Tag: Eco-ResortsView All Tags
Bonaire has quickly become a top contender for "Favorite Caribbean Destination." We had a feeling we’d like it—the hospitality of the Bonairians coupled with the efficiency of the Dutch throughout the Netherlands Antilles creates a unique dynamic we haven’t found anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Today, we totally rocked windsurfing, mastering turns within the first hour of our first lesson with Bonaire Windsurfing Place. We also got to meet some pretty high-profile pro windsurfers, including Taty Frans, ranked the #7 windsurfer in the world. (Check him out on YouTube.)
Here are two words we don't usually read in the same sentence: "non-profit" and "luxury". It's a curious idea but that's the idea behind a new eco-resort in the Philippines. We're already quite enamored with the Palawan region of the Philippines so the planned Cacao Pearl enticed us just from the location--but we're confused about the non-profit luxury idea.
The Cacao Pearl will include 60 residences on a private island--think thick rainforest, coconut palms and white beaches--and they're promising both sustainable development and "sustainable enjoyment". Their target market is what they call the "grown-up backpacker", presumably ones who've saved a bit of cash, because you'll be able to buy one of these residences and then either rent it to other vacationers or use it yourself. It does sound pretty luxurious, with an infinity pool, spa, organic gardens and all designed by Antonio Calvo who was the art director for films like "Love, Actually" and "Pride and Prejudice".
Apparently the non-profit bit comes into play by donating any profits to supporting local social and environmental programs, so you can frolic in your infinity pool with a clear conscience. The residences are already for sale but won't be complete until 2011.
There's some accommodation opening up in Queensland that most of us won't be able to visit--unless you're one of the 35,000 employees of Richard Branson's Virgin mega-empire.
After buying Makepeace Island about five years back, Branson and his co-owners have been lovingly getting it fixed up as a place for Virgin employees and their families and friends to vacation. They call it an "eco-tourism retreat" and the three villas will apparently house about 20 guests. There's a swimming pool and tennis court and it sounds like no expense was spared to make everything look good.
Makepeace Island, which is in the middle of the Noosa River, is nearly ready for visitors, according to recent reports, and we're wondering who we have to get friendly with at Virgin to score an invite to the big opening party. Suggestions, anyone?
[Photo: Michael Dawes]
We are most definitely in two minds about the pros and cons of visiting Myanmar aka Burma at the moment, but that doesn't stop us from looking at interesting places to stay should the situation change in the future.
And one place that crossed our desk this week is the Malikha Lodge in the northern state of Kachin.
For the truly green traveler, staying in a hotel that just offers to wash the sheets every other day is not enough. A truly green traveler goes to a place that is almost entirely sustainable, if not completely. Also, this green resort or hotel should include the locals and the surrounding area as much as it can.
Fortunately for these earth-conscious travelers, such eco-resorts are becoming more and more popular. And the latest one is set to hit in beautiful Dominica where the local government has not only approved plans for the eco-lodge, but is actually involved in building it.
The Distinguished International Hotel Group has got a partnership going with the Government of Dominica and the local Carib Council (representing the rights of indigenous locals) to open a resort with a hundred villas, cottages and tree houses.
Richar Branson billionaire mogul/hotelier has managed to take time away from his busy space-travel planning schedule to outline a plan for an eco-resort on Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands (of course.) The AP reports:
The plan calls for 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant. The resort would be powered by wind turbines and solar panels, while captured thermal flows would cool the buildings. Guests would eat food from an organic orchard, and they would have access to beach buggies that run on biofuels.
Branson's eco-friendly plans are being reviewed by the government but the word is they "seem to like" his ideas. More on the eco-resort can be found here.
Branson is in the midst of planning a bunch of "Urban" Virgin Hotels and he already has a few luxury resorts in his portfolio including Necker Island. Although the latter might not be as eco-friendly with its helicopter landing pad.
Calling all Hotel Mavens. We write about hotels all day long and you wanna know something? We're so sick of ourselves! We wanna hear your hotel stories for a change. We love it when you comment under stories and we love it when you comment on hotel pages. We also love it when you send us in-depth reviews to our inbox.
So keep sending us your stories! If we like your review, we'll even publish it. Now, here's a review from Hotel Maven KerryV who wrote in about her recent hotel stay in Panama. Enjoy.
Hotel Cala Mia, as seen from the boat.
Cala Mia had all the potential to be one of those places that doesn't live up to the expectations. Fortunately, we didn't have many; sure, the website looks great, but we've lived through enough internet scams to judge a resort by its website.
Yet Cala Mia lives up to its promise, and even better, is a great value. Everything - from the paths that connect the bungalows to the main cabin, to the hand-made furniture and open bathroom in the guest bungalows - is conscious of the tropical island setting. (It's also eco-conscious in an island-resort kind of way; there's solar power, but all trash is burned - which is probably better than hauling it across the water to a landfill.)
The idea of a Mexican spring break occasionally incites visions of crowds of snow-tired Yanks and Canadians clamoring along the Riviera Maya shoreline...sprawling about the Acapulco hotels...sunbathing like sea lions in Baja.
To counterpoint these cramped visions, we suggest Danzante, a small resort, nestled in a canyon overlooking a stretch of beach along the Sea of Cortez (that was named "Best Beach in Baja" by Mens' Journal in 2003). The mag also listed the resort as one of the "Eight Eco-Lodges that Get it Right" in 2006. For the ladies, Danzante was recently written up in Elle Magazine (May 2007 with Mandy Moore on the cover) as a great place for whale-watching.
But despite the media buzz, at Danzante privacy is the order of the day: Yours is one of only nine casitas.