The greenest vacation is a day hike in your backyard. But if you need to get a little further away from home, there are plenty of responsible–dare we say, trendy–resorts to choose from. Online travel community TripAdvisor has put together a list of the top 10 eco-friendly accommodations as selected by the site’s editors and members.
Resorts on the list range from the lavish Hotel Monaco Seattle in Seattle, Washington to the spartan Concordia Eco-Tents in Virgin Islands National Park, St. John. La Cusinga Eco Lodge contains buildings made from re-forested wood and local materials. Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge added 100,000 new trees to its property to provide a home for wildlife, and the shower water at Hix Island House waters fruit trees and plants on site.
Keep in mind that TripAdvisor didn’t use any objective criteria for its selections. The list contains travelers’ favorite eco-resorts, but there are accommodations with lower environmental impacts than the ones on this list. And any environmental benefit you gain from staying at these resorts will be more than offset by the carbon footprint of your plane ride getting there. But if you’re going to travel, may as well head to these hotels instead of the mega-resorts down the road.
With that in mind, here’s the list:
1. Eco-Adventure: Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins, Belize –
Travelers’ Choice Winner 2009: Best Bargain, Best Hidden Gem, Best for
Romance – Average Nightly Rate: $245
2. Terra Firma: Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyoming – Average Nightly Rate: $371
3. Organic Accommodations: La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Uvita, Costa Rica –
Travelers’ Choice Winner 2009: Best Hidden Gem – Average Nightly Rate:
4. Tree House: Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur,
Nicaragua – Travelers’ Choice Winner 2009: Best for Romance, Best
Luxury – Average Nightly Rate: $257
5. Preservation Place: The Ambrose Hotel, Santa Monica, California – Average Nightly Rate: $242
6. Nature Nook: Hix Island House, Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico – Average Nightly Rate: $200
7. Wildlife by the Water: Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Homer, Alaska – Average Nightly Rate: $300
8. Conservation with Coffee: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, Santa Barbara, Costa Rica – Average Nightly Rate: $370
9. Sustainability Under the Stars: Concordia Eco-Tents, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John – Average Nightly Rate: $130
10. Paint the Town Green: Hotel Monaco Seattle – a Kimpton Hotel, Seattle, Washington – Average Nightly Rate: $344