Green honeymoons: romantic hotels with a conscience

Green honeymoons: romantic hotels with a conscience

With global warming, rising sea levels and man-made environmental disasters frequently topping the news, more and more of us are going green when it comes to travel

It's a very modern-day ethical dilemma; honeymoon in a far-flung country you've been dying to explore vs preserving the planet and reducing your carbon footprint. Staycations might be extremely popular (and often just as good), but when it comes to honeymoons the majority of couples have itchy feet.

The good news is that going green doesn't mean enduring a boring, unromantic break. In fact you're more likely to crank up the romance, as many green destinations tend to be in secluded, idyllic locations. Factor in other aspects of responsible travel like supporting local businesses and conserving wildlife, and you can enjoy a honeymoon that's both unforgettable and guilt-free for the right reasons.

1. Karijini Eco Retreat, Western Australia

Situated in the wilds of the Australian outback, this Aboriginal owned retreat is a perfect combination of nature and modern luxury. Set deep in the Karijini National Park among rugged gorges, sparkling rock pools and romantic waterfalls, accommodation comes in the form of deluxe eco-tents. All of which incorporate ecologically sustainable principles and have little impact to the surrounding environment. The best part is that as well as respecting and conserving the natural habitat, visitors are also helping to support the Aboriginal way of life by offering employment and a place of training for Aboriginal people.

Find out more: www.karijiniecoretreat.com.au

2. Concordia Eco Tents, Virgin Islands

Waking up to expansive sea views? Check. How about the sound of crashing waves and gentle winds? Yep there's that too. Factor in the thousands of pristine acres on your doorstep and you're pretty much in paradise. Perched on a hillside overlooking Salt Pond Bay and the Francis Drake Channel, each tent has a small solar-powered private shower, composting toilet and utilises the cooling hillside winds for natural ventilation - meaning there's no need for energy-guzzling air conditioning.

Find out more: www.concordiaeco-resort.com

3. Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar

There aren't many places in the world where you can stay among rare and endangered animals, historical ruins and a coral reef, but Chumbe Island Coral Park is one of them. Located eight miles off the south-west coast of Zanzibar, the island is UN protected and aims to conserve the natural environment, promote education and support local business. Accommodation comes in the form of bungalows, all of which collect their own rainwater, use solar power and have composting toilets. Organic soaps produced by a local women's cooperative are used in the bathrooms and guests are provided with a rechargeable solar torch for when the sun goes down.

Find out more: www.chumbeisland.com

4. Eco Cabin, Shropshire

Stay in the south Shropshire hills and enjoy a secluded location, rolling countryside and a private meadow, all the while making a difference to the environment. The Eco Cabin in Ludlow is built entirely from renewable, or reclaimed materials and uses recycled fuels and solar power. The interior is slightly reminiscent of a jumble sale as all the furniture comes from South Shropshire Furniture Scheme - a local charity and social enterprise - but it does mean that everything is fully re-used and makes it cosy. Food and materials are sourced locally and appliances and fittings have been selected for their minimal use of electricity. The surrounding gardens and river are full of wildlife and make the perfect setting for a romantic picnic.

Find out more: www.ecocabin.co.uk

5. Mowani Mountain Camp, Namibia

Sculpted into the rocky landscape with elevated views of the Abu Haub valley, the Mowani Mountain Camp, which aptly takes its name from the Swahili for 'window on heaven', is unbelievably romantic. East African style tents, hoisted on a stilted deck make up the luxurious accommodation, with a king-size double bed and African hanging cloths. With the option to have dinner on your own private deck looking out over the savannah, this is a honeymooner's dream.

Situated in the Twyfelfontein Conservancy, a portion of the camp income is given back to the local community to support improvement, while waste management is carried out in an environmentally friendly way. A large amount of curios are bought to sell to guests, which also helps local businesses.

Find out more: www.mowani.com

 

Read more green travel advice on the Wanderlust website

 

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