With breathtaking locations and fabulous amenities, these intimate accommodations offer guests a truly unique experience they’ll never forget.
When you hear the term ‘eco-retreat’, you might be thinking of roughing it, sacrificing certain amenities in the name of sustainability – but in this case at least, that would be absolutely wrong. Each of these retreats, while built on a philosophy of having minimal environmental impact, pamper their guests and offer a degree of exclusivity that can’t be found with larger resorts. Below we have summarized their unique features, but the pictures truly say it all:
Great Huts, an eco-friendly and sustainable resort, operates with the philosophy of giving back to the environment and enriching the community. Also referred to as “Paradise On the Edge”, this collection of unique accommodations is situated on four acres of land upon on a coral cliff, 100 feet above the Caribbean Sea in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Surrounded by lush vegetation, guests have easy access on foot to Boston Beach, onsite swimming pools and a choice of cliff-side dining options. For a little outdoor adventure, there’s cliff jumping into crystal blue waters, surfing, and walking the ‘snake trail’ throughout the cliff’s edge. Unique accommodations include a variety of individually designed tree houses and ‘Afro-huts’ with various views and amenities – the pictures really are the best way to illustrate the features of these distinct properties. Here is a sample, from their ‘Royalty Room’ category:
Stay away from the hustle and bustle at Hibiscus Beach Retreat, a single chalet located only a five minute drive from the northern most tip of the island of Borneo, and a few hours’ drive north of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Situated on top of a small hill, the cottage offers breathtaking views of the South China Sea and easy access to the secluded white sandy beach. Guests can enjoy food prepared onsite or from nearby restaurants – the choice is theirs. This beach looks crazy good, and so quiet…
After seeing the pictures of Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary, it comes as no surprise that it was listed as one of the top five yoga retreats in Costa Rica by Travel & Leisure Magazine. The sanctuary is situated 1400 feet above sea level in a tropical eco-reserve, its casitas constructed from reclaimed local wood, with large verandahs and views of the Caribbean Sea. Being nestled in this wilderness does not mean doing without creature comforts: the resort boasts locally sourced food, a cocktail lounge to relax after a tough day relaxing (because on vacation, you need that), wellness programs, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. For those wanting to bust out, adventure tours can be arranged, or for a little spontaneity, the laid back town of Puerto Viejo is just a short drive away with its picturesque beaches, unspoiled atmosphere and tasty local food. All in all, the whole experience sounds like “Pura Vida”. (This phrase has a profound meaning to Costa Ricans, and it relates to the philosophy of making the most of life – loosely translated, it means, “Pure Life”.) Definitely looks like this is the place to celebrate just that.
Ikurangi Eco-Retreat in Rarotonga is committed to sustainability, constructing their Tropical ‘Ares’ (meaning ‘homes’ in the Cook Islands) and safari tents using using locally sourced materials and with minimal impact on the surrounding land. Tropical Ares are finished in true Polynesian style with woven lofted ceilings and complementing furnishings, modern baths, and each features a private deck opposite the beautiful mountains of Takitumu. Luxurious safari tents are mounted upon raised decks with ample room for loungers, and feature king beds and amazing outdoor (and totally private) bathrooms. Guest enjoy breakfast made with local ingredients delivered each day.
It’s probably no coincidence that The Caves has an address of “One Love Drive” in Negril, Jamaica: this adult-only collection of 12 unique properties oozes romance, offering private dining in a candle-lit cave by the sea, outdoor hot tub for two, couples sauna and steam rooms, all set within a magical location overlooking crystal blue waters. ‘Bohemian chic’ stay options range from airy one bedroom units with ocean views, a two bedroom pied-a-terre with kitchen, to a 3,500 sq ft 3 bedroom villa with private pool. The surrounding caves and cliffs make for adventurous snorkelling and diving fun, and when you’re tired of all that, there are onsite dining and cocktail options located both indoors and out, including a cliff-top bar where the tunes are played well into the night. The views from within the caves are truly captivating.
While located only 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai airport, La Joya feels like a world away. The boutique resort, overlooking the stunning turquoise waters and white sand of Balangan Beach in Bali, offers guests a culturally Balinese experience in an intimate environment. Individual bungalows are free-standing, and constructed a traditional circular shape with thatched roofs and locally sourced limestone. Well-appointed rooms, also in Balinese style, offer full baths, and terraces that overlook the pool or ocean. For those wanting a larger space, a luxurious villa boasting a tropical garden with a private pool, upstairs terrace with amazing beach views (with Jacuzzi), and direct beach access is also available. There’s no need to worry about food while you’re here – the poolside restaurant, complete with a view of the Indian Ocean, is open all day long, serving traditional Balinese and International cuisine. Yes!
Muíños de Pontenoval is comprised of two ecologically restored river mills, Maquía Mill and Batán Mill, located in the River Mera valley, only a few minutes from the beaches of the Atlantic and the coastal cliffs in northern Spain. The location is also close to the cliffs of Capelada and Loiba, Cape Ortegal, and tourist sites such as San Andrés de Teixido (Galicia), Cedeira, Cariño, Ortigueira, and Port of O Barqueiro. Each mill has been lovingly restored, offering a blend of modern convenience juxtaposed against original stone and wood. Both are thoughtfully furnished and equipped with full bath, wood-burning fireplaces, kitchen facilities, and are nestled in a lush garden with outdoor patio and barbecue. The video virtual tour shows each property, and really captures the feeling of the space – enticing for sure.
Accommodations at the Maui Eco Retreat, nestled in the midst of sacred temples and nature retreats, were designed and built with mindfulness toward the environment and sustainability, and to evoke a sense of spirituality within their guests. The property is oceanside and secluded, offering a choice of rooms or individual cottages. One of the cottages, The ‘Bamboo Temple’, is a romantic hide-a-way for two, with a private outdoor shower, and a view to the stars or sunrise over the sea from the bed and large deck.
If these unique accommodations are appealing, have a look at our recent post featuring luxurious tents from across the world – they’re pretty amazing.