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5 of the Most Innovative Eco-Friendly Places to Stay

Get a good night’s sleep and leave a lighter footprint on your travels

A well-made bed in a cute eco-friendly room with an adorable gas fire place

Eco-friendly accommodations aren’t just good for the planet—they’re an amazing experience. Here are some of the most innovative ones around the globe.

Song Saa Private Island

Private pool with deck, outdoor bed in a cabana next to private beach with two loungers on the sand 

Where: Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia

Why: This private-island resort was created with sustainability in mind, using local materials and local workers. Each villa features a thatched roof, upcycled decor and repurposed furniture. Salvaged wood from old fishing boats is used for decks and floors, while driftwood is turned into tables and benches. The company’s Song Saa Foundation also works to protect the archipelago and provides a doctor’s boat service for islanders.


Three charming eco-luxury pods on a hill with balconies featuring mountains in the background 

Where: Les Cerniers, Switzerland

Why: These charming eco-luxury pods in the Swiss Alps offer sustainable adventure at 1,700 metres above sea level. Their geodesic shape is highly energy efficient; without corners, air circulates rather than stagnates, so it takes 30 per cent less energy to cool and heat them than conventional buildings. Water usage is controlled, waste is recycled, and cuisine is locally sourced. Plus, the pods blend into the alpine landscape, turning white in winter and green in summer.

Fogo Island Inn

The unique angular Scandi-chic inn stands on stilts with stars above 

Where: Fogo Island, Canada

Why: This angular Scandi-chic inn sits on stilts above the rocky shoreline of Newfoundland’s remote Fogo Island. Each room is unique, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean, but the inn is also built on principles of sustainability and social enterprise. Furniture is custom-made by former fishing-boat builders, and 100 per cent of operating surpluses are reinvested in the community through its Shorefast Foundation.

Meliá Serengeti Lodge

Looking out off the balcony at Serengeti National Park from this state-of-the-art lodge with a red rock wall 

Where: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Why: This state-of-the-art lodge was designed to preserve the surrounding environment. Almost half of the lodge’s energy is generated by solar panels, and an innovative design that makes use of the easterly bush breeze eliminates the need for air conditioning. A bottling plant at its on-site water hole produces still and sparkling water, reducing the use of plastic bottles. Plus, members of the local Maasai tribe work at the lodge, offering their unique understanding of the Serengeti.


A contemporary tree house in Sweden with reflective walls on the outside 

Where: Harads, Sweden

Why: Each of these contemporary tree houses is distinct—a mirrored cube, a UFO, a bird’s nest—but each emphasizes minimal environmental impact. Set in the middle of an unspoiled pine forest in northern Sweden, the tree houses use green hydroelectric power and low-energy LED lighting, as well as environmentally friendly combustion toilets. Plus, the tree houses are built on live trees without destroying them, providing an up-close-and-personal experience with Mother Nature.

Looking for somewhere unique?

Check out these under-the-radar destinations, plus, see which special interest cruise suits you best.

Or read the latest issue of CAA Magazine here.

Image credits: Courtesy of songsaa.com, whitepod.com, Fogo Island Inn and Meliá Serengeti Lodge