How to book an eco hotel responsibly

María Olazábal Corral is CEO and founder of Eco Hotels & Resorts. She talks about her eco mission, and making responsible travel easier.

By Eco Hotels & Resorts
Published 11 Apr 2022, 09:19 BST
By the pool at LJs Ratxó Eco Luxury Retreat in Palma de Mallorca, where guests are ...

By the pool at LJs Ratxó Eco Luxury Retreat in Palma de Mallorca, where guests are offered a greener way to enjoy their stay.

Photograph by Eco Hotels & Resorts

The popularity and prevalence of sustainable hotels has been rocketing since the early 2000s. But for as long as they’ve been around, they’ve been fighting to change the wide assumption that sustainable practices and high-end luxury are mutually exclusive concepts. Eco Hotels & Resorts is a platform that grew from this need, where travellers can book hotels in destinations all over the world, safe in the knowledge that they’re not only eco-conscious, but also meet the very highest standards of luxury and comfort. Founder and CEO María Olazábal Corral’s goal is to encourage travellers to make greener choices, boosting responsible travel and ensuring green hotels become the norm rather than the exception. 

Do people have preconceptions about eco hotels? 
Here in Mexico, people often tell me, ‘Oh, it’s nice what you’re doing, but I’ve never stayed at one of your hotels because I like hot showers and running water.’ It’s frustrating but changing perceptions is kind of the point — by choosing our hotels, people find out that they can travel to a very comfortable or even luxurious destination and have an amazing experience, while also being kind to the planet at the same time. 

How do your hotels support local communities? 
Each hotel is different because each community is different and has its own needs. Some of our hotels are focused on helping with local education, making sure the communities have proper sustainability training including the ways in which they can improve their surroundings. 

Some of our hotels have helped out local schools by providing solar panels, while others focus on ensuring everything in the hotel — from the food to the furniture — is sourced from local artisans. All our properties endeavour to hire employees from local communities, too. 

A sunset hut at Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort in Aruba — an adults-only retreat with eco initiatives at its core.

Photograph by Eco Hotels & Resorts

What are the benefits of staying at an eco hotel? 
Every time you go to one of our hotels, you can ask for a sustainability tour, which will show you firsthand the measures the hotel is taking to remain truly sustainable, and the impact that has. These hotels offer incredible experiences and the feeling you get when you arrive is amazing. We’re also working on involving different charities that operate in the same region as the hotels, so travellers  know that by visiting these places, they’ll be helping out local charities and having a positive impact on local communities. 

What would you like to see travellers do to be more sustainable in the future?
I want people to leave our hotels feeling inspired to change at least one thing in their day-to-day lives. Little changes like carrying a water flask or bringing your own cutlery. My advice to people travelling and staying in hotels would be to always ask their hosts questions. "Why are you doing this? What are you doing about that?" Sometimes, they have no idea, but when we ask these questions we’re applying pressure to hotels and airlines to make responsible decisions more quickly and effectively.

For more information on enjoying a responsible stay, visit

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