Last Updated: November 22, 2019 Latika Sabharwal
While going through the list of hotel types in India, I came across a unique category called “eco-resorts.” Sometimes called eco lodge, these resorts or hotels offer innovative retreats that are committed to conservation, cultural sensitivity, isolation, and style. To cut back the carbon footprints, mostly hotels are constructed from recycled building materials and uses solar water systems, sewage treatment plants, and low consumption bulbs. They also hire local staff and benefit native communities; this is done not only to give a more authentic touch but mainly to provide employment to people living in those places. In this blog, we have compiled some hotels that are both green and glamorous, and are appropriate for a luxury stay.
Vythiri Village, Wayanad- Featuring India’s first artificial waterfall
Vythiri Village, Photo: https://goo.gl/NmAadW
Chattering sound of the waterfall, chirps of birds, great vistas of the beautiful Chembra peak, and a whiff of spices, all this and much more can be experienced the movement you enter the Vythiri Village. Set on 24 acres of lush green forest dotted with vegetable gardens growing jackfruit, pepper vine, turmeric, ginger, and tapioca, Vythiri Village is one of the finest tree house resorts in India. Tucked in the hills of Wayanad at an altitude of 2600 feet above the sea level, the resort features 200 guest rooms, conventional hall, conference room, games room, health club center and an artificial waterfall.
Activities like trekking, cycling, zip line, archery, morning walk, stream walk, and yoga are arranged as a part of the hospitality by the hotel. A cup of tea or coffee in the traditional Kerala houseboat design restaurant and tea garden are the highlights of the hotel. Within the vicinity of the resort, there is an artificial three-tired waterfall. On a stay in this resort to feel this perfect green getaway, guest can enjoy the beauty of the vibrant jungle where they may have an encounter with the wilderness, interact with the local tribes and relax senses by indulging in a spa session.
Location: NH-212, Near Vythiri Town, Vythiri, Wayanad, Kerala 673576
Spice Village, Periyar– Feast for the eyes, treat for the taste-buds
Just a stone throw away from the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Spice Village is sprawling over an area of 14 acres pesticide-free land featuring rooms with a thatched roof made of elephant grass, earth yards, lush green gardens, fruit trees, rare herbs and a profusion of flowering plants. Spice Village bears a resemblance to the traditional tribal village of Periyar. Food served in the restaurant comes from vegetable patches within the resort. While staying the spice village, guest can go bird watching, enjoy scrumptious food made of organic vegetables, cart ride, learn traditional therapies, fishing and go for a short trip to the neighboring plantations and fruit orchards.The hotel undertakes its waste management way to seriously as it segregates and recycles the scrap in the in-house vermicompost plant to make organic manure for the vegetable and herbal gardens. There are no air conditioners in the resort, and solar panels meet all the electricity requirement. Spice Village works in close consonance with the local tribal community, and they contribute even the major artwork displayed in the hotel.
Location: Kumily Thekkady Road, Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala 685509
Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom- Undiscovered heaven for travellers
Coconut Lagoon, Photo: https://goo.gl/0PwMwT
Crisscrossed by the waterways of the great Vembanad Lake, Coconut Lagoon resort nestles in a tiled roof bungalow, a portion of which is believed to be 400 years old. Villas of the hotels are designed and crafted by the local craftsmen, and some of the artifacts featured in the rooms are sourced from the traditional homes or heritage mansions across Kerala. The resort also has a composting plant that converts waste to manure and offers rides on its solar-powered boat. Also, the hotel adopts the organic farming strategy. In this resort, guests can spend their time canoeing, birdwatching, coconut husking or watching a Kalari wrestling match in the morning.
Location: Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala 686563
Mountain Trail, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand- Escape to the hills
Mountain Trail, Photo: https://goo.gl/MZfK4w
Claimed to be the only green resort in Mukteshwar, Mountain Trail is sprawling over an area 2-1/2 acre, that too at an elevation of 2300 meters above the sea level. Inside the resort, you can see orchards with over 100 fruit trees, and flower beds with more than 70 types of flowers. Monsoon is the ideal time to book a stay in the Mountain Trail as this is when you can see flowers blooming in the area, and there is lush greenery as far as your eyes can see. The hotel uses cultural tourism to preserve biodiversity, puts local traditions in the spotlight and creates employment opportunities for locals. Plastic bags are strictly not allowed in the hotel; there are no televisions in the rooms, and even wasted water from the bathroom is used water the gardens.
Location:P.O. Sargakhet-263 132, (Mukteshwar) Distt. Nainital, Uttarakhand
The Blackbuck Lodge, Velavadar National Park- Witness the unparalleled beauty of the jungle
The Blackbuck Lodge, Photo: https://goo.gl/JNHRei
Situated at Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat, the blackbuck lodge features a stylish retreat fit for a secluded getaway. The resort has 14 different villas, which are made of eco-friendly materials, and each has a window, from where guests can see eagles, falcons, and endangered vultures soaring high in the sky. All the unused items from the hotel like a plastic bag, battles, etc., are sent to the city for recycling and meals in the restaurant are prepared from the freshly picked vegetables grown in the resort. The resort is furnished with a plush pool and health club. In the majestic tapestry of wildlife, the resort is a perfect option for those looking for an ideal destination for discerning traveling.
Location: Near Vallabhipur, District Bhavnagar, Velavadar, Gujarat 364313
Orange County, Kabini- Experience wildlife like never before
Orange County, Photo: https://goo.gl/Fh6rfK
All the activities that take place at Orange County, Kabini, a two-hour drive from Mysore, are geared towards making visitors comfortable around wildlife. At Orange County, the guests are accommodated in the huts that adorned with the sumptuous interiors and ethnic interiors that are furnished in a tribal pattern. For the protection of the environment, the resort has taken up multiple initiatives like installing STP (Sewage treatment plant) with stream-water standard output; sending unutilized plastic, paper, glasses and metal cans for recycling and restricting the number of guests entering the resort. To get the clear image of eco-friendly practices and glimpse of the tribal life, go for a cycling tour to nearby villages.
Location: Bheeramballi Village & Post, H.D. Kote Taluk, Mysore, Karnataka
Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort, Bhuj, Gujarat- Enjoy a stay in the picturesque village
Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort, Photo: https://goo.gl/lsIsfQ
A part of the Government of India and United Nations Development Program initiative to support rural tourism and create employment opportunities, Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort deserves a special mention in the list of eco resorts in India. The resort has rooms in the form of mud houses with sloping roofs that remain fresh during the day and warm at night. Apart from the mud houses, there are eco tents, which are adorned with the finest block prints, and Kutchi paintings. On a stay in Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort, visitors have a variety of activities to choose from like a tour to Rann of Kutch and Chharid Dhand wetlands, workshops on bhunga (traditional houses in Kutch) and folk music and dance performances to wind up the day.
Location: Bhuj (Kutch), Hodka, Gujarat 370510
Nameri Eco Camp, Nameri National Park- Get close to the wonders of nature
Nameri Eco Camp, Photo: https://goo.gl/IXl3BC
Established 22 years ago, Nameri Eco Camp is one of the oldest nature camps in North-East India. The resort is one such vintage place from where you can see the clear blue sky, stunning view of Eastern Himalaya, and the chattering Nameri River. At Nameri Eco Camp, guests can accommodate themselves in thatch-and-bamboo tent or a cottage. For birdwatchers, the resort is heaven as here they can view of 420 species of birds, including the critically endangered white-winged wood duck. There are also some excellent trekking and bird finding routes around the camp. Also, guests can go rafting on Jia-Bhoreli River or explore the national park on foot as jeep safari isn’t available. The resort is working in the close relationship with the State Institute of Rural Development of Assam; here one can find camps that started by villagers to start small agribusinesses and become less dependent on the forest. The resort is also working closely with the Eco Task Force, the special unit of the Indian Army to distribute saplings in the afforesting the area.
Location: Village- Torajan Potasali, P.O.- Gamani, Dist- Sonitpur, Assam- 784103
Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad- Set up on a journey to paradise
Banasura Hill Resort, Photo: https://goo.gl/Q5E2aN
Calmly nestled in a part of one of the richest biodiversity in the world, Western Ghats, Banasura Hill is a treat for the nature-lovers. This 35-acre resort, dotted with tea, coffee, pepper, and cashew plantations, is located at an altitude of 3200 feet. If seen from a distance, the resort looks like a riot of colors with dull orange mud walls of the huts, framed by the riotous green of the forest, and the Banasura Hill right behind it. Since the region is a biodiversity hotspot, here one can find a beautiful waterfall, birdwatching spots, numerous streams, and jungle trails, all are a short hike away. One of the most interesting aspects of the resort is its architecture; the cottages are built using rammed earth technique and have elephant grass thatched roofs and bamboo furnishings while the fences are created by planting thousands of bamboos of different varieties around its perimeter. A rainwater harvesting system fulfills the entire resort water requirements.
Location: Vellamunda, Wayanad, Kerala 670731, India
Kipling Camp, Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh- Luxury in the wilderness
Kipling Camp, Photo: https://goo.gl/4EEMmr
Established by the two famous wildlife conservationists- Anne and the late Bob Wright in the buffer zone of Kanha National Park, Kipling Camp is one of the oldest forest lodges in the area. The resort works closely with the Baiga tribal community and communicates with them through a corporation that was formed years ago. The organization supports local performing and fine art. A stay at the resort offers a perfect opportunity to relax in the arms of nature. Each of the 30 cottages has an individual identity and is built up using the local materials. These are multiple dining options at the resort: under a mahua tree, on a patio, or even under the stars. Additionally, there are many private cottages in the hotel that overlook the water-body, which remains full of rainwater even during the harshest of the weather condition. Also, there is a sewage treatment plan that filters the water using sand and other natural elements.
Location: Morcha Village, P.O. Kisli – Kanha National Park, District Mandla, Madhya Pradesh 481768, India
Nimmu House, Leh, Jammu & Kashmir- Reconnect with the nature
Spread over three floors; Nimmu House features thirty furnished rooms, two Buddhist temples, stables and an orchard of 5000 sq. Meters with hundreds of apricot, apple and walnut trees. An epitome of Ladakh’s cultural heritage, the original structure of the resort was built in the 20th century by Rinchen Namgyal Zildar, a cousin, of the then Ladakhi king. Later, in the year 2012, Lobzang Punchok Shamshu, a Ladakhi entrepreneur and Alexandre Beuan, a professional traveler, visited the house, restored it and gave it a secondary lease of life to give local people economic opportunities. All the 30 rooms in the hotel are tastefully decorated by using traditional architectural style. Along the rooms, there are many spacious and well-equipped tents.
Location: Nimmu House, C/O- Nangso House Nimmu, 194101 Leh, Jammu & Kashmir
Rainforest Retreat at Mojo Plantation, Coorg, Karnataka- Take a green break
Rainforest Retreat at Mojo Plantation, Photo: https://goo.gl/5UG4Iy
A part of the unique project that combines sustainable agriculture with eco-tourism and environmental education, Rainforest retreat at the Mojo Plantation is one of the most scenic eco-lodges in Kodagu district. The lodge was found way back in 1994 by the botanist couple, Sujata, and Anurag Goel. Inside the resorts, guest can book a stay in tents, deluxe cottages or the plantation cottages, each made of natural materials and powered by eco-friendly 12V solar lighting. A percentage of the organic waste generated in the hotel makes its way to biogas plants that helps to electrify the kitchen and rest are used as a fertilizer for coffee, kokum, cardamom, and vanilla crops. The bamboo, banana, and fragrant coffee and orange plants in the resort are home to a vast population of crawlies like wasps, dragonflies, frogs, lizards, spiders, and snakes.
Location: Rainforest Retreat, P.O. Box 101, Madikeri 571201, Kodagu, Karnataka
SwaSwara- Gokarna’s best kept secret
SwaSwara, Photo: https://goo.gl/jbZd1n
Imagine this; you’re doing a yoga asana or meditation facing the sun and all what backs is the sounds of the ocean. Won’t that be an amazing scene? Well, if you want to experience something like this, you should book a stay in the SwaSwara, a luxurious treat built on a 26-acre land. A part of the CGH Earth (group of hotels), SwaSwara is committed to promoting ecologically-sensitive and culturally-responsive tourism in the country. The resort has a farm and swimming pool, which runs only on harvested rainwater. Each villa of the resort is made of local laterite stone and have clay tiles, thatched roofs, and open-air showers. The resort also practices eco practices like vermicomposting, rainwater harvesting, and recycling waste water in the garden. To keep the guests busy, resorts offers a ray of activities like short hikes with field naturalists, kayaking, learning clay pottery from local artisans at the resort’s arts center, and spa.
Location: Donibhai, Om Beach Rd, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326
Barefoot at Havelock resort, the Andamans- India’s only beach-side jungle resort
Barefoot at Havelock resort, Photo: https://goo.gl/i2tz5u
Nestled quietly amidst the rainforest on one of the picturesque beaches in Asia, Havelock, Barefoot at Havelock is India’s only beach-side jungle resort. The resort has 31 elegantly designed thatch tents, cottages and villas tastefully furnished with modern amenities and bathroom. Rainwater harvesting and natural spring field is the lone source of water in the resort and the management ensure that the nearby village’s water supply isn’t affected, which is of particular importance because tourist season coincides with a dry period on the island. Leaving behind the babbling city life, here you can experience the art of doing nothing or unearth the treasures of natures that can be charmed forever.
Location: SH 4, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744211
Wildernest Nature Resort, Goa- Best family escape
Wildernest Nature Resort, Photo: https://goo.gl/DXKGc4
Strategically located on a 450 acres land that connects Mhadei and Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuaries, the two crucial corridors of West India, Wildernest is a famous nature resort. From the hotel, one can see the beautiful view of chattering Vazra Falls, gloriously flowing over the green gradients of the Swapnagandha Valley. A large part of the lodge’s energy needs are met through solar power and even create employment opportunities for the locals. All the 16 eco-friendly cottages in the resort are built in a simple rustic style with acacia wood paneling and tiled floors inside. Use of plastic is banned in the resort.
Location: Off Sankhali, Chorla Ghats, Chorla, Goa 403708
The Dune, Eco Village and Spa, Puducherry- A resort to the nature
The Dune, Eco Village and Spa, Photo: https://goo.gl/sMMZhh
The view of sea, sun and sand, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and expanse of the bright sky, all this are some of the first impressions of the Dune Eco-village and Spa, Puducherry. This 35 acres eco-village has 55 bungalows, uniquely designed and crafted by the artists, designers, and architects from all around the world. Each room is well ventilated and equipped with low consumption bulbs, solar water system, and organic linen. All the meals served in the eco-village are made of organic vegetables that are grown in the 500 acres land benefiting around 4000 farmers. The resort’s gates open out into the beach, and you can see a handful of guests enjoying the seaside. On a stay in the dune, don’t forget to try the magic water treatment, a spa treatment done in a 14-meter long swimming pool partly covered by an old wooden Kerala house. If you’re looking for a place to revitalize your body, mind, and soul, then the dune is the place to be.
Location: 70, ECR Road, Pudhukuppam, Keelputhupet, Via Pondicherry university, Puducherry, 605014
Surjivan, Gurgaon- Back to the Indian routes
Surjivan, Photo: https://goo.gl/KxVbge
Surjivan, a luxurious retreat near the business hub Gurgaon, is an excellent spot for visitors to soak in the village culture as you sip a tea and watch villagers making some beautiful art. At Surjivan, you can book a stay at any of the 14 spacious air-conditioned cottage, adorned with aesthetically decorated with Vedic Yantra’ motifs. All the cottages are made of mud and Jarokhas, which provide the natural cooling. For kids, there are a variety of activities to choose from like traditional Indian games, outdoor games, village safari on the tractor, camel ride and farm routes. Here, adventure junkies can indulge in rappelling, zorbing, river crossing, wall climbing, to name a few. A large number of birds are seen fluttering through the property.
Location: Off Jaipur Highway (NH-8), Naurangpur-Tauru Road, Opposite ITC Grand Bharat Hotel, Gurgaon, Haryana
The Orchid, Mumbai- Asia’s First Five Star Hotel to win the Ecotel Certification
The Orchid, Photo: https://goo.gl/dlJWH1
Reckoned as Asia’s first certified eco-friendly five-star hotel, the Orchid is located in Vile Parle, the heart of Mumbai; quite close to the airport. The hotel adopts solid waste management technique and sewage treatment plan that treats waste water and utilizes it for air conditioning and gardening. All the guest rooms toiletries are herbal, and all paper provided has a minimum of 25% recycled content. Also, the hotel has its band knows as Green Team, which is known for organizing plantation drives, and rallies related to solid waste management, energy efficiency, and water conservation and preservation. Each of the 72 rooms of the hotel is lit up by the CFL and LED lights, and incorporates an Eco button, which when pressed increases the AC temperature of the room by 2 degrees Celsius thus conserving energy.
Location: 70/C, Nehru Road, Adjacent to Domestic Airport, Vile Parle (E), Mumbai 400099. Maharashtra.
The Park, New Delhi- A green retreat for business travellers
The Park, Photo: https://goo.gl/lr4UAQ
Many people would never expect the swanky ‘the park’ on this list, but the fact is that is that the hotel makes best efforts to save the environment. Located in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, The Park lays primary emphasis on discreet luxury. All the 220 rooms in the hotel are lit up with low-energy consuming LED lights. Meals in the resort are prepared from organic vegetables, and solar power is used to electrify the hotel. The hotel is also equipped with e VFD system to maintain water pressure so as to avoid wastage. Moreover, all their garbage bags are biodegradable.
Location: 15 Parliament Street, New Delhi
Ananda in the Himalayas- Tehri–Garhwal- Revive yourself, rejuvenate and enjoy this luxurious experience
Ananda in the Himalayas, Photo: https://goo.gl/i2XsVj
There are many good reasons to loves Ananda and being green is just one of them. From recycling bottles for gardening to making pens and bags of biodegradable matter, the hotel adopts many measures to adopt eco-friendly credentials. The hotel often organizes afforestation drive to increase the forest cover in the surrounding hills. Also it encourages guest to embrace eco-friendly techniques and many environmentally-conscious guests are more than happy to comply.
Location: Narendra Nagar, Tehri–Garhwal, Uttaranchal
If you’re one of the nature lovers, then book a stay in any of these hotels, and you would realize that being green has never been so appealing. Blending sustainability with comfort, a stay in any of these retreats can reduce a lot of carbon footprints. These hotels make sure that you don’t sacrifice your comforts and practice responsible tourism. If you think, we are missing any hotel, let us know by commenting below.
Published: 13 Jun, 2016
From New Delhi, Latika is a travel writer who loves to share her expedition experiences with other travel junkies. She devote her time in exploring beaches and trekking to off beat destinations. Her leisure time would include reading a book at any given beautiful sea or river side. She is one of those who do what they love and love what they do.