Category Archives: Sustainable Hotels

Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, Luxury Resorts on St. Lucia, Earn Travelife Gold Recertification for Eco-Friendly Sustainability

Taking in the view at sunset from the Passion Flower terrace. Anse Chastanet and its sister resort, Jade Mountain, on St. Lucia have been recertified by Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system © Laini Miranda/

ST. LUCIA  –  Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia have been recertified for the internationally renowned Travelife Gold Certification for Hotels and Accommodations. The twin properties are the only Gold-certified accommodations on the Caribbean island, the luxury resorts’ owners, Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy, announced.

Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system, has reassessed Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet’s performance in responsibly managing their socioeconomic and environmental impacts. The resorts first achieved certification in 2017 and have worked hard to maintain the title.

To gain a Travelife Gold certification, Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet were assessed against 88 sustainability criteria that take into account the following environmental issues and positive social impacts:

Protecting the environment, by minimizing the amount of energy, waste and water used;

Respecting and treating employees fairly;

Respecting the local community, including its residents and the safeguarding of children;

Protecting the local culture, heritage, and wildlife of the destination; and

Supporting the local economy and its businesses.

The Troubetzkoys said of the accolade: “We are absolutely delighted to have achieved Travelife Gold Certification once again, as environmental efforts have always been at the heart of our resorts. It is incredibly important to us that we continue to commit to sustainability and to supporting the local community year-over-year.” 

Environmental concerns, sustainability and community efforts are at the epicenter of Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, with daily practices set up to conserve water and energy and increase recycling efforts. These include but are not restricted to the following:

The design of Jade Mountain reinforces the connection to the natural environment with passive ventilation of the rooms and natural day-lighting. Heating and cooling of the sanctuaries (rooms) are based entirely on the natural rhythms and cycles of the world. Not being dependent on artificial cooling or lighting of the rooms decreases the use of precious energy resources and minimizes the carbon footprint of the resort.

The exterior plaza of Jade Mountain was designed to capture all the rainwater in Koi ponds and planting areas. The plants are then harvested for use in the resort’s restaurants.

A natural coral tile was used for exterior walkways and roof areas. It is highly reflective and effectively diminishes any “heat island” effect in the local micro-climate.

Potable water for the resorts is produced by collecting it in a reservoir that was originally constructed and used by the British and French to power the water wheels that crushed sugar cane. The reservoir was repaired after decades of not being used and now collects over 1.5 million gallons of water annually that is gravity-fed to a state-of-the-art water purification system.

Only local, indigenous plants were used in the landscaping, which minimizes the need for watering and protects a precious resource.

The resorts were the catalyst behind the coral reefs of St. Lucia being declared a marine reserve to protect this valuable resource.

The resorts provide alternative transportation for its employees. On a daily basis, shuttles are scheduled hourly to transport workers from the resort to the local community, keeping carbon emissions to a minimum.

During the construction of Jade Mountain, any left-over construction materials were distributed to the local workforce for use on their own properties.

Construction materials that were used primarily came from the island, reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation and the resultant pollution. For example, wood used was harvested from a managed forest.

During construction, the workers were protected through the implementation of an Indoor Air Quality plan that minimized worker’s exposure to harmful airborne compounds.

Low emitting materials (paints, adhesives, etc.) were used throughout the resorts, which effectively eliminated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are detrimental to a person’s health.

Guests are given the opportunity to learn about the resorts’ sustainability programs and actively participate in environmental activities such as reef cleaning and tree planting.

Nightly rates at Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain start at $375 and $1,080, respectively, per room based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 10% VAT. To book visit or

Rising majestically above the 600-acre beachfront resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort on St. Lucia’s southwestern Caribbean coastline is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating the island’s stunning scenic beauty. Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain. The bold architectural design – individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky – makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. For more information, visit

Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amidst St. Lucia’s lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach. The environmentally friendly, award-winning resort comprises 49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 that are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Innovative menus – one of which is entirely vegetarian – are offered in four different locations and feature fresh produce served up from the resort’s organic farm. Guests can partake in interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort’s chocolate laboratory and a variety of water sports are also on offer. For further information, visit

See also: Honeymoon in Paradise: Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia

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andBeyond Returns to Zimbabwe with reopening of Matetsi River Lodge

The experiential travel company andBeyond is thrilled to announce that Matetsi River Lodge in Zimbabwe, on the Zambezi River and only 25 miles upstream from Victoria Falls, will rejoin its portfolio in July 2016, following a $10 million rebuild and renovation.

Located on one of the largest wildlife concessions in the area (123,500 acres) and boasting a prime river-front setting, andBeyond Matetsi will offer some of the richest and most exclusive game viewing experiences near Victoria Falls, with sizeable elephant herds and the rare sable antelope as some of the highlights. It is opening just as Zimbabwe grows as a safari destination.

andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge consists of two camps of nine suites each, including a family suite at each camp. The main lodge will house a generous Safari Shop and state-of-the-art gym, as well as a massage sala and conference facility. An 82-foot-long rim flow swimming pool will stretch along the river bank and a wine cellar that is ¾ submerged underground will look out onto the Zambezi at eye level. A private, four-bedroom villa, andBeyond Matetsi River House, will accommodate groups of up to eight. The villa has its own kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a veranda overlooking the Zambezi, a swimming pool, and fire pit. It comes with a dedicated guide, private vehicle, chef, and butler. In addition to twice daily game drives, andBeyond Matetsi will also offer interpretive bush walks, riverboat cruises, and canoeing.

CEO Joss Kent cites the expansion of the Victoria Falls airport – Including a new 2.5 mile runway, a new international terminal, and the construction of a new fire station and new control tower – as a major reason for the change in the travel dynamics, making it a perfect moment to revitalize an old safari favorite of the brand (andBeyond managed the lodge from 1996 to 2011).

“The lodge’s owner is totally passionate about the project and has worked incredibly hard to resuscitate the concession, focusing both on wildlife and habitat. This matches andBeyond’s core ethos of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People,” explains Kent. “Having originally been involved in the conversion of the Matetsi concession from wildlife hunting to photographic safaris, we are really excited to once again be helping to protect and nurture this beautiful and unique wilderness area back to pristine condition. The game experience that we will create at andBeyond Matetsi will provide an element that has been missing in the Victoria Falls area for far too long.”

Thanks to its years of involvement with the staff of Matetsi and its model of promoting conservation through involving the people who live near wildlife areas, andBeyond will be working with its community development partner, Africa Foundation, to engage with the local communities. andBeyond will follow its usual principles of employing from the local community as much as possible and purchasing as much as possible locally, contributing to the economy of both Matetsi and Zimbabwe.

The lodge is ideal for multigenerational travel. andBeyond’s specially designed children’s program, WILDchild, will keep young guests busy with activities such as making and using their own fishing rods, and making plaster casts of animal tracks.

Sitting areas and dining spaces will make the most of the river views, with an interactive kitchen. Pre-dinner drinks will be served in an open bar area looking out onto the river or in a cozy lounge complete with fireplace. An open area with a blazing fire-bowl centerpiece will provide the perfect setting for sundowners.

While the area’s cultural heritage will be highlighted with traditional abstract carvings of wood and stone throughout, a more contemporary touch will be brought in with recent art by Zimbabwean artist Helen Teede. Splashes of bright blue will mimic the waters of the Zambezi River. A strong copper theme will run throughout the lodge in homage to the mineral riches of the region, from copper drums in the open-air outdoor enclosure known as a boma, to copper pots and pans in the kitchen and copper details on the bathroom taps. Simple glass coffee tables will showcase objects found along the banks of the Zambezi, such as driftwood, nests, and rocks.

andBeyond is one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalized luxury tours in 15 African countries, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Chile and Argentina. The company also owns and operates 33 safari lodges and camps in Africa and India, as well as privately guided expeditions in Botswana, which positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land. Established in 1991, &Beyond takes exceptional care of its guests in order to make a difference; its commitment to sustainable responsible travel, conservation and community empowerment has been globally recognized with multiple awards over the years.


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National Geographic Unique Lodges Collection Doubles to 45 Destinations on 6 Continents

Lizard Island resort in the Great Barrier Reef, is the only development on the island, accessible exclusively by plane and filling only 40 rooms at a time (photo by National Geographic Travel).
Lizard Island resort in the Great Barrier Reef, is the only development on the island, accessible exclusively by plane and filling only 40 rooms at a time (photo by National Geographic Travel).

Since launching in January 2015, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World has nearly doubled the number of properties in its impressive collection, increasing its geographic breadth to the Canadian High Arctic, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the Seychelles, the mountains of northern Greece and beyond. The collection began with 24 charter members and accepted 14 in June and seven over the past few months, bringing it to 45 lodges — and counting. These extraordinary properties were selected for the outstanding guest service and experiences they offer, and for their leadership in sustainable tourism and commitment to protecting cultural and natural heritage. They must undergo a rigorous vetting process and a site audit to become part of the collection.

Lodges joining the collection include:

With the additions this past year come a wide range of new opportunities for travelers, such as walking safaris with world-class guides at The Bushcamp Company in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, horseback riding and hiking in the shadow of a volcano at Mexico’s Hacienda de San Antonio, and cooking classes with a renowned chef in Alaska’s backcountry at Winterlake Lodge. At all of the properties in the collection, guests who book their stay through the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World online site ( are treated to a special, exclusive experience, such as a meeting with the son of a traditional shaman at Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica, or a private catered dinner in a grove of ancient milkwood trees at South Africa’s Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

The owners and managers of the lodges are some of the world’s leading minds in sustainable tourism. By bringing them together, the collection has created a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas, innovations, and best practices. At a gathering of members in May 2015, topics of discussion included an air conditioning system run on coconut oil and deep sea water at the Brando in French Polynesia, and an initiative at Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Malaysian Borneo to ward off wild elephants using bees—creating an income generator for local communities while reducing conflicts between humans and wildlife.

The award-winning website features detailed descriptions of each lodge as well as a variety of rich content: profiles of staff members, favorite recipes from the lodge chefs, and stories about conservation initiatives and community projects sponsored by the lodges.

“We built National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World to serve as a shining example of sustainable tourism around the world, and we are thrilled to see the remarkable growth of the collection this past year. By providing such fantastic guest experiences while demonstrating how travel can be a force for good, we hope to elevate sustainable tourism and inspire others to join us,” said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Travel. “We look forward to providing travelers with even broader array of unique opportunities around the world as we continue to expand our collection in the years to come.”

National Geographic Unique Lodges offer travelers a full-service experience from booking to checkout. On the Unique Lodges website, travelers can search for lodges by region or by activity — such as birding or kayaking — and find the lowest rates available. They can request a reservation or book a National Geographic Private Expedition that features a Unique Lodge, such as an expedition to Costa Rica that features a stay at Pacuare Lodge and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, or a trip to the Greek Isles that includes three nights at Kapari Natural Resort on Santorini, with an option to continue your trip at Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas. Or they can create a custom itinerary that incorporates a stay at a Unique Lodge.

Here is a complete list of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World members:

For more information about National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, visit Lodge owners may apply to join the collection at

National Geographic Travel creates authentic, meaningful and engaging travel experiences through National Geographic Traveler magazine; National Geographic Expeditions; National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World; travel books; maps; digital travel content; and travel photography programs. National Geographic Traveler (six issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 17 international editions. National Geographic Expeditions offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents. Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, journeys with G Adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars. The National Geographic Travel digital group, shares its inspiring and authoritative digital content such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps with its @NatGeoTravel community of 6.5 million. National Geographic Travel books bring readers curated travel advice, photography and insider tips. Follow National Geographic Travel @NatGeoTravel on TwitterFacebookTumblrPinterestInstagram and Google+.

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mygreenglobe, showcasing eco-friendly travel entities, tops 100K views on YouTube

mygreenglobe, the YouTube channel showcasing travel entities which have achieved Green Globe Certification, has now surpassed 100,000 views.

The mygreenglobe channel is home to over 100 videos from Green Globe certified members world-wide. The clips are shot in some of the world’s most desirable travel locations, showcasing beautiful destinations in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, as well as Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“Today’s travelers expect to be able to see all that hotels and resorts have to offer before they make their vacation choices,” Green Globe Communications Director, Bradley Cox said.” Green Globe video clips have become an extremely popular way to take a tour of our members’ properties and meet the management and staff who will greet guests and take care of them during their stay.

“Our strategy is to use videos to promote not only our members’ facilities and services, but also reveal the enormous efforts invested in preserving environments and supporting local communities. We believe this gives travelers a unique perspective into the true heart and soul of their vacation destination,” added Mr. Cox.

Exceeding 100,000 views is a major milestone for mygreenglobe, which provides Green Globe certified members the ability to communicate their sustainability achievements to global audiences every day of the year. In these short colorful clips, Green Globe members take viewers behind the scenes to meet the local people and gain an understanding of their community, culture and values.

New videos are launched every week and include a range of international destinations. The clips showcase different types of accommodation, from remote eco-luxury retreats such as The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize to cool urban hotels including the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. Overall mygreenglobe delivers unique access, which has proven fascinating to travelers as well as industry professionals and interested community groups.

“Having a video channel that profiles such an enormous diversity of travel options is not only good for people looking to purchase a sustainable vacation, but has been a great benefit to our Green Globe members who can show everything from practical information on room types and activities, through to communicating the personality of their hotel or resort,” concluded Mr. Cox.

To view Green Globe member videos visit mygreenglobe or enter mygreenglobe on YouTube search.

Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally-accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA, and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Green Globe is also a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). For information, visit

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New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

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