Kick your feet up and relax with ease: you’re lounging in a hammock that was made with sustainable, locally sourced materials. And that cocktail you’re sipping? That’s got 7 ingredients all procured from within a 5-mile radius.

A new era of resorts goes beyond trend to offer deeply-seeded sustainable practices that don’t compromise luxury. These low-carbon, solar-powered, community-friendly accommodations are the perfect mix of natural living and luxury, making the prospect of low-impact travel not only a hope but a reality. 

If sustainable travel is at the forefront of your mind, here are some of the world’s most sustainable hotels to experience in 2022. 

The Northern Lights as seen from the new Svart hotel in Meløy, Norway
Catch the northern lights from the sleek and low-impact Svart hotel set to debut in 2022 © Svart

Svart: Meløy, Norway

How to get there: Directions to the exact location are still TBD but it will likely involve a flight into the tiny and remote Mo i Rana Airport. 

Set to launch sometime in 2022, Svart in Meløy, Norway is as sustainable as it is stunning. When Svart opens, it will be the world’s first and only energy-positive hotel. The resort will be totally off-grid with its roof solar panels and energy-saving measures, which will produce 160 percent of its energy needs within 50 years. The hotel is a modern marvel of sustainable design and promises to deliver spectacular views of its main attractions: the surrounding glacier and the northern lights

Expert tip: It’s pretty much cold year-round when you get that far north in the Arctic Circle but a few weeks in July temperatures can climb up to 59° Fahrenhite. 

Explore 8 of the world’s most sustainable cities  

The Points Guy: Carbon offsetting: How to calculate your carbon footprint when you travel

Mashpi Lodge in Quito, Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge in Quito, Ecuador © Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge: Quito, Ecuador

How to get there: Mashpi Lodge is remote and offers transfers that take about 2:45 from Quito. 

There’s disconnecting for a relaxing vacation and then there’s the kind of going off the grid that a place like Mashpi Lodge offers. Deep into the Ecuador rainforest, Mashpi has real Jurrasic Park vibes, especially with its own research lab attached. Though discoveries they’re making are more historic than prehistoric; the researchers often discover flora and fauna. When it comes to an eco-luxe getaway, the premises exude an eco-mindfulness that never lets you forget you’re in a jungle. Highlights of the facility’s sustainable initiatives include a modern wastewater treatment plant, 100% energy-efficient light bulbs and most unique of all, adding its employees as stakeholders of the business so they’re able to share in the Lodge’s earnings. 

Expert tip: Don’t pass up the chance to ride on the resort’s Sky Bike. The 10-minute trip offers an incredible perspective throughout the canopy of the rainforest.

Ecuador's best national parks are wild wonderlands

Sunset from Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba
The sunsets are stunning from Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort © Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort: Aruba

How to get there: A quick 15-minute drive from Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport. 

There’s real cred in earning the title as the first and only Caribbean resort to be a designated Carbon Neutral Resort and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort doesn’t stop there. The resort’s eco-friendly practices are wide-ranging and impressive: solar panels for water heating, water reducers that cut down the water flow in showers by 60% to a water-recycling system that treats and reuses sink and shower water in the gardens. Though perhaps our favorite feature is the world's first-ever Carbon Offset Concierge that helps guests to find programs that offset emissions from air travel, airport transfers and even any island excursions. With best-in-class sustainability initiatives and programs (detailed extensively here), you can rest a bit easier knowing the resort is doing its part to stay eco-friendly.  

Expert tip: The resort sells out faster than most so plan far in advance. 

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A view of the Statue of Liberty from a suite at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NYC
The incredible views span from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NYC © 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Brooklyn, New York

How to get there: From JFK Airport, take the AirTrain to the A train for a total of about an hour trip.

Brooklyn’s eco-vibes are helping to bring New York City into a new era of eco-consciousness and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge standouts as a leader for prioritizing eco-friendly practices. The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is LEED Gold Certified with green initiatives, sourcing local and sustainable materials for all public spaces and guest rooms. Check out the towering green wall in the lobby where plants and vines help to ease the frenzy of the city. A favorite is the stylish filtered water station in each room that helps to cut down on plastic bottle use.

Expert tip: Check out Lonely Planet’s great guide to Brooklyn’s hip, cool scene including favorites like the pizza at Di Fara and the pierogis at Karczma.

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An aerial view of Tri Lanka resort in Sri Lanka
Tri Lanka: Sri Lanka © Tri Lanka

Tri Lanka: Sri Lanka

How to get there: Remote and further than most on the list, Tri Lanka is about a 2.5-hour drive from Sri Lanka’s largest airport, Bandaranaike International Airport. 

When you get this far off the grid, it’s comforting to know that you’re doing so sustainably with a resort that aims to improve its surroundings. Tri Lanka shows its care with its motto to “create more, consume less.” The resort features multiple living plant walls, green roofs that help cut down on electricity use and facilities build with 100% recycled wood. The rooms are simple yet well-appointed, most with excellent views of Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka’s largest natural lake. 

Expert tip: Bring flexible clothing so you can join in on the resort’s excellent yoga program.

Onboard Sri Lanka's most epic train journeys

The exterior of The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs, Colorado
The exterior of The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs, Colorado © The Springs Resort, Pagosa Springs, CO

The Springs Resort: Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA

How to get there: Fly into Durango-La Plata County Airport and then drive west for a little more than an hour. 

On the banks of Colorado’s San Juan River, you’ll find The Springs Resort, home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. The deep hot spring known as the Mother Spring has been used by Indigenous tribes for healing for centuries and the resort takes pride in preserving that legacy. That is just one of the 25 geothermal pools that dot the resort’s property, with the distinction of having 24-7 access to the soaking pools. The resort’s newest suites are built to LEED Gold standards and the whole property uses geothermal water as a primary hot water source. 

Expert tip: Once you’re done soaking for the day, head down the road for some tasty beers and hearty bites at Pagosa’s Riff Raff Brewing Company.

5 US ski towns you can enjoy without hitting the slopes

Arenas Del Mar Beach & Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica
A suite with a view at Arenas Del Mar Beach & Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica © Arenas Del Mar Beach & Rainforest Resort

Arenas Del Mar Beach & Rainforest Resort: Costa Rica

How to get there: Hop a 20-minute flight from Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria International Airport to Quepos Airstrip. From there it’s a 15-minute drive to the resort. 

Set within its own 11-acre nature preserve, Arenas Del Mar is the resort for an eco-friendly rainforest escape. With conservation a priority, the resort has planted over 7000 native trees and returned thousands of endemic plants back to the area. The resort has a no plastic policy which prohibits single-use plastic water bottles, harvests food for the dining experiences regularly from its hydroponic vegetable garden and prides itself on taking good care of its staff. 

Expert tip: Consider booking a tour with one of the resort’s resident naturalist guides to get closest to the wonder of the rainforest. 

Discover Costa Rica's most unique tree houses

Bardessono Eco Resort and Spa
Bardessono Eco Resort and Spa in California © Bardessono Eco Resort and Spa

Bardessono Eco Resort and Spa: Yountville, California, USA

How to get there: About a 1:15 drive north from San Francisco International Airport, depending on traffic. 

Bardessono Eco Resort and Spa is a winning example of cutting-edge sustainability. Benefiting from its proximity to Silicon Valley, eco-tech can be found throughout the grounds - literally - there is an underground geothermal system heats and cools the premises. Almost completely off the grid, the resort relies on solar panels to keep the lights on along with sensors that detect movement in guest rooms to decrease energy consumption when unoccupied. These are just a few of the many eco-initiatives the resorts oversee to ensure your stay has a minimal impact. 

Expert tip: The onsite restaurant Lucy has an excellent weekend brunch - don’t pass up the fresh pastry basket or the chilaquiles. 

Why you should drive California's scenic Highway 395

A floating Champagne breakfast in a private pool at the Naladhu Private Island resort, Maldives
A floating Champagne breakfast Naladhu Private Island in the Maldives © Naladhu Private Island, the Maldives

Naladhu Private Islands Resort: the Maldives

How to get there: Naladhu Private Island Maldives is a 30-minute speedboat from Velana International Airport. 

Fresh from a major renovation in November 2021, Naladhu Private Islands Resort in the Maldives finds balance with its luxury and preservation efforts. The redesign is airy, open and offers plenty of remote island privacy. The resort’s water conservation includes converting seawater to potable water through their own reverse osmosis plant as well as bottling their own drinking water. 

Expert tip: The resort has a flexible, dine anywhere policy which includes the chance to take advantage of a floating breakfast in the pool or s’mores under the moonlight. 

How to choose the best Maldives island for your travel style

El Nido Resorts: Philippines 

How to get there: Hop a 55-minute flight from Manila to El Nido, Palawan.

Four different eco-friendly experiences await at El Nido Resorts in the Philippines: eco-luxury, eco-adventure, eco-sanctuary and eco-discovery. These resorts are well-versed in what it means to be respectful of their surroundings and keep a low carbon footprint. Among their most commendable efforts in keeping green is their sewage treatment facilities which ensure no raw sewage or greywater is discharged into the sea. The resorts also are efficient at capturing and storing rainwater for use throughout each resort. Encouraging low-impact activities, the resorts do not have jet skis or offer motorized marine sports. Besides, there’s plenty of wind to catch in your sail. 

Expert tip: If you’re going to make the journey, consider splurging for the serenity and bliss of one of the resort’s overwater bungalows. 

The 12 best beaches in the Philippines

Pikaia Lodge: Ecuador

How to get there: From Quito, you'll hop a 1:40 flight to Galapagos Baltra Airport. 

Located on Santa Cruz, one of the central islands within the Galápagos Archipelago is Pikaia Lodge. This 29-room eco-hotel is carbon neutral, provides hot water to guests through solar-powered heaters and even participates in a reforestation program to offset any CO2 emissions produced by the property. One of the main concerns addressed by Pikaia Lodge is the impact that tourism could have on the extremely fragile yet diverse ecosystems that thrive on the famous Galápagos Islands. This luxurious lodge works with the National Park Service to achieve sustainable tourism in many ways, including limiting the areas in which tourists can visit and managing tourist numbers yearly. 

Expert tip: July through November is the Island's cooler, dry season and also the time of year you're more likely to see wild giant tortoises. 

First-timer's guide to the Galápagos Islands

Two large wooden cabins with mountains stretching out behind them
Camp Glenorchy offer eco-friendly luxury © Camp Glenorchy

Camp Glenorchy: New Zealand 

How to get there: Prepare for a stunning drive along the coast that takes about 40 minutes from Queenstown or 55 minutes from Queenstown Airport. 

Take in the stunning views of the New Zealand Richardson mountains from the Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat. This net-zero accommodation was built in line with the Living Building Challenge, which holds some of the most thorough sustainability standards in the world. Well, it paid off, because Camp Glenorchy now uses 50% less water and energy than other accommodations of a similar standard, and generates 105% of its own energy on site. Camp Glenorchy gives guests a chance to celebrate the natural environment and New Zealand culture in eco-friendly luxury. 

Expert tip: Consider getting to the heights faster by hopping on a helicopter, getting dropped off on a local mountain's peak and enjoying the scenic hike down.

Top 11 national parks in New Zealand

A glass-fronted lodge stands on the side of a small stream in pristine grounds
Langdale sends zero waste to landfill © Langdale Hotel and Spa

Langdale Hotel and Spa: England

How to get there: Langdale is about a two hour drive north of Manchester or three hours south of Edinburgh. 

Located in the heart of the Lake District Unesco World Heritage Site, the Langdale Hotel & Spa is leading the way to sustainable tourism. This eco-hotel runs on low-carbon emissions, with energy produced through two biomass boilers and contribution from the traditional water wheel located outside the property. Water waste is reduced throughout the accommodation with the use of aerated water supply, and the hotel manages to successfully send zero waste to landfills. The history of the Lake District is built on strong community values and traditional farming, so locally sourced produce is also used in the hotel’s restaurants and bars in support of the community and residents.

Expert tip: If you’re going to make the journey, consider splurging for the serenity and bliss of one of the resort’s overwater bungalows. 

Top 9 road trips in England

An aerial shot of a wooden lodge built on a peninsula surrounded by lush jungle
Soneva develops partnerships with local communities on Ko Kut © Soneva for Soneva Kiri

Soneva Kiri: Thailand

How to get there: Fly from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport and take a 90-minute flight on a private 8-seat plane to Koh Mai Si, Soneva Kiri’s Airport Island.

Relax in complete luxury at the Soneva Kiri, a 100% carbon neutral eco-resort located on Ko Kut, one of Thailand’s least populated islands. This barefoot resort focuses on sustainable tourism in all areas, from developing partnerships with local communities to ensuring the natural beauty surrounding the resorts is cared for and protected. Soneva Kiri also has an organic garden, where fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits are grown for the restaurants, and, as a conscious effort to reduce plastic waste, all branded bottled water is banned from the accommodations.

Expert tip: If you’re going to make the journey, consider splurging for the serenity and bliss of one of the resort’s overwater bungalows. 

How to choose between Thailand’s gorgeous gulf islands

A white building surrounded by dense trees
Award-winning Aquila offers truly sustainable living © Aquila Eco Lodges

Aquila Eco Lodges: Australia

How to get there: Aquila Eco Lodges is about a three-hour drive west of Melbourne. 

At the foot of Mount Abrupt and tucked away in the Southern Grampians National Park of Australia is Aquila Eco Lodges. This is the perfect place to witness Australian wildlife in all its glory in accommodations that enhance and promote an environmentally responsible way of life. Aquila Lodge generates all its power on-site through the use of solar panels and the promotion of energy conservation. All waste is sorted and recycled locally, and food waste is composted naturally. Aquila Eco Lodges has won awards for its efforts in environmental management, and this conscious effort allows guests to experience truly sustainable living.

Expert tip: The internet is spotty and unreliable in this remote part of Australia so make sure you're ready to disconnect and that you've downloaded all of your content ahead of time. 

Top 15 beaches in Australia

Luxury huts stand near water at a game reserve
Conservation is key at Phinda © andbeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

&BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve: South Africa

How to get there: The resort offers a few daily quick flights from Johannesburg to &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve. 

With the protection of local species at the heart of this eco-retreat, the &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve is a conservation haven. The reserve, located in KwaZulu-Natal, covers 28 thousand hectares and is home to animals in much need of protection, including rhinos, cheetahs, and pangolins, among others. Protected for over 30 years, this Private Reserve now focuses on sustainability through energy-saving initiatives and eliminating the use of plastic on site. The Phinda Reserve also works closely with local communities, providing employment opportunities and investments in welfare and education in the local area.

Expert tip: There's a lot to know and keep in mind when planning your first safari. Check out Lonely Planet's top tips here

See the best of South Africa on these epic road trips

You might also like: 
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Safety recommendations and restrictions during a pandemic can change rapidly. Lonely Planet recommends that travelers always check with local authorities for up-to-date guidance before traveling during Covid-19.

This article was first published Oct 9, 2020 and updated Feb 21, 2022.

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