The United Nations deemed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The goal is to guide hotels, cruise lines, and tourism boards toward best practices to make sure the environmental impact of travel is positive, not negative. But sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing luxury, and there are hotels around the world that remain committed to both protecting the land and eco-friendly practices, as well as upholding a high-level guest experience, from the design to the food. Here, six hotels across the globe that are doing it right.
President Barack Obama recently put this French Polynesian resort on the map after he arrived on the island to work on his memoirs. The luxe LEED Platinum–certified, 35-villa resort was built using local materials. Vegetables used in the hotel restaurant are grown on the property, and the air-conditioning is powered through a seawater system.
The Inn at Dos Brisas
Honored by Relais & Châteaux in 2016 for its efforts in environmental advocacy, this nine-room luxury ranch just outside of Houston, Texas, boasts a 42-acre, USDA-certified organic farm. The heirloom fruits (lots of watermelon!) and seasonal vegetables are cultivated without the use of hormones, synthetic fertilizers, or pesticides. You can taste the fruits of the hotel’s labor at its Forbes five-star restaurant, helmed by executive chef Matt Padilla and his wife, Tara Padilla, who is the restaurant manager. Or hotel guests can visit the farm for lessons on organic pest control and starting their own garden. Also, the geothermal heat transfer plates in the base of the hotel’s pond allow the water carrying excess heat to be later pumped back to the greenhouse and to the guest haciendas.