From ecological recovery to eco-conscious architecture, these 4 best ultra-luxurious, eco-conscious resorts are leading the way in environmentally responsible travel. From Seychelles to Puerto Rico, take a look at 4 luxury eco-resorts that truly go above and beyond to protect Mother Earth — and offer an incredible stay.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Nestled on 483 pristine acres between the El Yunque National Forest and Espíritu Santo River State Preserve, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is natural haven and the Caribbean’s first and only certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary. With over 65% of the property preserved as green areas, sanctuaries and natural trails, it adheres to the highest standards of sustainability and conservation of nature.
To earn a Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary certification, the resort implemented a Natural Resource Management Plan that encompasses wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, and waste management.
Additionally, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort created a plant nursery to supply reforestation of plants and trees to the premises. Occupying approximately 2.4 acres of land and equipped with state of the art technology that focuses on the production of native, naturalized and gardening plants, the nursery has generated more than 80% of the resort’s planted species.
The resort also has a group of professionals known as the “green team” composed of an ecologist, two agronomists, and a landscape architect, all lea by Marcela Cañon, an on-staff Marine Biologist who has experience working with protected areas conservation, wetlands management, environmental education and outreach, ecological recovery, and project management.
With Marcela, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort has created numerous programs to help maintain the natural environment including sea turtle and manatee conservation, energy and materials efficiency, and green building, making it one of our favorite luxury eco-resorts.
The green team can lead guests on special nature tours, kayak trips, and hikes through the El Yunque National Forrest to uncover the surrounding ecology and learn about the local wildlife.
Vik Chile, Millahue Valley, Chile
Vik Chile, a striking retreat and the remarkable VIK Vineyard and Winery are the foundation for VIK, situated on 11,000 acres in the gorgeous Millahue Valley.
Sustainability and holism are integral parts of every element at VIK and were incorporated into the overall vision for the property from the design to the culinary offerings. Vik Chile, the avant-garde retreat and wine-spa operates in an environmentally-conscious manner through its extensive use of water collection and recycling, innovative solar technologies, intelligent energy efficiency systems, and green architecture.
Puro Vik, the newest accommodation category, is a collection of 7 individual glass houses floating just below Vik Chile, in the stunning nature and vineyard of Chile’s Millahue Valley. The roofs at Puro Vik are covered with wild grass or solar panels depending on each house’s exposure to minimize the need for energy by maximizing natural resources.
Working in tandem with Vik Chile is the VIK Winery, which was thoughtfully designed to have minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. Its primary architectural element is the uniquely transparent, stretched fabric roof, which allows for natural sunlight to permeate the winery, so it is able to operate without artificial lighting.
The majority of the building is located underground to naturally cool the wine during the wine making process using the natural thermal amplitude of the valley. VIK’s viticultural and winemaking management are inspired by its commitment to holism and caring for the environment.
It prioritizes natural processes that are in harmony with nature and works in a personalized manner to efficiently optimize natural resources.VIK also takes great care to mitigate, recover and improve the natural landscape and is a member of Chile’s Wine Climate Change and Biodiversity program, committed to conserving the native forest, flora, and fauna.
Vik Chile also contributes to the natural environment through the property’s organic garden, where the team cultivates 250 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs throughout the year. Through the organic garden, they are able to preserve varieties of plants by reproducing them, harvesting the seeds, and sharing these seeds with other local growers and those interested in conservation. Visitors are invited to join the team in harvesting crops and cooking alongside them, and to indulge in the vibrant cuisine offered throughout the property, making it one of the most exciting luxury eco-resorts.
North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles
Located amongst the inner granitic islands of Seychelles, North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles, is a fertile paradise. The Islands have been referred to as the “laboratories of evolution” and North Island’s biodiversity is living proof of this.
The resort has an on-site Environmental Team that leads its Noah’s Ark conservation and island rehabilitation program. In tandem with creating a world-class eco-tourism destination, the property has been working hard to restore North Island to its former glory.
In becoming a completely plastic-free island, North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort banned single-use plastic straws and only uses eco-friendly compostable food containers for activities around the island. This is in addition to stringent waste management processes including extensive recycling, grey water systems, and the resort’s own sustainable water bottling plant.
In keeping North Island’s private beaches perfectly pristine, the property’s resident Environmentalists and eco-tourist volunteers set off on beach patrol each and every morning, collecting any debris carried by the trade winds while searching for nesting sea turtles. The resort is committed to removing these items and ensuring they enter the proper recycling routes, making sure they do not enter the oceans once more, making it one of our favorite luxury eco-resorts.
North Island’s beach protection over the last two decades has safeguarded the nesting sites of critically endangered Hawksbills and endangered Green Turtles which has seen a remarkable increase in the number of turtles utilizing the island.
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Los Cabos, Mexico
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