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The Top Ten Eco Resorts Worldwide

Posted in World over 6 years ago, 0 replies

medium_662It seems it's all about going green these days: hybrids, organic, recyle, reduce, reuse. And the travel industry is certainly one to watch as this environmental movement continues to gain momentum. Travelers are increasingly seeking options that fit the bill when it comes to "earth-friendly". In this latest of Top Ten lists, you'll find luxury eco-resorts that have been selected not only based on environmental initiatives, but also according to what they give back to their communities. Also high on the agenda here is the "it" factor- the overall quality of the experience for guests.

1 Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn, Costa Rica

Set your sights on volcanoes, cloud forests, and coffee plantations from your perch 4,000 feet above sea level at this luxury eco-resort in Costa Rica's Central Valley. Situated among ten acres of fruit trees and tropical flora, Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn offers fairytale ambiance and four-course meals. Guided tours to neighboring national parks, biological rain forest reserves, and botanical gardens are available in addition to the on-site horse stables and coffee farm.

2 Jungle Bay Resort & Spa, Dominica

medium_663Midway down the chain of Caribbean islands near Guadeloupe and Martinique, you'll discover a bird's perspective from the elevated cottages under the jungle canopy of Dominica. The 35 cottages on wooden posts are accessed via a network of interweaving trails and stairways. The world-class Spa du Soleil sits high on a seaside cliff. Other offerings include live entertainment and dancing, two yoga studios, a volcanic stone swimming pool, and the Zom Zom Hiking Trail.

3 Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte, Brazil
medium_665Just to the north of Salvador, Bahia, lies the tropical haven of Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte, where all rooms face the sea and birds and wildlife abound amidst lush tropical flora. Both beautiful and luxurious, this five-star hotel blends into the scenery with its' simple architecture and protection of nature. Modern amenities ensure comfort for guests, who can also take refuge in well-being treatments at the Thalasso SPA or relax among stunning gardens and natural pools in Vila Praia do Forte. The exquisite cuisine at the three restaurants on-site suit every taste with flavors both exotic and local.

4 Centro Ecológico Sian Ka’an (CESiaK), Mexico

Immerse yourself in Mexico's wilderness- kayak, boat through mangrove channels, explore Mayan ruins, snorkel the Mesoamerican Reef just offshore, kayak, or birdwatch- all with professional guides to offer an ecological viewpoint. Two hours south of Cancun, on a peninsula within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve- a large UNESCO World Heritage Site- is CESiaK. Enjoy beachside palapas and an onsite restaurant run by local chefs; and know that, in addition to leaving a smaller footprint, your stay will also help fund conservation and education programs in the reserve.

5 Natura Park Beach Eco-Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic

Splash through warm waters along white, sugary sand beaches shaded by tropical coconut trees. Stroll through stunning tropical gardens boasting colorful foliage and exotic birds, turtles, fish and other wildlife. In the midst of a beautiful mangrove forest, in the heart of the unspoiled nature of Bavaro National Park in Punta Cana, is a resort with ecological architecture of stone, coconut, wood, and cane. Here, you can relax by a lagoon-style swimming pool with a Jacuzzi and swim-up bar. Or unwind at Natura Park's Metamorphosis Spa, which offers massage and mud bath threatments, a sauna, complete gym, and beauty salon. Need more? Take in water sports, beach volleyball, live music, dancing lessons, or fine cuisine at one of four restaurants.

6 Tiamo Resorts, Bahamas

medium_664Head to The Out Islands of The Bahamas and you'll discover the turquoise blue water of the South Bight of South Andros Island- and Tiamo. Surrounded by 125 acres of natural paradise, complete with white sand beach and miles of nature trails, this resort deems itself the Caribbean’s most environmentally sensitive tourism operation. Eleven private open-air beach bungalows are both understated and stylish. Set your mind on hiking, snorkeling or casting for elusive bonefish. Meals, island transportation, light-adventure activities, and biologist-guided nature tours are all included. The experience will be even better after major renovations and upgrading are complete in October 2009.

7 Arraial d'Ajuda Eco Resort, Salvador and the Bahia Coast

The serenity and natural beauty of a private beach and port are just part of what makes Arraial d'Ajuda a Top Ten resort. Elegant apartments and suites offer comfort, style, and fabulous beach views. Activites include classes to learn to sail, windsurf, and dive. A water park next door has several pools, water slides, and water games for children and adults alike, and admission is included in your stay. On-site, there is also a restaurant (two meals are included in rates), room service, pool, tennis court, bar, gym, and children's programs.

8 Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Costa Rica

Topping the Condé Nast Gold List in 2008, Lapa Rios offers some pretty awesome views of rain forest and the Pacific. Built of native materials, the environmentally sustainable bamboo bungalows blend into the environment. Features include "eco-plain decor," a private deck, and two showers (one with cold water, the other with solar-heated warm water.) The reserve of over 1,000 acres of rainforest includes a protective corridor to the Corcovado National Park.

9 Hemingway Cabañas, Riviera Maya, Mexico
When you need to truly get away, Hemingway's will get you there. The fine and snowy white sand of the beach stretches out to turquoise waters, providing a great view up and down Tulum Beach. Sea Front, Sea View, and even Jungle View (garden) cabañas are all on the sand, with front porches, chairs, and a hammock. Each has a private bathroom with shower and classic Mexican beach style- flowing fabrics, tile work, and the occasional interior limestone wall for effect. Alternate energy provides a limited amount of power. The restaurant philosophy is to work only with fresh products, devising a simple and natural menu from what "the sea decides to give to us."

10 Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, Thailand

medium_666Formerly known as the Langham Place Eco Resort & Spa, this hotel is in perfect harmony with nature on the island of Koh Lanta, off the south-west coast of mainland Thailand. While your time away upon soft white sand or go mountain biking and exploring through lush green hills overlooking Klong Tob Bay. Take up lounging by one of our four swimming pools (including a unique ocean pool), or try diving, snorkeling, sailing, or tennis. Seek rejuvenation and healing at Koh Lanta the Chuan Spa, where you'll find an extensive selection of natural, holistic treatments. Accommodations range from deluxe rooms with awe-inspiring sea views to spacious luxury villas with private swimming pools. Six on-site restaurants offer everything from fresh seafood to Mediterranean cuisine to pub-style dining.
Photo of Heather.

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