Monday, June 6, 2011

Top 10 Hotels with a Heart

Community help: Hôtel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia: Sleek Siem Reap stay Hôtel de la Paix within easy reach of majestic Angkor Wat, is actively involved in the local community through a multi-tiered charity and social scheme. Hôtel de la Paix supports the Life & Hope Academy Sewing School, teaching disadvantaged women basic seamstress skills, and funds the Green Gecko Orphanage.

Eco-chic: Azura, Benguerra Island, Mozambique: Located in a national marine park, Mozambique eco-escape Azura is a covetable collection of 16 thatched villas overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s also Mozambique’s first carbon-neutral hotel, and is committed to sustainable and responsible fishing, as well as building projects to help the local community.

Animal encounters: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort, Chiang Rai, Thailand: Chiang Rai boutique retreat Anantara Golden Triangle Restort & Spa plays host to the northern branch of the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC), a park for both wild and domesticated pachyderms

Carbon-neutral: Urbn Hotels Shanghai, Shanghai, China: China’s first carbon-neutral stay, Urbn Hotels Shanghai wears its eco cred with pride. Fashioned from reclaimed materials, including hardwoods, house bricks and even antique leather suitcases, this cutting-edge urban retreat uses energy-efficient technologies and organic cleaning products.

Strays: Bon Ton Restaurant & Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia: Set on a former coconut plantation near Pantai Cenang beach, luxe Langkawi getaway Bon Ton Restaurant & Resort isn’t just an island refuge for world-weary travellers. Bon Ton’s owner Narelle McMurtrie also runs a private animal shelter next-door called the Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary (or LASSie for short).

 Mountain highs: Kasbah du Toubkal, Atlas Mountains, Morocco: Perched in the Atlas Mountains at the base of Jbel Toubkel, North Africa's highest peak, Moroccan boutique hôtel Kasbah du Toubkal is regarded as one of the world's best eco-lodges.

Nurturing the future: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia: Through its Gift to Share programme, romantic Bali retreat Alila Villas Uluwatu supports the Bali Life Foundation, an orphanage in Jimbaran, South Bali, that was established by Australian expat Brad Little and his wife Siska. Children here not only receive shelter and support, but also lessons in English, IT, farming and cooking.

Green living: Kiaroa Eco Luxury Resort, Bahia, Brazil: The eco-credentials of Brazilian beach escape Kiaroa Eco Luxury Resort go through the palm-and-eucalyptus-thatched roof: it’s located in an ecological sanctuary on Marau Peninsula, at the tip of South Bahia, makes use of solar energy, treats its own water and sewage, and employs exclusively from the local community.

 Sea and spirituality: Laluna, Grenada, Caribbean: Luxury Caribbean hideaway Laluna in Grenada, is made up of 16 blissful Balinese-style cottages overlooking the Caribbean. The hotel is closely associated with the island’s turtle conservation programmes and beach clean-up operations, ensuring this pristine stretch of sand remains just that.

Wildlife: Bay of Fires Lodge & Walk, Bay of Fires, Australia: Well, trekking must be the most environmentally sound mode of transport, but that’s not where the awareness of Tasmanian eco-retreat Bay of Fires Lodge & Walk ends. As a member of Green Guardian Initiatives, it takes an active interest in the surrounding area: guides collect litter during coastal treks and help in the removal of sea spurge, an invasive weed.

Okay, I swear... this is the last post of the day. Maybe even of the week. I just though these places were interesting.

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