Special Eco Effort
We applaud any hotel that takes its environmental impact and social conscience seriously. Recycling, solar power – they’re all important reductions of our carbon footprint. But these hotels don’t just pay lip service; they are full-on eco warriors, whose measures are a guiding principle rather than an afterthought. Whose impresses you most?
The 3 Nominees for Special Eco Effort
The Mudhouse, Anamaduwa, Sri Lanka
This remote Sri Lankan hideaway – a cluster of thatched mud huts enveloped in nature – has its own organic farm, which provides the ingredients for lunch and dinner. They compost organic waste, and no chemicals are used on site. There’s no electricity or pool to drain local resources or water tables; just one solar-powered generator. Most impressively, the entire project is not-for-profit and all staff are local.
Reserva do Ibitipoca, Minas Gerais, Brazil
This inspiring hotel is set in a 3,000ha private reserve, established to reforest native flora species and form wildlife corridors. Buildings are made from natural local materials, activities celebrate nature (gallop Arabian horses through valleys and forests, then sit by a waterfall and unwind with a frosty caipirinha), and there’s an impressive social responsibility programme. It was created as a sustainable source of income for local people rather than as a money-making venture, a truly commendable endeavour.
Bambu Indah, Ubud, Bali
You’d expect great things from a hotel owned by the founder of the ‘Green School’ – the world’s leading model of environmental education – and every aspect is indeed a living example of sustainability. Buildings use bamboo rather than concrete foundations, with natural light and passive cooling. The swimming pool takes the form of an eco-pond with natural filtration and native plants, and almost everything is organic. Waste and water are recycled, too.