International Hotels Collection: 5 Eco-Friendly Hotels for the Conscious Traveler

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When dreaming of the ideal vacation, everyone has a different idea. There's those of us who dream of going to Disney World and being surrounded by thousands of people every day while exploring the fun and magical rides and attractions in the happiest place on Earth. Or there's those who dream of peace and quiet getting away from the world as they know it to experience nature in a whole new way without distractions. Now, I love me some Disney but if you're dreaming about the latter, then you've come to the right place. Not only do we have a collection of hotels that will help you connect with nature, but you can also travel guilt-free knowing that these locations are sustainable and eco-friendly. So check out these 5 incredible locations and see if they make the cut. 

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Marataba Safari & Trails Lodge 

Location: Marakele National Park, South Africa

Eco-friendly aspects: Housed in canvas-roofed rooms and a fully solar-powered lodge. Marataba has made extensive efforts to expand and preserve the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino) territory. With housing accommodations for up to only 8 people, the goal is provide tranquility for the guests and for the environment.

Why you should stay here: If you’re looking to really get “off the grid” then this is the place to go. With no wifi and no distractions, it’s the perfect place to submerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Situated on Marakele National Park, guests have direct access to multiple trails to explore the Kransberg mountains and explore the surrounding Iron Age gorges and settlements. The Marakele Reserve also houses what may be the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures in the world!

Hoshinoya Karuizawa

Location: Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Eco-friendly aspects: With this resort being located at the foot of Mt. Asama with the Yukawa River running through, it utilizes hydroelectricity through an energy system to provide 70% of the resort’s energy. This also helps power the luxurious floor heating capabilities too - bonus!

Why you should stay here: Only a short drive outside of Tokyo, the century-old trees are welcoming and give you the sense that this resort has been around for ages. A little historical tidbit for you: in 1914, their first hot spring bath developed. Famous writers would come and soak to get their creativity flowing. Now it can be found as the Tombo-no-yu (the communal bathhouse) that sources low-alkaline waters in the indoor stone bath, sauna and open-air bath. Who knows...maybe you’ll walk out feeling a little more creative yourself...

Lisu Lodge - Asian Oasis

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Eco-friendly aspects: At this beautiful lodge, guests get to experience the culture and customs of the Lisu people with actual local families. Through this alone, it’s obvious they make a concerted effort as a community to preserve Thailand’s culture and allowing their guests to be educated and to experience it. Community activities include a cycle tour with a stop at a tea plantation or restore the forest ecosystem at the Himmapaan plant nursery. Food is locally sourced from their organic rice fields and vegetable gardens. Local families are employed by the Lisu Lodge where they continue to support the local economy. 

Why you should stay here: If you're interested in immersing yourself completely into Thai culture and are a little outdoorsy, this is the place for you. On top of the amazing things you can do with local families in the community (explained above), there's also the opportunity to do bike tours or a rafting tour on the Mae Tang River.  If you go and have an incredible experience, Asian Oasis owns a lodge in Sri Lanka and Japan too so you can add those to your travel bucket list. 

Hix Island House

Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico

Eco-friendly aspects: The casas on property are designed by architect John Hix built with natural materials that have been carefully designed to catch the trade winds to cool their inhabitants. These 19 loft apartments conserve commercial energy by using solar and wind energy. These houses collect rain water with cisterns and heat the water by the sun. Even though these casas are open-air, the trade winds discourage the presence of mosquitoes so you can rest comfortably. Yes, the rooms may not be the most aesthetically pleasing comprised of concrete and plaster, but this makes the structures hurricane, earthquake and fire proof!

Why you should stay here: You’re located outside of the bustling capital, San Juan, (a 22-minute flight) situated on 13 tranquil acres of luscious trees, grasses, birds and butterflies all while minutes away from the beautiful Caribbean beach. Your experience can go completely uninterrupted with no TVs or phones available but they do offer free wifi for when you have the desire to get plugged back in. Sun Bay, the largest beach on Vieques is a 7-minute drive south with the airport 7 minutes north. But to really enjoy the island, they highly recommend getting a rental car so you can explore this beautiful island until your heart's content.


Six Senses Con Dao

Location: Con Dao, Vietnam

Eco-friendly aspects: Dugongs are an endangered species related to the manatee and in front of Six Senses Con Dao is a prime habitat and feeding grounds for these marine mammals. These animals are protected by law in Vietnam and Con Dao is the only place where their protection is enforced. It's believed that there are only 10-12 dugongs left so with their bay protection program, they hope to preserve them as long as possible. Their structures are built with sustainable materials designed to maximize airflow for cooling instead of using air conditioning. 

Why you should stay here: This five-star resort in the archipelago islands sits on the Con Dao National Park with the a beautiful body of water that is a marine park just seconds away. They have an resident yoga instructor and offer the best diving and snorkeling in Vietnam. Based on the pictures alone, this looks like one of the most beautiful marine landscapes you can find. If you love the aquatic life, this is where you should be. Six Senses has multiple resorts around the world including across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and more. 

Well friends, that is all for this week. I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for stopping by! Go show these amazing businesses some love on social media. 

Did you enjoy this edition of the Giving Tuesday blog? Planning on buying something from one of these companies you're excited about?  Tell me in the comments below, I'd love to hear about it! 

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