As well as being memorable, we believe that travel should always be mindful. To help you go back to exploring the globe with a new green-minded outlook, we've rounded up a few of our favourite luxury hotels and resorts with a sustainable stance that will help you play your part.
Marooned in the middle of the Sulu Sea on the private 220-acre Pamalican Island, Amanpulo translates to "the peaceful island". An utterly heavenly spot covered in lush jungle filled with tropical birds and fringed by dazzling white beaches, the aim is to keep this unspoiled paradise exactly that. There's a desalination plant for safe drinking water without need for importation or plastic, luxury toiletries are stored in earthenware to reduce plastic waste, and treated wastewater keeps the island lovely and lush. Part of a turtle conservation area, the island is also a nesting site for green and hawksbill turtles, visited every year from March to October by laying females, while the pristine reefs are also home to an incredible number of tropical fish, best seen alongside the experts from the PADI Diving Centre. Amanpulo's promise to remain fully natural includes its culinary scene, with chefs picking fresh fruit, vegetable and herbs from organic garden every day to include in their menus, which also showcase plenty of seafood caught by local Filipino fishermen. Local people from the neighbouring Manamoc Island - which you can visit on an immersive excursion - make up around 80-percent of the workforce, many commuting over by boat, while the resort is also part of a charitable foundation that has set up educational programmes for all ages.
Organic Garden Staff at Amanpulo
Family Platter Dinner at Rosewood Bermuda
Palm Court Pool at Rosewood Bermuda
Set in a breathtaking location along two-hundred beachfront acres, it's unsurprising many of the eco-conscious initiatives at Rosewood Bermuda focus on protecting the resort's postcard-perfect environment. Famed for beautifully blue waters, looking after the island's underwater world is of high importance - hence the hotel's connection with the Living Reefs Foundation. Dedicated to the conservation of Bermuda's 440-square-kilometres of natural coral wealth, the Coral Gardening Project has seen a united effort to restore coral and enhance recruitment in damaged reefs, carefully monitoring their growth to ensure everyone can enjoy Bermuda's beauty now and in the future. Other green-thinking ideas include recycling programmes, the use of bicycles and growing vegetables in the on-site gardens - if it's a feast you're looking for, indulge in a five-course Chef's degustation dinner in the herb garden, with a meticulously designed menu featuring locally caught seafood. In light of recent events, the Rosewood Hotel Group has also developed Rosewood Raise; aimed directly at those impacted by the devastating effects of COVID-19. Playing their part in the brand's global efforts, Rosewood Bermuda have recently provided over 200 meals for the island's essential workers, as well as donating complimentary hotel stays where required, despite the challenging times facing tourism.
With its hotels inhabiting some of the planet's most pristine locations, Soneva's brand is built on the foundation that the business must benefit local people and places. "We've never seen sustainability as a differentiator, we see it as a basic qualifier", says founder and CEO, Sonu Shivdasani. While lounging on the beautiful beaches or swimming in the crystal-clear lagoon, it's easy to forget that the Maldives is facing a very modern threat: plastic litter. To help turn the tide on this issue, Soneva Fushi has partnered with three neighbouring island communities to draw up a plan which will see all Maldivian islands eliminate single-use plastic, introduce recycling and inspire the next generation to respect and protect the ocean in the future. The resort also treads as lightly as possible on the earth when it comes to dining. Take a stroll through the organic gardens, seeing the many ways in which island-grown coconuts are used for both food and materials, before picking your own greens and herbs for a chef to prepare into a nutritious, delicious lunch to your liking. You'll also find that menus across the resort feature no beef dishes, a decision carefully made in the knowledge that the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the production of livestock.
The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino
An award-winning property nestled in the Navarino Dunes development, sustainability has been embedded in the concept of Costa Navarino since construction, playing a significant role in helping to promote the whole of the Peloponnese region. Of course, with a setting in such a gorgeous part of Greece, many aspects are focused on the protection and preservation of the natural environment. Authenticity has also been carefully considered throughout, providing guests with more motivation to look after this dreamy destination; they can visit a picturesque village home and discover traditional Messinian cooking with the help of local women, sample farm-to-table dining surrounded by the growing seasonal produce, and even enjoy a round of golf on the cutting-edge course, fitted with weather-monitoring stations to calculate the optimum amount of water required for irrigation, helping to save on water usage. The resort's sustainable tourism thread also intertwines with the local community; they created 1,200 new jobs in high season, with 70-percent of employees originating from the area, while over 60-percent of all supplies are provided by producers and companies nearby - after all, who doesn't love to shop local?
Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Existing in harmony with the ecologically marvellous environment, this private island paradise does everything it can to stay sustainable, motivated by social and environmental projects. Focused on restoring the seafloor, the brand is currently collaborating with local NGOs, including Ramos Marine and Island Reserve, to harvest, grow and plant coral back to the reef - you can even go for a swim in the coral garden and see the plantation for yourself! However, Six Senses also understanding the value of communities. Aiming to build a legacy for generations to come, the resort works with local schools to raise awareness and educate students in the importance of conservation and environmental protection, inspiring them to play their part in changing the future. Back in resort, the resort's culinary creations are equally aligned with local people, serving up produce from fishermen and farmers, while nearly 40,000 kilograms of fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown and harvested from the onsite organic garden every year. Calling all vegetarians and vegans: you'll be spoilt for choice here, with plenty of meat-free and plant-based delights to feast on. The Ocean Kitchen is completely meat free, instead serving up super-fresh and sustainable seafood, as well as loads of delicious veggie dishes.
Kayaking at Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Birdwatching at Sani Resort
Hammock at Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Voted the World's Leading Luxury Green Resort at the World Travel Awards 2020, Sani Resort is blessed with outstanding natural surroundings, featuring Blue Flag-awarded beaches, the stylish Sani Marina and more than 20km of rich forest trails. The brand is dedicated to preserving this beautiful environment, all whilst supporting the local community and upkeeping an ultra-luxury experience for guests at five luxury Sani properties. Having already banned single-use plastics and ensured all electricity is renewably sourced, they have now set themselves the ambitious goal to become Greece's first carbon neutral resort by 2023. While the resort's staff - 80% of whom are from Thessaloniki or Halkidiki - regularly receive sustainability training to help them play their part, guests are also invited to get stuck in; head off on eco excursions to locations including Bousoulas Bird Sanctuary and the renowned American Farm School of Thessaloniki, let little ones join environmental educational games every afternoon with the Hellenic Ornithological Society, or buy them a super cuddly Sani Bear, with money from every purchase going towards forest projects with charity Arcturos.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Set within gloriously green rice fields, tended to by local farmers who also work as gardeners in the resort, this culturally led property puts you right at the heart of Thai traditions; from morning monk offerings to language lessons, you'll feel immersed in the country from the moment you arrive in Chiang Mai. Four Seasons believe nobody knows a destination quite like the locals, and the resort's General Manager Anthony Gill says "making a strong connection with the local community is an important goal." At resort's restaurant North by Four Seasons, chefs have been particular about conjuring up menus that include ingredients sourced from local communities -from tomatoes grown in greenhouses ten minutes away, to organically grown figs harvested by local farmers, it doesn't get much fresher than this. For a real taste of local life, guests are invited to wear the traditional 'mor hom' shirt and boots and learn more about the rice planting process that takes place in paddies, or even savour sunrise breakfast amongst the blossoming fields that seemingly expand far beyond. Stirring up a sustainable storm, the resort also locally sources their tea and coffee from forest-friendly suppliers, including the Burgundy Wine Barrel Aged Coffee, exclusive to Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.