Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eco-friendly Hotels in Mexico

Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari once said that a single tree in tropical forests of Mexico has “more different species than some European countries. It is true, Mexico is a country with lots of ecological destinations for travelers looking for something other then the overcrowded tourist destinations. While researching hotels and evaluating their ecological footprint, I have found four resorts or hotels that are worth visiting. These hotels were graded according to their green features including their water usage, energy consumption, community outreach, and more. I have included two of the top green hotels in Mexico, along with two other hotels that I believe are unique in their own way.

Photograph contributed by Tubohotel: http://www.tubohotel.com/welcome/

My favorite hotel has got to be the Tubohotel in Morelos, about 45 minutes from Mexico City. The hotel is nothing fancy with only accommodation offered, however the rooms are what make it interesting, which are built out of recycled concrete pipes and are stacked on top of each other. Staircases lead guests up to their “tubo” which houses a bed inside. For only 40 USD per night, it is a perfect spot for backpackers looking for a good experience. The rating is only 1 out of 5, but this is due to the fact that the hotel has not built their restaurant or other facilities yet.

Photograph contributed by Prana del Mar: http://pranadelmar.com/

Another hotel that is worth checking out is the Prana del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, which is so eco-friendly that if guests purchase carbon offsets on their flight, the hotel will credit that amount towards massages or other excursions. Prana del Mar also runs on 100% solar energy, composts excess food and organic materials, uses only refillable water bottles, has servers that run on wind energy, and offers organic sheets, bath towels, and bath mats. Rated 3 out of 5, this place is great eco-friendly hotel that stays true to its name and runs at $230 per night, all-inclusive.

Rated 5 out of 5, these next two hotels meet all of my criteria for being a truly eco-friendly. The Balamku Inn on the Beach is located in Costa Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula. The resort has everything from biodegradable soap to composting waste units. They also help to protect engendered trees on the property which include palms, zapote, and also plant hibiscus, banana, mango, and papaya trees. For around 86 USD per night, this is a great getaway for travelers and will not drain the pocket book. The second hotel is The Fairmont Acapulco Princess in Acapulco. This five star resort runs at 140 USD per night and is recognized as one of the top 500 hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure magazine. The hotel has created a program called Eco-Meet which is a green conference planning option aimed toward reducing waste at large conferences. Eco-Meet educates attendees about environmental concerns and about venue options that conserve energy, water, and effective waste management.

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