10 Great Eco Hotels Perfect For Earth Day

by | Mar 9, 2024 | Family Adventures, USA

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Earth Day is almost here, inspiring us to think more thoughtfully about how we, and the travel industry, connect with our planet and its natural beauty. Our children are some of the most in tune with what our world needs, having grown up in an age when we are moving toward environmental conservation and protection efforts. Plus, what greater gift to our kids is there than a healthy planet they can continue to explore through sustainable travel – most likely trips in their electric vehicle to some eco hotels?

These five eco-friendly, sustainable hotels and resorts are some of the best green accommodations in the world, striving to be as carbon-neutral as possible in their everyday operations while also offering programs that inspire little naturalists. Eliminating single-use plastic bottles, dealing with food waste in inspiring ways, and limiting water consumption are just a few of the sustainable practices already in the works at these eco-hotel options. Stay, get inspired, then continue these green initiatives in your own local community. 

 

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The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, Pennsylvania 

This award-winning, eco-friendly hotel in the Pennsylvania State Park system gives overnight guests the choice between 16 rooms with sweeping lake views and modern amenities within an impeccable natural setting. Ideal for nature-loving families, much of the lodge life here is lived outside, with adventures available year-round. The 1,730-acre lake offers swimming, waterskiing, paddleboarding, fishing, and kayaking, while on land, you can spend days hiking and birdwatching. 

 

What Makes It Green

The lodge has gone to great lengths to blend right in with the natural surroundings through its design elements, stewardship practices, green amenities, and sustainable initiatives. While you’re there, look for little messages and signs throughout the inn and grounds explaining the lodge’s environmental impact and solutions. 

The LEED Gold-certified lodge relies on geothermal heating and cooling, low-flow plumbing fixtures, recycled glass in its floor and wall tiles, rain gardens, water-efficient landscaping, regional sustainable materials, and on-site renewable energy, including solar panels that assist with hot water generation. The guest rooms each have a monitor showing how much energy your accommodation uses. 

 

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Get gleeful about green travel! Photo credit Vitolda Klein.

 

DON’T MISS! Make Precious Memories At 8 Fantastic Family Lake Resorts

 

The Breakers Palm Beach 

This landmark resort on the sands of Palm Beach was founded in 1896 and has been a leading character in their region’s story ever since. Stay and play in good eco-conscience as you enjoy four ocean-front pools, a fantastic family entertainment area, ocean swimming and snorkeling, world-class golf, tennis, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Get around the resort and check out nearby Worth Avenue on one of The Breakers’ bikes (remember your reusable water bottle), or sign up for an eco-tour to better understand your natural surroundings. 

 

What Makes It Green

To keep up with the evolving world and its local landscape, the hotel is diligently monitoring its environmental impact. 

To lower its carbon footprint, The Breakers Palm Beach implements energy efficient, water conservation and waste management methods while maintaining the luxury resort vibe guests expect. They continue to be committed to enhancing environmental programs that protect and preserve their regional natural resources. 

 

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii 

For those families eyeing Hawaii, the stunning 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is tops when it comes to sustainable tourism. Kids, or “Seedlings” as they’re called by the hotel’s youth club, enjoy playful experiences that draw upon the island’s natural surroundings, whether exploring vegetable gardens, learning about marine creatives, carving pineapples, or turning marine debris into works of art. Guests are encouraged to explore the island more widely on boat tours, guided hikes, and helicopter flights that further instill an appreciation for nature. For families, we suggest the connecting suites with a kitchen.

 

What Makes It Green

It’s an easy segway from the hotel’s mind-and-body wellness angle to healthy planet practices. After buying out the old St. Regis Princeville, the hotel eschewed a complete renovation in favor of a reimagining, saving 144.6 tons of materials from entering landfills and 73.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The LEED-certified sanctuary also uses LED lighting, HVAC systems with energy recovery, green roofs, waste diversion, and other global carbon offset projects to keep its island oasis … well … an oasis. 

 

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A front-row seat on some of nature’s finest work. Photo credit Rosalind Chang.

 

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan 

Escape to a storybook island in northern Michigan where you’ll get about by horse-drawn carriage and bicycle (no cars here!), ancient rock formations take over for screen entertainment, and old-world charm meets 21st-century Mother Earth mindfulness. Between May and October, the family-centric Grand Hotel offers all manner of summer and fall fun, from duck races to a spooktacular Halloween event to round out the season. See the island’s natural attractions by bike, swim in the huge pool or soak in the hot tub, play mini golf (or “big” golf at The Jewel), or check out the 18th-century Fort Mackinac.

 

What Makes It Green

The historic Grand Hotel’s car-free setting alone places it ahead of many in the hospitality industry. The state’s Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth has certified the hotel as a Green Lodging Michigan Leader. Among other initiatives, the Grand uses a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system that uses water to cool accommodations, which is then used to heat the outdoor pool. 

Dining on the island is largely island—or Michigan-sourced, and there is a robust composting program in addition to other eco-friendly activities. Recognizing that the health of local communities inspires better care of our surroundings, the Grand also supports the Mackinac Island Community Foundation to improve the well-being of island residents and visitors and expand environmental education. 

 

eco friendly hotels for families, earth day, green travel

Going green in the “grandest” way. Photo credit Steve Saunders.

 

Viceroy Snowmass, Snowmass Village, Colorado 

Whether it’s snow or wildflower season, Viceroy Snowmass is ticking the boxes as a sustainable hotel – and it’s also a great choice for families. The V Team Kids program helps kids express creatives, explore the local culture and get playful, whether creating their own backpacks for hikes or painting a birdfeeder to take home. Those seeking an upscale stay in the midst of some of the finest scenery in the country will adore the 400-thread-count sheets, hydrotherapy shower, pool deck, and spa, while adventurous types can ski, take an ATV tour, or hit the hiking trails. 

 

What Makes It Green

The LEED Gold-certified resort is 30% more energy-efficient than many green hotels in the same category. Improved insulation, high-performance windows, efficient mechanical and electrical systems, non-toxic cleaning products and reusable shampoo and conditioner bottles are some of the methods Viceroy Snowmass is using to show love to its Rocky Mountain locale … and beyond. Families can get into the mix by participating in town clean-ups with local people or checking out the local fauna on a wildlife expedition.

 

DON’T MISS! 8 Best Colorado Resorts for Families

 

eco friendly hotels for families, family travel, earth day

Take the kids’ appreciation for Mother Earth to new heights – literally – in Colorado.
Photo by Ryan Milrad.

 

 

And a Few More Besides

Beyond those listed here, you’ll find forward-thinking luxury hotels and eco-lodges from New York City to Costa Rica working hard to increase energy efficiency and limit negative environmental impacts. Can’t get enough eco-friendly travel. Good on you! Here are a few more favorites:

Happy Earth Day!

 

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From her home in Seattle, Michelle writes for a variety of internationally based travel companies. When not writing, she’s hiking, skiing, reading, or (in actuality) working her other job as “mom taxi.” Check out her other work at Eagle Eyes Editing.