Deciding on where to stay for your upcoming holiday can be one of the hardest decisions of the entire trip: do you want a family-friendly resort? Maybe an all-inclusive? Or would you rather kick back and relax in a secluded hotel that immerses you in nature? Hard to choose, we know.

Another key area that you may not have previously considered is the environmental impact of the hotel you are staying at. It is becoming more and more popular for guests to prioritise their resort choice by how eco-friendly it is, to combat the environmental impacts of taking an international trip.

What is a sustainable hotel?

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a sustainable hotel, a sustainable hotel is not just one that encourages you to use your bathroom towel more than once – though this is a great step that all hotels and guests alike can be partaking in to do their bit for the environment. No, a real sustainable hotel, or ‘green’ hotel, is one that has been built with the environment in mind. One that is being operated in an environmentally responsible manner, and that strives to maintain this in every day: whether that be by recycling rain and ocean water, using reusable energy and of course, by reducing waste.

Other practices that green hotels or eco-friendly resorts may participate in include:

  • Using sustainable materials for their furnishings
  • Installing energy efficient lighting across the resort
  • Put on demonstrations educating guests around their environment
  • Reducing food waste by using a composting system
  • Reusing and recycling waste paper, plastics and metals

However, this isn’t the only way that a property becomes classed as an eco-friendly resort because those that help out with local initiatives, businesses and communities come under that umbrella too. If you’re unsure about the sustainability practices of the hotel you’re planning to book (or even that you’re currently staying in), there are a few simple steps you can take. You can easily check to see if the resort is certified by a reputable sustainable organisation: some of these include the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Green Key, or even an organisation such as Green Seal.

The benefits of staying in a sustainable hotel

There are of course many benefits of staying in a sustainable hotel (aside from of course, doing your bit to reduce your own personal environmental impact). As we’ve discussed, staying in eco-friendly resorts is a great way to support local communities and businesses, as many of these properties often source their materials, produce and other products from local suppliers and communities. Staying in sustainable resorts also widens your perspective on sustainability. It’s often surprising how much you can do to make a difference and broaden your positive impact on the environment.

One of the best benefits of staying in one of these hotels is the rate at which your knowledge about sustainability and the wider picture grows. Many of these hotels offer fantastic educational programs or activities outside of the resort that teach guests about much more than just the sustainable practices of the specific hotel but about eco-friendly practices in general.

Our favourite sustainable hotels and hotel groups

• Six Senses

The Six Senses group pride themselves on their sustainability initiatives, and their sustainability strategy is an extremely impressive one. Home to organic gardens, plastic-free and use of eco-friendly building materials, if you’re looking for a hotel group that lives and breathes sustainability, a Six Senses resort retreat is a great option.

• The Banyan Tree Collection

The Banyan Tree Collection is an award-winning collection of hotels and resorts, showcasing some of the world’s most incredible sustainable resorts that have been curated over twenty-five years. With hotels in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America, there are plenty of beautiful destinations across the globe to choose from.

• Jumeirah Al Naseem

Part of the Madinat Jumeirah collection, Jumeirah Al Naseem does its bit for the environment in an ultra-unique way – we wouldn’t expect anything less from a hotel in Dubai! Alongside common initiatives such as food waste prevention and water conservation, Al Naseem houses its own purpose-built lagoon incorporated in the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project caring for injured turtles whilst opening up to the public to raise awareness for these precious sea creatures. We just loved this environmentally friendly, animal-lovingscheme–if visiting Dubai, you simply have to pencil it into your schedule.

If you’re really interested in staying at a particular hotel, or a self-proclaimed green hotel, but are not sure on their environmentally friendly practices or their current strategies to reduce their environmental impact, be sure to contact them directly or discuss your desires with one of our friendly team of travel experts. Whatever you desire for your upcoming holiday, let us know what you need, and here at Value Added Travel, we’ll make that become a reality. Contact us for more information around our top sustainable hotels or for our latest deals across the globe. Happy travelling!