Eco Tourism – Find an eco-friendly hotel for your next vacation

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The video I chose to accompany this article serves to introduce readers to the concept of eco-friendly hotels in as  simple a fashion as possible.  As we, consumers, become more aware of our carbon footprint, picking service providers that are actively switching their businesses to a more sustainable business model is one way of lowering our own carbon footprint.  And statistics are showing the trend…

2019 saw an undeniable drop in the growth of air travel for the second time in the last 3 years.  And predictions point to another slowing growth-rate in 2020.

With astounding growth rates in air travel over the last decade, travellers now seek a quieter, calmer holiday experience away from the chaos of airports, over-crowded resorts, over-priced cities and the stress of it all.  And, as politicians continue to indulge in the nothing-to-see-here message while people in every continent feel the harshness of climate change touch their lives, people are finally beginning to accept the need to make more responsible decisions in the stuff they consume.  That includes their vacations.

And so, eco-tourism is experiencing a new age.  Not only for the tired vacationer, but for individuals who feel the urge to be more responsible tourists.

So, I compiled a short list of eco-friendly hotels that serve the vegan traveller.  It is in no special order.  I have, however, concentrated on properties that are vegan, as opposed to properties that offer some plant-based dish in their menu!

 

BED & BREAKFASTS

The Bed & Breakfast style of accomodation is the simplest accomodation for the traveller, I say.  You have a bed.  You have breakfast.  Bed & Breakfasts tend to be family-run, so you have a hearty, warm welcome guaranteed.  My great-grandparents ran a bed & breakfast in Central Portugal all their lives.  Each and every guest was garanteed a good, warm bed, a savoury, hearty meal, a warm reception and peace!

In the heart of Bruges, one of Belgium’s busiest cities, you have the option of staying at an international hotel with a few 1000 other people, or, you can choose to stay at The Vegan B&B, still in the bustling city, yet with the quieter, homelier accomodation you’d expect from a bed & breakfast.  The pro, of course, is that this B&B caters to a plant-based traveller in it’s in-house restaurant.

 

 

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My next selection is another B&B that caters to the vegan tourist.  Located in the also-bustling city of the Hague, in Holland, the Vegan B&B Valkenbos Den Haag fist caught my attention with the exquisite decor in the rooms.  Again, a hearty plant-based kitchen is promised.  But, there’s also the invitation to participate in different events run in the B&B by local artists.

 

 

 

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From Europe, we go to Japan to introduce you to the Vegan Minshuku Sanbiki Neko run by Australian expats Helen and Craig.  A plant-based menu is offered to the vegan visitor.

 

 

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Back to Europe, this B&B in France offers a little extra for the vegan traveller – cooking classes.  Per the hosts, Le Cheval Blanc is a bed & breakfast in the heart of the beautiful medieval town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, which nestles in the stunning Aveyron Gorge, southwest France.

 

 

 

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Next is the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast, housed in an historic 1849 home, and featuring outstanding vegan cuisine, the Old Caledonian is the perfect place for your next getaway.

 

 

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VEGAN FARMSTAYS & RETREATS

For the cosmopolitan resident, a week or two away from the noise, pollution and stress is what you need.

The Little Cyprus Retreat, located on the island of Cyprus, offers yoga, a plant-based menu, exceptional views and peace away from it all.

 

 

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La Finca Victoria is a boutique Vegan Hotel situated on a farm, offering a Ayurvedic wellness center and apothecary in the heart of the small island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

 

 

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GUESTHOUSES

As an avid traveller in my 20’s and 30s, I stayed at a lot of guesthouses, especially on my travels around South-East Asia.  Always homely, I always felt that I got to learn more about the country I was visiting when I stayed at a guesthouse because you feel local life more like a local.

Sacred Lotus Cafe is a vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant located in Phnom Penh the also happens to host visitors overnight.

 

 

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HOTELS

Then there are vegan hotels.  Just as warm and welcoming as a bed & breakfast or a gusthouse, a hotel will have more rooms and a more diversified service, say, a kitchen with longer opening hours, etc.

The Saorsa, located in the Highlands, in Scotland is just one of those plant-based hotels – ensconced by 2 acres of natural woodlands and gardens and overlooking the town of Pitlochry, Saorsa 1875 is a unique hotel dedicated to showcasing ethical luxury.

 

 

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In the middle of the Flonheim vineyards, the Trautwein Hotel is another plant-based accommodation that also offers visitors hiking tours.

 

 

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Next is the Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, an eco-lodge located in Bali, serving a vegan menu and offering treks, river pools, massages and more at their retreat.

 

 

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In Colombia, there’s Hotel Plantación.  With views of the Andes, a plant-based menu and per the hotel’s own website – the property is a sustainable hotel in Jardín, Antioquia. “We are a sustainability school disguised as a hotel, therefore, we seek to share a memorable and more sustainable experience to our guests. We invite you to open your mind to learn more about how to reduce your environmental footprint while travelling.

 

 

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La Vimea, In South Tyrol is a Biotique Hotel. Per their website – “Right in the heart of beautiful South Tyrol, surrounded by the the sun kissed mountains of the Val Venosta valley and nestled in the quiet town of Naturno, you will find Vegan Hotel LA VIMEA. It’s the first of its kind and we pride ourselves being surrounded by fresh, organic and local ingredients to create your 100% plant-based experience. In this haven of peace and solace, everything is based on the principles of sustainability and equality, while supporting the local community and organic farming.

 

 

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In Turkey, the Palace Gokbel uses all the right words – mountains & forest, yoga & Pilates, seaviews and sunsets, stars, healthy food, luxury, and, extra virgin olive oil.  Palace Gökbel is a small exclusive retreat, located in the traditional Turkish village of Gökbel, which overlooks Iztuzu Beach, the lake, whale Island and the Dalyan Delta mountain ranges.

 

 

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The best kind of places to stay at are those that offer a restaurant with produce from their own gardens.  That, in itself, lowers the carbon footprint by loads.  Agrivilla i pini is a vegan Hotel in Tuscany.  It describes itself as a  small, picturesque organic winery and it also offers a saltwater pool.

 

 

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In Mallorca, Spain you’ll find shelter in Villa Vegana, a hotel and restaurant catering to the vegan traveller.  Worthy of applause is the fact that this vegan hotel goes further by providing guests with eco-friendly cosmetics and using only eco-friendly cleaning products.

 

 

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Back to Italy, we find the family-run Hotel Luxor in Bellaria Igea Marina has always been ahead of the times in all matters concerning wellness, which has been catering to the vegan tourist since 2009.

 

 

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Moving on the Germany, there’s the Almodovar Hotel, which, per it’s own website “combines modern organic design with the ethical values of sustainability and ecology. An authentically organic luxury hotel with a relaxed vegetarian and vegan, organic restaurant and deli atmosphere awaits you in the heart of Berlin.

 

 

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Another family-run affair is The House Between Two Lakes Hotel, a vegan homestay located in France, aptly nestled between two lakes which gaurantees an outstanding view of the infamous French countryside.

 

 

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Again in Germany is another family-run hotel and restaurant which has been serving up vegan treats since 2012.

 

 

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INNS

To complete my voyage across 3 continents, I end with the Stanford Inn by the Sea, overlooking the Mendocino Bay.  It’s pet-friendly and that turns me on.  It also boasts it’s own organic garden that serves the resort.  Another plus.

 

 

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This virtual trip is not over.  As travellers around the world seek alternatives that are more eco-friendly and cost a lower footprint, we are going to see more and more eco-friendly hotels serving our growing vegan community.  What gave me most pleasure during this virtual trip, was to notice the number of properties actively working towards going further and serving from their own organic gardens, a detail that helps to lower the carbon footprint of travel further.

I hope this virtual tour helps you to consider an eco-friendly accomodation for your next holiday.

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