5 great eco-friendly resorts in India

Experience nature at it’s best at these picturesque hotels that help you reduce your carbon footprint without giving up on your creature comforts.

1. Banasura Hill Resort, Kerala
Nestled in the middle of a tropical forest in mist-clad hills of Wayanad, Banasura Hill Resort is every nature lover’s dream come true.  Sprawled over 35 acres, the resort has been built using mud sourced from the region, and is a great example of rammed earth architecture. Named India’s largest ‘earth’ resort, the rooms are cool even in the summer, so there’s no need for air-conditioning. The resort uses CFL lights to reduce energy consumption and has a biogas plant that’s used to recycle organise waste and light the fires in the kitchens. While here, hike through the countryside to admire the waterfalls, caves and the local village.

2. The Dune Eco Village and Spa, Tamil Nadu
This beach hotel near Pondicherry on the Coromandel Coast has 55 unique bungalows spread across 35 stunning acres. Living true to nature and nature conversation are important here, evidenced by the fact that the resort has a wastewater treatment plant, an organic farm, solar heated water and uses reclaimed timbers. Oh, and it’s also a pet-friendly hotel, so your furry friend can join you on this holiday!

3. Our Native Village, Karnataka
The resort is designed to recreate an Indian village, giving people the opportunity to get close to nature and live a simpler, more rustic life. Environmental conversation is key here, with the resort using windmills, biogas plants and solar panels to generate almost all its electricity. Water is sourced through rainwater harvesting and its organic farm provides most of the food. The resort also has an environment-friendly, chemical-free pool and ensures that cleaning products used are also chemical-free. Reviving ancient traditions and helping the eco-system never looked so fun!

4. Barefoot Resort, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The resort is situated on Havelock Island, amidst a picturesque setting on one of the best beaches in Asia. The environment-friendly cottages are designed with indigenous materials and are spread out in the seven-acre property. Surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest, the resort gets its water from rainwater harvesting and a natural spring. The idea is to avoid disrupting the fine balance of local life. Don’t forget to go scuba diving or snorkelling and glimpse the beautiful coral reefs and wide variety of marine life. If you’re not a water baby, then go birdwatching and ask the hotel about their nature walks.

5. Coconut Lagoon, Kerala
Set on the beautiful Lake Vembanad in Kumarakom, the resort is prime example of CGH Earth’s commitment to ensuring minimal impact on nature. The property is only accessible by boat, and it’s a great way to enjoy the waterways of the lake. Entering the lobby is like a trip back in time. It’s a statuesque space made of old teak beams and pillars that hark back to the 19th century. The resort’s eco-friendly practices include vermiculture and composting, and converting waste into fuel. There are also Venchoor cows that mow the lawn and organic farms that supply to the kitchen.

Photograph: Terry Feuerborn/Flickr (Under Creative Commons License)