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How much you will pay for the world’s most lavish eco-friendly stays

Patina Maldives sets the sustainability bar high with a string of green projects to benefit the Maldives, its communities and the environment. Picture: Patina Maldives

Patina Maldives sets the sustainability bar high with a string of green projects to benefit the Maldives, its communities and the environment. Picture: Patina Maldives

Published Oct 8, 2021


WEALTHY travellers are looking for more than luxurious accommodation; they prefer eco-friendly trips and stays that contribute to the environment and enhance the locals’ lifestyles.

Here is what you will pay at these lavish eco-friendly stays:

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Casa Xixim

Where: Talum, Mexico

If you are a fan of Netflix’s hit show The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, you've probably swooned over Casa Xixim during season two’s eco-friendly stays episode. Truth is, there is nothing you wouldn’t love at this four-bedroom property that shows off some of the most incredible waterfront views in the country.

Casa Xixim, a private eco-luxe beachfront villa on Soliman Bay, adopts many sustainable practices. These include sleek modern architecture using indigenous materials, permaculture design, rainwater harvesting, recycling, composting, upcycling, and it’s fully solar-powered. Casa Xixim regularly works with the community as well as the local turtle sanctuary.

Guests at this property will enjoy a fully-staffed, boutique hotel experience, kitted with wi-fi, their private pool, beach access, snorkel gear, and kayaks for those who want ocean adventures. At an additional cost, your concierge can arrange for other activities, tours, in-home masseuse and spa treatments. The property sleeps 8. Rates start from R29,506 a night on a 4-night minimum stay basis. Visit

Patina Maldives

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Where: Maldives islands

This newly opened attraction sets the sustainability bar high with a string of green projects to benefit the Maldives, its communities and the environment. The solar-powered resort preserves, filters and recycles water, provides “conscious cuisine” with several green practices in the kitchen and has a “no single-use plastic” policy. It is also home to 100% solar-powered kids’ club, recreation and dive centres.

The luxury establishment, designed by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, offers 90 villas and 20 studios. While there, also explore Fari Marina Village that offers wellness experiences, ocean journeys, interactive music programmes, and culinary and art activities. Rates start from $1 948 (around R29 193) a night. Visit

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Tintswalo Lapalala

Where: South Africa

This off-the-grid, family-friendly luxury camp is nestled inside 48 500 hectares of untouched wilderness in Waterberg, Limpopo. It prides itself on environmental and conservation practices, and guests can search for the Big Five while enjoying a green holiday. The solar-powered safari attractions include the use of gas stoves and geysers to provide cleaner energy.

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Tents are equipped with natural amenities, such as mosquito spray and nets and bathroom products. Plastic, metal, and glass items are all recycled, with reusable mesh bags used to prevent plastic from entering the reserve. Guests can also plant a spekboom to help neutralise the carbon footprint of vehicles and lodge operations created during their stay. The seven luxury tented suites flaunt a private plunge pool, en-suite bathroom and scenic views.

Activities include daily game drives, guided bush walks, and a children’s activity programme. South African rates start from R3 960 a person a night, inclusive of accommodation, all meals and two safari activities a day. Visit

Bawah Reserve

Where: Indonesia

Set 300km north-east of Singapore in the remote Anambas Archipelago, Bawah Reserve is a sustainability gem. The reserve is home to six islands, 13 beaches and three lagoons. Designed by Singapore architect Sim Boon Yang to minimise the impact on the environment, this attraction has undertaken a series of initiatives to create change, including community development and forest and marine conservation. It also set up the Anambas Foundation to offer environmental and community programmes throughout the archipelago.

These programmes include digital English lessons, seed farming, business lessons for village women, and solid waste management recycling equipment. It’s known as one of the world’s most secluded wellness resorts, and guests can immerse themselves in a string of activities, including scuba diving, snorkelling, forest hikes, marine conservation dives, cooking classes, stargazing and spa treatments.

The reserve offers a variety of accommodation options, including a two-bedroom lodge, suites, villas and bungalows. Rates start from $1 780 (R26 676) a night. Visit www.bawahreserve

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