5 of the World’s Most Beautiful Sustainable Stays

Simon Shiff Photography Daintree Ecolodge Julaymba bush

Style and substance, form and function; as our planet faces some of its biggest challenges the world’s leading brands are increasingly striving to combine sustainability with eye-catching design. 

Happily, staying in a beautiful hotel in a bucket-list destination and minimising your own environmental impact aren’t mutually exclusive ideas. These cutting-edge properties are leading the charge in reducing their carbon emissions, investing in green community projects and boosting the livelihoods of locals, while delivering a luxury product that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics.

Bed down in a solar-powered treehouse

Daintree Ecolodge, Daintree, Queensland

Daintree Ecolodge

Nestled in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, where lush foliage meets the powder-white beaches and coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, sustainable practice keeps Daintree Ecolodge at its striking best. The boutique property’s 15 canopy-shielded tree houses, Julaymba Restaurant & Bar and private waterfall are more than meets the eye, with the lodge recycling water for irrigation, using eWater in place of cleaning products and working with local suppliers to source organic, fair trade produce such as Daintree Tea and Paroo Kangaroo. Reforestation project? Washable slippers and refillable in-room amenities? No detail, big or small, is overlooked.

Share a luxury glamping experience with four-legged locals

Garonga Safari Camp, Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve, South Africa

Garonga Safari Camp Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve South Africa

Welcome to your new home in the Big 5 Wilderness, an intimate (and fully solar-powered) safari camp featuring just six luxury tents, each with ensuite. It’s intensely private, with the exception of the odd elephant or and rhino eager to check out the outdoor bath and four-poster bed overlooking the seemingly endless savannah woodlands and grasslands from an expansive deck. Twice-daily game drives and lantern-lit bush dinners are a quintessential part of a stay at Garonga Safari Camp but so too are sustainability programs. Plant a spekboom tree to offset your carbon footprint, observe how food waste from the sites becomes warthog fodder, appreciate the property’s water recycling efforts and maybe even sponsor a rhino (Garonga is also active in rhino conservation). 

The world’s largest jewellery brand, Pandora, has launched three collections of lab-grown diamonds in Australia. The new lines combine classic jewellery stylings with the luxury of diamonds and a lower carbon footprint showcasing that sustainability and beauty go hand in hand. Find out more at au.pandora.net

Experience a slice of the tropics in Europe

Manon Les Suites, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Manon Les Suites Copenhagen Denmark pool

Take a leafy courtyard, an atmospheric rooftop (with restaurant and sauna) plus a perfect minutes-to-city-centre location and you’ve got what could be Copenhagen’s most dazzling hotel. Yet, while the 87-suite Manon Les Suites is celebrated for its foliage surrounded Junglefish Pool, it’s the property’s no-holds-barred take on sustainability, featuring Green Key certification (a leading standard for environmentalism in the tourism industry), which does the talking. Textiles are purchased with animal welfare in mind, rugs are sourced from vintage stores and furniture is mended, and shower water is recycled through an orbital system originally developed by NASA.

Immerse yourself in island bliss

Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand

Soneva KirivKoh Kood Thailand

The striking vista of Soneva Kiri’s 34 expansive, solar-powered villas, suites and reserves (each with their own private pool) is perfectly fitting for the unspoiled island paradise of Koh Kood. The resort’s in-room menu reads “floating breakfast, culinary tours, outdoor cinema, diving excursions, ice-cream parlour and more” but the genius of this family friendly, carbon-neutral property is its Waste-to-Wealth program. The initiative involves recycling 90 per cent of the resort’s waste and is part of Soneva Kiri’s involvement in various community and environmental projects, such as generating clean drinking water (in recycled glass bottles) for nearby villages and a reforestation project among them.

Discover your Kiwi cool at Aotearoa’s greenest hotel

The Hotel Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand

The Hotel Britomart Auckland rooftop

The slick 99-guestroom, five-suite property in Auckland’s vibrant Britomart district is a hotel that combines timeless good looks and urban swagger An exposed brick exterior and neon-lit waterfront location are eclipsed only by its  reputation as New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star Hotel – a rating reserved for properties with a high commitment to protecting the environment. While The Hotel Britomart’s foundations were built with environmentally friendly construction methods, a sustainable ethos trickles right down to the finer details: pillows are filled with microfibre from recycled plastic bottles, slippers are compostable, and taps and fittings have been chosen to reduce water and energy use. At the hotel’s restaurant, Kingi, the menu is dedicated to sustainably caught seafood and features dishes such as pan-roasted snapper with char siu, celeriac and apple, and Matuku Bay oysters.

Since August 2022, Pandora Lab-Grown Diamond collections are made with diamonds that have been grown, cut and polished using 100 per cent renewable energy and are set in 100 per cent recycled silver and gold, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. Find out more at au.pandora.net

Pandora necklace

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