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Many honeymoons come in traditional packages, with guests jetting off to beachside resorts to lounge by the pool. An eco-resort, however, offers a slightly different take on the classic, post-nuptial getaway. Instead, guests get a sustainable vacation that won't harm the environment, and a chance to connect better with nature, themselves, and their partner.
With outdoor yoga, nature tours, healing ceremonies, and nutritious food, these eco-resorts let honeymooners unwind with nature after you say "I do."
Best Overall: Palmaïa, The House of Aïa, Mexico
Palmaïa, on Mexico’s postcard-perfect Riviera Maya, is a beachfront retreat that's introducing a new way of thinking. At the forefront of planning this resort was sustainability, and it was conceptualized without disturbing the original landscape, with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2021.
Unique oceanfront suites were designed sustainably, without animal products, and all of them have private Caribbean-view terraces with biodegradable amenities. Some even permit swim-out access to one of four infinity pools.
A Nomadic Guide assigned to you and your partner helps shape the experience at Palmaïa, which could include activities like, curated, experimental music, temezcal ceremonies, beach club sunbathing, mood-based custom cocktails, and cuisine from four distinctive restaurants, serving ethically-sourced food and gourmet plant-based menus.
You'll be able to feel the romantic spirit while nestled between white sand and turquoise ocean and jungle-fringed cool-water centers. Plus, there will be plenty of cacao ceremonies, yoga, sound healing, and more, led by an in-house shaman.
Best Design: ORIGINS Lodge, Costa Rica
The first luxury lodge in Costa Rica’s northern jungles adds new meaning to being environmentally-friendly.
At ORIGINS, the property is made up of six lodges, with handcrafted canopy beds and hot plunges on the terraces. There's even an incomparable three-bedroom Villa Vertigo—named for the dizzying height of its treetop perch—that is far more elegant than what’s expected of an eco-lodge.
Vegetation-covered roofs at the location were designed to blend in with the existing flora. There’s no plastic—nor chemical pesticides—used on the 45-hectare primary forest site, which they’re actively reforesting by planting new trees. Honeymooners can dive right in with medicinal plant tours, waterfall hikes, horseback rides, lagoon fishing, chocolate-making, and organic treatments in the open-air spa.
Edible flowers and organic veggies from the onsite garden—a beneficiary of composting—make their way into fusion dishes that encompass vegan and vegetarian diets. And, you'll find garden-to-glass cocktails at Skyview Lounge, where each sunset is best spent.
Best Island: Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Sustainability and sumptuous luxury unite at this remote, private island resort, where dolphins routinely spin around. At Six Senses Laamu, there are 97 thatched-roof beach and overwater villas (crafted with local sustainable materials) that bring the extreme beauty of the environment indoors. You can enjoy features like sunken glass bathtubs and private overwater infinity pools, too.
You and your sweetheart can choose to spend your days indulging in the resort's seductive digs, or by cruising, island-hopping, diving, waterskiing, kite surfing, or watching turtles hatch. The sustainability initiatives include conservation of the latter, plus, they include seagrass meadow protection and manta ray conservation.
In half a dozen dining and drinking outlets, chefs serve healthy, fresh, and local fare, including seafood, caught sustainably by local fishermen. There are plenty of places to feel the romance, too. Enjoy destination dining (think lobster barbecue on the beach or dinner sunken into the sand), or stargazing with your love.
Best Jungle: Copal Tree Lodge, Belize
The jungle of Belize is calling from this 16-suite eco-lodge hidden within 22,000 acres of rainforest preserve in the Maya Mountains of Punta Gorda. The space, located in southern Belize, is a zone that's known for some of the best hikes in Central America. So, there's plenty of nature to explore.
At Copal Tree Lodge, the spa-style bathrooms fit in with their surroundings, thanks to their floor-to-ceiling tropical views. It’s a veritable playground for lovers of nature, who can hop aboard peaceful cruises on the Rio Grande, or plunge into the Caribbean for snorkeling or fishing adventures. It’s not only a hotel and spa: It’s also a 3,000-acre sustainable, organic farm, allowing guests to get hands-on learning about the production of coffee, chocolate, and other culinary traditions.
Of course, you can expect a lot of local liquor at The Garden Table Restaurant and Rum Bar, considering the lodge recently launched its own farm-to-flask rum distillery. Swim it off in the infinity pool that boasts views so killer, you might stay all day.
Best Luxury: The Brando, French Polynesia
It’s rare that extreme luxury is matched with true environmental sensitivity, but The Brando pulls it off beautifully.
The all-inclusive Polynesian private island is a model for sustainable tourism, with LEED Platinum Certification, innovative Sea Water Air Conditioning, coconut biofuel, and other technologies that are reducing its carbon footprint. Naturalist guides and environmental scientists are on-hand for a closer look.
For ultimate privacy on your honeymoon, snag a new 3,000-square-foot Brando Residence with a private pool, otherwise, one of 35 plush lagoon-edge villas will certainly do. There’s paddleboarding, canoeing, scuba diving, tennis, biking, and even arts and crafts sessions. And if none of that is of interest, find some time to relax with the holistic treatments available at the Varua Polynesian Spa.
When it comes to dining, most fish served comes from local waters, and many ingredients are grown organically on the island, specifically for three restaurants. If you have dietary restrictions, you'll find sophisticated, vegan menu options, as well.
Best Hidden Gem: Hotel Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, Easter Island, Chile
This resort doesn’t just respect its natural environment, it strives to become invisible within it.
At Hotel Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, the location boasts architecture inspired by the Rapa Nui ceremonial center, with curved walls, natural light, and grass roofs. Tiny, volcanic Easter Island is 2,000 miles from Chile’s long coastline—about as removed as it gets for newlyweds with an adventurous spirit.
Still, as sustainable as the 75 rooms are at Hotel Hangaroa, they have all the hallmarks of luxury, too. You can expect oversized, handmade, clay bathtubs, stone showers, wide, picture windows, and ocean-facing terraces. Behind the scenes, operations focuses on minimizing environmental impact.
The natural connection is evident in the hotel's expeditions, as well. During your stay, try scuba diving, horseback riding, ATV-ing, and enrapturing Rapa Nui (the island’s native name) history, and culture. Enjoy some downtime at the swimming pool, reading room, or the Manavai Spa, when you’re not indulging in one of the two restaurants.
Most Exotic: Bambu Indah, Bali
If any resort truly fits the word magical, Bambu Indah is it. There’s nothing to compare to this eco-boutique hotel in Bali’s rainforest-coated valleys surrounding Ubud. Made up of singular Javanese teak cottages, treetop tents, and houses with curved bamboo (a highly sustainable building material), Bambu Indah is simply one of a kind.
For newlyweds the romance of this location is off the charts, with a never-ending supply of intimate nooks, hanging chairs, suspended nets, and cushions for lounging. You and your sweetheart can also feel like Mowgli by exploring natural pools and paths. Two restaurants designed by innovating local architect Elora Hardy serve local Indonesian cuisine made with organic produce from the retreat’s permaculture gardens.
If you're looking for some relaxation, book a treatment in the bamboo massage pods, have a Balinese blessing, or take a yoga class. And, don’t miss the morning Trash Walk, where you can hike through the jungle and villages while collecting rubbish—a beautiful and feel-good way to give back to the island.
Best Adventure: Kasiiya Papagayo, Costa Rica
Sexy jungle vibes and contemporary design flair pervade this eco-retreat where zero environmental impact is the overarching theme at Kasiiya Papagayo.
Intimacy is one of the property’s greatest strength, as each of the five uber-chic tented suites is private and secluded, among the monkey-topped trees. You and your partner will be three mere steps from the sandy beach and in an ideal spot for primo whale watching and surreal panoramas.
Every bit of the materiality and construction was considered to eradicate impact and celebrate the natural world. There’s no need for a swimming pool when the Pacific Ocean is this clear and warm.
Head out into nature for kayaking, snorkeling, tree-climbing, yoga, and hiking, and while you're at it, seek sea turtles, dolphins, and more. There’s even a shaman who conducts mindful treatments in a treehouse-like spa cabin.
At Kasiiya Papagayo, the all-inclusive rates include a rotating, mouthwatering, multi-course menu that's based on what’s fresh and available locally (especially when it comes to just-caught seafood). You can enjoy your dishes by the sand or up at the Chef’s Table after a world-class sunset. Gaze at the stars from a telescope before retiring each night to a dream-filled bed in your personal paradise.
Best Wildlife: Abu Camp, Botswana
It’s hard to imagine it getting more Earth-friendly than a safari camp that can literally pack up and disappear—even better, a hyper-luxe one. Built by Luxury Frontiers, six sprawling tents at this Okavango Delta's Abu Camp boast large bathtubs, pools overlooking the lagoon, and mini easels stocked with watercolors and pencils.
There’s zero plastic onsite, as well as a solar farm. The designers of the intimate, immersive camp were so sensitive to nature that they constructed the main dining area and lounge around lush trees and what’s perhaps the world’s most massive termite mound. Animals stroll along—or hop right up in the case of monkeys—because they feel so at home.
The twice-daily safari drives are incredibly epic, but the most spectacular part of your stay might be sleeping in the moonlit Star Bed, an elevated mosquito-netted King within snoring distance of the elephant boma. And a great way to spend your morning? Waking up at dawn with the rescue herd to take a sunrise walk.
Best Domestic: The Palms Hotel and Spa, Florida
An eco-resort in the middle of Miami? It exists. Adorned with tropical gardens and palm trees, sustainability reigns supreme at The Palms Hotel and Spa, making it a truly transportive experience. The hotel's big focus: eliminating all single-use plastics from the property this year.
Honeymooners can feel good about the light footprint of their ocean-view stay, thanks to the Inspired-by-Nature program that includes reducing, reusing, and recycling. That extends to the bright, colonial-meets-tropical decor, with more than half of the furniture made from locally-produced, recycled, or rapidly renewable materials. Room keys are even completely recyclable.
When dining, breezy terrace restaurant, Essensia, dishes out fare using ingredients from sustainable farm purveyors, and even uses glassware made from repurposed bottles.
For the ultimate honeymoon touch, don’t miss out on fruity cocktails at the poolside Tiki Bar, followed by a trip to the AVEDA spa for holistic massages and treatments, featuring eco-friendly products.