These luxury eco retreats may not be totally affordable but they are FABULOUS and guilt-free. Even if you travel on the cheap, these 7 eco retreats are all you need to fire up your 2019 travel dreams.
Here’s what in our guide to the world’s best eco retreats
2. Eco Retreats in India
3. Costa Rica Retreats
4. Green Retreats in Canada
5. European Retreats
Who doesn’t love to look at pictures of exotic retreats around the world?
It’s even better when they are eco-friendly retreats with a strong commitment to preserving the environment and giving back to their local communities.
We’ve picked these retreats based on their commitment to sustainable travel (no greenwashing here!) combined with their ability to provide incredible experiences in unique and downright cool surroundings.
Plus, we’re giving huge props to the beautiful people out there in the world who are making eco-travel glamorous!
Are you ready to be inspired about travel this year? Then read on to discover our picks of…
7 of the World’s Best Eco Retreats
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Serenity Deep in the Cambodian Rainforest
Photo via 4 Rivers Floating Lodge
A retreat made up of floating luxury tents on a river deep in Cambodian rainforest? Yes, please! 4 Rivers Floating Lodge has been in my eco travel dreams ever since we first cycled through Cambodia a few years ago.
The Cardamom Mountains protected area, where 4 Rivers is located, is Asia’s greatest natural virgin forest — much of it still untouched and unexplored. Green credentials at the retreat include sustainable building, effective water and waste management, plus a commitment to the local people and the local wildlife.
Deep Restoration in the Balinese Rice Fields
Photo via Bali Floating Leaf
There are endless choices when it comes to eco resorts in Bali. We’ve chosen one that is equally committed to preserving the environment, working with locals, and providing the ultimate transformational experience for guests.
Looking out over Bali’s famously beautiful rice fields, Bali Floating Leaf offers guests the chance to make deep transformations or just reconnect with their own peace. With exceptional luxury rooms, an open-air yoga space, spa, healing pool, and organic dining, the retreat is an ideal place to withdraw from the craziness of everyday life and recharge. Bali Floating Leaf’s deep commitment to preserving the environment means you can enjoy your luxurious stay, knowing you’re giving back too.
(Don’t miss: Our guide to the best travel yoga mats to bring on your adventures) →
Scuba Diver’s Dream in Indonesia
Photo via Misool & Shawn Heinrichs
In a country filled with incredible land- and seascapes, it’s hard to pick the most beautiful, but The Raja Ampat archipelago, one of the world’s most biodiverse marine areas, might just be it. Misool is hidden on an exotic island in Raja Ampat, 20 km by boat from the nearest village.
For divers, Misool is the ultimate retreat. But there is also plenty to attract those who like to keep their heads above water, like a luxury spa, a nature trail, private beaches, and local villages to visit.
Eco Retreats in India
Traditional Village Retreat in South India
Photo via Spice Village
Modelled on local tribal villages of the region, Spice Village celebrates the indigenous culture while giving guests a comfortable place to escape from their busy city lives. Guests can trek in the local tiger reserve, mountain bike in the forests, or just kick back and enjoy village life.
The resort’s green credentials are in order, too. Guest rooms, built in the style of village huts, are constructed by local artisans, using elephant grass to thatch roofs and building their own up-cycled furniture. The rooms do not include air conditioning or TVs — guests are encouraged to open a window or go outside into nature! Their two-acre organic garden provides some produce for the kitchens, while the rest of the food is sourced from within 50 miles.
Spice village is part of the CGH Earth hotel group, which focuses on sustainable accommodation in India.
Costa Rica Retreats
Surfer’s Luxury Fantasy in Costa Rica
Photo via The Harmony Hotel
When it comes to Costa Rica retreats, surfing yogis will love The Harmony Hotel. Miles from the nearest paved road, the retreat overlooks a beach which provides year-round surfing and non-stop tranquility. The yoga space and spa are surrounded by lush Costa Rican greenery, and the resort restaurant serves locally grown food, much of it from Harmony’s own farm.
The Harmony Hotel has committed to sustainability from their inception, earning a five-leaf rating from Costa Rica’s Certificate for Sustainable Tourism.
Green Retreats in Canada
Go Wild in British Columbia
Photo via Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
There are so many eco-friendly Canadian retreats to choose from, I could write a book. Note to self: Write a book about eco retreats in Canada. It was impossible to choose the best, so I selected a resort in my favourite part of the world, Vancouver Island, BC.
Rooms at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort are luxury prospector tents arranged overlooking a deepwater fjord deep inside the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve. The reserve protects some of the world’s only untouched temperate rainforest, where bears, cougars, wolves, and a huge array of other animals make their homes. Grey whales, dolphins, and sea lions can be spotted in the marine reserve.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is committed to sustainable practices and also works to repair historical damage done to the surrounding region by human activity in the past.
Alpine Luxury in Geodesic Pods
Photo via Whitepod
Sleeping in an energy efficient geodesic tent on the magnificent slopes of the Swiss Alps sounds pretty sweet to me! The rooms at Whitepod are a 20-minute hike from reception, surrounded by nothing but nature. In winter, Whitepod maintains private downhill ski slopes, snow scoots (think mountain bikes with skis attached), and snowshoeing trails. In summer, hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding are all on offer.
The pods are low-impact energy efficient spaces heated with closed fireplaces and Whitepod uses local products for everything from food to wine to firewood.
While we may not be jetting off to these eco retreats anytime soon (I mean, private jets are the least eco-friendly way to travel), we can always dream, right? And maybe, just maybe, one of these sustainable retreats will make its way onto our itinerary (and yours) sometime soon!
Which of these eco retreats would you visit if money and distance were no object?
♥ Happy mindful adventures, Stephen & Jane
Some of the links in this post are our own personal affiliate links. That means that if you book or buy something using one of these links we’ll earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. We’re not getting rich off of it but every little bit helps keep this blog going. Huge thanks in advance! –S&J