Pimalai Koh Lanta Thailand

Guilt-Free Stays in Sustainable Hotels

Sep 13, 2021 | Hotels, Sustainability

Do you want to help protect the environment while you travel?

Sustainable tourism is a travel trend that’s here to stay. More and more hotels are taking sustainability seriously and doing their best to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Here are our favourite eco-friendly (and luxurious!) accommodations that are investing in long-term sustainability initiatives – leaving you reassured about your choice of stay:


Pimalai Resort & Spa – Koh Lanta, Thailand

The first property in Koh Lanta to achieve the Green Globe certification, Pimalai Resort & Spa is aiming high with its ambitious sustainability goals. In a five-year plan that is already in action, it has reduced daily electricity and water consumption by 10 to 15%, its carbon footprint by 10% and waste by at least 5%. The resort has switched to low-energy LED lighting and installed more efficient boilers and water metres, as well as the Biogas Plant that processes 200 kilogrammes of kitchen waste a day and uses the produced gas to power parts of the resort. Adding to it are the resort’s own fruit and vegetable farms and herbal garden, providing organic produce in an eco-friendly way.

The initiatives are not limited to the resort only, as the team has a dream to make the island of Koh Lanta zero-waste. Collaborating with local authorities, they have pioneered a waste management system and recycling initiatives in schools, and have recently launched the Community Compost Station. Diving deeper, Pimalai Resort & Spa works with leading marine biologists on clownfish release and coral propagation programmes. At the same time, the resort’s onsite diving centre is training divers who want to join the effort.


Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort – Phuket, Thailand

Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort cares about sustainability as much as it cares about its guests. Starting small, the resort uses biodegradable plastic straws; and garbage bags and tupperware made from starch, produced locally in Thailand. Guests joining the Ayurveda and wellness programmes are given copper bottles from India, which have certain Ayurvedic health benefits. For other guests, water is provided in glass bottles with a complimentary water refill station at reception. The bathroom amenities are stored in mangosteen-shaped ceramic containers, while the salt-water swimming pool contains no chemicals whatsoever. 

The resort is equipped with a water recycling system, where waste water from the rooms and kitchen is cleaned and used in the garden, so none of it is released into the sea. The team only uses soft and biologically degradable cleaning liquids and has been separating and recycling garbage for over 15 years. The resort also uses LED lighting, inverter air conditioning systems and electronic timers for saving energy. And, surprisingly, even pest control is carried out without any chemicals – instead oils, herbs and certain bacteria are used.


AKARYN Hotel Group, Thailand

Akaryn Hotel Group is a big player in the sustainability game and has successfully reached its goal to make all properties single-use plastic free. Of course there is a luxurious touch to the change: drinks are served with eco-chic reusable stainless steel straws, and upon check-in, guests are presented with stylish branded bottles made from the same material. The bottles are reused in the hotel, but are also available for purchase with all proceeds going to the Pure Blue Foundation. The combs and toothbrushes are made from cornstarch and garbage bags are biodegradable.

akyra Manor Chiang Mai promotes the idea of eating local by designing special menus, and has launched a number of community outreach projects, while akyra Thonglor Bangkok makes donations to provide scholarships for the students of a local school.

The Group has also developed a series of CSR-inspired ‘Meeting with a Purpose’ concepts, where businesses get a chance to support local communities and environmental conservation activities during their events. These range from local school visits to books distribution and tree planting. 


The Slate Phuket, Thailand

The Slate puts a great emphasis on sustainability, incorporating it into its very DNA – little wonder from a resort built with natural materials like metal and wood to fit the design scheme of mining. The long term goal? 

The first to go were the plastic straws. Making peper ones only available upon request, the resort was able to reduce the number of straws consumed annually from 68,500 plastic ones to about 7,000 paper ones.

The Slate has also installed ‘The Reverse Osmosis’ water treatment system, which uses rain water from a local dam. The team fills recyclable glass bottles with clean drinking water thereby saving approximately 280,000 plastic bottles annually. And that’s not all! The Slate also uses environmentally friendly packaging for take-away meals; biodegradable, reusable or recyclable amenities in the guest rooms, such as toothbrushes, combs, laundry bags and more; and only operates tours deemed sustainable from both an environmental and social standpoint. Sustainability also goes behind the scenes with the use of  eco-friendly cleaning supplies and wooden crates instead of large plastic sacks to transport laundry. The freshly pressed clothes are then hung directly in the guest’s closet, instead of in the traditional foil wrapping.


Bhaya Cruises, Halong Bay

Moving your accommodation from land to water is certainly a creative way to travel. Luckily for sustainability lovers, Bhaya Cruises is taking conscious actions far beyond its vessels, and is setting a real example in Halong Bay. This is proven by the multiple awards received by the company: Bhaya Cruises was the only cruise operator to get the “Silver Swallow Award” in recognition of its efforts relating to ocean cleanup and community development in Halong Bay. The company has also received the Blue Sail eco-label certification along with the recent Blue Swallows Award 2019 (organised by VCCI and UN Development Program).

Bhaya Cruises puts a lot of effort into supporting the environment of Halong Bay and local communities. The company has bought land on Cat Ba island for farming, providing a new source of income to local people. Other efforts include the commitment to protecting endangered species of the area – the white-headed Langurs – by collecting funds and raising awareness over the issue, as well as removing thousands of kilos of trash from Halong Bay and placing litter nets at the back of the boats to keep the water clean.

It’s easy for guests to be eco-conscious aboard the cruise: you have access to Refill My Bottle water stations, reusable aluminum and bamboo bottles and paper straws. Amenities are available only upon request thus reducing plastic packaging even more. 

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