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By Kelly Dunning
Getting up close and personal with the beauty of nature doesn’t mean leaving luxury and style behind. There are many elegant eco lodges around the world that combine elegance and sophistication with a deep connection to the natural world, too.
Here, we’ve selected 5 of the best Luxury Eco Hotels, based on their placement in nature, dedication to eco-friendliness, and of course, luxurious indulgences.
1. Longitude 131, Australia
Located in the barren desert landscapes of Australian’s Northern Territory, Longitude 131 consists of 15 plush luxury tents with an amazing view of Ayer’s Rock. The tents are built on stilts that leave the desert sand itself undisturbed – and the entire eco-resort runs on solar power.
As you admire this stunning wide open landscape you can sip local wine and dine on gourmet Australian cuisine. Then, pamper yourself at the Red Ochre Spa where you can enjoy power-boosting facials and massages. The resort also offers a services of excellent tours that have achieved accolades from Ecotourism Australia.
2. Ariara Resort, Philippines
The journey to get to this remote resort is quite a challenge – it takes either a four hour trimaran cruise or a one-hour speedboat ride from the port of Coron. However, once you get to this fully staffed 125 acre private island it will be all yours. This gorgeous resort was designed by Filipino architect Jorge Yulo and it consists of eight gorgeous villas and cottages that are made with locally sourced woods and custom made furniture. A private chef will be on hand to prepare you freshly caught seafood, as well as herbs and produce picked from the garden and orchard.
3. Finca Rosa Blanca, Costa Rica
This beautiful organic coffee plantation in Costa Rica has attained the highest ranking in the Sustainable Tourism Certification Program – a perfect score of 100, and for good reason. Finca Roca Blanca operates fully on solar panels, recycles its grey water, obtains all food for guests from local sources, recycles all waste whenever possible, and has a high end spa that offers outdoor pampering experiences with only organic and natural beauty products.
Although it’s not too far from Costa Rica’s capital, the property is surrounded by the lushest, greenest scenery: namely, imposing volcanoes and rolling green coffee fields. This is a lush, wild retreat where you can truly appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica.
4. Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
Escape to this remote and beautiful private island in Cambodia and you will find a perfect and unspoiled paradise. This 27 villa resort in the Koh Rong archipelago was inspired by the designs of traditional fishing villages and incorporates found materials such as indigenous vines and driftwood.
Song Saa means ‘sweethearts’ and this is the perfect island for lovers and honeymooners–being a 3.5 hour boat ride from the Cambodian capital, it’s so private that even Brangelina enjoyed privacy when they reportedly took a romantic break here.
Villas allow for total isolation, should you so wish it. You’ll have your own plunge pool and private veranda where you can sit cocktails and watch the sunset. If you’d like to mingle a bit with others, yoga and meditation classes are offered and the innovative spa offers biorhythms session followed by a Rainforest facial and a 90-minute Karuna Kaya massage, topped off by a blessing by a Buddhist monk if you so desire. Need to revive? Try a healing bath, followed by a Khmer Poultice Massage and a Marina Flora Face Therapy session. A lengthy menu of unusual spa experiences unfolds in a candy store fantasy of possibilities, but you’ll be so relaxed by the stunning, pristine beach and fresh air, you may hardly make it out of your sun lounger.
5. Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia
This beautiful resort takes eco-tourism very seriously – it’s one of the few hotels in the world to be completely powered by biofuel and it supports a number of turtle and bird rescue projects as well as boasting a carbon offset program that has resulted in 64,000 trees being planted.
Local materials were used to create simply and naturally decorated rooms, each one of which has a four poster bed with natural cotton bedding, and walls decorated by weavings created by local artists using indigenous materials. You can spend each day in this luxurious retreat practicing yoga, getting massages, swimming and surfing, or of course, listening to the chatter of birds and monkeys from the comfort of your own private deck, complete with natural plunge pool.
These are just a few of the best luxury eco lodges around the world – beautiful resorts that will immerse you in the beauty of the natural environment while also offering you a fully pampered luxury experience.