The Brando is covered in over 4,000 solar panels, which provide over 70% of its electricity, with coconut oil-powered systems handling another part of the complex's energy needs. (The Brando/File)
The luxury industry has long been criticized for its heavy carbon footprint. Meanwhile, on April 22, Earth Day will drive home the urgency of preserving our natural resources.
And with a recent survey by Booking.com demonstrating that 73 percent of travelers intend on staying in environmentally-sound accommodations at least once this year, the following four establishments prove that luxury can be reconciled with sustainability.
Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
Marlon Brando fell in love with the Tetiaroa-island sanctuary while filming "Mutiny on the Bounty." According to the American film star's wishes, the earthly paradise (located just a 20-minute flight away from Tahiti) has become a leader environmental sustainability. Guests (who must stay for a minimum of two nights), are kept cool using an air conditioning system that draws water 930 meters under the Pacific Ocean.
The five-star establishment is covered in over 4,000 solar panels, which provide over 70% of its electricity, with coconut oil-powered systems handling another part of the complex's energy needs. Guests are given chemical-free sunscreen in order to preserve the cleanliness of the water.
Saint-Barth, The Caribbean
Following a 2017 buyout by B Signature Hotels & Resort, the Manapany reopened its doors in March 2018, seven months after Hurricane Irma devastated the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. Saint-Barth's sole eco-resort drew from local influences to decorate its 43 rooms and suites, nestled in the Anse des Cayes.
Guests are shuttled around in electric vehicles, which they can also rent to visit the island, and the establishment provides bamboo towels and slippers, while the maintenance staff cleans the rooms using 100° steam.
Newnes (Sydney), Australia
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
One&Only Resorts' portfolio can boast Australia's first ultra-luxe, sustainable establishment, which opened in 2009. Nestled in a New South Wales valley, Wolgan Valley is the country's first luxury hotel to have been awarded international carbon-neutral certification.
With its 40 independent villas inspired by traditional Australian architecture, the hotel requires guests to leave their cars outside the perimeter, driving them to their accommodations in a fleet of hybrid and electric cars. Once settled in, visitors draw from their own filtered rainwater reserves to fill reusable bottles.
Water is heated by solar panels, and the establishment has made protecting the surrounding ecosystem its philosophy, planting over 200,000 using endemic seeds harvested on-site, and looking after its wombat neighbors.
Alilas Villas Koh Russey
Alila Hotels & Resorts newest offering, which opened in December 2018, is an eco-resort located on an untamed island 8 kilometers away from the Koh Rong-archipelago Sihanoukville airport, where guests can enjoy a kilometer of sand on a private beach.
Built around 50 pavilions and 13 villas inspired by Khmer culture, the establishment is a one-hour flight away from the Angkor Temples in Siem Reap. In keeping with its environmental goals, the Singapore-based hotel chain built its first Cambodian offering on only 15% of the property's 60 hectares, designing pavilions to integrate fully in nature.
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