Go Luxuriously Green With The Best Eco-Friendly Holidays

Go Luxuriously Green With The Best Eco-Friendly Holidays

Going green on holiday doesn't mean settling for a rustic hut any more – whether you want a city break, a luxurious tropical island getaway or staying right at home, it's never been easier to choose an eco-friendly holiday in everywhere from Argentina to Yorkshire.

And as most airlines let you offset the carbon from your flights, so there's nothing to stop you feeling good from head to toe.

There's just 12 beachfront chalets at Nuarro, which opened on Mozambique's Memba Bay last July, but the owners are making sure their carbon footprint is as tiny as their actual one. Everything at Nuarro has been built by local people using natural resources and is powered by the sun and wind.

So you can relax and enjoy your private sun-deck, go diving in the nearby ocean, cocktails on the beach-front restaurant, some whale watching at the Beach Bar and home-made cake with a completely clear conscience. Prices start from £190 per person per night, including all meals, snorkelling, use of kayaks and mountain bikes, a traditional dhow trip, guided village tour and bush eco-trail and half an hour neck & back massage.

Going green doesn't mean you have to swap the city for the forest. CasaCalma Wellness Hotel is in the centre of Argentinian capital Buenos Aires, a few steps from the buzzy Retiro district, but stays as environmentally friendly as possible, down to it sustainable wooden pencils.

The only certified eco-hotel in the city, it's built from sustainable materials and the hotel is wrapped in plants which filter heat and save energy. And each of the 18 rooms is designed as a mini spa, with Jacuzzis and private saunas in the premium rooms.

Rooms cost from £125 per room per night, based on 2 sharing. Book with i-escape.com

Voted one of Malaysia's top 10 green hotels, the award-winning The Andaman in Langkawi aims to be eco-friendly in as many ways possible, from lightbulbs to packaging, as well as recycling, conserving water and composting waste products.

Surrounded by one of the world's oldest rainforests, the area is home to the dusky leaf monkey, the rare colugo flying lemur, macaques and over 300 species of butterflies, so the hotel also aims to educate guests about the wildlife and how it's being protected. Plus you can chill out by the turquoise Andaman sea with a cocktail, choose your evening meal from the local fishermen's catch of the day or enjoy a spa treatment overlooking the Datai Bay.

The deluxe rainforest rooms cost from £170 per night, based on two sharing, including a bird-watching excursion and guided nature walk. Or Hayes and Jarvis offers seven nights at The Andaman from £1,199 per person, including flights from London Heathrow with Malaysia Airlines and transfers, for departures on 31 March 2011 only.

If your budget doesn't stretch to a tropical getaway, you can still pamper yourself and stay equally green with a trip to Titanic Spa in Yorkshire. Set in a converted textile mill in the Pennines, not far from Huddersfield and Leeds, the spa has its own private water bore hole, photovoltaic roof tiles to produce energy (even when it's cloudy) and a biomass generator burning chippings from industrial waste for heat.

The swimming pool is chlorine-free, the mud in the rasul chamber is 100 of all the organic salads, herbs, fruit and vegetables used in both their restaurants, the resort also helps the local environment.

Iguanas are protected, unlike many other Caribbean islands, and there are special nature trails set up to allow you to see them basking in the sun, while the hotel also works with local fishermen to protect the coral reefs, home to turtles and sting rays. There's five white sand beaches, a spa and you can eat locally-caught fish in the beachfront restaurant.

W&O Travel is currently offering a seven night all-inclusive stay for the price for five, from £1,925 per person, including accommodation, flights and inter-island transfers, for travel between 26 March and 25 April 2011.

The brand new Tongole Wilderness Lodge, which opens in April 2011, is set in the beautiful Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, the third largest protected area in Malawi and one of the least well-known. And the owners of the lodge are determined to keep the wilderness as unspoiled as possible with solar-powered electricity and water, even using bricks made from sun-dried local soil, rather than baked in a kiln.

The lodge was also built by local residents, who were trained in new skills as they worked, so many are still employed after construction finished while profits will be used to help fund local projects, including conservation, health and education.

The four luxurious riverside suites have sunken baths and raised wooden decks overlooking the Bua River, and use as many local materials as possible. Suites cost from around £175 per person per night. Rainbow Tours offers seven nights full board from £2,880 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights via Johannesburg, road transfers, and activities.

Already a favourite of Desperate Housewives' Teri Hatcher, Southern Ocean Lodge on South Australia's Kangaroo Island is as focused on looking after the environment as on five star luxury. Waste water and organic waste is converted and recycled into clean water for the gardens, anything that can be recycled is, and the 1.5 million litre water storage system even harvests water from the roof.

The hotel uses new heat pump technology for the hot water, with a solar farm generating electricity. And while the hotel itself is as green as possible, it also owns around 100 hectares of land which is being protected from further development – the 250m long raised boardwalk between the lodge and the beach is designed to reduce even the effects of guests walking around.

Qantas Holidays can organise six day holidays to South Australia including a two-night stay at Southern Ocean Lodge, from £2,729 per person based on two sharing, including flights from London Heathrow, three nights at the Hyatt Regency Adelaide and three days car hire.

Most eco hotels focus on preserving the local environment, or at least making sure they don't do any damage to the natural world – but Salt & Sill has gone one step further by actually improving the local eco system. The underside of the floating hotel's pontoons have become a home for shells and mussels, acting as a natural purification plant for marine life and they've created a new reef to benefit shellfish. The hotel's heating system also uses seawater, rather than using up freshwater supplies.

Made up of six two storey-buildings on floating pontoons on the island Kladesholmen, north of Gothenburg, there's 23 rooms, and the Salt & Sill seafood restaurant floating next door. You can also take a sauna boat to travel between relaxing spots along the coast. Double rooms cost from around £185.


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