You know dear reader as I have got older my view on luxury has evolved somewhat. Luxury used to just be about a certain level of five-star service, a ridiculously fancy pair of expensive shoes or a meal at a Michelin star restaurant. Nowadays my ultimate luxuries are a long lie, a walk in the fresh country air, my diarised Pilates or a coffee break and chat with a pal…. and brilliantly none of these soul nourishing, grounding or well-being luxuries come with a heavy price tag. These rare escapes in our overly connected and polluted world have become a true luxury.
Over the last few years I have been learning about a new type of luxury …. eco-luxury or sustainable luxury travel. Probably the best way to describe this is luxury travel that prioritises sustainability. As more of us re-evaluate how and where we spend our precious time off there has been an increased awareness of the environmental, social and economic impact of our tourism.
This rise in eco-conscious travellers, particularly millennials, want luxury greener travel options that actively seek to preserve global destinations for years to come at the same time as respecting the local community. This type of travel is not limited to the environmentally conscious tourist who stereotypically wanted to stay in a yurt or live in the jungle. This growth has been especially prominent in the luxury hotel market where affluent modern green travellers have been applauding hotels who work hard in considering their sustainable ethos.
When it comes to eco-luxe travel, many hotels started to reduce their impact on the planet with waste reducing efforts including paperless check out, recycling, saving water by not changing bed sheets everyday for longer term guests. These simple steps quickly started a ripple effect. Soon hotels began to consider their carbon footprint more and moved to using locally sourced ingredients in their restaurants, having water powered electricity systems, hot water from solar panels and buildings that were made and fitted out using local sustainable materials.
Where luxury and eco-conscious holidays used to sit at opposite ends of a spectrum, luxury travel has been redefined. Eco-luxe travel has moved on from being described as a trend to being a way to vacation. It is fair to say that when it comes to low- impact luxury holidays that don’t cost our earth, you could say the more sustainable it is the more luxurious it is.