Looking for a getaway, where you avoid the big crowds, feel close to nature and stay in a hotel that actually care? Here’s your bucket list of the 10 best eco resorts in South East Asia on 3 different budgets.
FEW PENNIES TO SPARE:
SUN ISLAND ECO VILLAGE, CAMBODIA
The only 5-year-old eco-friendly island resort is located on the island of Ko Rong Samloem, a place where white sandy beaches borders with jungle and exotic wildlife. The small Cambodian resort is 100% solar powered with grass roofs and pride themself of reducing water, energy and avoiding food waste. There’s a choice between tents and bungalows, whichever you choose, you’ll get a cheap sustainable stay in Cambodia.
ECO HOSTEL PHUKET, THAILAND
If you’re on a budget, but didn’t quite see yourself resort to a hostel, don’t be scared off by Eco Hostel in Phuket. Yes, dormitory option is available, but if you opt for the “super box option”, you’ll still save your pennies and get a stylish stay. At Eco Hostel, you are met with the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle, wherever you go, and if you’re feeling peckish – organic cakes and herbal teas will tempt you on lazy afternoons in their Eco Cafe.
THE BOAT LANDING, LAOS
As part of the Green Globe company, who specialize in eco-tourism, The Boat Landing is an eco resort located in middle of the beautiful ASEAN heritage site, Luang Namtha. It has affordable riverside bungalows and a wide choice of activities where you can get close to nature while moving on your feet, bike or kayak. For the culinary interested, the restaurant is proud of their Northern Laos specialities and it also cater for vegans.
MUTIARA TAMAN NEGARA ECO PARK RESORT, MALAYSIA
For any eco-explorer, this should be high up on the bucket list. Located in the 4.000 square km. virgin jungle, Taman Negara, the Eco Park Resort goes out of their way to live up to their name, by conserving energy, using biodegradable products and decorating sustainably. Here you can be at one with 10.000 fish, 700 birds, 270 reptiles and 200 mammals or just nature, by walking the longest canopy in the world, 45 metres above ground.
DOLPHIN BAY RESORT, PELELIU, PHILIPPINES
This secret gem is a divers delight, and although a slight trek to get to, you will enjoy the resorts natural materials and the family atmosphere, where the children of the house offer to teach you to climb coconut trees and make your own drink! Diving and snorkeling as well as dolphin watching are the reasons you want to come to the marine paradise, but it’s also possible to bike, kayak and go fishing!
THE SATWA BIRDING GUESTHOUSE, INDONESIA
You want to see Sumatran tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses, but making sure the animals are treated with respect by staying in a certifed eco resort? Satwa Elephants Ecolodges have 20 years of experience in running ecolodges and emphasize animal welfare, solar energy, rainwater use, recycling and educating local staff in sustainable development. In Satwa you will stay in cottages, that are only are 500 metres from Way Kambas National park and go animal spotting at night and enjoy Indonesian local food at the Guesthouse in the day.
BOULDER BAY ECO RESORT, MYANMAR
Just opened in October ’17 in the Merui Archipelago, the brand new Boulder Bay Eco Resort is the latest example of affordable barefoot luxury in South East Asia. The 10 bungalows are built from renewable sources, staff (and interested guests) do regular beach clean-ups and multi use water bottles and biodegradable soap and detergents are part of the inventory. And if you aren’t content with lazing on beautiful Boulder Bay, the resort offers Eco discovery walks and boat trips where you get to discover the rest of the archipelago.
SONG SAA, CAMBODIA
If you’re ready to go all in and looking for a luxury eco resort with personality, make your way to Song Saa in Cambodia. The resort consist of two islands that are connected with a footbridge and the 27 villas are built from driftwood and wood from old Cambodian fishing boats. The resort also has its own foundation in aid of the local community and environment and can boast an impressive chart of initiatives so far. Song Saa is overwhelming in every way, so if you want to combine a sustainable experience with top notch luxury, book yourself a villa in jungle, on the beach or float on stilts above the ocean.
SONEVA KIRI, THAILAND
The Soneva group have been pioneers with their previous venture, Six Senses, and are still renowned and awarded for their eco initiatives. To name a few, they have been branded with the Butterfly Mark for the commitment to social and environmental sustainability, they do coral restoration, build local schools and have created a Symposium for leaders to act sustainably. Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood in Thailand, boast of being located on an island that is like Thailand was ‘before’, untouched jungle by isolated beaches with everything you can ask for as an eco tourist.
NIKOI ISLAND, INDONESIA
Being a favourite among Singaporeans or its visitors looking for a luxury getaway by boat, Nikoi has received a long list of awards, many for it’s efforts in the green space. Bungalows out of driftwood, supplies almost 100% local and their Island Foundation supportting the local community, makes this private island a rare sight in the Indonesian Riau Archipelago. The private island and it’s villas have been built around boulders and made sure not to interrupt its original environment, and the creamy colored beaches isn’t just a a paradise for the eco buff, but also for kids! Creating toys out of wood, old school treasure hunts and nightly bonfires keep the children constantly entertained, with parents being ditto relaxed!