Want to take a dream vacation but feeling some guilt about the whole carbon-footprint thing? Never fear! Traveling doesn’t have to mean totally sacrificing your dedication to going green. (And we’re not suggesting you stay in a shack sans light or running water either.) You can relax and have a five-star experience—all while staying on Mother Nature’s good side—with beautiful, eco-friendly hotels all over the world that, trust us, would be totally Captain Planet-approved. Once you've booked your trip, make sure to check out our recommendations for your carry-on packing list.
Eco-Friendly Hotel #1: The Park Hyderabad: Hyderabad, India
While this gorgeous, modern hotel in the capital of India’s southern state, Andhra Praresh, conjures up visions of Vegas with its grandeur, the fancy factor of the exterior actually has an environmentally-friendly purpose: maximizing natural light and reducing the need for electricity. The hotel is certified as a green building, having achieved a LEED GOLD certification, and with its gorgeous, jewel-inspired décor, awesome amenities, and location right in the city, it’s also a hotel we’d certify as an awesome place to stay.
Eco-Friendly Hotel #2: Hotel Punta Islita: Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Not only has this hotel been acknowledged with awards by the Costa Rican government’s Sustainable Tourism department for protecting the environment, but its staff is also dedicated to causes such as reforestation and wildlife conservation. And while you’re enjoying the breathtaking beach views from a lounge chair next to the infinity pool or playing a round of golf oceanside, you’ll know you’re supporting the Grupo Islita property’s dedication to “fully integrate local communities, fostering environmental stewardship, human betterment, and cultural authenticity to differentiate and enrich the travel experience.”
Eco-Friendly Hotel #3: Post Ranch Inn: Big Sur, California
This rustic inn boasting killer views of the California coast earned 6/7 “green leaves” on environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com. The establishment serves organic and eco-friendly food, practices energy and water conservation, and even has recycling bins throughout the hotel and in guest rooms. Also, the minimum guest age is 18 and the rooms don’t come equipped with televisions, meaning you won’t have to worry about noise pollution from screaming children or obnoxious laugh tracks either.
Eco-Friendly Hotel #4: Hotelito Desconocido: Jalisco, Mexico
A sanctuary reserve and spa in Mexico dedicated to preservation, Hotelito Desconocido is surrounded by flawless white-sand beaches, a lagoon, and both palm and fruit trees—all of which serve as a setting that’s been declared a bird paradise aquifer by UNESCO. The hotel also uses solar power and candles instead of electricity and provides accommodations in the form of bamboo, palm leaf and clay huts, combining for a stay that’s not just eco-friendly, but pure paradise.
Eco-Friendly Hotel #5: Hotel Manaco: Seattle, Washington
Situated in the heart of downtown Seattle, this hotel isn’t just eco-friendly but rated prestigiously all around. It’s listed by Fodor's as a Top 100 Hotel in the World and as one of the "Best Hotels in the USA 2014" by US News & World Report, making the fact that it’s green just the icing on the vacation cake. One particularly environmentally-friendly aspect of the Manaco is its restaurant, Sazerac, which—according to the travel experts at outtraveler.com—makes every effort to go green by using local and organic ingredients, serving sustainable seafood, recycling, composting food, and using recycled or recyclable to-go containers. So go ahead and order seconds…Mother Nature won’t be mad.