What exactly is an ecolodge? While there are many interpretations of the ‘ecolodge’ concept, most of the structures share some special traits.
• They’re low-impact buildings that use materials repurposed or found locally, and adhere to sustainable-water and -power practices.
• They’re immersed in beautiful natural areas, which they’re committed to helping preserve, blending in to the surrounding environment, rather than interrupting it.
• They amaze guests with their comfort and elegance, even in the midst of rugged nature.
Inspired, we decided to identify five more great examples of ecolodges all from within the whl.travel network. More than just places to stay, all of these lodges are worth the extra mile it takes to reach them. They just may inspire you to plan a few days of your trip around a memorable ecolodge experience.
Barry’s Place on Atauro Island in East Timor
Atauro is a tiny island in East Timor, located where the East Indian Ocean meets the Arafura Sea. Here, you can plan great Atauro Island adventures like snorkelling the eye-popping coral reef just offshore, renting a bike to cycle around the island, touring by boat to nearby Baucau and even going on guided hiking excursions. For such a small island, options for fun in nature are vast.
We suggest framing your trip to the island around a stay at Barry’s Place (http://www.barrysplaceonatauro.com/). This special lodge boasts an attractive collection of thatch-roofed gazebos and accommodations, all constructed using local materials and labour. You’ll have a choice between sun-drenched cabins right on the beach, bungalows and tent camping.
Monkey Lodge in Panama
The whimsical Monkey Lodge (http://www.panamacity-hotels.travel/Monkey_Lodge) sits just outside of Panama City, Panama, near Soberania National Park and Gamboa Lake. It is very reachable from the city, yet far enough away to feel fully immersed in its tropical setting.
The family that operates Monkey Lodge can help you plan awesome ecotours. Join them for a trek on the Camino de Cruces, learn the basics of jungle survival or take a boat trip to nearby Monkey Island, where furry primates are sure to be spotted.
Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort in Luang Prabang, Laos
An eco-chic addition to the Luang Prabang hotel scene, Zan Namkhan (http://www.luang-prabang-hotels.com/Zen_Namkhan_Boutique_Resort) is a fusion of deep nature and lush indulgence. Set in the verdant landscape of northern Laos, it is near one all-star attraction: Elephant Village, an ecotourism initiative where visitors can bond with a group of gentle giants who have been saved from the logging industry.
Zen Namkhan itself is stacked with amenities that will make you wish to stay all day and just enjoy. Dine on meals that use ingredients from the organic garden, get a massage or take a yoga or Lao cooking class – all on-site at Zen Namkhan.
The #1 reason to stay at Zen Namkhan: the lagoon-like swimming pool is one of the first eco-friendly pools in Southeast Asia.
The Travel Word is the online mouthpiece of the WHL Group and draws on a vast pool of ideas generated by local tour operators, partners, suppliers and more. Our blog - http://www.thetravelword.com - showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel.