Do you know what an ecolodge is? These are accommodations designed not to harm the natural environment upon which they are built. One of the ecolodges featured in this roundup, Topas Ecolodge, defines an ecolodge as following three basic principles: You must be set in a natural environment, benefit the local community and provide awareness and educational support.
All over the world, there are many beautiful ecolodges travelers can stay at to celebrate major milestones and enjoy vacations as part of the sustainable tourism movement. Here are nine of the most beautiful ecolodges across the world and what it costs to stay there.
Just outside of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a rainforest hotel called Mashpi Lodge. Travelers staying at the Mashpi Lodge will be able to live out their wildest adventures by trekking down hidden paths, splashing through rivers, flying high aboard the Lodge’s Dragonfly Canopy Gondola, and encountering 400 species of birds, trees and frogs. The Mashpi Lodge prides itself on its sustainability and conservation efforts. Over 75% of the Lodge’s employees come from surrounding communities and most ingredients and other supplies are locally sourced.
How much does a stay cost? According to the Mashpi Lodge website, room rates start at $1,280 plus taxes, based on double occupancy of a standard room. Service tax is additional, and a municipal tax of $2.75 is charged per room, per night. Accommodations at the Mashpi Lodge are part of an all-inclusive model. Visitors enjoy three complete meals per night booked, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day and customized tours of the Reserve with one local and one specialized Naturalist Guide.
Tucked away in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi calls itself “the original barefoot hideaway.” This ecolodge features 64 private island villas ensconced in a sustainable ecosystem of lush jungle and pristine beaches. Soneva Fushi prides itself on 25 years of sustainability with a focus on environmental initiatives. Some of these include sustainable pest management practices implemented island-wide, an equal opportunities employer achieving a more balanced representation of female hosts at Soneva and a 2% environmental levy on all stays introduced in 2008. Funds go toward the Soneva Foundation, investing in projects with positive environmental, social and economic impact and offsetting direct and indirect carbon emissions.
How much does a stay cost? Stays at Soneva Fushi start at $1,560 per night excluding taxes and fees. Exclusive offers are also available at Soneva Fushi for visitors, families and those booking a larger villa who book directly on the website.
Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
Built at the upper part of the traditional village of Aristi in Greece, travelers visiting Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas experience a wide variety of outdoor activities at an ecolodge surrounded by a large variety of flowers, plants and trees. Enjoy partaking in a cooking workshop, rafting in a kayak in the Voidomatis river, wine tasting and going on a road trip to the villages of Vitsa, Monodenri and Kipi. Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas has a green policy starting with its architecture. Only local materials, including stone and wood, decorate the inner and outer parts of the buildings. LED bulbs are used for lighting, waste water is processed in a high-tech tertiary cleaning system and the resort staff are all locals.
How much does a stay cost? Prices vary depending if you book rooms or villas. Most rooms require a minimum stay of three nights and may range in price from $178 to $285 depending on the room or suite you book directly through the resort. Villas can cost upwards of $600 or more per night.
Deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park is the Topas Ecolodge. This ecolodge is nestled atop a stunning hilltop with 41 rustic mountain bungalows allowing travelers to take in the finest mountain views in Vietnam.
Topas has been nominated by National Geographic as one of the best ecolodges to stay in if you care about the earth. The ecolodge keeps sustainability at the forefront by employing around 100 people, almost exclusively from local villages. Staff members live in two houses built on-site to ensure they do not endanger themselves traveling late at night to their remote villages and receive space and facilities to grow vegetables and cook their own food. Topas ensures all recyclable materials are distributed locally, buys local produce and raises chickens on-site at their own chicken coop.
How much does a stay cost? Rates depend on whether visitors wish to book a villa or bungalow during their stay. Special offers are available including the Sapa family break for families of four who may book a stay starting at $1,330. The Topas Ecolodge mountain trails, a three-day, two-night all-inclusive package, is available starting at $460.
Three Camel Lodge
For travelers who wish to get away to a desert retreat, a renowned five-star ecolodge awaits in Mongolia’s Three Camel Lodge. Discover dramatic sights throughout the Gobi Desert including the Flaming Cliffs, Yol Valley National Park and visit the small town of Bulgan for a firsthand look at the region’s nomadic families and their village life. Three Camel Lodge prides itself on following the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmental stewardship, natural and cultural preservation, and community empowerment. It is the first lodge in Mongolia to eliminate all single-use plastic water bottles. Guests receive a stylish reusable metal bottle that can be refilled throughout the property at its purified water stations. Nearly 100% of the lodge lighting is solar-powered and Three Camel Lodge sources over 50% of its lodge supplies, services and ingredients within 50 miles.
How much does a stay cost? At the present moment, Three Camel Lodge is booked through May 2023. Rates in May 2023 start at $882 per night and increase in June 2023 to $1,058 per night.
Lapa Rios Lodge protects 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining tropical lowland rainforest. Visitors of this breathtaking Costa Rica ecolodge will be able to live and breathe the jungle, encountering frogs and macaws, endangered monkeys and over 300 bird species. Sustainability is a core value at Lapa Rios with nature conservation and community development it raisons d’être. Tourism is a means to acquire and protect the surrounding endangered rainforest and its mission is to prove “a rainforest left standing is worth more than one cut down.”
How much does a stay cost? This depends on the dates travelers book their stays. For example, a stay for two guests between Jan. 3, 2023, and Jan. 10, 2023, in a Deluxe Bungalow would be $1,562 per night for seven nights. Lapa Rios also offers Costa Rica packages for those who are newlyweds and family adventure packages. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the ecolodge for more information.
What makes a stay at Kenya’s Il Ngwesi unforgettable is this ecolodge is owned and run by the Maasai community. Visitors will enjoy both wildlife and cultural experiences including gorgeous wildlife viewing from the lodge, bush breakfasts by the Ngare Ndare River and visits to the Mukogodo Forest. Il Ngwesi plays a critical role in conserving wildlife in Northern Kenya with many endangered species like the white rhino, Grevy zebra, leopard and lion residents on its land.
How much does a stay cost? Interested visitors are encouraged to contact Il Ngwesi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +254 (0) 741 770 540 to learn more.
Copal Tree Lodge
Your luxury ecolodge awaits at Belize’s own Copal Tree Lodge. As a luxury ecolodge and 3,000-acre sustainable farm, adventure seekers and foodies will quickly be immersed into the culture and cuisine of Belize in a beautiful jungle setting. Receive a hands-on tutorial for learning about the production of coffee, chocolate and indigenous produce at its on-site Farm Center and explore the farm-to-flask initiative with Copal Tree Distillery. Copal Tree Lodge is proud to pioneer sustainable food production and agritourism with the majority of the food served at the Garden Table Restaurant supplied from the Lodge’s farm.
How much does a stay cost? There are 16 private suites and one three-bedroom villa available at Copal Tree Lodge. If two guests stayed at Copal Tree Lodge between Jan. 9, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2023, the cost for seven nights would be $8,828 for a signature canopy suite at the flexible all-inclusive rate. Copal Tree Lodge also offers a variety of vacation packages customized to your needs, from wedding to honeymoons, on its website.
Daintree Wilderness Lodge
An ecolodge hidden in a rainforest? Welcome to Daintree Wilderness Lodge, found in Australia’s Kuku Yalangi country. Rest in one of Daintree Wilderness Lodge’s seven elevated cabins and explore the rainforest’s hidden paths, spot rare wildlife and birds and snorkel off Cape Tribulation. This ecolodge uses spring water, accessed via a bore, to supply the entire resort with fresh water. All cleaning products used are nontoxic and biodegradable and the Lodge runs on a Stand-Alone Solar Array system to reduce carbon emission into the atmosphere.
How much does a stay cost? As mentioned, the Daintree Wilderness Lodge has seven rainforest cabins. Pricing varies and is set at AUD. Booking directly through the website allows visitors to receive access to special discounts and rates, like the 10% off discount used when booking a Rainforest Relaxation Package for two.
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