Travel guilt free to these 10 luxury sustainable resorts in India

Tanvi Gupta
As Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions are slowly easing out across the country, people are traveling again.
In the domestic travel sector, sustainability is the new buzzword as discerning travellers are becoming more mindful of the properties they choose to stay in, and their role in conserving the environment. From rain water harvesting to cottages made of clay to facilitate natural cooling, these resorts leave no stone unturned to provide unparalleled luxury while doing their bit to be environmentally conscious. We have listed out 10 unheard of, as well as popular properties that are championing sustainability.
1. The Tamara Coorg- Coorg, Karnataka
coorg
The Tamara Coorg
A stay at The Tamara Coorg is an experience in itself. Set amidst acres of lush green coffee plantations, the cottages at this property defines sustainability from the get go. The cottages are constructed on stilts, without harming the natural vegetation and all uprooted trees were replanted. Furthermore, the resort’s architecture includes timber bridge structures and shingle roofs for all cottages to achieve an amazing 0.5% on-ground footprint ( the ground area utilised by construction). The property has fitted tap aerators and managed to reduce water consumption by 30%. Other than its high sustainability quotient, it provides novel experiences such as forest therapy and pulping of coffee berries.
2. Marari Beach- Mararikulam, Kerala
Marari Beach
Marari Beach/ CGH Earth
Located in the serene coastal village of Mararikulam in Kerala, Marari Beach by CGH Earth helps you disconnect from the world and connect with nature. The property features various categories of villas with thatched roofs, open-to-sky bathrooms and private pools providing the perfect way to spend languid afternoons. One can partake in a host of experiences such as cooking in the organic kitchen, naturalist-led walks and swimming in the sea. The resort’s dedication to minimise environmental impact shows in the smallest of things such as storing shower and bath amenities in reusable earthenware instead of plastic bottles, using glass bottles for drinking water instead of plastic bottles and its dedicated system for waste management and segregation. The local community is integrated by hiring them for re-thatching of roofs every year and hiring the womenfolk to produce traditional cotton bath and face towels.
3. Sarai at Toria- Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh

 

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The Sarai at Toria is a luxurious and eco-friendly lodge situated on the banks of river Ken just outside the Panna National Park and tiger reserve. It was started by wildlife enthusiasts and husband and wife- Dr Raghu Chundawat and Joanna Van Gruisen. The property has eight independent cottages with verandas and private courtyards. Guests can indulge in nature walks and safaris or embrace the idyllic setting while lounging in one of the numerous alfresco areas. Environmentally and socially responsible, the cottages at the property are made entirely of clay, which keeps the room cool and eliminates the use of air conditioners. To reduce electricity consumption, solar panels have been installed in every cottage.
4. Coconut Lagoon- Kumarakom, Kerala
Coconut Lagoon/ CGH Earth
Another luxurious property located in the backwaters of Kumarakom in Kerala, the Coconut Lagoon is not only ecologically sensitive but community conscious as well. It features villas, bungalows and mansions for accommodation purposes. Guests here can partake in numerous experiences such as bird-watching, canoe rides and sunset cruises. Speaking of sustainability, all the wet waste collected is turned into biogas and compost, to be used as cooking fuel and manure respectively. Plastic bottles make up for interim building material, and tins and cans are used for other decorative purposes.
5. Khem Villas-Ranthambore, Rajasthan

 

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Khem Villas is a family-owned boutique property on the fringes of the Ranthambore National Park. It’s a heaven for wildlife enthusiasts as spotting jungle cats from your room isn’t uncommon here. One can enjoy various activities like river safaris, jungle safaris and nature walks. The property has cottages, tents and rooms. Electricity is supplied harnessing solar energy and battery banks are used to store power to minimise the use of a generator. However, the biggest achievement of Khem Villas has been consistently practicing rainwater harvesting, leading to an increase in the water table of the adjoining area.
6. The Machan- Lonavla, Maharashtra

 

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Standing amidst a vast expanse of foliage, The Machan has eight different types of machans. If bonfires, camping, stargazing and connecting with nature are your thing, a getaway to The Machan should be on your list. To champion sustainability, The Machan is an eco-friendly resort that generates energy through renewable sources, prepares meals on parabolic solar cookers and recycles 80% of their water among other things.
7. Evolve Back- Kabini, Karnataka
kabini
Image Courtesy- Evolve Back Resorts
An uber-luxurious property featuring jacuzzi huts and pool huts, Evolve Back is the perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of city life. Retire into the lap of luxury, and enjoy experiences such as night trails, boat safaris and nature walks at this resort. Going the extra mile to be eco-friendly, the property has its own RO plant for drinking water, cutting down the use of packaged drinking water. Along with solar energy, it also harnesses wind energy to generate electricity and employs a novel system to convert kitchen waste into manure.
8. Barefoot at Havelock- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Barefoot at Havelock is India’s only beach-side jungle resort where the environs of a jungle and sea waves are just a short walk away. The property features tents, cottages and villas for visitors to choose from. Fitted with modern amenities, the property employs many sustainable practices such as rainwater harvesting and waste management. One can also enjoy various water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking and deep-sea diving here.
9. Ananda in the Himalayas-Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand
ananda
Image Courtesy- Ananda in The Himalayas
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Ananda, a spa resort makes for a perfect, relaxing getaway. Other than its world-class spa, Ayurveda and meditation experiences, the resort is also eco-friendly. The hotel has adopted various measures including the use of recycled water for gardening and has pens and bags made of biodegradable matter. It also holds afforestation drives to increase forest cover on the hills and discourages guests from using fresh linen every day.
10. The SUJAN Serai- Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

 

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Located 30kms outside Jaisalmer, on the dunes, the SUJAN Serai is an ultra-luxe tented property. The tented suites offer private gardens and plunge pools as well, giving ultimate luxury in the middle of the desert. The hotel employs various eco-friendly practices such as rainwater harvesting and using waste paper as fuel for heating. It has also has installed a state-of-the-art water recycling and filtration system for its swimming pool in order to preserve groundwater.

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