It’s a lucky coincidence that green is the color for 2018, what with our growing awareness of the environment and the role we play in its preservation (think reusable shopping bags, metal straws and recycling). Many industries are hopping on the green train, adopting practices and innovations better fit for a better future.
Hence the rise of the eco hotel--the hospitality industry’s response to the growing trend towards mindful living. Eco hotels are built in accordance with the principles of sustainability, and are designed to have as little of an impact on the natural world as possible. They are spaces of comfort—not in the traditional sense, but in an undeniably sustainable one. Below are some luxurious eco hotels right in our Southeast Asian neighborhood.
Ariara Resort, the Philippines
We’ve opened this list with an entry that’s close to home. Located in the North of Palawan, Ariara Resort isn’t easy to get to—a four-hour boat ride from Coron by trimaran is the only way to access the remote resort island. The smallness and seclusion of the resort hardly leaves an impact on the surrounding environment, and everything from the beams and balconies of its bodega-like rooms (each one powered by renewables), to the seafood served during sunset meals have all been locally sourced. Immaculate reefs lie just offshore and are accessible courtesy of Ariara’s resident PADI-certified diver who stands at the ready for those looking to learn how to scuba dive.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
You don’t think of beach getaways when you think of Cambodia but the spectacular stilted cabins of Song Saa Private Island provide just that. Reminiscent of the accommodations of the El Nido properties of Palawan, Song Saa was built as Cambodia’s first real effort into ecotourism and marine conservation. The country’s first government-recognized marine conservation was developed around the site and its creators run a foundation that works with the local communities of the area. Song Saa promises an opportunity for guests to develop a deep connection with the environment, and its pristine beaches and mirror-like seas attest to this. With ocean view rooms and quality Southeast Asian service, Song Saa is a tiny paradise committed to the preservation of the environment.
Nihi Sumba Resort, Indonesia
This luxury property, located on the island of Sumba, runs entirely on biofuel and has been put together using natural materials that have all been locally sourced. The trees used have all been reforested under Nihi Sumba’s tree-planting programme, which has seen over 64,000 trees planted. Nihi Sumba’s environmental support extends further than flora, and the resort supports numerous bird and turtle conservation programmes. With all this going on, you can surf soundly on the soothing seas or rest easy on your cotton bed, your open-air room turned to face the Indonesian sunset, knowing that the place you’ve decided to patronize is at the forefront of the fight for the environment.
This article first appeared in Metro.Style