With the eco-tourism trend gathering momentum within the tourism industry, it’s clear that travelers are becoming increasingly mindful of lowering their impact on the destinations they visit. While sustainable travel and luxury might seem to be two conflicting approaches at first, recent studies have shown that the connection between the two is becoming stronger than ever. Many boutique retreats are now embracing green initiatives in response to travelers’ demands; a broad survey of more than 32,000 travelers from 16 countries conducted last year by Booking.com revealed that more than half of respondents were likely to choose a destination or hotel based on its social or environmental impact – more than three times the number of those surveyed the previous year. This represents a significant shift in the perception that sustainability and luxury are mutually exclusive; they are, in many cases, becoming more closely aligned than ever before.
Sustainable travel is about much more than energy-efficient light bulbs and the option to decline the change of bed linens, however. Nowadays, the most ecologically minded retreats are developing programs that are making a true difference to local communities in addition to their conservation efforts. For a getaway that guarantees peace of mind, these eco-luxe retreats offer the perfect balance of luxury and sustainability for discerning travelers who want to experience comfort that doesn’t cost the earth.
Expertly combining luxury, tranquility and comfort, Kura Design Villas is an isolated haven nestled in the lush jungles of Costa Rica. The blended vision of a husband-and-wife architect and a biologist, this romantic little hideaway is the perfect combination of upscale design with an eco focus. The epitome of seclusion and intimacy, Kura Design Villas offers only six villas. Each contemporary, open-plan villa offers giant floating beds, hammocks built for two, glass rain showers and sweeping views of the surrounding jungle and ocean. The L-shaped infinity pool offers exceptional views of the Marino Bellena National Park, or guests can take one of many excursions into the jungle that beckons beyond, such as horseback riding, whale-watching, diving or day trips to the region’s spectacular waterfalls and nature parks.
The seductive, minimalist hotel design seamlessly incorporates a system of sustainability – a pivotal component of its operations. Solar energy is used for heating and electricity; all staff are local Costa Ricans; and the Costa Rican food served in the retreat’s open-air restaurant is sourced locally and organically wherever possible. Kura Design Villas also supports the non-profit Earth Equilibrium, which aims to educate local children about protecting the biodiverse and fragile ecosystem in which they live.
Kura Design Villas. Uvita, Costa Rica. +506 8448 5744 | www.kuracostarica.com