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Top 10 Ecolodges and Green Hotels

Go green on your next trip


orchard garden hotel san francisco green guestroom room terraceWhether your idea of a great trip is sipping fruity drinks on the beach, hiking through the rain forest or hiding away in a quaint bed and breakfast, there's an eco-friendly lodging option for you. Green hotels come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges, and can be found almost anywhere, from the streets of San Francisco to the grasslands of Kenya. With the number of eco-friendly options on the rise, there's no excuse not to "go green" on your next trip!

The list that follows is the best of the best: our 10 favorite ecolodges and green hotels, selected from thousands of properties around the world. We chose them for their spectacular locations, outstanding guest amenities and extraordinary commitment to conservation. For more details, we encourage you to contact each property directly or visit their Web site; most of them have their environmental policies clearly linked from their home page, and all of them have staff members who will be happy to tell you about the steps they're taking to protect the planet. Here are a few questions to ask.

Want to find more green hotels? Check out our Eco-Friendly Lodging Resources.

San Francisco, California: Orchard Garden Hotel
The smoke-free, 86-room Orchard Garden Hotel in downtown San Francisco opened in November 2006 as the only hotel in the city to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmentally friendly design. Its energy-saving electric key card system automatically stops power to each room when a guest leaves and turns it back on when he or she returns. The hotel also uses energy-efficient light bulbs to further cut its electricity usage.

Rooms are equipped with low-flow toilets, organic bath products and recycling bins, and are cleaned with chemical-free products. The hotel also reaches out to the community by featuring the work of local artists in the lobby.

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South Andros Island, Bahamas: Tiamo Resorts
For a tropical getaway that's both luxurious and eco-friendly, head to the private beach bungalows of Tiamo Resorts, tucked away on the pristine Bahamian island of South Andros. The resort is 100 percent solar powered, with all hot water heated by the sun rather than electricity or gas. The buildings were designed to minimize erosion and maximize airflow, and constructed by locals from wood taken from sustainable forests. Tiamo uses composting toilets and water treatment systems to minimize waste -- and even gets guests involved by neatly packaging plastic products to be taken home and recycled (there are no recycling programs in the Bahamas). A wide variety of outdoor activities are offered, and staff are always eager to educate guests and the wider community about the resort's environmental efforts.

Chichester, England: Old Chapel Forge Bed and Breakfast
The beautifully restored 17th-century house and chapel of Old Chapel Forge provide an eco-friendly stay in the heart of England's Sussex countryside. Old Chapel Forge has been awarded the highest rating from the Green Tourism Business Scheme for its environmental programs, including the use of solar panels to heat water, and partnerships with local farmers and merchants to provide locally grown organic meals. Other green efforts include composting, grey water recycling and guest education.

Read Our Green Travel Tips

campi ya kanzi safari room Mtito Andei, Kenya: Campi ya Kanzi
Get up close and personal with Africa's "big five" mammals (Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros) and support the native Maasai community at Campi ya Kanzi, a luxurious safari camp in southern Kenya. The camp and its 400 square miles are owned by the Maasai people, who work with the camp's Italian hosts to preserve the local wildlife and provide a personalized and sustainable experience for visitors.

The camp's six thatched-roof tented cottages were constructed of local materials without cutting down any trees. Electricity and hot water are generated by solar power, and waste is composted or recycled. The menu includes organic eggs, milk and vegetables, and all meals are cooked with eco-friendly charcoal.

Bar Harbor, Maine: Graycote Inn
The Graycote Inn offers all the comfort and charm of a traditional New England B&B with an eco-friendly twist. The inn has streamlined its resource use with energy-efficient lighting, high-efficiency furnaces and air-conditioning units, and water conservation fixtures on all toilets, showers and sinks. To reduce waste, all Styrofoam food packaging has been eliminated, and the inn has established comprehensive composting and recycling programs. Breakfast options include organic coffee and locally grown produce. And the inn's location -- just a five-minute drive from Acadia National Park and within walking distance of Bar Harbor's shops and restaurants -- makes for a low-gas getaway.

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