Finding Eco-Friendly Resorts And Hotels For Your Next Vacation.

January 17, 2008

While everyone loves a nice vacation, finding a resort to stay in that matches our environmental concerns can be difficult to do. I, as much as anyone else, loves a nice resort with pools and spas and plenty of room to spread out and relax…but most places like that around the country (and world, for that matter) do not necessarily concern themselves with being eco-friendly in the least. So in trying to find a good pro-environment vacation spot for our next vacation, I came across a couple of places of interest.

Villas Ecotucan Ecological Resort in Mexico

ecotucan1.jpg Located south of Cancun, this resort is on the shores of Laguna Bacalar, one of Mexico’s largest freshwater lakes. There are 5 stone cabins with thatch roofs, and they use filtered grey water to water the gardens and they have 100% solar-powered electricity. The gift shop on the premises which showcases handicrafts from local artists, and the resort does not take any commissions from them. The best part? The highest price throughout the year is a whopping $65 per night for 2 adults, including breakfast and use of all the facilities! Villas Ecotucan Ecological Resort

Big Bear Cabins at Cienaga Creek Ranch

bigbearcabins.jpg Much closer to home, the Big Bear Cabins at Cienaga Creek Ranch are a collection of 5 cabins spread out over 50 acres in the middle of a forest. Talk about being close to nature! We both love Big Bear and have been there a few times, but we have never stayed anywhere this remote. The entire ranch depends on 100% solar power, and the cabins were built from salvaged wood. Rates start at $199 per night. Big Bear Cabins at Cienaga Creek Ranch

La Cusinga Lodge in Costa Rica

lacusinga.jpg Serving locally grown food and providing private cabins for guests, this looks like a wonderful place. The property consists of 250 acres, and every cabin has a view of the Pacific Ocean. The owners are dedicated to marine and terrestrial conservation and environmental education, the buildings are made from their own reforested woods, all black and grey waters have a septic treatment that assures that no pollution ends up in the forest, and all of their electricity is from solar and hydropower, and the sun heats all their water. How much more eco-friendly could you get? Rates start at $73. La Cusinga Lodge in Costa Rica

Alma del Monte in Taos, NM

almadelmonte.jpg In the category of “would most like to visit”, the Alma del Monte resort in Taos is not only environmentally friendly, but we could reach it by train as well. Score! This resort uses passive solar design, solar heated water, adobe walls, skylights for natural lighting, faucet aerators…the list goes on. This is the most “resort-like” hotel that I saw in my search, so it is most like going on vacation as we all know it. So if you are not the “stay in a cabin” type, this might be more up your alley. Alma del Monte

The Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica, CA

ambroseexterior.jpg And lastly (and right down the street), maybe I can just take a vacation by walking to the hotel! The Ambrose Hotel is an award-winning sustainable hotel. The compost their leftover food, 15% of their rooms are powered by wind power, they only use non-toxic cleaners and low-VOC paints, and their London Taxi is bio-diesel powered. Cool, huh? They even provide organic continental breakfasts by Urth Caffe (Yummy place to eat if you ever come here). So if you ever want to come visit me, you can stay here! The Ambrose

OK, so the last place is nowhere near as eco-friendly as staying in the place in Mexico that is 100% solar powered, right? I know…but we all have to start somewhere, so if we are going to be staying in a hotel anytime soon, I guess the least we can do is try to find the most ecologically-sensitive one we can find, right?

Filed in: Green
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Comments (4)

  1. Stephen says:

    A year ago it seemed like the hotel industry was having a lot of trouble embracing sustainability. While hotels still present a lot of different challenges than other types of buildings, the industry definitely seems to be heading in the right direction.

  2. zali says:

    The web site supplied is not mine but that of a location worthy of mention for eco resort of a sort. Isabel is a most incredible being and has done wonders with her casas in addition to contributing to the local economy. Yelapa in and of itself is a treasure no doubt your readers would revel in. I spent some time there a couple of years ago and must return if only to hug Isabel once again for her open, warm, embracing heart. If you ever have the opportunity GO. The experience will stay with you forever. Here is the main website also http://www.yelapa.info/welcomenf.html. Enjoy.

  3. david says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. Another excellent environmentally friendly resort is La Cocotera in Barra de Santiago. It’s a beachfront resort, and if you go during the right season you can participate in their turtle release program.