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Green luxury

Sustainable tourism and exclusive travel have long since ceased to be a contradiction in terms. We introduce six luxury resorts that treat Nature responsibly and with respect

Sascha Borrée

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They transform spent pasturelands into habitats for endangered wildlife, and engage marine biologists to study sharks, manta rays and other sea creatures: A growing number of eco-lodges and eco-resorts are actively preserving nature and biodiversity. They replant forests, use electricity from solar power and recycle waste.

Some of these resorts, primarily in less developed parts of Africa, Asia and South America, also act as beacon projects for social development, influencing entire communities – and demonstrating that going “green” doesn’t mean relinquishing exclusivity or enjoyment of the good things in life. The following six luxury lodges make the world a more delightful place – and a better one, as well.

Guests at the Segera Retreat stay in one of eight exclusive villas

Segera Retreat

In the middle of Africa

The eco-lodge owned by former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz is regarded as a prime example of sustainable luxury tourism

Elephants, rhinos and giraffes wander across Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, where former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz created a showcase sustainable luxury tourism project. He also set up a foundation dedicated to serving the entire region – by planting trees in deforested areas and creating new habitats for endangered wildlife.

Guests at the Segera Retreat stay in one of eight exclusive villas staffed by a private service team, enjoying culinary highlights and a superb selection of wines amid a breathtaking natural landscape that stretches as far as the Mount Kenya massif. Take a walk through the extensive grounds, and you will discover not only wild animals but also valuable works of art from Zeitz' private collection. Also waiting to be admired is a vintage propeller plane dating back to 1929: the famous de Havilland Gipsy Moth that was used in the Hollywood blockbuster Out of Africa in 1985.

www.segera.com

Frégate is known as a celebrity retreat and as a sanctuary for endangered wildlife

Frégate Island Private

A private paradise

Fascinating reptiles and perhaps the world’s most beautiful beach draw visitors to Frégate, the former pirate island

Frégate, the legendary private island in the Seychelles archipelago, is a well-known celebrity retreat but also a sanctuary for endangered wildlife. After many years of intensive farming, large sections of the island have undergone conservation and been restored, saving the rare Seychelles magpie robin from extinction. There are also 2000 wild Aldabra giant tortoises living on Frégate – impressive reptiles that can weight up to 250 kilos and live to be a hundred years old and more.

The restaurants at the resort use organic fruit harvested mostly from the resort’s own gardens. Guests lodge in 16 luxurious villas done out in mahogany, bamboo and marble. And then, of course, there’s the beach once frequented by pirates. According to the New York Times, it’s the most beautiful in the world.

www.fregate.com

Every room of the Titilaka has a stunning view of Lake Titicaca

Titilaka Lodge

The beauty of isolation

This luxury lodge in the Peruvian Andes provides bottled oxygen and boasts breathtaking views of a legendary lake

Elegant, modern interiors accentuated by traditional Inca artifacts give Titilaka Lodge in Peru its unmistakable character and charm. Every room has a stunning view of Lake Titicaca stretching away to the horizon almost like an ocean high up in the Andes. The air at this altitude is as thin as it is on the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak. That's why guests are offered an extra dose of oxygen when they check in.

The lodge has its own private beach and a gourmet restaurant serving regional specialties. The formerly barren lakeshore of the hotel-owned peninsula has been reforested, and the lodge supports a series of development projects in the region. It also uses hydroelectric power and recycles waste and waste water. Titilaka Lodge is the perfect starting point for expeditions into the mountains or to islands in the legendary lake, which the Incas revered as the cradle of civilization.

www.titilaka.com

The surrounding waters at the Misool are a conservation area for marine animals

Misool Eco Resort

Dream destination of the deep

Divers can look forward to a wonderful underwater experience: coral reefs, crystal waters and a sanctuary for sharks and mantas

Take a break, take a plunge – and explore a stunning underwater world at the Misool Eco Resort on Batbitim, a private island at the center of the legendary coral triangle, which is particularly rich in marine species. Thanks in large part to the resort, the surrounding waters have been declared a conservation area for sharks, mantas and other denizens of the deep. The hotel also employs experts to reconstruct coral reefs already suffering from damage.

The long journey from Europe to the Raja Ampat archipelago in Indonesia is particularly worthwhile for passionate divers. Guests stay in fantastic bungalows made of driftwood – so-called water cottages built on stilts in the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon.

www.misoolecoresort.com

The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort sets up camp from May to September

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Five-star camping

Every year, a luxury campsite reopens on Vancouver Island

Bears and beavers populate the surrounding wilderness, but the tents here are equipped with sumptuous carpets and antique furniture: The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is reminiscent of a luxurious, 19th century safari camp. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the luxury campsite complete with two tents each for spa treatments and dining are set up each spring in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve.

The season on this island off the western coast of Canada begins in late May. The resort has a gardener who provides fresh fruit and vegetables, and cooperates with local indigenous tribes. Indian guides take guests exploring in the woods, and kayaking or surfing on the Pacific are also an option. The luxurious tents are taken down again for the winter in September.

www.wildretreat.com

At the Soneva more carbon dioxide is consumed than produced

Soneva Fushi Resort

Tropical retreat with butler service

Wilderness, wellness, luxury: this private island in the Maldives proves that going green means giving up nothing at all

The Soneva Fushi Resort would like to make the world a better place. Tropical temperatures and solitary beaches are one thing, but this fantastic private island in the Maldives offers every imaginable creature comfort, too: luxuriously appointed villas with butler service, the Six Senses Spa and six gourmet restaurants. The resort proudly claims that more carbon dioxide is consumed here than produced – which is exactly the kind of negative carbon footprint that climate environmentalists are striving for.

The resort takes its energy from the sun, and recycles most of its waste locally. It also employs a marine biologist to protect coral reefs and sharks, while a Soneva Group foundation supports ambitious, environmentally sustainable projects in Sudan, Thailand and Myanmar.

www.soneva.com

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