India is a pioneer when it comes to an eco-friendly mission incorporated into luxury travel. There are a wide range of high-end hotels and resorts in India that strive for minimal carbon footprints. These eco-resorts are committed to environmental conservation as well as cultural conservation. Not only do these resorts provide a refreshing take on tourism, but they are also located in some of the most beautiful parts of India.
Here are 15 of the best eco-resorts in India that you should definitely consider on your next vacation:
Ananda in the Himalayas
Location: The Palace Estate, Uttaranchal
Looking over Rishikesh and spanning across 100 acres, Ananda in the Himalayas is famous for its wellness and fitness experience and its organic cuisine. Ranked as the No. 1 destination spa in the world (2019) by Conde Nast Traveler, they extensively try to limit the use of chemicals. From recycling bottles for gardening to making bags from biodegradable matter, this unique spa resort adopts many eco-friendly features. The hotel also organises an afforestation drive in the surrounding hills.
Price: Starts at INR 28,000 for a room, including taxes.
Location: Adao Waddo, Goa
Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Alila Diwa is set on the Majorda Beach in South Goa and is surrounded by 12 acres of lush paddy fields. The resort’s contemporary yet traditional aesthetic design is vibrant because of locally sourced materials, which also preserves the natural ecosystem. With over 150 rooms spread over two levels and two wings, Alila Diwa is designed for luxury. This green resort also features a movie hall, an activity centre, two swimming pools, a health spa, four restaurants and a bar, a library, and an open-air Jacuzzi. The landscape is also ideal for birdwatchers. The hotel follows regulated sustainable operating standards, and EarthCheck has certified the resort as well. Guests can also donate to local causes through the “Gift-to-Share” program.
Price: Starts at INR 7,200 a night
Location: Coorg, Karnataka
Surrounded by cardamom, pepper, and coffee plantations, The Tamara encourages sustainable living, recycling and composting to conserve the natural habitat. The hotel offers exclusive hikes through Kabbinakad and sightseeing treks to nearby waterfalls and local villages. The private balcony overlooking Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is also a relaxing area to catch up on birdwatching. The resort is remarkably constructed in a manner to minimize damage to the environment. The resort features 30 wooden luxury cottages elevated on stilts (to minimize cutting down trees) that offers breath-taking views of the plantation as well as the waterfalls. The swimming pool is also chlorine-free. Most of the ingredients for cooking are sourced locally, mainly from the resort’s organic vegetable garden. The resort also offers yoga and meditation classes, and guests are welcome to a calming massage at the Ayurvedic spa.
Price: Starts at INR 14,000 for a luxury cottage
Location: Beerambally, Karnataka
Evolve Back (formerly Orange County Kabini) is one of India’s best wildlife lodges and was included in the list of 25 world’s best eco-lodges by the National Geographic Traveler. It sits on the edge of Nagarhole National Park, making it ideal for jungle treks and birdwatching. The accommodation consists of 28 spacious huts, with the intricate designs inspired by local tribal villages, with either a private pool or Jacuzzi.
Price: Starts at 24,000 per night
Location: Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi
Recognized as the “Residence for World Leaders and Global Icons,” ITC Maurya is known for its excellence with a touch of Indian tradition. Part of the ITC group’s success is the concept of ‘responsible luxury’, with ten of its premium hotels having attained LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) recognition at the Platinum level. ITC Maurya, with its 438 rooms, is ranked the No. 1 resort in Asia and is among the top 5 in the world. Each of its rooms is designed to save energy and promote a green environment. Recreational facilities within the compound include a fitness centre, an outdoor pool and an on-site spa.
Other hotels in the luxury chain are in Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Known for its decadence and luxury, ITC prides itself in its inclusivity; it also employs differently-abled people in its staff, including people with hearing and sight impairments.
Price: Starts at INR 6,000 and onwards per night
Location: Vile Parle, Mumbai
Ideally located next to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, The Orchid is the perfect option for travellers. Apart from the impressive 70-foot indoor waterfall, The Orchid is also the first hotel in Asia to win the Ecotel Certification. The Orchid Hotel offers free round-trip airport shuttles as well as folk dancing performances and unique Indian dishes at the on-site Vindhyas restaurant. The hotel adopts a solid waste management technique and sewage treatment plants that treats wastewater and utilizes it for air conditioning and gardening. All toiletries are herbal, and the paper provided has a minimum of 25% recycled content. Each room is lit up by CFL and LED lights, along with an Eco button on the air-conditioning that conserves energy.
Price: Starts at INR 5,500 per night
Location: New Delhi, Delhi
Located in Connaught Place, Delhi, The Park lays primary emphasis on luxury. The hotel also makes great efforts to save the environment. All of the 220 rooms in the hotel are lit using low-energy consuming LED lights. All the meals in the resort are prepared using organic vegetables, and solar power is used to power the hotel. The hotel is also equipped with a VFD system to maintain water pressure to avoid wastage. They also use biodegradable garbage disposable bags.
Price: Starts at INR 5,000 per night
Location: Wayanad, Kerala
Surrounded by forests and gardens, Vythiri Village is one of the most beautiful resorts in India. At 2600 feet above the sea, Vythiri Village offers 200 guest rooms, a convention hall, an Ayurveda centre, a luxury spa, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and an artificial three-tiered waterfall. The resort also offers activities such as trekking, zip-lining, archery, cycling, yoga, and sightseeing. Food prepared at the restaurant is made using organic ingredients, most of which are grown in the resort’s gardens. Sipping tea at the houseboat restaurant is one of the highlights of staying at this resort.
Price: Starts at INR 6,800 per night
The Dune Eco Village and Spa
Location: Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
The Dune Eco Beach Village and Spa features around 50 eco-friendly bungalows overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The ocean breezes naturally cool the guestrooms and private gardens. This green resort makes use of facilities like solar-powered water system, reclaimed timbers, organic linens, a wastewater treatment plant, an organic farm, and low-consumption lighting. Each room is uniquely designed by various artists and architects from around the world, based off inspirations from Colonial houses, Chettinad palaces, and Kerala’s planter mansions. The Dune also offers an Artists in Residence program.
The resort’s Paradise Spa offers Ayurvedic treatment, yoga and meditation, and other alternative therapies, including Watsu, a form of aquatic bodywork, and Water Yoga. Free bicycles are provided to ride around the park. The two restaurants in the resort serve gourmet fusion food prepared using locally sourced ingredients, which also benefits more than 5000 local farmers. The Dune also supports a charitable trust offering free tuition to underprivileged young adults.
Price: Starts at INR 3,500 per night for an eco-room
Location: Kumarakom, Kerala
One of the top resorts on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, Coconut Lagoon is a CGH Earth property. The property is only accessible by boat, making it a rare escape from the world. Local artisans design the villas, and some of the artefacts featured in the rooms are borrowed from the traditional homes or heritage mansions across Kerala. Guests can enjoy sunset cruises, backwater cruises, and an Ayurvedic spa. Eco – features include conversion of waste into fuel, chemical-free zone, use of vermiculture, and use of cows to eat the grass. The resort also has a composting plant and has adopted an organic farming strategy. The hotel organises a fortnightly village cleanup, where staff venture out into the local community to clean away trash. Coconut Lagoon Resort has developed a more sustainable version of the houseboat too: A traditional Kettuvallom (rice barge) that operates using a mixture of solar power and vegetable oils to mitigate environmental damage.
Price: Starts at INR 8,300 per night including taxes
Location: Gokarna, Karnataka
Part of CGH Earth, SwaSwara is a luxury resort committed to promoting ecological tourism in the country. The resort has a farm and a swimming pool, which runs on harvested rainwater. The resort also practices eco practices like vermicomposting, rainwater harvesting, and recycling wastewater in the garden. The resort offers short hikes, kayaking, clay pottery classes from local artisans at the resort’s arts centre, and a spa. The resort makes use of biogas and also prepares food using local fresh produce grown organically with minimal use of chemicals. The resort even has a lake to store rainwater.
Price: Starting from INR 53,000 for 3 nights
Location: Thekkady, Kerala
Close to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Spice Village spreads over 14 acres of pesticide-free land. Rooms have thatched roofs of elephant grass, and are surrounded by gardens, fruit trees, rare herbs and flowering plants. Spice Village bears an uncanny resemblance to the traditional tribal village of Periyar. Food served in the restaurant comes from vegetable patches grown in the resort. Guests are encouraged to go bird watching, enjoy cart rides, learn traditional therapies, fishing and go on trips to neighbouring plantations and fruit orchards. Spice Village works closely with the local tribal community, and they contribute even the significant artwork displayed in the hotel. At the hotel, waste is segregated and recycled in the vermicompost plant as organic manure for the gardens. There is no air conditioning in the resort, and solar panels meet all the electricity requirements. Spice Village uses ayurvedic, natural cleaning products and makes their soaps and paper too.
Price: Starts at INR 7,000 per night
Barefoot at Havelock
Location: Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Barefoot at Havelock Island reveals the richness of the islands while also preserving the eco-system. Havelock Island is accessible by ferry from Port Blair. Barefoot at Havelock is India’s only beach-side jungle resort. The resort has 31 elegant hatch huts, cottages, and villages furnished with modern amenities. Rainwater harvesting and natural spring-fields is the sole source of water in the resort, making sure not to affect the nearby villager’s water supply. They provide tours inside the rainforest. The food is equally appealing made from fresh produce and inspired by the cuisine of Andaman. Constructed using environmentally sensitive indigenous materials such as timber and coconut, Barefoot at Havelock is also the first eco-friendly resort in the Andaman Islands. The resort hosts an environmental education centre, sponsors beach clean-ups, and works to reduce water waste.
Price: Starts from INR 11,500 per night
Kanha Earth Lodge
Location: Narna, Madhya Pradesh
Another award-winning eco-lodge, the Kanha Earth Lodge is situated near Kanha National Park on 16 acres of forest in a small tribal hamlet. The isolated lodge is ideal for nature walks, bird watching, and cycling. Pugdundee Safaris offers jeep safaris into the national park.
Price: Starts at INR 11,000 per night including taxes.
Banasura Hill Resort
Location: Wayanad, Kerala
The Banasura Hill Resort is set in an eco-friendly farm amidst the tropical forests of Banasura Hill. Built with mud and recycled wood by locals from the nearby Kurichya Colony, its 31 rooms also have thatched roofs made from elephant grass and bamboo furnishings. The resort is also famous for its proximity to beautiful waterfalls, historic caves, and a tribal village. A rainwater harvesting system fulfils the entire resort’s water requirements. The resort also has an Ayurvedic spa. Located at an altitude of 3,200 feet, Banasura is India’s only “Earth” resort and possibly the largest in Asia. The resort uses CFL lamps minimizing energy consumption; a bio-gas plant that recycles organic waste and fires the resort’s kitchens along with the Guadua bamboo saplings in the surrounding area to create a natural bio-fencing. Furthermore, the Vetiver grass around the resort prevents soil erosion.
Price: Starts at INR 6,000 per night