Looking for the comforts of a luxury resort and want to stay eco-consciously? Welcome to the best eco-resorts in the world to stay at this year.
This is where eco-resorts come into play. These resorts embody sustainable tourism, working to preserve the environment and often contributing to the local community. Eco-resorts are becoming more popular as travelers care more about the environment and want to explore responsibly.
Most of these eco-friendly hotels and resorts are set in secluded areas. This not only lets you engage with nature intimately and harmlessly but also offers an opportunity to unwind and disconnect from the buzz of everyday life.
If you’re intrigued about venturing into the world of eco-resorts or are a seasoned visitor seeking your next eco-experience, here are my top choices for the world’s best eco-resorts. A visit to any of these resorts promises a memorable and fulfilling vacation.
What is the concept of eco-resorts?
An eco-resort is similar to any other resort with good accommodation and hospitality, but it also focuses on sustainability. These resorts are deeply committed to eco-friendly practices and making a positive difference—and in many cases, inspiring guests to do the same.
What is the difference between a resort and an eco-resort?
Eco resorts are like regular resorts, but they also focus on being environmentally friendly. They aim to have no carbon emissions and protect the environment around them, as stated by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
What makes a good eco-resort?
Good luxury eco-resorts and eco-friendly hotels will meet all your standards for service and amenities while implementing real sustainability practices. Some in the travel industry try to profit from misleading claims of being environmentally friendly. To avoid falling for this, research and ensure that the green hotel’s actions align with its marketing and values.
Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Eco Resorts in the World:
- Turtle Bay Resort Oahu, for the best Hawaii eco resort
- Soneva Kiri Thailand, for the best honeymoon eco resort
- The Stanford Inn by The Sea, for the best California eco resort
- Olas Tulum, for the best Mexico eco resort
The 15 Best Eco Resorts in the World
1. Playa Viva (Mexico)
An hour south of Zihuatanejo is Playa Viva, with 19 rooms and an award-winning oceanfront treehouse-style property. The B-Corp Certified resort offers numerous ways to both relax and give back while on the property, including volunteering at its turtle sanctuary. Book the best rates here.
- Playa Viva is 100% off-grid, using solar energy and an onsite well for water.
- The resort uses reforestation to help improve soil quality and water retention. Then it captures carbon in the landscape’s soil.
- Playa Viva supports the community in various ways from offering everything from children’s English classes to environmental and recycling projects to spay and neuter clinics for dogs and cats.
Address: Juluchuca, Zihuatanejo, Playa Icacos, 40834 Gro., Mexico
2. Keemala Eco Resort (Thailand)
This enchanting rainforest property on the Thai island of Phuket is made up of hillside villas with pools overlooking the jungle landscape. Keemala’s focus on holistic living, organic dining, and wellness contributes to a retreat-like feel and helps preserve an air of tranquility around the property. Book the best rates here.
- Methane from waste management is directed into the ground to reduce greenhouse effect gasses.
- Each villa has its own water treatment system, and the treated water released back into the environment is in line with or exceeds government standards.
- The property was designed to protect the existing ecosystem, with soil, trees, and natural water kept in their natural form or used with minimal disturbance.
Address: 10 88 หมู่ที่ 6 Nakanai Rd, Kamala, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand
3. Turtle Bay Resort (Oahu, Hawaii)
Located on the North Shore of Oahu, the expansive Turtle Bay Resort is an ideal family hideaway, with many curated activities for little ones. There are also endless activities for adults to enjoy, including award-winning golf and horseback riding. Pools, beaches, and the Nalu Spa are also at your fingertips for those seeking relaxation. Book the best rates here.
- Turtle Bay became the first Oahu resort with a solar roof in 2013. In the last 10 years, it has saved the equivalent of 4.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
- A resort-wide recycling program has spurred an average increase of 1.8 tons of recycling over the last two years.
- Turtle Bay decreases water use with upgraded toilets and showers.
Address: 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731
4. Olas Tulum (Mexico)
Sea turtles, cenotes, and the Sian Ka’an biosphere await at Olas Tulum, a boutique hotel and guesthouse in Mexico’s bohemian paradise. Visitors can relax on the beach or go to the roof for drinks or yoga with a view of the jungle. Book the best rates here.
- Rooftop solar panels power the entire property.
- Las Olas composts organic food onsite and uses it to feed the vegetation.
- An underground river system feeds water to the property from a nearby cenote.
Address: 10.6 Boca Paila Rd, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
5. Lapa Rios Lodge (Costa Rica)
Named for the majestic scarlet macaw birds that are found in the rainforest where the resort is situated, Lapa Rios Lodge has won several awards since its 1993 opening. 17 bungalows are a jumping-off pad for rainforest adventures, wildlife encounters, and ocean activities on the Osa Peninsula. Book the best rates here.
- 1,000 acres of the Lapa Rios property is a dedicated private nature reserve, providing sanctuary to some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna.
- Lapa Rios partners with the national university on a jaguar program, supporting the study of animals and other native species.
- The property provides local communities with employment opportunities, and 100% of staff are native residents.
Address: Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica
6. Tri by Amaya (Sri Lanka)
Get to know Sri Lanka and its stunning natural landscapes by staying at Tri by Amaya, an otherworldly hideaway tucked at the end of a dirt road (Read about my stay at Tri by Amaya here). The hotel features 11 suites set on a 6-acre hill, as well as a pool with mesmerizing views over Koggala Lake. Book the best rates here.
- Living roofs are planted with species such as water grass and dwarf bamboo.
- The resort was constructed of locally sourced materials including recycled jak wood, cinnamon sticks, and natural pebble.
- Tri implemented a mangrove planting and shoreline protection program to combat lakeshore erosion.
Address: Koggala Lake Aladuwa Watte, Pelassa, Thittha, Ahangama 80650, Sri Lanka
7. Bambu Indah (Bali)
This small boutique hotel captures what it calls “old-school Bali”—a tranquil and laid-back experience in harmony with nature. Spend your days at Bambu Indah in natural river swimming pools fed by waterfalls or in your accommodations, open-air bamboo structures on stilts above the rice paddies. Book the best rates here.
- There are no fluorescent bulbs on-property—only oil lamps and LEDs—in an effort to reduce light pollution.
- Mosquito nets around beds capture cool air as part of a cooling solution that avoids traditional air conditioning and lessens the carbon footprint.
- Banana leaves are used as plates and papaya stems as straws as part of the resort’s no-plastic policy.
Address: Jl. Baung, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
8. Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort (Canada)
This remote, intimate, and family-owned wilderness resort sits in the heart of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Home to exceptional and customized wilderness, culinary, and wellness experiences, as well as opportunities to spot whales and bears. Book the best rates here.
- A hydro-powered water system fueled by streams and waterfalls provides clean drinking water and energy for up to 80% of the resort’s power needs.
- Nimmo Bay offers sustainable bear viewing to guests and partners on the Coastal Carnivore conservation and mapping project.
- The resort sustainably sources its culinary ingredients and supports local farms.
Address: 100 Little Nimmo Bay, Mackenzie Sound, Mount Waddington A, BC V0N 2R0, Canada
9. The Stanford Inn By The Sea (California)
The Stanford Inn in Mendocino paints a picture of wellness that extends beyond diet and exercise. Private classes and sessions in nutrition and healthy living, breathwork, Chinese medicine, mushroom foraging and more make up the onsite programming, and a large greenhouse houses a saltwater swimming pool for year-round use. Book the best rates here.
- The resort hosts students in its Environmental Leadership Field school, providing college students with 4- to 6-week explorations into sustainability.
- The property has been practicing sustainable organic farming for more than 30 years.
- The Stanford Inn offers 9 EV chargers on the property.
Address: 44850 Comptche Ukiah Rd, Mendocino, CA, 95460
10. Naturhotel Leitlhof (Italy)
If you’re looking for mountain views, you can’t do better than the Dolomites, specifically Naturhotel Leitlhof. Epic landscapes are studded with mountain peaks and lush forests that make this area of the Alps a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Nature preservation is at the core of the hotel’s mission. Book the best rates here.
- The hotel built its own wood-fired heat and power plant, consisting of a wood gasifier system and a rooftop photovoltaic system.
- The onsite Mühlhof Farm is home to a garden for fruit, vegetables, and herbs for use in the resort’s restaurant.
- The resort keeps its own Angus cattle in line with organic livestock production principles.
Address: Via Pusteria, 29, 39038 San Candido BZ, Italy
11. Aquila Eco Lodges (Australia)
Hidden away in Australia’s Southern Grampians is Aquila, a collection of modern-day treehouses surrounded by 100 acres of private bushland. Treehouses come with wood fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, and outdoor patios. Elsewhere, trails and historic sights provide lots of opportunities for exploration. Book the best rates here.
- Aquila has committed to preserving its 100 acres of bushland and is regularly inspected by the Trust for Nature.
- The property uses low-wattage appliances and solar energy capture for power.
- Water is collected onsite and goes through a rainwater purification system.
Address: 586 Victoria Valley Rd, Dunkeld VIC 3294, Australia
12. Mashpi Lodge Quito (Ecuador)
400 species of birds, trees, frogs, and more unique to Ecuador live in the Ecuadorean rainforest that’s home to Mashpi Lodge. Conveniently located not far from Quito, the resort has programming for all ages, from day hikes to guided night tours. Book the best rates here.
- The lodge is constructed using sustainable techniques at the site of a former lumber mill.
- Mashpi has a conservation and resource management strategy based on findings from a biologist-led research project.
- The property has collaboration agreements with national and international conservation organizations.
Address: Reserva Privada Mashpi, Mashpi 150150, Ecuador
13. El Nido Resorts (Philippines)
Located on the Palawan archipelago in the western part of the Philippines, El Nido is a collection of resort gems. The properties span across Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island, each boasting pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Book the best rates here.
- El Nido operates a sewage treatment plant to prevent raw sewage from being discharged into the sea.
- Marine sports guides accompany guests to supervise activities and make sure guests don’t damage or disturb the environment.
- To avoid competing with the local community for fresh water, El Nido operates its own desalination plant to be energy efficient
Address: El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
14. Soneva Kiri (Thailand)
Just 90 minutes from Bangkok, within a tropical rainforest, guests can enjoy the unspoiled beauty and beaches of Soneye Kiri. The resort comprises 33 luxury pool villas with infinity pools ranging from one to five bedrooms. Night snorkeling with bioluminescent plankton and dining in a mushroom cave are just a couple of the unforgettable activities on offer. Book the best rates here.
- A 2% environmental tax on all stays goes toward the Soneva Foundation, which invests in various projects.
- Soneva funds the organization Care for Children, which opened a foster care training and resource center in Thailand.
- Partnerships with NGOs and other organizations help protect local marine life.
Address: 110, Tambon Ko Kut, Ko Kut District, Trat 23000, Thailand
15. Mahali Mzuri (Kenya)
Mahali Mzuri, whose name means “beautiful place” in Swahili, is part of the provide Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. It sits directly on the path of the annual great migration, offering guests unbelievable wildlife viewing opportunities. Book the best rates here.
- Guests can take tours to local villages to experience daily life. The tour costs go both directly to families in the community and to a trust that funds community projects.
- Solar panels heat the outdoor swimming pools.
- 100% renewable energy is used throughout the property.
Address: Masai Mara, Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya
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Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
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Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
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