In Harmony With Nature
Whether you are looking for the ultimate family getaway or the perfect secret retreat, these destinations show just how luxurious going green can be.
Words by Caroline Key
Famed for its crystalline waters, white sand beaches and exotic landscapes, the Caribbean is one of Mother Nature’s greatest assets and fast becoming synonymous with eco-friendly resorts. Whether you are looking for the ultimate family getaway or the perfect secret retreat, the following destinations show just how luxurifous going green can be.
The St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort & Golf Club, Puerto Rico
A private enclave with two miles of sandy beach, and nestled within native maritime forest, Bahía Beach Resort lends an unrivaled dimension to sustainable luxury. Perfectly balanced with its lush surroundings, this stunning 483-acre resort and golf club that is home to the sumptuous St. Regis Hotel and offers residential options, adheres to the highest standards of environmental conservation. A gold-level Audubon International Signature Sanctuary, over 65% of the property has been preserved, giving way to flourishing wildlife zones and numerous nature trails. Home to over 70 acres of lakes and the Espíritu Santo River, one can enjoy aquatic adventures from kayaking and canoeing to fishing and bird watching tours. There is even an environmental outreach tour at the Nature Centre with an in-house marine biologist for those wanting to get closer to nature. And for those who wish to call this idyllic haven home, either permanently or for just a few days, The Residences offers unique programmes with the opportunity to enjoy this peaceful paradise.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, USVI
A heavenly hideaway tracing the tranquil waters of Great Bay, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas places paradise within easy reach thanks to an exclusive selection of luxury amenities. Recipient of the prestigious Blue Flag ‘best eco-beach’ award, the miles of private, crystal-white shoreline, lavish guest rooms, decadent dining and an award-winning Mediterranean-styled spa make this resort the ultimate green lifestyle destination. Firmly rooted in sustainability, this Ritz-Carlton outpost is also taking great steps to raise awareness of the fragile beauty it calls home. Now offering Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Programme, which emphasises education and respect for environmental sustainability, as well as environmental workshops, eco-adventures and cultural activities on a daily basis, this Virgin Islands glamour destination is clearly in harmony with nature.
Beaches, Turks & Caicos
Situated on one of the world’s best beaches, here you and your family can unwind in five-star, all-inclusive comfort, all while helping the environment. Boasting twelve gorgeous miles of pristine coastline, its very own Pirate’s Island water park and endless fun for all the ages, this stunning eco-conscious resort features energy saving timers throughout, recycles over 90% of its water and donates organic waste to the local farming community. What is more, Beaches Turks & Caicos is EarthCheck certified and actively promotes green initiatives and sustainable living to schools and youth groups in the area.
EMBRACE Resort, The Bahamas
Set to a stunning backdrop of tropical paradise, EMBRACE Resort, on secluded Staniel Cay, is only a breathtake away from Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and the private island hideaways of some of Hollywood’s super-elite. The ultimate Bahamian escape, this boutique eco-property features seven unique villas (each named after and designed to mimic a particular Bahamian island), and comes complete with a full-service spa, fitness centre, restaurant and conference facility. Built under the guidance of an environmental consultant, EMBRACE uses low-to-no VOCs paint, dual flush low-water toilets and locally sourced, natural décor throughout. With four villas due to open this July, and the grand opening set for March 2014, EMBRACE is an eco-chic idyll you will not want to miss.
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