4 of the world’s best eco resorts for your wish list

Many of the world’s most luxury resorts are donning their eco warrior hats in a bid to make a sustainable difference. Here are four eco-friendly resorts around the globe doing things differently. 

Our interests in accommodation are changing as we each strive to do our bit to live more sustainably. Whether it’s the materials drawn from nature used throughout a hotel’s interiors, an oceanfront view or a developed sustainability program that attract us, we are fast clocking up a wish list of destinations and resorts to visit where we can unleash the eco warriors within.

Fogo Island Inn sits on an island, off an island, at one of the four corners of the earth. Picture: Fogo Island Inn

1. ION Adventure Hotel, Iceland

Located less than an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavík and set against a backdrop of majestic mountainous lava fields, the ION Luxury Adventure hotel is true to its name. It’s a luxurious retreat grounded in nature, situated next to the UNESCO-listed national park where the tectonic plates are drifting apart, and in the surrounds, you’ll find a volcano, hot springs and more.

Taking up residence in an abandoned building of the nearby geothermal power plant, the hotel was sustainable from inception and continues to be today. With sinks made from old tyres and furniture from recycled wood, it repurposes materials in an eco-friendly way.

While it’s great for adventuring and exploring the surrounds, returning at the end of the day is equally sublime as the hotel is equipped with an outdoor spa, elegant restaurant and award-winning ‘Northern Lights Bar’ — one of the best locations to see the northern lights.

Take a peek inside:

2. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji was one of the world’s first eco-luxury hotels, and a pioneer example of the eco-tourism industry. The resort’s founder, Jean-Michel Cousteau, is a world-recognised explorer and environmentalist. “Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of conservationists believe our modern society can learn a lot about achieving a sustainable environment from the Fijian’s agricultural and fishing practices,” reads the resort’s website.

The luxury eco-friendly, family friendly resort is dedicated to the preservation of Fiji’s pristine environment. For example, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Centre is a flagship dive operation located at the resort which aims to further expand awareness of ecological tourism.

Throughout the resort, sustainability is practised everywhere: there are chemical-free spa lotions and ointments used at the onsite spa; non-phosphate cleaning products used; and an organic onsite garden to help reduce the resort’s environmental impact.

Take a peek inside:

3. Tri Lanka, Sri Lanka

Tri is nestled into the lush, cinnamon-scented foliage overlooking Koggala Lake (just outside of Galle) in Sri Lanka. The brainchild of owner Robert Drummond and vision of architect Raefer Wallis of A00 architects, with landscaping by Nomadic Resorts, this stunning, intimate eco-resort is a haven of environmental sensitivity and luxe minimalism.

First impressions are breathtaking: striking, geometric lines sketch the outline of the modern, all-white, open-air dining space, complete with a 10-metre cantilevered roof. Comfy daybeds along the inner wall bring the lounge factor, while wooden accents add warmth and a connection to nature that envelopes the site.

Materials are drawn from nature; think recycled local jak wood, white polished terrazzo, local granite and earth-rendered walls, with cinnamon stick cladding providing privacy and helping with temperature control.

Take a peek inside:

4. Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

Fogo Island Inn is a luxury resort set atop 420-million-year-old rocks on a remote Canadian island. The resort features an energy-efficient, ecologically minded design and construction; uses ethical suppliers; and has launched a number of sustainable initiatives, such as cod potting, a method of capturing cod using fishing gear that offers an opportunity to sustain ocean ecosystems for future generations.

The Inn’s steel frame is highly insulated, and the windows have the equivalent rating of triple pane glazing. Rainwater from the roof is collected into two cisterns in the basement and subsequently filtered for use in toilets, laundry, and kitchen appliances.

The resort offers an otherworldly experience where activities and education are at the centre of everything. No matter the season, you have an abundant range of things to do. You can go berry picking, snowshoeing, whale watching, or beach combing across age-old coastlines. You could learn how to bottle jams, and perhaps even make berry ice cream. Or you could join the resort’s resident geologist and explore Fogo Island’s unique eco-system while learning how to read a landscape.


Take a peek inside: