World’s Best Eco-Friendly Destinations – Part I
By: Kim Michele
Now, don’t be mistaken – eco friendly does not necessarily mean rustic. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of pampering going around in these special eco-friendly resorts and no one has to give up any luxurious little extras. So, sit back, relax and get ready to ‘go green’ as journeyPod guides you to the World’s Best Eco-Friendly Destinations:
From North America to Africa and even as far as Asia, we’ve discovered the most luxurious destinations for the eco-traveler. You can start by taking yourself on an unforgettable journey to Sri Lanka, home of the lavish Heritance Kandalama Hotel, listed among the world’s top 15 best eco-friendly hotels. Heritance Kandalama is perfectly positioned with its back to the Kandalama rock where the mountains descend to the dry plains and a vast protected forest gives way to tea and spice plantations, enabling visitors to enjoy a wide variety of Sri Lanka’s un-spoilt nature. Kadalama is also an ideal destination for archaeological enthusiast and historians offering a rare insight into ancient Buddhist ruins.
The hotel incorporates many features linking it with its environment and was designed by world- renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Rocks, caves and cascades of rainwater add drama to corridors, foliage brushes the windows, flowering woodland creepers curtain balconies and the roofs are terraces of wild grass. Although Heritance Kandalama has received many international awards for their food and superb service, they are more importantly recognized for their commitment to the conservation of the environment in energy, water, waste management and sensitive purchasing. The fact that they maintain an eco-friendly system throughout the entire hotel seems to be Heritance Kandalama’s main attraction. Even the hotel wastewater is recycled and used for plants, while the garbage is recycled and used as various subsidiaries.
A little closer to home, Mauna Lani Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island has been named the only US property to be honored as one of the world’s “Top Luxury Eco-Friendly Beach Destinations” by Condé Nast Traveler’s. Their innovative solar system has earned the resort the distinction of generating the most solar electric power of any luxury resort in the world. And, their dedication to preserving Hawaii’s natural resources, environment and culture is one of the most important parts of the resort experience.
However the Mauna Lani Resort’s efforts to protect the environment stretch far beyond the resort itself. Their green sea turtle program, run in collaboration with the Oahu’s Sea Life Park has consistently been praised for being one of the worlds best ecotourism attractions. In addition the resort was selected as one of only ten golf resorts in the world for the first-ever Green Golf Award by Golf Magazine. The water system pumps more than 3 million gallons of brackish water per day to water the 38 hole golf course. On the greens, the use of drought-resistance grass requires considerably less fertilizer and herbicides contributing to the resort’s eco-friendly golf operation. Even the lavish Mauna Lani Spa is eco-friendly, operating a one-of-a-kind lava watsu pool using a ‘green’ photovoltaic system and creating an unforgettable aquatic body treatment complete with underwater acoustics and lighting effects.