Discover five sustainable hotels that are perfect for conscientious travellers.
By Praphanit Doowa
Although India is often imagined as the land where the air is polluted, the roads are loud and the streets are crowded, there are efforts made to live and vacation sustainably. Not many of us are attracted to these eco-resorts, as they don’t scream luxurious or comfortable, but who says you can’t vacation green and vacation well? Dwell into some of the most picturesque parts of India with minimal carbon footprint. Why not do more to preserve Earth’s natural wonder, while basking in its beauty?
The Orchid Hotel in Mumbai is one of the crown gems of Orchid Hotels designed with utmost care for the environment. Situated right in the heart of the city at Nehru Road, the hotel maintains a strong environment programme through various initiatives including a solid waste management system and sewage treatment plan that allows wastewater to be utilised for gardening and air conditioning. The hotel also uses energy efficient lighting such as CFL and LED, while a master control panel in the guest room is incorporated with an Ecobutton, which when pressed increases the AC temperature of the room by two degrees Celsius, thus conserving energy. There are efforts made towards water conservation and preservation as well. All in all, The Orchid is recognised as Asia’s first certified eco-friendly five star hotel, and has done a solid job combining luxury with sustainability.
For more information, visit www.orchidhotel.com.
Banasura Hill Resort
Set at an altitude of 3,200 feet in the mist-clad hills of Wayanad, Banasura Hill Resort is an ideal retreat for travellers seeking a more enriching experience. Sprawling across a 35 acre eco-friendly farm, the resort is known as the only “earth resort” in Asia. Built using mud excavated from the very site that it stands on, Banasura is a “fine example of rammed earth architecture.” Offering not only a marvelous mud haven but also adventurous escapes for guests, the resort is home to the countryside where waterfalls, caves and tribal villages are enjoyed by many.
For more information, visit www.banasura.com.
The Dune Eco-Village and Chopra Healing Center
The Dune Eco-Village and Chopra Healing Center is an eco-friendly beach resort in Puducherry set across green gardens and limitless nature. With the fusion of traditional and modern architecture, the resort offers 62 bungalows and rooms sprawling across 35 acres of untouched nature. Each cosy room is also equipped with a solar water system, organic linens, and low-energy consuming light bulbs. The establishment even provides organic food from the nearby ‘eco-village’, benefiting approximately 4,000 farmers as a result. The retreat promises the ultimate rejuvenation as well, with their spa treatments conducted in swimming pools. This is the perfect place for relaxing amidst nature.
For more information, visit www.dunewellnessgroup.com/dune-eco-village-and-spa/
Blackbuck Lodge Resort
Situated in Western India in Velavadar, Gujarat is the Blackbuck Lodge Resort, home to the unparalleled allure of the jungle – the perfect backdrop for a remote getaway. With 14 different villas, all made with eco-friendly resources, guests reside along the Velavadar Blackbuck National Park. The majestic lodge is also furnished with a pool and health club, providing the ideal place for relaxing pastimes amidst the wilderness. There are safari adventures in jeeps available as well, for those keen enough to brave the wildlife. Couples, however, must enjoy a romantic experience with a dinner under glowing lanterns and bonfires under starry skies.
For more information, visit www.theblackbucklodge.com.
Houseboats of Kerala
Formerly used for shipping rice and spices, the houseboats in the backwaters of Kerala now offer a leisure cruise amongst blushing green palm trees. With the gentle flow of the river voyaging you through water lilies, ancient temples, coir villages, rustic homes, you are welcomed to a sustainable and modern home, providing you with all the necessary comforts. Not a single nail is used to construct the houseboats which is held together by coir knots and coated with black resin extracted from boiled cashew kernels, with the purpose to last for generations. The Houseboats of Kerala is the perfect combination of calm and charm.
For more information, visit www.keralatravels.com/pages/houseboats-kerala.