Real Leaders

3 Luxury Sustainable Destinations We’d Love to Visit

It can be easy to get caught up trying to cram as much as possible into a trip. After all, this may be the only time you visit the destination.

Though a packed itinerary may seem ideal on paper, you’ll likely spend most of your vacation rushing from one place to another. So while you may tick off many bucket-list sights, you’ll miss out on getting to know the destination. This fast-paced hit-and-run style of tourism is a surefire recipe for stress. Instead, give yourself more time to explore the destination. Instead of taking multiple shorter trips each year, opt for just one, longer vacation.

Life’s too Short to Stay at Home

If you’re looking for tourism that truly has a positive impact but unsure where to go, Earth Changers connects you to the most sustainable tourism worldwide, engaging with the people behind places to reveal their true passions and purpose. Instead of sending a check to charity in a far-flung destination, go there yourself and show your support. London-based Earth Changers’ unique destination and human stories demonstrate commitment to community and conservation for sustainable development through tourism. On the same day, her oldest friend’s partner was hospitalized with a terminal illness and another friend was in a car accident, left in a coma, founder Victoria Smith decided in her 20s that she had to have something serious on her resume. “Life is too short not to explore, pioneer, and follow your heart and adventure with passion,” she says. “We should experience the world, extraordinary people, and awe-inspiring places.” Many people think of tourism just as lovely holidays instead of a complex and extensive sector of an economy, but tourism supports 10% of the world’s jobs and GDP. Help plant trees at the Lapa Rios Ecolodge in Costa Rica; work alongside communities in Madagascar on their sustainable solutions for health, conservation, education, and livelihoods; or see firsthand how high seas research, coastal conservation, education, and marine filming is done on a marine conservation yacht.

Your Childhood Treehouse in the City of London

Retreat into the reclaimed wood walls of Treehouse Hotel in London, a cloud-brushing escape where you’ll encounter a green paradise. Rooms are a portal back to childhood —silver birch tree trunks pierce through bathroom tiling, endearing sloth toys sit on organic bedding, and cushioned window nooks are perfect for sipping tea while gazing at views of cinematic city landmarks. Treehouse Hotel was founded on the ideas that inspire a child to build a treehouse. Adventure, independence, cozy spaces, and repurposing crafty things are what make a place warm and special. The hotel celebrates found objects, nostalgic tunes, handmade details, and locally sourced treats. The owners have minimized single-use plastics, committed to a recycling and composting scheme, and placed locally sourced products around the rooms.

A Luxury Vacation that Gives Back

After setting up Cambodia’s first private marine sanctuary, Song Saa Private Island founded its own nonprofit organization, the Song Saa Foundation, which works to protect the natural habitats of the Koh Rong Archipelago and improve the welfare of people who live there. The resort has been pioneering luxury tourism in Cambodia for many years and has always done so with sustainability in mind. To date, the foundation has provided 3,000 locals with vital healthcare; distributed stationery, vitamins, and clothing to 6,000 schools; distributed water filters throughout the archipelago; and protected more than 10,000 hectares of mangrove forest. “We have a 700-foot marine reserve around Song Saa where the underwater wildlife is thriving like never before,” says general manager Donald Wong. The resort is proof that luxury can be done responsibly, bringing benefits to both visitors and locals.