Travel Picks: 10 of the best eco-chic escapes
SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The buzz around eco travel has never been stronger but now you can combine sustainability with style, off-set your carbon footprint without sacrificing luxury, and enjoy a wilderness break without having to rough it.
Boutique hotel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) has come up with 10 green getaways from eco-smart designer dens to hotels with a heart. This list is not endorsed by Reuters:
1. Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains, Australia
Set in the Blue Mountains, less than three hours' drive from Sydney, the 40-suite Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa prides itself on being Australia's first conservation-based luxury resort, accredited by international group carboNZero. Pastoral fencing has been removed, 175,000 indigenous trees planted and native wildlife re-introduced. With access to over 4,000 acres of pristine wilderness, guests can go riding, mountain biking or wildlife spotting then return to private villas with in-room swimming pools and a world-class spa.
2. Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
On southern Bali's rugged Bukit Peninsula, Alila Villas Uluwatu is a cool, contemporary clifftop resort which delivers panoramic Indian Ocean views from 61 minimalist white pool villas. Using only locally sourced, recycled and sustainable materials, Singaporean architects WOHA harnessed open-plan lay-outs, flat lava rock roofs and bamboo ceilings to allow sea breezes to circulate naturally. Wood, stone, rattan and water features rule, but stir in personal butlers, a superb spa, fine dining and a hip lounge bar.
3. Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia, Italy
The 16th-century Masseria Torre Maizza perched on the coast of Italy's shapely heel in Puglia is a 28-room boutique hotel where everything possible is recycled - including water for the golf course - and most of the food served at its restaurant Delle Palme is grown on site or sourced from regional producers according to a 'kilometer zero' policy.
4. Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand Continued...