Combat Climate Change & The Coronavirus At The Same Time
If there is one thing for certain it is that after this prolonged period of stifling cabin fever we are all desperate to regain our freedom and itching to experience somewhere new outside of our own living rooms. Staycations have unsurprisingly been on the rise, becoming the new hot trend of 2020, with throngs of would-be international travellers turning to their local areas for a brief escape. As tourism turns inward, an unexpected benefit has arisen – a reduction in global carbon emissions – leaving a slight silver lining to an otherwise bleak year for the travel industry.
We have compiled the best staycation eco-getaways around the world for those of you globally conscious travellers still looking to treat yourselves whilst maintaining pandemic protocol and reducing your carbon footprint:
Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire
Located in the Cotswolds, this idyllic farmhouse might look familiar as it is the most Instagrammed staycation in the UK. Previous guests have included everyone from the Beckhams and Eddie Redmayne straight through to the the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
With 100 acres of the countryside, a beautiful lake and plenty of ground for horse riding – this is the ideal venue to get back to nature, relax and socialise. Guests can take advantage of the award-winning Cowshed spa and parlour, or snuggle up with a movie at the Electric Barn Cinema. Expect an environmentally-friendly heating system on days that are chilly, especially with a rustic, wood-burning stove found in the Garden Room. Foodies will also find their bliss with cuisine options ranging from Japanese to Italian, complete with guaranteed farm-to-table ingredients.
The Grove, Hertfordshire
Boasting 300 acres of greenery, this hotel is ideal for Londoners. Just one hour away from the city, guests can immerse themselves in a stunning change of scenery at the former home of the Earls of Clarendon. With a sprawling championship golf course, a well-renowned spa, and a vast woodland this is the perfect spot for relaxing, hiking or hawking.
Awarded with the Green Apple Environment Award, this five-star luxury hotel strives to protect the environment, by replacing single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives. The Grove holds partnerships with Clean the World and New Hope Trust, that see the hotel donating amenities to the least fortunate.
The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall
Prepare to reunite with the elements: earth (meadows), air (the ocean breeze), fire (lounges by the fire), and water (hot tubs and pools with a view of the cliff). Sumptuous bedrooms include private outdoor spaces and breathtaking views of the Cornish coastline. The Scarlet’s eco credentials extend from its use of solar heating to its locally sourced meals and sustainably sourced robes and towels. Whats more – guests that have travelled ecologically are offered discounts.
Borgo Pignano, Italy
Member of the National Geographic: Unique Lodges of the World, this self-described haven is the perfect getaway. Re-create your very own Under the Tuscan Sun moment at this 750-acre estate, complete with a spa, accommodation from rooms to your own villa, and experiences to get your fill of nature.
Sustainably restored from the ground up, heating and hot water are fuelled by wood chip fires, chopped down from the property’s own forests that surround it. Local varieties of fresh produce that are grown by retaining rainwater provide food for guests and soaps and other toiletries are completely handmade according to ancient Tuscan tradition. Live la dolce vita in the rustic manner of our ancestors.
Milia Mountain Retreat, Greece
Located the hills of Western Crete – the Milia Mountain Retreat is perched on high enough to communicate with the Greek gods themselves. The hotel’s 15th century stone buildings were refurbished to give guests the opportunity to escape their everyday responsibilities and reconnect with nature.
Bursting with luscious greenery ideal for hiking, this luxurious hotel is decorated with a homespun, countryfied feel to it. All rooms, suites, and family apartments come with eco-certified beds designed to help you catch up on your sleep and relaxation throughout your entire stay. Sustainably-powered, the retreat’s water supply is solar-powered, and also comes with wood burning stoves that heat up its 16 cottages. When in Greece, do as the Greeks do.
Villa Copenhagen, Denmark
This elegant, eco-friendly hotel is situated in Copenhagen – set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. Once the city’s century-old post office, this brand new hotel prides itself on conscious luxury, relying on renewable energy to run the property and implementing sustainable practices for its locally-sourced restaurants, eco amenities and even building materials. Its interior spaces evoke nature, hoping to promote wellbeing and happiness. Modern and classic Scandinavian designs have been combined to preserve the original architecture making for an enticing overall ambience for discerning travellers.
Asia & Australia
Alila Valleys Uluwatu, Indonesia
Situated in Bali, this magnificent resort is the memorable staycation destination of a lifetime. Villas come with their very own private (infinity) pool, cabana, and terrace, along with garden, ocean, or hillside views that show you spectacular sunsets. There are also a range of activities that take advantage of its location near the gorgeously blue waters, including paddle-board yoga and surfing.
Designed to EarthCheck standards, the resort has preserved and encouraged the growth of flora and fauna, as well as committing to the “Zero Waste to Landfill” project that stems the flow of another environmental issue: overflowing landfills. Built from locally sourced materials, the Balinese spirit and culture are also ingrained in the architecture and design of the space, highlighting the natural light and fresh air that makes Bali an iconic naturescape.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia
Camping is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this opulent eco-lodge made up of 12 floating and on-land tented villas, is determined to change that. Advertised as ‘glamping’, 4 Rivers prides itself in being one of the the first hospitality destinations to combine luxury tents with floating pontoons.
Each tent contains furniture made from durable water hyacinth plants, as well as modern features and a private sundeck where you can catch amazing views of the famous Cardamom Rainforest. Guests can cool off by either swimming or kayaking, or working off those extra calories gained at the 4 Rivers Restaurant by going on a guided hike to visit nearby waterfalls.
Catering to both couples and young families as well as those who prefer to reboot or go on an adventure, this resort has something for everyone to enjoy.
Saffire Freycinet, Australia
A luxury lodge in Tasmania, this property previously held the title for World’s Best Luxury Hotel. The Saffire has 20 private suites that overlook pristine white beaches and the azure waters of Coles Bay – Designed by an award-winning local architect, Robert Morris Nunn, it has been envisioned as a sleek property that flawlessly blends into the natural landscape that surrounds it.
The hotel offers a multitude of complimentary experiences – from catching fresh oysters and kayaking by Pelican Bay, to even catching a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil. Saffire’s restaurant, aptly named Palate, also serves a tailor-made experience, in which guests can tuck into local Tasmanian cuisine. Run with a built-in natural cycle air flow system, along with energy-efficient lighting and hot water usage systems – Saffire achieves in giving guests an unforgettable, sustainable experience.
The United States
Calistoga Ranch Napa Resort, California
It goes without saying that enjoying plentiful wine and appropriately paired food is a given in wine country. But what will makes any guest’s stay worthwhile, aside from the large tree trunks that shoot through deck floorboards, is the fact that they get to soak in the ranch’s beautiful, natural environment while directly contributing to its preservation. The private lakes and “forest bathing” are a popular feature alongside the hotel’s environmental initiatives where, waste is minimised as much as possible.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Sustainability is everywhere in this hotel, from its construction that incorporated reclaimed materials to its implemented eco-friendly operations – that work to reduce its footprint around the clock. They also strive to bring nature to urban life, which is why the hotel is decked out with plants and its rooms include repurposed wood and materials and eco-friendly toiletries. As New York is “the city that never sleeps”, guests will find that recyclable pods will give them that caffeine fuel. But don’t take the saying to heart, as their hemp blend filled mattresses and organic cotton sheets will still allow you to catch those zzzs. With a spa, rooftop pool and bar, you can also indulge guilt-free at their organic and locally sourced restaurant and cafe.
What takes the cake is the floor-to-ceiling windows. You can’t beat out that gorgeous view of the East River and Manhattan skyline.
Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole
It might not be winter right now, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting Wyoming’s Best Hotel. A well-known ski destination during the snowy months, there’s always something to do every season at this luxury family-friendly resort throughout the year. For one thing, it’s a stone’s throw away from both the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, should you want to venture out the resort for a wildlife safari. For those who want to opt for a less active experience, on the other hand, the hotel’s Chill Spa (literally) and infinity pool is perfect. With spacious yet cosy rooms, each room comes with a Terra bed that is 100% organic. What’s more, every single person breathes the fresh outdoors, thanks to the hotel’s ingenious circulation system. At Hotel Terra, you can experience the great outdoors, but in absolute comfort.
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