When you think of eco-friendly resorts, do you imagine tourists walking around bare foot meditating, outside toilets with brown toilet paper and vegan menus with a different lentil and chickpea dinner every evening?
Well, think again!
Eco-tourism is being practiced by some of the most luxurious resorts and hotels in the world.
Here in Thailand we have some of those but there are also alternatives for those of us who haven’t quite had that ‘fat paycheck’ yet.
I guess for most people nowadays, caring about the environment is second nature, like brushing your teeth in the morning or having a beer after work but the fact is awareness of the environment we are living in is becoming more important to us all.
Being Eco-Friendly is really just a form of responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.
Thailand is brimming with eco-friendly resorts.
Here are a few that may take your fancy.
SONEVA KIRI, KOH KOOD
For those of you that have not experienced the eco-friendly resorts of Soneva do yourself a favour and do it now!
Koh Kood is Thailand as it was years ago. Untamed jungle, pristine beaches, fishermen going about their business. Ancient Siam, at peace with itself.
Located on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all villas have stunning infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies and impeccable service courtesy of Mr/Ms Friday private butlers.
Highlights include the open air Cinema Paradiso, Benz’ mangrove restaurant, the Chocolate and Ice cream parlour, the Observatory, The Den and the spectacular Treetop Dining Pod.
Barefoot Intelligent Luxury at its best. No news, no shoes, Thai style.
Environmental protection is the theme at this lavish Koh Kood resort. It embraces the Slow Life Movement and snorkeling is guided by a marine biologist.
KEEMALA, KAMALA PHUKET
Set in the rainforest of Kamala, Phuket. Keemala embraces a Thai cultural philosophy and brings it to life through distinctive design and guests experiences. The spa treatments, holistic programs, gastronomic choices, activities and magical villas and cottages all promise to be beyond enchanting.
Keemala is nestled well away from the crowds and overlooks Kamala Village and the Andaman Sea. Positioned in the hills and within the lush woodlands, Keemala offers a retreat from everyday life and welcomes you in to an enchanting evergreen wonderland.
Keemala is focused on offering experiences that enhance quality of life. Take time to enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the rainforest and a plethora of holistic activities and cuisine to aid wellbeing.
ZEAVOLA, PHI PHI ISLAND
A sustainable Phi Phi Island luxury resort with an air of rustic romance, located on the tranquil white sand Laem Tong Beach. The barefoot luxury experience of this Phi Phi Island hotel allows you to unplug and reconnect with yourself amid spectacular tropical beauty.
This 5* hotel has won awards for its self-sufficiency and dedication to looking after the natural environment that surrounds it. Daily beach clean-ups, coral preservation, sustainable water usage, and local school support are all part of Zeavola’s agenda.
The resort not only prides itself on its responsible tourism initiatives, but an emphasis on luxury. Each suite is beautifully styled, and amenities like private swimming pools, outdoor rain showers, and indulgent spa treatments are just a few of the perks of staying here. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the simplicity of rural village life in adorable teakwood suites that bring you closer to nature.
BANGKOK TREEHOUSE, BANGKOK
Even in the metropolis of Bangkok, there’s still opportunity to find a cool, eco-friendly accommodation. Located in the green zone of the Bang Nampheung region of Greater Bangkok, the Bangkok Tree House is surrounded by mangrove palms, coconut plantations and singing cicadas.
From tree top rooms that overlook the Chao Phraya river to soaring treehouses that are designed like birds’ nests, the accommodations are truly unique. The hotel’s steadfast commitment to the environment is what makes this one of the most desirable places to stay in Bangkok for the most green of green travelers – a little paradise right in the heart of the city.
This collection of lofty rooms varies from three-floor suites to beds under the stars perched more than 20 feet above ground. What’s more, you can only reach the hotel by foot, bike, or boat.
FERN RESORT, MAE HONG SON
Nestled in a lush valley outside the town of Mae Hong Son, in the mountains of Northern Thailand, you find this beautiful place for nature lovers! The sounds of running water and the peaceful jungle setting is pure relaxation. This really is the place for the perfect hide-away!
The resort has 30 wooden bungalows built in the local Shan Style that are both comfortable and tastefully decorated. No better way to experience the sights and sounds of unspoiled nature!
The Fern Resort is a project that was built with support and funds from the government. It is based on the idea of eco-tourism in order to preserve the nature and the environment for both tourists and the local people.
It is an example project that helps the environment and the public. Over the years Fern Resort has been developed more and more and now you can see its paying dividends with very comfortable, spacious bungalows on wide, well-maintained grounds.
By Paul Johnson