Best Eco Hotels

In sync with the wave towards everything eco-friendly, the eco-hotel concept has picked steam. Now the question is – what is an eco-hotel? In a nutshell, an eco-hotel is a hotel where everything is eco-friendly, starting from the bed sheet to the food served. Eco-hotels have become quite popular because of their contribution to the betterment of the environment. Eco-hotels, also known as eco lodges take necessary steps to improve the eco-system by defending and protecting energy and natural resources. These hotels have traditional architecture built by expert local craftsmen and are usually located in the woods or along beaches. A hotel needs to be certified as an eco-hotel by the state or an autonomous third party, upon meeting certain criteria.

Hotel in Chile’s Jungles: Montaña Mágica Lodge
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Hotel in Chile’s Jungles: Montaña Mágica Lodge

Deep in southern Chile lies the Montana Magica Lodge – an extraordinary hotel hidden away in the center of a 300,000-acre private nature reserve. Montana Magica lodge even ‘erupts’ every day, sending water running down the outside of the 13-room guest house.
PRICE from: $264 per room/night

The impact of the modern luxury hotels has been quite damaging and destructive on our environment. With their increasing carbon footprints resulting from excess usage of energy-consuming and resource-depleting appliances, sustainable development is hardly visible anywhere. This is why; eco-tourism industry has brought this new trend that will not only balance the eco-system but also offer great pleasure to the tourists.

What Are The Criteria An Eco-Hotel Must Fulfill?

Eco-hotels are certainly special with some distinctive and exclusive characteristics which differentiate these from ordinary hotels. Below are the strict criteria that enable a hotel to brand itself as an eco-hotel.

The Sustainable Building Structure

The structure of the eco-hotels must be able to use energy, water and other natural materials efficiently. The architecture of green buildings must be salubrious for the eco-system. Eco-buildings are constructed with recycled materials like hardwood from the tropical forests, tires, beer bottles, local stones and other such self-sustaining materials which can blend into the environment without wasting its resources.

An Eco-hotel has to be energy-efficient

Energy efficiency is another important aspect of an eco-resort. Using very little electricity and preventing wastage of natural resources such as water and fuel is at the core of operating an eco hotel. Most eco-hotels reduce consumption of energy by means of right solar orientation and natural ventilation. Placing the windows at the right places provide natural light and saves electricity. The natural ventilation also reduces the necessity of fans and coolers to keep the indoor air fresh.

An Effective Water Conservation System

An eco-hotel must have a system to manage and save water. Although water is abundant in nature, not much of it is suitable for use. Hence, water needs to be reserved to save the environment. Eco-hotels take water conservation one step further by harvesting rain water as well as utilizing the harmless waste water after washing clothes, as the eco-hotels do not use chemical detergents.

Prevention Of Environmental Pollution And Waste Management

Green-hotels focus on preventing pollution by minimizing the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. Some eco-hotels also use vermiculture to create compost from organic waste. Green hotels also produce their own organic toiletries like soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners to reduce the use of chemicals.

Contribution To Conservation

Most hotels with green status contribute to conserve the environment through various means. For example:

  • An eco-hotel can allow wild trees to grow in some portions of the garden so that natural biodiversity can flourish.
  • Plant indigenous trees are much easier to maintain and don’t require high-quality fertilizers.
  • Promote recreational activities to support the local ecological conservation.

Involvement Of The Local Community

Eco-hotels should support the local culture of particular destination. For example, buying only local products and employing local people in the workforce is the great way channel the profit into the community. On the other hand, some hotels also choose to offer support during periods of crisis.

The Uniqueness You Can Experience At Every Eco-Hotel

Apart from maintaining the above criteria for the certification of an eco-hotel, these accommodations have some unique characteristics that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Use of non-toxic detergents and cleaning agents which are made organically.
  • Organic cotton bed sheets, mattresses and towels will be provided to the guests. Synthetic fabrics are not allowed.
  • The hotel authority won’t allow smoking within the hotel premise.
  • You will notice the use of renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy which doesn’t deplete the natural resources.
  • You will be provided with organic grooming products like soaps, shampoos instead of commercial packaged items.
  • Eco-hotels will provide you recycling bins in the lobby and guest room.
  • Use of green vehicles for transportation
  • Foods served in non-disposable plates
  • Organic and locally grown produces are used for cooking meals for the guests.
  • Newspapers are recycled, not trashed casually in the dustbin.
  • Natural ventilation system to allow fresh air to flow inside the rooms.

What You Need To Check Before You Choose Your Eco-Hotel

So, if you are an eco-conscious traveler looking for a green resort, here is what you need to check before you choose one.

  • Check whether the hotel goes through an auditable certification program. Make sure you check the hotel’s ratings and reviews to know whether it actually maintains its green status.
  • Check out the hotel’s contribution to minimizing carbon footprint.
  • Make sure the hotel has a water conservation system and reduce water consumption in every possible way.
  • Ask if they have a certain waste management and recycling system.
  • An eco-hotel must contribute to the local community.