Sustainability has become a buzzword in every aspect of our lives, from food to packaging, and even travel. However, travel can be harmful to the environment. How to amend that? Have your next family holiday in an eco-friendly resort. These incorporate earth-friendly practices in their manifesto, thus giving back to the earth in one way or another.
Firstly, they may practice sustainable construction. Secondly, they may go disposables-free. Thirdly, they give back to the community. Above all, they maintain their natural environment. The result? Environmentally-conscious escapes that embed sustainability into their operations, while giving guests a luxury getaway. Moreover, they also have fantastic kid’s clubs and activities that teach young ones about sustainability and eco-consciousness.
1. Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
Why it’s great for families Stellar online ratings aside, the experiences offered here are unrivalled. Firstly, you can swim and explore the pristine waters and lush rainforest. Secondly, you can explore the local way of life at nearby villages. In addition, you can also visit the resort’s Eco-Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre to learn about biodiesel. Finally, you can tour the organic vegetable gardens on the property.
What kids can do Feast upon endless supply of snacks and ice-cream! Apart from the sweet treats, there are programmes created specifically for kids. For example, they can learn more about Thai instruments, and join curated excursions to experience the surrounding rainforest and culture. Most importantly, did we mention that the kids club is housed in a giant bamboo manta ray suspended in the tree tops? It’s magical!
Best time to go October—May
(See also: Best Kids Clubs in SE Asia Resorts)
2. Elephant Hills, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Why it’s great for families Go glamping in a handcrafted tent, give an elephant a scrub down, and more! Elephant Hills is an eco-friendly resort that lets guests learn about the benefits of responsible tourism. If you are planning a visit, consider ‘packing with a purpose’ to support the resort’s Children’s Project, which helps less privileged children in the community.
What kids can do The award-winning eco-friendly resort has designed jungle safari experiences with children and families in mind. The most popular for families is the Rainforest Nature Safari. Here you will get to canoe down the river, feed and wash elephants, and watch them play in their natural environment.
Best time to go All year
3. Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Why it’s great for families In the same vein as its sister properties, this resort provides exceptional service at minimal cost to its surroundings. Hence, villas are wood-panelled and well-ventilated to reduce the need for air-conditioning. In addition, the eco-friendly resort has collaborated with Con Dao National Park to create a safe enclosure to assist with turtle hatchings. Families can also take part in resort experiences like composting workshops, and beach clean ups.
What kids can do Vietnamese language and culture workshops, and origami workshops await. The Grow with Six Senses programme focuses on extraordinary experiences unique to the resort. Hence with every adventure, kids will get a new stamp for their personal Six Senses passport.
Best time to go To see the turtles nesting: May—October. To see the turtles heading down to the beach: July—November. For water-based activities: February—July
4. Alila Diwa Goa, India
Why it’s great for families Stay in family-friendly rooms types that overlook lush Goan greenery. The eco-friendly resort uses locally-sourced materials, hence you will see the region’s trademark rustic brick red laterite stone everywhere. Most importantly, do not miss the birdwatching activities. Alila Diwa Goa is renowned as a bird watcher’s paradise as flocks of migratory and local birds nest there!
What kids can do Enjoy the Kids’ Club and Teen Zone. Movie screenings, private children’s picnic at the beach, and a cooking masterclass are some of the fun options available.
Best time to go November—March
See also: Top 10 Family-Friendly Hotels in Asia
5. Soneva Fushi, Kunfunadhoo Island Baa Atoll, Maldives
Why it’s great for families First, the biodiversity is unparalleled. Kids get opportunities to make lifelong memories and learn about the importance of ocean biodiversity. They’ll get to take part in first 100% sustainable surfing programme in the world. Prefer something land-based? How about a glassblowing workshop, using recycled glass bottles?
What kids can do Get them to the Den! Here kids and teenagers enjoy activities, and can even get to discover the marine world with a Marine Biologist. Other activities that have been conducted include palm leaf weaving, recycled paper making workshops, Observatory visits, and Sports Nights.
Best time to go All year. To view marine life: May—October
6. Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia
Why it’s great for families Sustainable practices are integral to the resort. There is an on-island bottling plant that provides drinking water through reverse osmosis. In addition, glass bottles are available instead of plastic ones. Go on tours of the Earth Lab, mushroom hut, and solar panels. During these you can learn how the resort uses water irrigation to conserve energy. The resort also has natural vegetation and integrated land conservation strategies. Hence butterflies, birds, and the marine environment benefit too! Finally, the coral reef restoration project is one of the many ways the resort is helping the oceans.
What kids can do Fly into the Nest, the kids club. This is part of the Grow With Six Senses global programme, where kids are immersed in all aspects of wellness, sustainability, and social consciousness. For instance, though activities such as Khmer calligraphy and seed planting.
Best time to go For hiking or sightseeing: November—February. For watersports: March—May. For harvesting produce: June—October
7. Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa, Malaysia
Why it’s great for families The award-winning eco-friendly resort boasts a multitude of eco-activities for families. Among them is an eco-walk where you can see first-hand what the resort does to stay sustainable and to lower its carbon footprint. For instance, the resort uses 100 per cent all-natural filtration, using aquatic plants to treat waste water and turn it into drinking water.
What kids can do There’s something for all types of kids to enjoy here. They can make wristbands from recycled toilet paper rolls or go on an eco-walk. There’s even an indoor composting activity, and daily chicken and duck feeding.
Best time to go All year
8. Telunas Private Island, Batam, Indonesia
Why it’s great for families Family villas come with a children’s loft that sleeps two or three. See if you can figure out which parts of the villa furnishings are upcycled wooden boats! Go on a local village tour, try a cooking class or two. Bring the kids fishing too! These are all great ways to get our city kids thinking about the importance of responsible tourism.
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Looking for some friendly competition? Telunas Beach Resort offers a low ropes course. With the help of your guide, you and your friends and family can compete to see who can finish the low ropes course the quickest. #telunas #wonderfulindonesia #resort #vacationfun #adventure #adventuretravel #telunasbeachresort
What kids can do Join the Kampung Kids Club! This is where kids and their imaginations roam free within the safe boundaries of the island. They can go on adventures by the sea and hunt hermit crabs. In addition there are also eco-friendly activities such as crafting with recycled bottle caps or cardboard.
Best time to go November—April
(See also: Pet-Friendly Hotels in Singapore)
Plan for an eco-friendly resort holiday soon!
We love travelling and exploring. However we can reduce the impact of our holidays on the environment by practicing responsible and eco-friendly tourism. Involve your kids when choosing a holiday destination. Let them know why you have picked one place instead of another. In addition, show them how our actions and behaviours affect one another, and that we are all part of a greater ecosystem.
Continue while on holiday. Take part in workshops these eco-friendly resort properties offer. Through them, kids can also learn that being eco-friendly is part of our lives. Above all, keep talking to your young ones about it. Consequently, they will nurture more conscious daily habits, and you will be bringing up a new generation of eco-warriors. Happy (eco-friendly) holidays!
Header image: Soneva Kiri
Featured image: Frangipani Langkawi