Sustainable Luxury Travel and Exclusive Local Experiences
The Rise of Sustainable Luxury Travel and Exclusive Local Experiences | responsibleadventures.com
Luxury travel was once associated with excesses like dancing and drinking in nightclubs until dawn, sleeping until noon with the air conditioning on full blast, and eating expensive dinners with imported food from around the world.
Doubtlessly, some people will still partake in such activities, but more travellers have started to consider what effect their holidays will have on the environment. Just as many consumers have changed their habits with clothing, energy usage, and their own homes to reduce their carbon footprint, they crave travel in the same manner.
Enter the world of sustainable luxury holidays.
What is Sustainable Luxury?
Sustainable luxury goes beyond reusing fluffy towels and turning off the air and lights when you leave your holiday residence. Of course, it involves travelling to your destination in the most environmentally friendly way, but once there, an eco-resort, eco-hotel, and eco-adventure experience should consider the local environment, economy, and culture when staffing and choosing furnishings.
It’s also about local food made famous by the late Anthony Bourdain’s travel shows and newer offerings like One World Kitchen (streaming on fuboTV). Local products, food, and culture work together to produce a sustainable luxury experience.
What to Look for When Finding Sustainable Luxury Options
A sustainable hotel starts with a sustainable building. The materials and architecture used should reflect energy conservation, while any renovations should also incorporate eco-friendly materials. Look for the property’s commitment to sustainability on its website.
However, sustainability also means delivering the luxury experience with the least damaging environmental effects. Look for the following characteristics:
- Room amenities like water carafes, bedding from local artisans, organic toiletries, and designer recycled writing pads
- Local culture on display through wall art, sculptures, etc., plus craft and cooking classes
- Hiring staff locally
- Organized trips to local food markets and native artisans
- Locally sourced sustainable foods in facility restaurants
Sustainable Luxury Hotels
South and Central Asia are full of exotic destinations, including some of the world’s best sustainable luxury hotels. Check out these properties for unique and memorable experiences.
Spice Village Kerala – Thekkady, India
Spice Village is located in the cool highlands of Periyar, a reimagined tribal village of the Manan tribe.
Visitors stay in elephant grass-thatched huts built by the locals. The resort, powered by solar panels, has an Ayurvedic spa, yoga and meditation classes, upcycled furniture, and cultural performances. Guests also have the chance to learn about the local spice trade.
Chandelao Garh – India
This 23-room heritage property, the ancestral home of the local ruling family, is an hour away from Jodhpur. Chandelao Garh offers a lifetime experience in a Rajasthani village but with modern comforts.
Eighty percent of the employees come from the surrounding area. In addition, the hotel provides a source of income for the Chandelao village women through their Sunder Rang arts and craft project that helps keep traditional craft skills alive.
Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge – Kawasoti, Nepal
Tiger Tops is a pioneer of responsible tourism. The property started as a hunting lodge and shifted to wildlife conservation and viewing after being sold in the 1970s.
Set on the edge of the Chitwan National Park, Tiger Tops has worked to conserve Nepal’s endangered species through tiger monitoring and crocodile breeding programs. In addition, local workers constructed all of the resort’s lodges using local materials.
Six Senses Thimphu – Thimphu, Bhutan
Six Senses hotels are revered worldwide, and this one at the foot of the Himalayas is one of the best. This chain is committed to sustainability at all its locations. With only 25 rooms, your slice of heaven has stunning views amidst dzong fortress-inspired design.
Each has wood-burning stoves and rugs, local artwork, and building materials, including local timber and stone. You’ll also love the facility’s organic restaurant featuring Bhutanese food. Six Senses also has other sustainable properties in Bhutan in Punakha, Paro, and Gangtey.
Sustainable Travel is Important Now More Than Ever
Maintaining sustainable practices is vital if we want to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren. Many exotic Asian locations combine luxury, sustainability, culture, and adventure in an unforgettable package.