The Best Sustainable of 2022

These future-forward openings are paving the way with impeccable design and outstanding environmental sensitivity

By Jude Vargas, edited by Tansy Kaschak on 5.12.22

As people that are passionate about travel — and are aware of our footprint when adventuring around the world — how can we make decisions that will take care of our beautiful Earth? Are there places we can travel to that have our planet’s best interests in mind? The answer is yes. 

As travelers, we can choose to stay in and support properties that have made big commitments to run their businesses in more sustainable ways. So here are the new future-forward properties setting the bar in 2022. They are constructing mindfully or repurposing their existing infrastructure in ways that minimize their footprint. And their impeccable design makes it easy to think that the Future-Forward Traveler is how we should all be.


The Beach Caves — Ibiza, Spain
Summer 2022

A hotel within a hotel, The Beach Caves at Six Senses Ibiza is coming to life under the helm of Ben Pundole, pioneer hotelier and the founder of A Hotel Life and Stay Plastic Free. It is as creative as it is mindful of people and the planet. Six Senses at large has the BREEAM certification, making their  Ibiza property the first hotel certified in the Balearics. They plan to ban all single-use plastics at the property and from vendors. Their sustainable program will include a no-waste kitchen and bar. Choosing to stay here will help support two local community programs, as 0.5% of their revenue will be contributed to a sustainability fund — a number that sounds small but converts big considering their revenue figures. We already loved the more remote side of Ibiza and they are giving us yet another reason to stay and to explore the northern part of the island. 


Terrestre — Puerto Escondido, México
February 2022

The latest addition to Grupo Habita’s family, Terrestre is a stunning forward-thinking hotel envisioned by Mexico’s famous architect, Kalach. The team made sure not to disrupt the trees or plants, building in areas that were empty. With reduced use of disposable plastic and running entirely on solar — even the kitchen — Terrestre encourages you to slow down once you arrive. There are only 14 suites, each with its own terrace and dip pool on the roof, all looking out to the ocean from one side and out to the sunrise over the mountains from the other.  And ha, the joy of taking an afternoon dip in the saltwater pool and not stepping out smelling of chlorine…


The Homestead — South Africa
Opening Winter 2022

Doing a safari is on the top of so many travel must-do lists. Who doesn’t want to see animals in their habitat without disturbing them? The Homestead is carefully creating only 12 safari lodges that will blend into the natural surroundings. Out of 23,000 acres, the portion of land dedicated to the accommodations is truly very small in comparison. Combining the original 19th-century structures with new buildings using sustainable materials, the architects of Homestead didn’t want to create just from scratch but rather reuse and repurpose. The property is almost all powered by the sun as well! And they have electric vehicles, so you will be enjoying your tailored safari game drive with little impact. How cool is that?


Svart — Meloy, Norway
Opening 2022

Norway definitely has stunning nature on multiple levels, but now there is something else to write home about. Svart will be found sitting at the bottom of the Svartisen Glacier in Norway. Not only does it impress its guests with its circular structure, but it will be the first energy-positive hotel. Read those last four words again…. How? It is being constructed with solely solar-powered electric energy and, once opened, it will continue to operate on the same source that was being used during construction. There won’t be a more exciting way to see the Northern Lights!


One & Only Aesthesis Athens, Grece
Opening 2022

We are excited for the opening of the One & Only Aesthesis in the Greek islands, mixing the minimalist design with timeless chic glamor. They are working towards their LEED Silver Accreditation which is a global symbol of sustainability achievement. Boasting 52 acres of beachfront, 15 acres being a forest reserve to experience true nature. The team is still finalizing its sustainability plans but is focused on protecting the wildlife, nature, and culture through responsible operations, conservation and education. As the Greek philosopher, Aristotle said, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous”; so let it be our greatest teacher.


Castle Elvira — Puglia, Italy
Spring 2022

 Another repurposed hotel, but this time a restored castle. Castle Elvira’s team has carefully thought of a multitude of ways to be more sustainable. From how they heat and cool the Castle, their goals are to eliminate nearly all single-use plastics (currently they think they are at 90%), and the use of solar thermal systems, to offer only recyclable or compostable amenities. They are also communicating with their suppliers to reduce the use of plastic packaging — a good reminder to use our influence whenever possible. With only six rooms it is easy to take it over entirely with friends or family to explore the 37 acres of olive and lemon groves!

Spirit Utah A Hotel Life

Spirit — Utah, US
Summer 2022

This stunning property represents only a small portion of its 1,100 acres bordering the Zion National Park in Utah. Spirit’s focus is on nature and the beautiful surroundings, making sure to minimize the impact on the environment. Each of the suites is being constructed with sustainable practices and the roofs will have solar panels and photovoltaic fabric technology. Each suite will also have bike stations for two electric bikes for its guests, so you can adventure further into nature.


The Londoner — London, England
September 2021

Although it opened last fall, we had to slide this one in, as we’ve only been able to enjoy it once travel restrictions in the UK were lifted this year. And,  The Londoner is noteworthy. This is the first building of its kind in London with six levels below ground — the deepest habitable-grade commercial building. From the beginning, the development team took into consideration the environmental impact of the build and the ongoing footprint the property would have, which helped it receive an excellent BREEAM rating. The Londoner has chosen to use new technology and materials that reduce energy use by 30%; an investment into the future to protect the amount of water and energy used.

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