Eco-luxury Resorts

September 14, 2012 | 14:27
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Timeout chooses ten top luxurious resorts that are ethical and green.

In the clouds at Topas Ecolodge Sapa

Topas Ecolodge is situated in a perfect location  on two cone-shaped hills set deep in the spectacular Sapa valley of northern Vietnam. The ecolodge consists of 25 individual lodges placed in a circle around the hills. From the lodge there are breathtaking views across the scenic valleys below, which are home to villages of the Tay and Red Dao minorities. Topas Ecolodge is based on ecological principles. They have implemented a wastewater facility to avoid pollution of the local area. They employ local people and use local products and goods in order to bring economic benefits to the local community.

The ecolodge was constructed by local builders, skilled architects and experienced trades-people. Staffing the lodge with local people offers them opportunities for employment throughout the year. Topas Ecolodge management and staff understand and support the environmental and social policy and are committed to continuous improvement of environmental performance by identifying ways to minimize both wastage of natural resources and pollution of the environment, as well as taking social responsibility.  Whether you prefer the quiet life of the lodge or wish to join more active pursuits such as trekking, bicycling in the local area - they’ll have something for you.

Luxurious nature at Flamingo Dai Lai resort

Spanning 123 hectares in Ngoc Thanh Commune, Phuc Yen city, Vinh Phuc province, Flamingo Dai Lai Resort is an eco-tourism complex with villas built from pine wood scattered through ideal grounds. It sits upon an undamaged ecosystem endowed with seven hills, six forest areas, four peninsulas, three streams, two lakes and an island that is home to thousands of birds. This wonderful setting is just outside the capital city and comes replete with a complex of high-end resort villas and outstanding high-end services.

Besides the villas perched around the beautiful lake or located in the middle of the pine forest, the resort features a range of entertainment and sports facilities. Guests can join the Flamingo Club, the Golf & Multi-sport Club, the Sailing Club, the Culture and Art Club, the Entertainment Club or the Health Club.

With a unique landscape and architecture among the forests, Flamingo Club is an ideal space for club members to enjoy some down time with family and friends. Tourists and residents of Hanoi can also escape the hubbub of the downtown and come out to Flamingo Club to relax. Price starts from VND5,600,000 per villa, per night.

In the jungle at Forest Floor Lodge

Located 160 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Forest Floor Lodge lies in the middle of Nam Cat Tien National Park with its 600 plant species, 240 bird species, and 50 species of mammal. The Forest Floor Lodge offers 12 boutique accommodation units in the form of deluxe tents, and traditional Vietnamese wooden houses, each suitable for double occupancy. These are secluded and equipped for your comfort, with good quality bathrooms and tastefully selected furnishings. Each room has a mini-bar, ceiling fans, and air-conditioning.

The Forest Floor Lodge accommodation units are accessed via elevated walkways and offer either views across the Dong Nai River, or a “living in the jungle” ambience. The Executive Tent is recommended for a wonderful view of the river and ultimate privacy. Packages via Luxury Travel start from $231 per person based on the private party of two people.

Escape to An Lam Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang

Picturesque, pristine, and off the beaten track, is what travellers can expect of An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas, a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered. The isolated villas are  perfect for those who seek the ultimate indulgence of a luxury lifestyle with serenity, peace, excellent food, caring service and a stunning white beach. An Lam Villas are situated 25 minutes by car from the Nha Trang airport and 10 minutes by boat.

Away from Nha Trang City, An Lam Villas are on the lay side of Ninh Van Bay, with the East Sea in front of the resort and protected by beautiful hills and vegetation behind. With a total of 35 luxury villas, An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas come in several styles providing the discerning traveller with the ideal choice of accommodation. All villas are equipped with a private plunge pool; flat-panel TV with satellite channels; DVD player; Ipod loaded with music; Wifi; air-conditioning; and butler service. Prices from $230 per room.

A Green Paradise -  Chen Sea Resort and Spa, Phu Quoc

Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Centara Boutique Collection, is the beach-front resort located in a quiet pristine bay, allowing guests to enjoy the peace and natural beauty of Phu Quoc Island. The resort was built after a long and thorough study in order to be integrated with and respect the natural environment of the bay and its surrounding coastal zone.

The architecture of the resort is inspired by the local environment and followed a project plan that minimized the impact on nature as much as possible. Chen Sea is the realization of a dream to create a resort that blends into the bay and coastal zone’s natural habitat. One has to stay for a while to experience the tranquility and peace of the property. It has all the elements in place to ensure that guests enjoy their stay in total serenity. Prices from $120 per night.

The perfect countryside getaway at Emeralda Ninh Binh

Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort & Spa sits amidst the largest water-flooded land conservation area of Van Long in Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province, 85km south of Hanoi. The five-star resort is set in a typical northern village, with dikes, rice fields, vegetable gardens and rivers adding to the beauty of this wonderful destination. The resort covers 16.2 hectares and features 172 rooms which blend modern and traditional styles in harmony with the natural surroundings.

The northern “delta style” architecture means earthen walls, tiles and wooden frames. Guests can explore the beautiful landscapes of the countryside by bicycle, pedaling off into the heart of the Vietnamese countryside. Van Long flooded nature preserve is well-known as the inland Halong and it’s a stunning backdrop to a late afternoon. Visitors can also organize rowing trips across the wetlands.

There are many cultural attractions a short distance away from the resort, such as Kings Dinh and Le Temples, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Trang An eco-tourism centre and Kenh Ga hot spring centre, as well as the evergreen Cuc Phuong National Park. Prices start from VND2,499,000 per room, per night.

Wild Nature at Mango Bay Resort, Phu Quoc

Mango Bay is an eco resort known for its calm and restful style, eco sensibilities and great food and drink. It has two secluded beaches on Phu Quoc island.  It is a low density resort: 40 rooms and bungalows  are set over 1km of coast and 20 hectares of indigenous natural forest and garden, giving a sense of space and seclusion. All rooms and bungalows are simple, yet beautifully decorated. Interiors are furnished with locally-made four-poster beds, wooden furniture, overhead fans and cotton mosquito nets. All have wooden shutters to allow the sea breeze to freely flow.

Whichever accommodation option you choose, from the compact and practical Verandah rooms to the ultra-indulgent Reef House spreading over 120 square metres, you will certainly experience great quality of craftsmanship in the handmade furniture of the room, the rustic charm of locally sourced materials, and the pampering effect of luxury toiletries and soft furnishings. Prices from $185 per room, per night.

Expansive views at Vedana lagoon Resort & Spa

Nestled on the shore of a peaceful and serene lagoon, Vedanā Lagoon Resort & Spa is ideally situated to offer stunning views across one of the largest lagoons in Southeast Asia. Lying between the two World Heritage Sites, Hue and Hoi An, Vedana Lagoon is designed with harmony between the local traditional culture and a modern art concept.Its two bedroom Pool Family House is elegantly designed with a focus on natural materials, with a kitchenette, private pool, private sundeck, private sauna, steambath, gym, living room and garden looking over the lagoon.

The Pool Honeymoon Villa is an excellent private space for honeymooners, with one bedroom, private plunge pool, luxurious bathroom and outdoor shower. The Honeymoon houseboats with only one carbin offer a new style of accommodation with modern amenities and elegantly designs for comfort, for privacy and also for romantic inspiration. Prices start from $350 per room per night.

Natural inspiration at InterContinental Sun Peninsula Danang Resort

One of Southeast Asia’s most anticipated new resorts, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort has opened its doors, heralding a new standard of luxury accommodation in Vietnam.

With its own private bay on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Bill Bensley-designed InterContinental Danang lies in one of the region’s most exquisite locations and eco luxury is at the heart of their set up and concept. The resort is implementing a series of initiatives during the construction phase to ensure that once they are operating, it will be very environmental friendly.

They are also committing to ensure that their people understand this concept through a series of training and informative sessions. As the resort harmony adjoins the nature, there are many sustainable elements that they are implementing to ensure being an environmental friendly property. All 197 of the resort’s rooms, suites and beachfront villas are equipped with large overhangs for sun shading and reducing cooling load.

Once guests open their balcony door and window, the air conditioner will automatically respond, thus reducing unnecessary energy waste. Prices from $220 per night for stay from now till January 1, 2013.

A dream come true - Six Senses Con Dao Resort & Spa

Set on the untouched island paradise of Con Dao, about 230 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Six Senses features luxurious villas with private infinity pools and unobstructed views of the East Sea.

True to Six Senses philosophy of selecting remote but accessible destinations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, Con Dao is an untouched and breathtakingly beautiful area, protected for decades as a national and marine park. Six Senses Con Dao, the first five-star resort in the archipelago, is reached by daily flights of just 45 minutes, from Ho Chi Minh City.

With a passionate commitment to supporting and protecting the environment, Con Dao has been built with the very lightest ecological footprint. Elegantly designed modern accommodations offer generous personal space. The resort offers 50 villas along a mile of sandy beach, sheltered by the green forested hills behind and with stunning vistas of the deep blue sea and the curve of the bay. Styles range from single-level to duplex and offer one, three and four bedrooms, with indoor-outdoor bathrooms. The efficient design reduces air conditioning whilst providing additional natural ventilation. Price from VND15 million per room.

What the stars mean:

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