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9 Eco-Retreats to Add to Your Bucket List

At idyllic far-flung eco retreats, the wellness menu is matched by stunning surroundings. From jungle adventures to experiences that will bring your inner peace, these are the havens to add to your bucket list.

Go Back to Nature

Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Sri Lanka

Immerse yourself in the power of nature as the jungle meets the sea for an awe-inspiring experience. Located at the south of the island, Wild Coast Tented Lodge is adjacent to world-renowned Yala National Park. Created by local fishermen from natural materials and in the shape of a leopard’s paw print, the resort’s 28 luxury tented cocoons blend seamlessly into the environment, as do the communal areas, which are reminiscent of the beach’s many boulders. Half the resort’s energy comes from the sun, while exhaust from the rooms’ air-conditioning provides hot water. Ocean water is recycled into the ponds dotted around the lodge, where you may catch a glimpse of free-roaming animals, including elephants, sambar deer, and monkeys. Or you can go on a daily safari with the resort’s rangers, where the world’s highest concentration of leopards awaits. Don’t forget to look out for the great sloth bear.

Checklist: Unwind at the spa where therapists work with Ceylon tea and cinnamon.

Sustainable Stay-Cay

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

Leading the way for eco-friendly resorts in the UAE, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is the first hotel in the region to obtain The Oceanic Standard badge for its sustainable practices. Upon check-in, you receive a reusable water bottle to refill at various locations around the resort, with the theme continuing throughout with greywater recycling, environmentally friendly thermostats, and refillable and marine-degradable packaging for toiletries.

Checklist: Stay in one of four spa villas where you can be pampered in privacy.

A Winter Wonderland

Treehotel, Sweden

A UFO, a mirrored cube, a bird’s nest, and a dragonfly. These are rooms hidden in the treetops of Sweden’s most unique hotel. Located in the remote town of Harads and run by two Lapland locals, the rooms were masterfully designed by different architects. The interiors are quintessentially Swedish, incorporating materials from the surrounding areas while utilities are eco-friendly and water saving. Activities on offer read like a bucket list. Watch the northern lights, enjoy a spot of dog sledding or horse-pulled skiing, go bear-spotting or moose-calling, and try foraging in the forest for your dinner.

Checklist: Yoga on ice with sauna, meditation, and a snow bath – a three-hour journey awakening your mind, body, and soul.

To the Mountains

Dwarikas Resort, Nepal

This picturesque resort is perfecting the art of wellbeing in the Himalayas. Drawing upon the knowledge and holistic lifestyle that is synonymous with the region, Dwarikas focuses on biology, spirituality, psychology, astronomy, nutrition, and beauty. This is achieved by finding a balance between your mental, physical, and spiritual states. The resort also maximizes its positive impact on its surroundings by harvesting from its own organic farm and investing in the local people and crafts.

Checklist: A visit to the spa village, where you will find an Ayurvedic spa and rooms dedicated to yoga, meditation, and crystal and salt therapy.

The Inner City Sanctuary

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, US

Enter the lobby of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and you will instantly be mesmerized by floor to ceiling windows framed by lush greenery. At any given time, you can expect to find a farm stand providing local produce to guests, a non-profit offering volunteer experiences helping to contribute to sustaining the surrounding environment or a candlelit event encouraging you to unwind for an hour or two. In-house guests are also invited to partake in complimentary Mind & Movement programming – think workouts like vinyasa yoga and high-intensity interval training.

Checklist: Go with the seasons – gatherings include ushering in the new moon or solstice.

For the Yogi

The Yoga Barn, Bali

Beginners, students, and experts come together at The Yoga Barn. A yoga studio and holistic healing retreat, it has become a sanctuary for those looking to nourish their being. Daily classes from both its established and visiting teams include workshops in traditional styles of yoga, including classical hatha and vinyasa flow, as well as pranayama, and kundalini. Meditation, sound healing, and ecstatic dance are also among the experiences. At its Holistic Healing center, some of the world’s most sought-after therapists offer private sessions in Chinese medicine and naturopathy.

Checklist: Embark on a yoga or detox retreat ranging from three to 10 days, or look to a training qualification to transform yourself from student to teacher.

All-Out Experience

ION Adventure Hotel, Iceland 

This unique hotel makes for the perfect base when exploring the natural wonders of Iceland. The eco-friendly escape uses geothermal power, with sustainability at the forefront of the design – much of the furniture was made using recycled materials. The dining area was created with northern lights viewing in mind and for those venturing outside, glaciers, volcanos, and lakes await.

Checklist: Snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, located in Thingvellir National Park, in the crystal clear waters between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

 Into the Jungle

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

Get ready to fully immerse yourself in the Ecuadorian jungle, where the forest meets the sky. Not just a five-star hotel, this property is also a research station at the forefront of rainforest protection. When not enjoying its five-star amenities – which include an outdoor hot tub, yoga deck, and spa with rainforest inspired treatments – you can volunteer to help the resident scientists; many of whom are native to the region.

Checklist: The guided dragonfly canopy gondola takes you over, across, and through the jungle.

Wellness Warrior

Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

When it comes to unwinding, everyone is different – which is why Six Senses Zighy Bay is forever expanding its list of wellness activities. The resort, located on the Musandam Peninsula between the sea and mountains, can also be reached by paragliding if you dare. Head straight to the spa, where the renowned integrated wellness program awaits. In-house experts measure and analyze your key physiological biomarkers and provide you with lifestyle and nutritional advice, before designing a personalized program of spa treatments, fitness, and wellness activities.

Checklist: After completing a sleep quiz, your personal sleep ambassador will transform your room for optimum shut-eye.

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