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Photograph: Courtesy Andres Garcia Lachner

10 gorgeous hotels that are as sustainable as they are stylish

From Mexico to Germany, these eco-friendly and gorgeous properties making sustainable travel easy.

Edited by Sarah Medina (Time Out), in association with Visa
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So, you've swapped out your plastic straws for metal ones and you carry a tote everywhere you go. Now it's time to make your travel plans a little more eco-friendly. Luckily, the days of sustainable travel being a little, um, crusty are way in the past. These days, green properties are as stylish and luxurious as everyone else.

From Mexico to Germany, we're highlighting eco-friendly and gorgeous properties making sustainable travel easy. At these luxe hotels you'll find multi-course, farm-to-table, completely vegan meals, compostable packaging, chemical-free cleaning, and on-site composting and rain-water collecting while creating a unique and comfortable environment for guests. 

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Sustainable and stylish hotels

The 1 Hotel Toronto really pushes the biophilic envelope. The chic retreat in the heart of Toronto's entertainment district never deviates from its sustainability narrative: hangers are made from old maps; suggestions for reuse of shower caps are written on their cardboard packaging (camera cover, bicycle seat shield); an on-site organic composter turns waste into reusable soil for the thousands of plants on the property. The hotel’s stylish design, in resolutely mushroom tones, includes furniture made from felled city trees (each is marked with its genus and the tree's original location). But a stay in one of the 133 guest rooms and suites is as luxurious as it’s eco-friendly. Sip fresh organic green juice while ensconced in a soft, organic jersey bathrobe after a night between dreamy organic cotton sheets. —Karen Burshtein

Hotel Belmar is a second-generation, family-owned and operated hotel in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Not only does the property have a sustainability focus (solar panels, air drying, rain water harvesting, biodegradable cleaning products, chemical-free lawns and gardens, and more) it also makes art a focal point, including an art residency program for creatives from all over the world. At the Restaurante Celajes, the menu is crafted using farm-to-table ingredients from the offsite farm and onsite garden. Also part of the property is SAVIA, a 17-acre private reserve that highlights the unique biodiversity and allows guests to become immersed the forest. —Kristi Eaton

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Tucked away in Southwest France in the midst of the Landes Forest is Les Echasses Eco Lodge. With eight stilt homes perched along a private lake, this is the ultimate in serine sustainability. Not only is the lodge sleek and stylish but they prioritize the planet with locally sourced materials that coexist with their natural surroundings. A garden and orchard on the property provide fresh seasonal ingredients for the kitchen and sensational organic regional wines are served alongside dishes. While Les Echasses feels like a secluded eco paradise, you’re only a few minutes from the beach and about a 30-minute drive to Biarritz. –Abbie Synan

Nestled in the lush greenery of the Andes lies the picturesque pueblo of Jardín where you’ll find the beautiful Hotel Plantación. Seeing itself as a school for sustainability and a hotel, this nine-bedroom boutique property is a perfect bolthole for design lovers. The contemporary, luminous rooms feature a canvas bag and reusable water bottle for guests to use throughout their stay as well as luxurious refillable toiletries, Turkish-style cotton towels and a bucket for collecting excess shower water. The exceptional vegan breakfast offers delights like scrambled tofu or banana pancakes accompanied by locally sourced coffee or hot chocolate topped with orange zest. The property’s showstopper is its roof terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. —Laura Field

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Germany-based hotel group Motel One offers affordable prices, ultra-stylish interiors and a commitment to sustainability that goes way beyond asking guests to reuse towels. Each property operates 100 percent on green electricity and many Motel One buildings are certified for their sustainable construction—which is just the beginning of the brand’s environmental efforts. Inside, every location is uniquely designed to reflect the city and neighbourhood, welcoming guests with chic lobbies and guest rooms that strike a balance between comfort and simplicity. Breakfast is locally sourced and vegan-friendly, so starting the day at a Motel One is nearly as pleasant as ending with a drink at the bar, where you’ll find more than 50 varieties of gin. —Summer Rylander 

What’s considered the forefront of mindful accommodation, Mas Salagros was the first 100 percent eco-friendly resort in the Iberian Peninsula. What was once a farmhouse built in the 1400s, the property is green global certified, meeting strict requirements without skimping on comfort and impeccable design. The property produces minimal waste and is active in reducing their carbon footprint. A major draw is a visit to their ancient thermal baths, so you can experience ancient Roman baths a mere thirty kilometers from Barcelona. –Abbie Synan      

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Azul Nomeolvides translates as forget-me-not blue. And there’s no chance guests here will forget their visit to the ‘Lagoon of Seven Colors’. Located on the shore of Lake Bacalar, this exclusive eco-resort is a closely guarded secret. The six thatched wooden cabanas are completely off-grid and have their own balcony, hammocks and concealed open-air shower. All wastewater is recycled and the hotel provides environmentally friendly products such as bug repellent, sun cream, and honey shampoo. Such measures help to preserve the existence of the lake’s rare stromatolites - fragile fossils that are the oldest living lifeforms on Earth. —Chris Atkin

Villa Lena | Italy
Photograph: Courtesy David Kaliga

8. Villa Lena | Italy

Villa Lena has all the hallmarks of the Italian dream location, think Call Me By Your Name vibes but updated, for guests that prefer something quiet, immersive and most importantly, rooted in sustainability. A stately old Italian aristocratic villa, set on 500 hectares and restored with the environment as priority number one, it plays home to an artist in residence and old agricultural buildings are now guest rooms filled with upcycled local materials and furniture. The Villa’s on-site restaurant has a slow cooking philosophy and is served by an ‘organic orto’ and local Tuscan meat and game producers. As they say themselves: tradition complements renewable technology and next-generation thinking. —Kate Bowden

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Saorsa 1875, located about 90 minutes from Edinburgh by car, bills itself as the “UK’s first vegan hotel.” What does that mean exactly? Basically, responsible consumption is at the forefront of everything they do. A tree is planted somewhere in the UK for every meal served. Rooms are full of upcycled vegan furnishings with no leather or fur in sight. Not surprisingly, the on-site restaurant also has an all-vegan menu with a different five-course tasting menu served every night. While the mission behind the hotel is solidly contemporary, the property itself dates back to the 19th century providing a chic historical grounding to your forward-looking stay. —Will Gleason

Located on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Finca Victoria is an idyllic farm stay that is as beautiful as it is sustainable. Locally and woman-owned, the property runs on 100 percent solar energy powering a series of "casitas," each with a unique, mid-century-inspired design, vintage pieces, art from Puerto Rican artists, and pops of color for a tropical vibe. The chefs prepare vegan dishes with some ingredients sourced at the farm or from local farmers. With a pool, spa using natural ayurvedic principles, and nearby unspoiled beaches, you will not want to leave la Finca. —Jessica van Dop DeJesus 

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