Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eco-friendly hotels mean less can be more

Romina McGuinness
08 February 2010 06:00
Metro World News
La Montana Magica hotel prides itself on blending in with the local environment.
Luxury isn’t always extravagant. Metro found five eco-hotels where they are showing that less is more.

The Scarlet, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Built and designed in total harmony with the local environment of Cornwall in southwest Britain, the aim of the Scarlet is to offer its guest a maximum luxury with minimum impact. There are wood-heated hot tubs overlooking the sea and local foods including wild mushroom toast, leek risotto and chocolate tart. There is no Internet or mobile phone access and no children. (

Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
In the shadow of the 47 million year old Mt. Bulagtai volcanic outcrop, this is an eco haven. Energy is wind and solar and the lodge owns a well and vegetable patch. However, if the temperatures do drop, a personal attendant will fire  up the wood-burning stove. There are camel rides by day and Mongolian dancing by night. (

La Montana Magica, Chile
The hotel itself looks like the set of a Disney movie — a waterfall cascades from the top of a volcano-shaped lodge built from local wood and stone. The exterior is covered in shrubs, allowing it to effortlessly mesh with the local flora and fauna. Try a dip in a hot tub carved out of tree trunks for the perfect tranquil moment. (

Kolarbyn Eco Lodge, Sweden
Fabulously primitive Kolarbyn lodge means spending the night without electricity, sleeping on a sheepskin rug in a strange mud hut in a forest. More fun than it sounds, it also means spending a candlelit night by the beautiful Lake Skärsjön. Wake up and collect wild blueberries for your pancakes or try the floating sauna on the lake. (

Vamizi Island, Mozambique
The resort was set up by a group of European private investors determined to create sustainable tourism on this tiny island. It’s paradise, of course, with crystal clear azure waters and porcelain sands — and extremely low-impact. The lodge is beautiful too, but you do pay an eco-surcharge to help with the the Maluane project which aims to preserve and protect the local wildlife. (

Metro World News