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These 25 Hotels are Leading the Way in Mindful Tourism

Today, more and more travelers are wanting to vacation with a purpose, whether it be giving back the community or leaving a minimal carbon footprint on the environment. Combining hospitality and humanitarian practices is anything but impossible, thanks to these eco-friendly and community-conscious escapes that provide more than just beautiful views.

Reporter: Nicole Bradley | Location: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotels

Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and South Beach
With locations in Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and South Beach, 1 Hotels CEO Barry Sternlight’s main goal is to capture the beauty of nature inside a city hotel. Each hotel room is designed with natural, pure elements – from hemp-made mattresses to reclaimed wooden furniture to eco-friendly cleaning products. Each recycled fixture of this hotel has a story to tell.
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Whitepod

Switzerland
We’re pod-sitive that you’ll love this Switzerland hideaway. Food is locally sourced, air, heat and water is conserved and waste is recycled. Dome-shaped pods make it easier to maintain temperatures, circulate air and less energy is required for the building. Enjoy your favorite snow sports too: skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and even husky rides are available at the Whitepod!
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$1,622 avg. room rate
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Soneva Kirilearn more

Soneva Kiri in Thailand vows to minimize its impact on its beautiful surrounding landscape by using locally-sourced materials like bamboo, teak and acacia to construct the hotel. The island of Soneva holds a reservoir that collects rainwater, which the island then purifies and bottles to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. The resort also has full-time marine biologists on staff to monitor the reef and give tips to guests when snorkeling to keep themselves and the reef safe.
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Ecocamp Patagonialearn more

At the Southern tip of the Andes is Ecocamp Patagonia, where travelers can relax and explore without harming the environment in any aspect. Guests are one with nature and stay in domes, which use “green energy,” equating to utilization of micro-hydro turbines.
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Playa Vivalearn more

Playa Viva, an all-inclusive resort on the Pacific coast of Mexico, sits on a private nature reserve that the owners hold to the highest standard. From the farm-to-table menus to the towels and soaps in your room, everything is made organically to a tee. Not to mention, the resort supports local wildlife and has it’s own sea turtle sanctuary run by volunteers!
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Song Saa Private Islandlearn more

When the Song Saa island of Cambodia was founded, the surrounding reefs and ocean wildlife were in a state of despair, and something had to be done about it. Upon building rentable villas, the island owners created the Song Saa Foundation whose mission is to protect the marine life and ocean habitats of the coast. Thanks to the foundation, there will always be more fish in the sea.
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Lefay Resort

Gargnano, Italy
The Lefay resort property is located on a protected nature park, which lends itself to the resort being completely integrated with the surrounding landscape - the roofs of guest houses are even covered in vegetation! Not to mention, the resort was purposely built on terraced hillsides, which allows for reduced energy and heat dispersion throughout the venue.
Photo:Aman Resorts
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$700 avg. room rate
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Amankilalearn more

Amankila in Bali is apart of the Aman brand that specializes in luxurious getaways that keep the ecosystem in mind. Aman openly supports the Begawan Foundation, which is committed to saving Indonesian birds and breeding them out of extinction. Amankila also offers spa and dining services using local ingredients and materials, improving the health of the environment one delicious meal and peaceful massage at a time.
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Photo:Six Senses Con Dao
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$686 avg. room rate
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Six Senses Con Daolearn more

It’s evident that the sixth sense of the Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam is its commitment to sustainability. The resort holds onto it's traditional fishing village roots and each room is designed to have natural ventilation with auto-sensored lights. Protection of endangered dugongs (i.e. one of the most adorable sea creatures you will ever see) in the surrounding sea is also at the forefront of the resort’s mind - as if the white sand and teal-blue water alone wasn’t reason enough to visit.
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Photo:UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
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UXUA Casa Hotel & Spalearn more

The UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa is a traffic-free Brazilian paradise renovated to please community-minded travelers. The rentable casas are simply restored fisherman’s huts dating back to 500 years ago. UXUA Casa gives back to the traditional fisherman community by providing meals, tools and materials for boat repairs.
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Nihiwatulearn more

On the Nihi Island of Indonesia sits the pristine Nihiwatu, where resort villas pay homage to ancient Sumbanese styles and carvings. Nihiwatu strongly believes in giving back to native people of the Nihi Island and the resort is actually Nihi’s biggest employer. Not only that, but the resort has set up medical clinics and water wells along the island, along with creating a program that provides lunches to school children.
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$375 avg. room rate
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Paperbark Camplearn more

Glamping has never felt so good, thanks to Paperbark Camp in Australia. This resort is eco-friendly in and of itself, consisting simply of outdoor tents among native gum trees. These glamorous tents use natural ventilation, rainwater whenever possible and solar-powered lighting. So pack your bags - let’s go eco-camping!
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Photo:Tri Lanka
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Tri Lanka

Ahangama, Sri Lanka
The Tri Lanka in Sri Lanka is more than just a pretty face and a fun name. The luxury hotel serves as an immersion between land and nature and is fully devoted to reversing habitat deforestation and increasing the diversity of plants and animals on the property; this is done by planting indigenous trees and shrubs around the landscape and protecting the animals at all costs.
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$650 avg. room rate
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Finolhulearn more

Finolhu is a retro getaway smack-dab in the middle of the beautiful Maldives lagoons. Andy Warhol-style art is displayed around the resort and guest huts are painted bright pastel colors. On a boutique island like this, the last thing you’d expect to see is 67,000 square feet of solar panels that run the ENTIRE resort. Finolhu isn’t afraid to brag about their solar energy assets, and we dig it.
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Photo:El Nido Resorts
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El Nido Resortslearn more

The El Nido Resorts on four islands of the Philippines observe Eco-Hour, where all energy in the resorts is shut down for an hour during every full moon in the summer months. The proceeds of the saved energy go to Island Transvoyager’s Carbon Offsetting Program to purchase seedlings for the property. It’s a win-win situation!
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Photo:Belle Mont Farm
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Belle Mont Farmlearn more

At Belle Mont Farm, guests are encouraged to literally eat the landscape around the hotel. The staff makes the vegetation around the property a number-one priority, banning the use of chemicals so produce can be enjoyed right here, right now. A few of the delicious crops that Caribbean island St. Kitts has to offer include bananas, pineapples, passion fruit and mangos.
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Photo:The Brando
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$1,500 avg. room rate
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The Brandolearn more

Coconut oil serves a purpose beyond moisturizer at The Brando in the French Polynesian islands –  locally-produced coconut oil, along with solar energy, are both used to fuel the resort. The resort has a goal of zero carbon impact, and they’re taking eco-smart steps to get there. The Brando also uses a system called Sea Water Air Conditioning, which uses the cold water from the ocean depths to efficiently cool all buildings.
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Blancaneaux Lodgelearn more

    Nestled within the jungle canopy of Belize is a hiker’s getaway with sustainable concepts. Any electricity not used in the guest rooms is transferred to other parts of the lodge, like the kitchen and the spa’s hot pool. All waste from the hotel is also turned into compost to feed their 3.5-acre organic garden.
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    Photo:Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
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    $879 avg. room rate
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    Andaz Maui at Wailea Resortlearn more

    On the island of Wailea is an eco-conscious, minimal hotel that provides energy efficiency by using motion sensor lights and an automatic temperature system. A whopping 98% of the hotel’s structure and fixtures are made from repurposed materials – from reclaimed wood walls to glassware made out of recycled wine bottles to bamboo cutlery.
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    Photo:Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
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    $723 avg. room rate
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    Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaalearn more

    The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa sits on an atoll, which is a formed ring of coral that circles a lagoon. Because the resort knows that it sits on fragile territory, it’s designers took extra precaution to monitor the resort’s performance with the environment. The construction and design of the villas on the atoll are monitored and designed by EarthCheck, so guests don’t have to feel guilty about being so entwined with nature. Also, don’t miss out on the Cross the Equator trip that the resort offers!
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    Saffire Freycinet

    Coles Bay, Tasmania, Australia
    Coles Bay in Australia has nearly 300 rain-free days a year, which sounds pretty ideal, right? Well, this can unfortunately lead to water shortage on the land which Saffire Freycinet resort is fighting against. The resort has essentially drought-proofed the property and built a water catchment area that filters and supplies water to the resort. Coles Bay is also Australia’s first plastic bag-free town - take notes, rest of the world!
    Photo:Alila Villas Soori
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    Alila Villas Soorilearn more

    The Alila Villas Soori is a hotel in Bali designed with an eco-friendly mind. Use of local materials and sensitive site planning were taken into effect when building this exotic resort, as the location is surrounded by UNESCO’s protected rice fields.
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    $349 avg. room rate
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    h2hotellearn more

    You wouldn’t believe it upon first glance, but the h2hotel in Sonoma Wine Country used to be a gas station! It has since been restored and builders have removed all contaminated debris and soil. The hotel is now acknowledged as one rooted in nature, which speaks to the succulent-filled “green roof.” h2hotel also uses low-flow faucets and toilets, and all artwork in the venue has been created by local artists, so you know you’re doing good by staying here.
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    The Yellowstone Collective Retreatlearn more

    In Big Sky, Montana there's a remote escape known for its collective retreats. Guests stay in canvas tents, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be smoking brats over a bonfire for food. Delicious meals are prepared from locally-sourced ingredients every day, supporting local farmers and butchers in Big Sky.
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    Photo:Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
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    Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreatlearn more

      Among lush vegetation in the Cederberg Mountains of Africa lives Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat. Relax, reset and feel good about knowing that getting your zen on is also giving back to the community. The retreat site strongly supports community involvement with the native people and all staff members live on property, reducing the need for transportation.
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