6 Eco-friendly Hotels in Southeast Asia | DirectAsia Insurance
Living in this part of the world known as Singapore, you have the luxury of abundant nature from Southeast Asia’s vast sea and tropical rainforests. As Singaporeans travelling overseas, you have easy access and the buying power to support countries that are making efforts to promote tourism and sustainable eco-tours.
What is an Eco-tour?
An eco-tour is a trip aimed at understanding the value of natural attractions such as the Southeast Asia shorelines and forests. It also connects the historical culture of the local community to conservation efforts.
Basically, an eco-tour is an experience tour which meets the following requirements:
● Conservation of nature and culture
● Economic return or benefit to local communities
● Learning experience for travellers – that’s you!
So, if you’re thinking of taking a break and playing a part in preserving the environment, here are 5 eco-friendly – and gorgeous – hotels in Southeast Asia that will win your green heart over.
1. Oasia Hotel Downtown – Singapore
Source: Oasia Hotel Downtown
Why it’s eco-friendly: Oasia Hotel Downtown stands-out among the towering skyscrapers in the heart of Singapore city. With a facade of a blossoming vertical garden, this 27-storey hotel is enveloped by foliage and a spectrum of greens.
The tower’s red aluminium mesh hosts creepers, with delicate flowers and green leaves. Besides providing food for birds and insects, the creepers help absorb heat and provide up to 60% shade. A welcome respite on scorching days and less harmful gasses emitted through air-cooling systems. If you’re really feeling hot, you can cool off in the rooftop pool.
What to expect: Oasia Hotel Downtown’s 314 stylish rooms are all decked in earthy tones, wood and touches of copper, complimenting the hotel’s nature-driven design. Over 50 species of plants were used to create this eco-friendly hotel, including 33 species of trees and 21 species of creepers that attract seasonal birds and insects.
Price per night: rooms start from SGD$240 with Club Lounge access, breakfast as well as afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
2. Sekeping Serendah – Malaysia
Source: Sekeping Serendah
Why it’s eco-friendly: If you’re feeling little more adventurous and want a retreat right in the heart of the Southeast Asian jungle, then you should take a drive to Sekeping Serendah in Malaysia. A nature retreat that prides itself on integrating architecture with surrounding nature – there’s no air-conditioning installed at all! The group of 10 homestays are also right smack in the middle of a 5-acre rainforest.
So, you’ll have to bring your own toiletries and food – unless you choose to order pre-packed meals from the caretaker.
What to expect: Sekeping Serendah’s homestays have a minimalist zen design. While the main structure of the houses are made of stone and wood, mesh is used throughout so that it blends perfectly with the surrounding nature. There are two pools within the Sekeping Serendah compound, and several paved jungle trails for you to feel adventurous on.
Price per night: Rooms start from SGD100
3. Lodges Ekologica on Portibi Farms – Indonesia
Why it’s eco-friendly: Lodges Ekologica on Portibi Farms is literally on a farm that comes with accommodation. So, local produce and meats are literally a few steps away, eliminating the need for carbon-generating transport. Meanwhile, electricity is provided through solar power too! Lodges Ekologica on Portibi Farms also reduces water wastage by collecting rainwater for outdoor water use.
What to expect: Nature is the richest in providing you luxury and it reflects through the food and surroundings. Take part in green activities on your holiday such as gardening, vegetable picking, and even tree-planting. Or, if you’re feeling super adventurous, you can go for a hike by the nearby waterfall!
Price per night: Rooms start from SGD60 inclusive of 3 gourmet meals, afternoon coffee & tea, snacks, and regularly scheduled farm & nature activities.
4. The Yard Hostel – Thailand
Source: Bangkok Post
Why it’s eco-friendly: The Yard Hostel uses upcycled shipping containers for its rooms, while its toilets save water by up to 35% – need we say more? Well, we must add that its air conditioning uses up to 40% less energy and it uses recycled paper for insulation against the scorching Bangkok heat. They also haven’t forgotten about the little details – their homemade yoghurt and jam are zero-plastic, and they offer guests reusable bottles to borrow during their stay. Talk about being eco-friendly and eco-thoughtful!
What to expect: This is a hostel not a hotel, so you won’t be getting much in the way of typical luxuries. However, The Yard Hostel gets glowing reviews from guests, citing impeccable facilities, cool ambience, and exceptional service from staff and owners.
Price per night: Mixed dorms start from SGD20 while private rooms start from SGD50
5. The Gibbon Experience – Laos
Why it’s eco-friendly: The Gibbon Experience isn’t a hotel, but rather a conservation project. It started in 1996 to combat illegal logging, commercial cropping, and excessive slash-and-burn practices. Although on the pricey side, your money will help keep this “hotel” going; to protect the native wildlife and local communities from destructive capitalistic activities.
What to expect: This one-of-a-kind treehouse has breathtaking views of the forest canopy and is suitable for active travellers. Depending on which package you choose, you get to trek, zip down zip-lines – just like a gibbon – or swim in freshwater pools with waterfall views. When you’re all done, you get to sleep in a treehouse at the canopy layer of the forest!
Price per night: Rooms start from SGD420 for 3 days and 2 nights – depending on which tour you choose. Good news is they’re reopening from 1st October 2022.
6. El Nido Resorts – Philippines
Source: El Nido Resorts
Why it’s eco-friendly: Reusing water is the main theme here. Treated water is used for toilet-flushing, plant-watering as well as its fire hydrants, reducing the need for energy-intensive desalinated water.
Also, to minimise damage to water ecosystems, El Nido Resort chooses not to offer motorised water activities like jet skis. And when it comes to food, El Nido Resort practises sustainability. For instance, El Nido Resorts transplanted giant clams to the front reef of Miniloc Island Resort and Lagen Island Resort from different parts of Bacuit Bay, where these endangered species are harvested indiscriminately.
What to expect: Everything you could ask for in a resort. Serene views, top notch amenities and facilities, impeccable service, and tons of beach activities to enjoy!
Price per night: This resort is pretty expensive with rooms starting from SGD600. But what price would you put on paradise?
Travel Insurance for Southeast Asia
Does your travel insurance cover Southeast Asia? DirectAsia’s travel insurance covers all the countries above. For a single trip policy with DirectAsia, your certificate of insurance will show the specific country you are covered for. For annual travel insurance policies, the geographical zone you are covered for is displayed.
Ensure you are covered with good travel insurance, especially if you plan to travel to one of these hidden paradises – not too far away – but still away from Singapore.