As an international hub, Hong Kong offers easy and direct access to some of the best vacation destinations in the world. With pristine beaches and prime oceanfront views, no one wants to think about the roughly 300 million tons of plastic we produce each year that consequently gets tossed into landfills… and our oceans.
If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint and selective of where you’d like to book your next holiday, consider a new cadre of luxury, eco-friendly hotels that have gone to great lengths to banish single-use plastic from their premises, not to mention implement sustainable initiatives to protect the oceans and their surroundings. Maximizing their green cred while staying stylish, lavish, and true to their planet-friendly roots, here are our top five suggestions for the ultimate plastic-free luxurious holiday.
akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok
Billed as Asia’s first plastic-free hotel, the akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok is a stylish, innovative boutique hotel that rebuffs any single-use plastics. Opened in May 2018, the 50-room luxury accommodation provides guests with stainless steel water bottles which can be refilled anytime. Self-service drinkable water is also located on every floor for convenience and ease. Toiletries are locally manufactured in celadon containers filled with essential oil-based products with biodegradable bin bags for rubbish. In addition, shopping bags found in the wardrobe closet are available on loan to encourage guests to refuse plastic bags while out shopping.
Alila Manggis Bali
A secluded seaside resort in East Bali, Alila Manggis adheres to a strict Zero Waste policy to ensure all their waste is diverted to an integrated sustainable resource recovery facility. The resort boasts a full composting system implemented for all organic waste, a permaculture organic garden to help develop sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystem on location, and converts their current uneconomic waste plastic into a light green crude oil to be distilled into diesel, kerosene and gasoline for reuse in the hotels. Of note, plastic-free measures are also implemented across their other locations with eco-friendly water bottling systems and guests being given bamboo straws- this is a resort group that is seriously eco-minded.
Song Saa Private Island Cambodia
A gorgeous environmental and socially conscious resort along the Koh Ring Archipelago coastline, Song Saa Private Islands is the first luxury ecotourism destination in Cambodia. Built with reclaimed timber and materials from the mainland, salvaged wood from factory yards and fishing boats have been reconstructed as decks, floors and beams of the opulent facilities. Upcycled decor and repurposed furniture adorn each villa. Old oil drums are refashioned into lamps and discarded driftwood become new tables or benches. Sourcing local and seasonal culinary ingredients that can be catered to guests with dietary restrictions, this award-winning retreat hosts a slew of fun water sports as well as informative ecological and cultural programs.
Six Senses Laamu Maldives
Recently recognized as a leader in marine conservation, the golden-sun, white-sand Six Senses Laamu in the Southern Maldives takes its eco cred up a notch with its pledge to go entirely plastic-free by 2022. Having eliminated all single-use plastic water bottles, the beautiful resort filters and bottles their own drinking water in reusable glass vessels. As an island with limited recycling facilities, biodegradable paper straws are given on-request, toiletries are provided in ceramic pumps and bamboo toothbrushes are provided in lieu of plastic. With a big presence in Laamu Atoll, Six Senses is involved in a series of sustainable land and underwater initiatives to promote education on reducing our environmental impact, carbon footprint, and marine conservation to guests and the local community.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andaman Islands
A plastic-free paradise in the Andamans, the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa has been committed to preserving the eco-system in the Bay of Bengal for a few years now. Built over 46 acres on Radhanagar Beach at Havelock Island, the luxurious villas on stilts were constructed from sustainable plantation timber. Featuring its own on-site drinkable water bottling plant, a waste disposal biogas facility which converts wet waste to gas and compost, a reservoir for rainwater harvesting and partial solar energy, the resort is the ne plus ultra in eco luxury. And it doles out biodegradable straws and paper made from papaya and bamboo to boot.
Read up on how to be a Zero Waste Traveler.
Images courtesy of Alila Manggis, akyra Sukhumvit, Song Saa Collective, Six Senses (lead), and Taj Exotica.