often comes at a high price – the travel industry itself can be notoriously unfriendly towards the environment.

We’re always on the go and we like it that way, but we’ve made it a priority to travel as consciously and ethically as possible, which is why these sustainable and eco-friendly hotels around the globe have rocketed to the top of our bucket lists. Breathtakingly beautiful and deeply invested in reducing our impact on the already overworked environment, these eco-conscious escapes prove that embracing sustainability doesn’t have to mean sacrificing luxury, paving the way for a future in which travel allows us to take in our vibrant surroundings while also working to preserve them. Dive in below!

Hix Island House – Vieques, Puerto Rico

Designed by Toronto-based architect John Hix, Hix Island House is an eco-friendly hotel tucked into the lush natural landscape of Vieques, a tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Consisting of innovative self-contained concrete lofts with open air terraces, outdoor showers, and a wide open view of the surrounding Caribbean, this tranquil getaway is an exercise in bringing the outdoors indoors and existing in conscious harmony with nature. We’re crushing hard on the soothing wabi sabi vibes and the satisfying contrast of rugged wilderness and smooth geometric lines.

Hix Island House merges style with serenity, offering everything you need for a rejuvenating retreat from the modern world, inviting you to slow down and experience the healing power of nature in all its untouched glory. They use solar panels to power their electricity and hot water, and the water they use flows back into the earth, nourishing their plentiful guava, papaya, banana, and lemon trees. Book your stay here.

Azulik Resort – Tulum, Mexico

Rising up along the shimmering turquoise shores of Tulum, this rustic and hidden eco-resort consists of wooden villas fashioned out of organic bamboo and palm fronds. An immersive and romantic jungle retreat, Azulik asks you to leave your inhibitions at the door: featuring the barest of necessities (no shoes, no showers) and barely any electric light, you find yourself luxuriating in pure wonder at the natural world, from the immense starry sky above to the fragrant sea breeze that whispers through each open air villa.

Dedicated to immersing guests in the ancient Maya culture, the vibrant hotel sits on the stunning Sian Ka’an reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site that spans 780,000 acres. Every detail of this one of a kind retreat pays respect to the beauty and power of nature, from the use of sustainable building materials to the lack of light pollution to the incredible vegan menu they offer. It feels like a different world, one that reminds us of the importance of looking to the past as we try to find a way forward to a better future. Book your stay here.

Finca Rosa Bianca – Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Costa Rica

Finca Rosa Blanca is a whimsical and welcoming inn set on a coffee plantation high in the verdant hills above Costa Rica’s capital. Surrounded on all sides by jaw-dropping views of valleys, volcanoes, and waterfalls, every inch of this resort is artfully designed to capture the unique and exuberant spirit of Costa Rica, with an emphasis on the country’s lush tropical landscape and rich coffee culture. Whether you’re interested in a coffee tasting, a coffee scrub at the spa, or a tour of the coffee farm, this enchanting escape immerses you in the many uses for the main natural growth of the region.

They also spotlight sustainability: over the last 30 years, the owners have planted 7,000 trees, recycled, upcycled, composted, captured rain and sunlight, and reached an unprecedented carbon neutrality. They even  utilize banana and avocado trees to help produce their delicious coffee beans. As Nat Geo puts it, “Finca Rosa Blanca was sustainable long before sustainable was cool.” Love coffee? Love the environment? Book your stay here.

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