Caribbean: Four of the Caribbean’s Best Eco-Friendly Resorts which offers sustainability stays. Sustainability is big news in the Caribbean – not surprising, given the region’s extraordinary natural beauty and its vulnerability to climate change.
Hotels and resorts have stepped up to the challenge of providing memorable lodgings and guest experiences which, however expensive they may be, at least don’t cost the earth. Sustainable practices at the best places go much further than simply asking guests to re-use their towels or installing energy-efficient lightbulbs.
For the Caribbean’s eco-resort pioneers environmental responsibility starts long before the first guests arrive, with new resorts constructed from sustainable materials and built without the use of heavy machinery, and only clearing existing trees and vegetation where absolutely necessary.
Innovative energy solutions come as standard, along with locally sourced food (often grown on site), while the social impacts and economic effects on local communities also play a key role, creating a virtuous circle of visitor satisfaction, economic development and environmental preservation.
A beacon of sustainability on one of the Caribbean’s most environmentally conscious islands, Secret Bay DOMINICA combines intimate boutique luxury with the lightest of footprints.
Perched in a spectacular clifftop setting high above the ocean, the resort’s layout was designed to minimise the amount of clear- cutting required during construction and then painstakingly assembled using hand tools only, avoiding the use of even a single piece of heavy machinery in order to protect the surrounding coastal terrain and the delicate corals in the ocean below.
Buildings are constructed entirely from sustainably sourced Guyanese hardwood following LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) best practices, with bedroom furniture made from locally sourced red cedar. Extensive recycling underpins the resort’s zero-waste policy, while the attached organic farm provides fresh food for the on-site kitchen.
HERMITAGE BAY ANTIGUA
One of a select handful of Green Globe Gold-rated properties in the Caribbean, Hermitage Bay (hermitagebay.com) offers a landmark example of how to combine barefoot luxury with long-term sustainability.
Established in 2003, the resort established a template for green development in the region, leaving existing trees and vegetation in place wherever possible, avoiding the use of heavy machinery during construction and employing sustainable materials throughout the resort’s building – as well as formulating a “triple-bottom- line” model to address the resort’s social and economic impacts alongside its environmental footprint.
Two decades later, sustainability still lies at the heart of the resort’s operations. Solar power fires the resort’s electrical grid, while food is either grown in its organic garden or sourced locally wherever possible. The whole concept is underpinned by the ‘4 Rs’ of recycling (rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle).
FOND DOUX ECO RESORT ST LUCIA
History, scenery and sustainability combine to memorable effect at the idyllic Fond Doux Eco Resort, shortlisted for the World’s Leading Green Resort at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2022.
Located close to the island’s iconic pitons amid a verdant swathe of pristine rainforest, the resort occupies one of the Caribbean’s oldest working cocoa estates, first established in 1742 and farmed organically since the 1980s.
Sustainability lies at the heart of Fond Doux’s ethos, with the concept of recycling taken to a whole new level-not just waste and water but entire buildings.
The resort’s beautiful 160-year-old colonial-style two-bedroom villa, originally located in the island’s capital Castries and slated for demolition before being rescued, was reassembled on site and lovingly restored by a team of skilled local artisans.
TRUE BLUE BAY BOUTIQUE RESORT GRENADA
Twenty years in the making. the True-Blue Bay Resort dates back to the turn of the millennium when Russ and Magdalena Fielden moved to Grenada with their daughters and took over the seven-room True Blue Inn, gradually transforming it into a vibrant 70-room complex which is now one of the island’s most popular -and most sustainable holiday resorts.
True Blue’s commitment to sustainability includes a raft of innovative solutions. Solar panels provide a significant proportion of the resort’s energy requirements, while a Biogas digester uses methane fuels produced from restaurant waste to fire the resort’s bakery (any unused waste goes to local pig farmers).
A new block of climate-smart rooms was opened in 2019, while more recently the resort acquired the island’s first solar- powered beach shuttle – all guest and staff transport is now by electric bus or golf buggy. with electric cars also available for hire, and charging stations conveniently set up on site.