Resorting Lightly on the Earth
Eco-friendly is more than just a word at these getaways.
A remote and sprawling beachscape like few others in the world is where an ultramodern and luxurious approach to “eco-friendly” vacationing has sprung to life. Connected by elevated wooden walkways over the primitive sandstone bluffs of pristine Northwest Oz, the multi-award-winning Eco Beach Broom Resort is solar powered, uses LED lighting and recycled or low-impact materials, and positions each villa and tent to maximize ocean breezes. Humpback whales migrate offshore from July to September and from November to January. You can join nightly beach patrols that monitor local nesting sea turtles. Yoga and massage treatments are also available. Seafood and salads are served up at Jack’s Bar & Restaurant on the resort along with an extensive wine and cocktails list. Tents begin at $77.50 per night per person and villas are $117 per person.
Despite the menacing name, the Devil’s Thumb Resort and Spa is equal parts time travel and eco-adventure in the open spaces at the foot of the Continental Divide. A giant dude ranch in the 1930s that was saved from development to become a rustic retreat, the resort now retains nearly all its original charm while treading as lightly on the land as possible. From geothermal heating in the rooms to local organic providers for meat and produce in the Ranch House Restaurant, they consider the impact of everything they do. Ridgetop cabins overlook the meadow, or to save a few bucks try the newly repurposed and self-service bunkhouse. The ranch is a great area for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating in the winter, and fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding, and even day and night zip lining in the summer. Of course, if you prefer something less demanding, a yoga class and a day at the Ranch Creek Spa are here for you too. Two-night Rocky Mountain Romance packages are $203 per night and the two-night, two-spa days Spa Bliss package is $278 per night.
Shake the memory of the brief U.S. military mission way back in the 1980s, and you’ll learn that this Caribbean island has a long history of being one of the most treasured providers of dark cocoa and spices in the world. Spice Island Beach Resort is an Auto Club Four Diamond-rated getaway with all the modern amenities of other resorts in the Caribbean, but Spice Island boasts extensive recycling, composting and low-energy usage programs along with solar heating, and a desalination plant, and is a fierce protector of its beachfront. Watersports, cycling, tennis, and tours of the local rainforest are available for those seeking to do everything. If close to nothing is more your style, the full-service Janissa’s Spa will take good care of you while you relax to the quiet of tropical ocean breezes. Suites start at $1,042 per night, while beach suites start at $2,433 per night. All rates include meals and house wines.