Have you ever thought about travelling sustainably and staying in lodges, only to then think “Oh wait, eco tourism sounds like camping and I’m too old for that”? How about “I just want a romantic holiday, and eco tourism sounds like a lot of work”? Sound familiar?
Sometimes, when I talk to people about travelling together and staying at an eco lodge their first response is: “We’re too old to go sleep in tents”. I never realised that sometimes the term ‘eco tourism’ is associated with no modern commodities, hard to get to accommodation and overall lack of comfort. It might surprise you to hear that in fact, often eco lodges are some of the most luxurious places you can find!
Being a travelling veterinarian, I’ve always been fond of exploring different countries and working with wildlife. Of course, when planning a new trip my priority is the animals I will be working with, but as I travel regularly for work, comfort is not a negligible part of my journey. And let me tell you, some of the most beautiful and lavish accommodations I stayed in were eco lodges.
Eco lodges are usually less expensive than a 5-star hotel, and they usually work with local vendors and communities – so you get to try out authentic, delicious food and wine from the region, whilst you’re surrounded by breath-taking, out of this world scenery.
I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite eco lodges around the world, ranging from lodges in the rainforest, in the middle of a protected nature reserve and even on treetops, to inspire your next fabulous holiday with your family, your loved one or by yourself.
1. Jungle Indulgence
If a jungle holiday is what you’re after, check out The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat in Australia. Located in a World Heritage-listed National Park, it has a fabulous outdoor jacuzzi and a chalet in the middle of the forest.
Each chalet is surrounded by incredible waterfalls and rainforest noises, and you can relax in your indulgent massaging Spa bath after a day of trekking.
2. Lake Retreat
One of Noosa’s best-kept secrets, Eumarella Shores is a perfect combination of nature and luxury. With a sublime lakefront location and fully self-contained accommodation, you can watch passing kangaroos while exploring stunning white beaches.
The retreat offers a selection of individually themed, romantic cottages, contemporary lakehouses and a stunning luxury lakehouse in an idyllic location on the shores of untouched Lake Weyba – perfect for those of you looking for the perfect honeymoon spot!
Surrounded by outstanding restaurants, the lodge is perfectly located to explore Lake Weyba by canoe, or if you prefer you can just relax on your private lakefront verandah as you listen to the gentle lapping of the water.
3. Beach Perfect
Are you looking for more of the beach type holiday? At Turtle Bay Beach Club in Kenya, you have all in one: the beach, the pool, the tropical gardens to relax in, and a fabulous onsite dive centre with access to the Watamu Marine Park. This protected area is a breeding ground for marine life, so you can spot whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays and of course turtles!
The lodge also offers guided safaris, giving you the chance to discover some of the region’s iconic wildlife.
4. Wildlife Adventure
If you are mad about wildlife, the Sirikoi Lodge in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya is the place to be.
With unparalleled wildlife viewings in luxurious tented rooms – complete with private open fireplaces! – at the Sirikoi Lodge, you can go on bush walks, game drives and even visit the pools and waterfalls of the beautiful Ngare Ndare Forest. Not one day will be lost at this amazing eco-travel holiday spot!
5. Winter Luxury
If you’re not scared of the cold and want to see some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth, consider joining Eco Companion’s exclusive trip to Iceland.
This private tour will be led by local experts, Eco Companion’s Founder and two EC Journalists, giving you the chance to discover the most untouched parts of Iceland. Jump aboard our super jeeps and explore glaciers, volcanos, and waterfalls. And if that’s not enough, you will have 4 chances to see the Northern Lights, including from a rooftop hot tub. Now that’s what we call luxury!
Itching to get on a plane and discover all of these magical places? Speak to an Eco Expert today!
You can follow Catherine’s adventures on her YouTube channel