By Dian Hasan | May 29, 2010
In our modern world of today, where trends come and go, there are some trends that we’ll unanimously agree are here to stay. The green movement! The eco-oriented approach to our immediate environment and communities that we can potentially touch. And in the world of travel and tourism, this is best embodied through eco hotels and resorts.
And there are those hotels that position themselves as eco hotels, but only a few have green hearts to the core. Isla Verde Hotel that embraces the stunning Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is one such hotel. Minimal carbon footprint and optimum local sourcing seem to be the two strongest traits in its stance against what a little hotel can do.
The hotel was built virtually from all locally sourced building materials, some of them recycled. Alternative energy are utilized wherever possible, all hotel food is made from scratch. Don’t expect to find TVs in your room, for entertainment comes from socializing with fellow hotel guests in the common areas, overlooking the serene beauty of volcanoes that seem to rise from the lake.
It is also where I came across novel ideas I’ve never heard about: Eco-Weddings and Eco-Meetings, celebrations and gatherings that attempt to do more for the environment and communities for travelers who seek to give more than they take.
Isla Verde Hotel provides the perfect retreat for the weary urban mind and soul, and rejuvenates it through eco knowledge, as well as Yoga, and Spa Treatments that are inspired by the local people’s healing traditions. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, exploring the lake’s beauty, cultural excursions and immersion in the local customs.
When Chilean architect Rodrigo Verdugo ventured into the design of two Eco Loges in Chile’s Huilo Huilo Private Natural Reserve, he was set to take his imagination to new heights. While La Montaña Mágica (The Magic Mountain) Hotel was inspired by an erupting volcano, with cascading water replacing the fire and amber, the idea for the second lodge, Baobab Hotel was probably drawn from a bee-hive, or a snail’s shell.
By Dian Hasan | August 1, 2009
Natura Resort & Spa lies just a few miles north from Ubud, Bali’s artistic and cultural heart, in the traditional village of Laplapan, seemingly untouched by the hands of time. Natura is conceived against this backdrop, bringing forward a novel concept in eco-conscious accommodation.
By Unique Travel Destinations | June 18, 2009
Designed by one of Thailand’s leading architects, Duangrit Bunnag, Alila Cha-Am is a tropical getaway that defies convention. Likened to a geometric jewel box with a series of magical boxes through which you enter a world of refined hospitality of understated luxury. Set in the charming coastal town of Cha-Am, on the north west coast of the Gulf of Thailand, this luxurious beachside resort is designed to be a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle destination.
By Joe Yogerst | www.eHotelier.com | June 5, 2008
When the Anantara Golden Triangle resort started an elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand five years ago, its creators never imagined that the project would evolve from an environmental effort and tourist attraction into a milestone of hotel-sponsored humanitarian aid.
Anantara Golden Triangle Resort, Thailand
With 160 acres of native forest and bamboo groves along the Mekong River, the posh riverside resort seemed like an ideal retirement home for elephants that were no longer needed in the nation’s logging industry. Anantara hired British wildlife expert John Roberts to create the camp and recruit the resident pachyderms. But Roberts quickly discovered that you couldn’t bring the elephants without their lifelong mahouts (trainers). And you couldn’t bring the mahouts without their families. And that you couldn’t bring the families without providing housing, schooling and medical care. Continue reading
By Dian Hasan | June 4, 2009
Travelers are constantly seeking unique travel destinations, that offer uncommon experiences in exotic locations, and the opportunity to stay in unusual accommodation. Fancy a stay in a Tree House Hotel? They say any boy’s dream of a tree house never really leaves him. Here are 10 reasons that would send them packing across the world to reignite their childhood!