Environmental Protection

Travel Group Names Top 10 Eco-friendly Destinations

TripAdvisorĀ® announced on April 6 its top 10 eco-friendly accommodations, according to its editors and travelers. From rustic cabins in the forest to contemporary digs in the city, these green properties allow travelers to be environmentally conscious, while enjoying incredibly unique and beautiful places to stay.

1. Eco-Adventure: Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins, Belize - Travelers' Choice Winner 2009 - Average Nightly Rate: $245

Set on 21 acres of coastal forest, this eco-resort's green practices ensure that nothing goes to waste, from composting all vegetable and fruit scraps to using old linens as cleaning rags.

2. Terra Firma: Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyo. - Average Nightly Rate: $371

Organic linens, low-flow toilets, and solar-powered faucets can be found in guest rooms, and even relaxation is green here, with organic spa products, and 100 percent natural mattresses made from recycled and organic materials.

3. Organic Accommodations: La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Uvita, Costa Rica - Travelers' Choice Winner 2009 - Average Nightly Rate: $166

Set in the rainforest, the eco-lodge's electricity is generated by solar and hydropower, and the water is heated by the Costa Rican sun. Buildings are constructed from re-forested wood and local materials, and rely on natural air currents to cool them.

4. Tree House: Morgan's Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - Travelers' Choice Winner 2009 - Average Nightly Rate: $257

It's all about trees at Morgan's Rock, which has planted 1.5 million trees for farming to help reduce forest destruction, and added nearly 100,000 permanent new trees to the property to provide a home for wildlife.

5. Preservation Place: The Ambrose Hotel, Santa Monica, Calif. - Average Nightly Rate: $242

The first hotel in the U.S. to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver Certification, the Ambrose Hotel has green practices including composting, cleaning guest rooms with eco-friendly products, and recycling.

6. Nature Nook: Hix Island House, Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico - Average Nightly Rate: $200

Solar panels contribute to heat the water on the property, and the shower water also helps water the fruit trees, and other plants on the site. Nestled on a natural refuge among native plants and animal species, the hotel is committed to tranquility, and does not allow disruptive items like phones or televisions.

7. Wildlife by the Water: Alaska's Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Homer, Alaska - Average Nightly Rate: $300

Only accessible by boat, floatplane, or helicopter, this eco-lodge built from local and reused materials gets water from a mountain stream. Its programs include recycling and energy-efficient lighting, and the lodge offsets carbon emissions by planting a tree for each guest.

8. Conservation with Coffee: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, Santa Barbara, Costa Rica - Average Nightly Rate: $370

The Inn's 30-acre coffee plantation is certified sustainable and offers guests the chance to learn about growing and processing organic coffee.

9. Sustainability Under the Stars: Concordia Eco-Tents, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John - Average Nightly Rate: $130

Eco-tents employ solar power to heat water and run appliances and recycle extensively. Elevated walkways help preserve the property, and odorless composting toilets save water.

10. Paint the Town Green: Hotel Monaco Seattle - a Kimpton Hotel, Seattle, Wash. - Average Nightly Rate: $344

The Hotel Monaco donates unused toiletry bottles to local charities and uses recycled paper across the property. Guests' rooms are equipped with recycling bins, low-flow toilets, faucets and showers, and organic coffee and snacks.

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