Find an Eco-Friendly City for Your Wedding

If you are planning an eco-friendly wedding outside your home town then you might be interested to know just how eco-friendly your chosen destination is.  Here at Ecoura we did a little research and discovered the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index report.  This covers the USA and Canada and looks at a variety of factors to determine just how eco-friendly each city is, including energy use, green spaces, transportation and sanitation.

In the top 10 there are 7 cities in the USA and 3 from Canada.  New York was the highest ranked city on the list, coming only second to Vancouver.  Next was Boston in 5th place, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver and Los Angeles. Here are just a few of the venues that you could consider.

New York

Finding a great eco-friendly wedding venue in New York is easy.  Take a look at Mohonk Mountain House. The building itself has been designed to offer a range of environmentally-friendly measures and there is a great spa where you and the wedding party can relax either before or after the big day. For the wedding you can opt for organic and locally-produced food and even arrange your wedding flowers from the venue’s own greenhouse.

Boston

Just north of the city of Boston is Ferncroft Country Club, which has recently added a rooftop deck ideal for a wedding reception.  The grounds are ideal for the wedding photos and the venue has implemented a number of eco-friendly measures including an initiative to reduce food waste to zero.

San Francisco

Head over to W San Francisco where you can take part in the ‘Make a Green Choice’ program. The hotel offers a rewards program where you can refuse to have daily housekeeping in your room and earn points that you can use at other hotels in the future.  Fewer housekeeping visits will save water and energy and you will also get a green welcome amenity when you arrive. The hotel also offers discounts on a bike share scheme, making it easier to explore the city without adding to your carbon footprint.

Denver

The Warwick Denver hotel is rapidly becoming a very popular wedding venue in the city. One of the main attractions of the hotel is the great views of the city’s skyline. The hotel offers a complimentary bike hire service to guests, providing an eco-friendly option for exploring the city. Alternatively the city is also home to the Castle Marne venue, where you can choose from indoor or outdoor weddings and where there is a solid sustainability plan in place. Every section of the venue plays its part in creating a much more eco-friendly environment.  To date the hotel is actively aiming to reduce energy consumption, has introduced a number of recycling initiatives, grows a large amount of the food used in the restaurant, rents out bicycles and trains staff on the various sustainability programs.

A Treehouse Honeymoon in India

There are many ways you can get closer to nature on your eco-friendly honeymoon but you may not have considered spending some time at a tree house resort in India. India is a great place for a honeymoon, particularly if you want to avoid the busier cities. There are many tranquil resorts where you can stay in eco-friendly accommodations that are a lot more unusual than a standard hotel room!

Vythiri Resort, Wayanad

This resort is in Kerala and is very eco-friendly. Located in the heart of a rainforest, the views from the rooms are amazing. The location also means that you are well placed to find out more about the local wildlife and the conservation work that has been carried out here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that staying in a tree house means that you have to compromise on luxury. The accommodation here includes features such as Jacuzzis and plunge pools.

The Machan, Lonavala

This region is already a hit with those from Mumbai and Pune as a destination for a short break. The Machan resort is a luxury destination where you can enjoy comfort and style 40 feet above the ground. The resort is 100% off-grid and only sustainable materials were used to build it.

Tree House Hideaway, Bandhavgarh

The accommodation here has every modern convenience that you could want. In the heart of a tiger reserve, this is a great place to observe the local wildlife.  Local materials and craftsmen were used to create the resort, which offers air conditioned rooms and other amenities. The resort has been named as one of the top 100 in India.

Tree House Cottages, Manali

This is a family-run resort that offers you many different options for your stay. There is a vegetarian menu served by the resort or you can make use of your own kitchen to prepare your own meals. The resort can also arrange for you to go on one of several day trips to nearby attractions. Most of the accommodation is cottages but you can also choose to stay in a Swiss tent.

Vanya Tree House, Thekkady

With electricity generated by solar power and wind turbines, this eco-friendly resort is located in the Periyar Forest on a 12 acre site.  Guests can enjoy the local Kerala cuisine that is cooked on traditional wood burning stoves.  The water for the site is taken from a well and guests need to be careful with the amount of electricity that they use because the only supply is that which is generated on-site. This is a great place, not only if you want to get back to nature, but if you want to make sure you are conserving the Earth’s natural resources.

These are just a few of the treehouse resorts that are available in India. No matter which one you choose you can rest assured that your stay has not had a great impact on the environment.

 

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in Montana

The amazing scenery in the beautiful state of Montana lends itself very well to the perfect wedding photographs, so why not consider one of the eco-friendly hotels or resorts where you can not only hold your wedding, but enjoy a tranquil honeymoon too?

Mt Hood Organic Farms

Located just at the base of Mt Hood, this is a family run business in a very picturesque rural area. The farm has been hosting weddings for more than a decade. You can book a weekend wedding here between Memorial Day weekend and the start of October. There are both indoor and outdoor options at the farm for the ceremony and reception.  Catering can be provided by the farm and most of the ingredients used are seasonal and organic. The farm’s own event coordinator will work with the bride and groom to ensure that the big day goes smoothly, arranging every detail to meet with your expectations.

Element Bozeman

One of the most eco-friendly hotels in the city, Element Bozeman has been working hard to ensure that as many aspects of its day to day running are environmentally friendly. The hotel has been LEED certified because of its efforts in recycling and other green practices.  Waste reduction is an important part of this and there are energy efficient faucets and other fixtures that reduce the hotel’s energy consumption. The hotel’s kitchen has energy-efficient appliances and the hotel only uses eco-friendly cleaning products.

The hotel is ideal for the smaller wedding and has enough accommodation to ensure that every guest has somewhere comfortable to stay. All rooms include a kitchenette and breakfasts are complimentary.

The Resort at Paws Up

This Greenough venue is a very beautiful, rural venue. The Resort at Paws Up is one of the state’s most eco-friendly resorts with practices such as energy efficient appliances and lights, eco-friendly cleaning products, organic toiletries for the guests and sustainable farming of the surrounding land. Some of the guest accommodations are provided in safari-type tents – comfortable and almost carbon neutral at the same time.  Guests are provided with reusable water bottles to save on the use of plastics.

The staff at The Resort at Paws Up can help you to plan the perfect day, whether you want a rustic ceremony or a black tie event. The resort can also cater for weddings of all sizes, with The Great Angus Hall able to accommodate 200 people, but the venue also has the facilities to host weddings for as little as 30 people. The resort can also provide transportation to and from the nearest airport, reducing the need for guests to hire cars, therefore reducing the carbon footprint of your big day.

Whatever you are expecting for your big day, there is an eco-friendly resort or hotel in Montana that will suit your needs.  Why not talk to one of the event coordinators today and start making plans for the happiest day of your life?   

Eco-friendly honeymoon destinations in Italy

Italy is one of the top destinations in the world for honeymooners, but what about those who want an eco-friendly honeymoon?  The good news is that there is no shortage of eco-friendly hotels and resorts where you can enjoy quality time with your husband or wife without worrying that your time there is going to leave a dent on the future of the planet!

Luxury in Milan

Located on the Via dell’Orso, the Hotel Milano Scala claims to be the city’s first zero-emission hotel. The hotel has a 4 star rating and it has a very private feel, given that it has just 62 rooms.  Right in the heart of the city, the hotel is in the perfect location for those who want to explore the city, with some of the main attractions within an easy walking distance. The hotel also has a number of suites available for those who want more space and the hotel guarantees that there are no CO2 emissions to pollute the atmosphere.

The hotel planners have taken steps to ensure that the heating and air conditioning are both eco-friendly. There is an automated system that controls the heating and cooling of the building and keeps energy consumption to a minimum.

Luxury on Lake Garda

Located on Lake Garda, the Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda is in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of Italy.  The hotel has around 11 hectares of terraces and gardens that lead down to the lake and with 93 rooms and suites, there is plenty of accommodation for you to choose from. The spa is one of the biggest attractions of the hotel and it is a great place for you to relax, feel pampered and recharge your batteries.

The structure of the hotel has been designed to fit into the hillsides so the energy requirements are not the same as they are for other buildings. The windows of the hotel have been designed with athermic glass so they can help to heat and cool the building as needed. The hotel has been constructed with natural materials that have been sourced locally. The use of biomass, turbines and an absorption cooling system all help to keep the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. The hotel has also published details on the percentage of energy that is generated on-site and details of the reduction on carbon emissions.

These are just two of the eco-friendly establishments in beautiful Italy where you could enjoy the honeymoon of your dreams, but there are many more that you could consider.  Why not head for the Alps in the north or to the beautiful coast?  With so many amazing locations for your honeymoon you could even consider a tour.  Italy is one of the most perfect honeymoon destinations, especially if you are keen to stay green!  

Break with Tradition for an Eco-Friendly Honeymoon in Ecuador

Planning your honeymoon does not mean that you have to spend your time at a luxury resort soaking up the sun – you could head off the beaten track a little and do some exploring.  Did you ever consider a honeymoon in South America?  Countries like Ecuador have so much to offer, particularly if you are concerned at all about your carbon footprint.

A number of travel companies run tours so that you can have a fixed itinerary for your stay or you can just book your own flights and hotels and do your own thing.

The quaint capital

The capital city is Quito, located at the foot of Pichincha, the volcano. It is surrounded by mountains and hills and is packed with old monasteries, Colonial churches and architecture that blends various influences from the history of the city including Spanish and Flemish. Just 22km from the Equator, why not take a trip there?  You get to stand across the line and you can then say you were in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time!

Jungle living

As part of your trip you can spend a little time in the Amazonian jungle. This part of the world is very sparsely populated but if you are staying in one of the eco-lodges in the area it is easily accessible. Often these are only accessible by flying from Quito, so you will feel truly remote. The Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve was constructed with the local architecture style in mind – the buildings were put together without using any nails!  

During your stay at the lodge you can choose from different excursion types, depending upon how fit you are.  The easy program includes short hikes and the opportunity to spend time with some of the indigenous people.  The moderate program will take you a little further into the rainforest, out on canoes and give you the chance to visit the local communities. Occasionally you may stay overnight with one of the Achuar communities or in a tent. The last option is not for the faint-hearted!  The difficult routes will often see you spending several days at a time out in the jungle.  You may get the chance to visit parts of the jungle that have seen very few visitors so expect to be carrying your own food and other supplies.

Kapawi accommodation

The ecolodges have bathrooms that have a solar-heated water supply and solar power is used to supply much of the energy that the lodges need.  Toiletries and other products in use at the lodges are biodegradable and there is a policy of recycling everything possible from glass to plastic. Your time here is almost carbon neutral, so spending your honeymoon here carries much less guilt than most destinations you could consider!     

Eco-friendly Honeymoons in France

When you want a romantic honeymoon then there are few destinations which conjure up the image of romance more than France.  Home to what is widely considered to be the world’s most romantic city, Paris, France offers the chilled-out and laid-back way of life that you need when enjoying your first few days of married life.  However, for an eco-friendly honeymoon, there are plenty of options available to you outside of the capital city.

Woodland life in the Dordogne

Why not enjoy the peaceful life in a Woodsman’s Cabin in one of the most beautiful areas of the country?  The remote setting ensures you will not be disturbed and it has everything that you need for your stay.  The wood-burning stove heats the water and the cabin is lit by oil light or candle.  When on your honeymoon champagne and flowers are part of the package and transport is provided in the form of a tandem. Breakfasts are provided and you can enjoy activities such as canoeing or touring the vineyards. For those who want total seclusion this option is perfect.

Auvergne guest house

Head to central France to the region of Auvergne where you will find an eco-friendly guest house or two.  Try Les Liards, where you can hike in the beautiful countryside.  The guest house itself has been carefully constructed using traditional building methods and eco-friendly materials.  Located in the Livradois-Forez regional park, it is perfect for those who love the outdoors life.

The most romantic city in the world!

Paris is a must for those wanting a romantic break but you can also find an eco-friendly option here.  The Hotel Gavarni is close to main attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysées and uses only renewable energy sources, is now carbon neutral and only eco-friendly products are used throughout the hotel.  The food is organic and fair trade and as a result of all its efforts to be greener, the hotel has become the first independent hotel in the city to achieve the European Ecolabel, a quality standard for eco-friendly businesses.

A Normandy valley

La Maison du Vert is located in Ticheville in Lower Normandy and is ideal for those who like the great outdoors.  The restaurant is vegetarian and vegan, with many ingredients grown in the hotel’s own gardens.  Organic drinks are served in the bar and the grounds are a mix of landscaped and wild areas.  Cycling is a popular activity in the area and the hotel has two bicycles that can be used by guests at no extra charge.

For honeymoons France might seem like a long way to travel but the rewards are clear when you get there.  The chance to relax in beautiful surroundings that will not make much (if any!) impact on your carbon footprint should not be missed.

Top Eco-Friendly Luxury Hotels

Planning an eco-friendly honeymoon can often be quite difficult, particularly if you do not want to compromise on luxury.  The good news is that some of the world’s top luxury hotels have taken on board their guests’ concerns about the environment and have started to make the changes needed for eco-friendly credentials.

Laguna Lodge

461_6044The jungles of Guatemala are home to the Laguna Lodge hotel.  With views of Mayan ruins, this luxury hotel is now one of the greenest in the region.  Designed using locally produced materials, this hotel generates its own electricity and has a water efficiency program. The menu in the restaurant is vegetarian and the hotel staff are hired from the local indigenous people. The design of the hotel also takes its location into account and minimizes impact of light and noise on the surroundings.

Cleaning agents and other products in the hotel are all vegan-approved, are created with the help of only natural insecticides and are biodegradable. The amount of electricity generated on-site is more than the hotel actually uses and there is a good energy management program in place, although the hotel does not have any official accreditations to show for it yet. You cannot reach the lodge by car, so when you arrive, be prepared for a hike or a boat-ride.

The Scarlet

Head over to the UK for The Scarlet Hotel, located in Cornwall, England.  The cliff-top location of the hotel offers amazing views and every aspect of the hotel has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. The building is energy efficient, featuring a green roof along with plenty of insulation to minimize energy consumption.

The restaurant at the hotel has a strong vegetarian menu and guests who want to feel pampered can make the most of the eco-friendly spa.  The two swimming pools are chlorine-free and solar panels are used to heat the water. All cleaning products and toiletries are environmentally friendly, with many of them sourced locally. The hotel has strong links with the local community, working with them on a number of different projects.

The hotel’s roof is made from a native plant known as ‘sea thrift’ and the outdoor pool is filtered naturally with the help of reeds. Maximization of natural light means that there is not as much need for artificial light and there are car charging points for those guests who drive eco-friendly electric cars. Even used candle wax is recycled at this hotel!

No matter which side of the world you want to honeymoon on, there is an eco-friendly hotel that will suit you.  With environmentally-friendly spas, swimming pools and even haute cuisine, there is no need to compromise on luxury at all and you have no need to worry that your honeymoon is going to add to damage being done to the planet.

Have an Eco-Friendly Honeymoon in Mexico

No matter where you want to go for your honeymoon, there are eco-friendly hotels and resorts just waiting for you!  Mexico is no different, consider one of these for your honeymoon.

Xinalani Retreat

rlWgMKEuMTS0LFV6rlWmnKcyVwc7VaqcMUEbVwb0ZmNfVzuynJqbqPV6ZwDjsK0fVaOuqTtvBvWcoJSaMKZipUWiMUIwqP9jpz9jMKW0nJImYmHkZmLip3WwYGplZwN2YGR0ZGH4ZGt4AmxhnaOaVvjvqzIlp2yiovV6VvW9If you want to head over to Banderas Bay you could spend some time at the Xinalani Retreat.  This is a tranquil and luxurious resort with the ocean on one side and a jungle on the other.  This small hotel brings you close to nature and offers a range of workshops and wellness retreats. You also get to avoid the hustle and bustle of the main tourist destinations in the region, so peace and tranquillity are yours for the taking.

Escudo Jaguar Hotel

The Escudo Jaguar Hotel can be found in the state of Chiapas, right on the Usamacinta River.  As well as the range of hotel rooms, guests can opt for camping if they prefer to be closer to nature. This resort has been designed to appeal to the ecotourist and is run by the Chole natives. The hotel’s on-site restaurant serves traditional dishes using locally-sourced produce. Activities available here include swimming, hiking and tours of local archaeological sites.

Xaloc Resort

The Xaloc Resort can be found on Holbox Island, on the edge of a white, sandy beach. The accommodation is luxury bungalows that have been designed to meet with eco-friendly standards. Guests on honeymoon here can simply relax on the beach or go swimming. Take the opportunity to pick up a few locally-made craft items to take home as souvenirs.

Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxin Spa

Hacienda-night-viewThis luxury resort can be found near Chicen Itza and is perfect for those interested in local history, thanks to its proximity to a number of Mayan archaeological sites. The spa offers a range of treatments that take their inspiration from the native cultures. There is also a wide variety of ecotourist activities on offer in the local area and the hotel’s staff will be happy to help you to book as needed.

Puerta Calakmul Ecovillage

This is a great honeymoon option for those who like their adventure holidays. The Puerta Calakul Ecovillage is located in Campeche, Mexico. It is located very close to the largest archaeological area in the region and the biosphere. There are so many amenities on site that it is so easy to relax and unwind, but there are also plenty of trips you can take part in to explore the surrounding area.

There are plenty more eco-friendly honeymoon destinations in Mexico so why not do a little research and find out more? Mexico is filled with hidden treasures and the examples mentioned here are ideal if you don’t want to compromise on luxury.  Simple measures such as recycling programs and energy efficiency measures mean that you can enjoy those luxurious touches without leaving a black mark on the planet.

 

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in Las Vegas

When you are planning your eco-friendly wedding, Las Vegas is probably not the most obvious destination.  Usually associated with bright lights and glitz, this city does have its fair share of venues that are taking a keen interest in the environment and which can help you to have the day of your dreams without denting the ozone layer any further.

Chapel of the Flowers

At the Chapel of the Flowers the team works hard to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum.  One change has been to purchase flowers for the venue in small quantities and in accordance with the requirements of each couple. As much as possible for the venue is purchased locally and when items need to be delivered to other locations a fuel-efficient van is used. There are several outdoor wedding locations to choose from at the venue so you can make the most of the natural beauty of the surroundings and of course, the natural light.  The venue has its own photographers and instead of printing out all the photos you can simply go online to view the images to choose which ones you want to have printed. Planning your day can all be done via the website and email if you prefer so you can keep your own carbon footprint low.

Aria at CityCenter

aria wedding las vegasThis venue is one of the largest hotels to achieve the LEED Gold certification. Eco-friendly features here include a natural gas plant to generate both energy and heat and it also keeps emissions to a minimum.  There are water saving and recycling programs and all cars at the venue are gas-powered. The hotel uses low-watt lighting to keep energy usage down and also has a number of features designed to reflect the sun so that the cost of cooling the building is much lower.

Springs Preserve

This venue is also LEED Certified and is home to an ecological café and catering service.  Those who come here can not only enjoy a greener wedding day but can also learn more about desert life.  Food produced for events here all comes from local suppliers who offer fresh and organic produce.  The carpets are recycled, the building has straw bale insulation and there are cooling towers attached to the hotel.  There are also facilities to produce solar power and wind power and there are a number of recycling initiatives.

Choosing Las Vegas for your big day does not mean that you have to buy into the ostentatious image of the city where there are cars galore and energy consumption is at an all-time high.  All you have to do is a little research and you could find that you have a venue that can do everything you want for the environment and still give you the glamorous day to remember.

 

 

Eco-friendly Honeymoons in Mexico

Mexico is a country that has attracted mass tourism in recent years, yet even with all the large scale luxury resorts there is a growing eco-tourism sector here and many of the larger hotels and resorts are now making the switch to greener practices. This makes it the ideal destination for those who want an eco-friendly honeymoon! Take a look at these luxury resorts where you can enjoy all the finest features of modern hotels, but without worrying about the damage being done to the planet.

Xinalani Retreat

Head over to Puerto Vallarta to Banderas Bay. The Xinalani Retreat is a tranquil resort that has both a jungle and ocean backdrop for you to enjoy. It is only a small hotel but the accommodation is luxurious. Here you can take part in wellness retreats and group workshops as well as enjoying all the luxury features of the resort.

Escudo Jaguar Hotel

This hotel can be found in the Usamacinta River in Frontera Corozal. This is a resort that has camping areas as well as standard hotel rooms. The Choles native people run the resort and have taken good care of the land around the resort. The food served here is based on locally-grown produce and there are plenty of activities that are available to guests.

Xaloc Resort

The luxury bungalows at the resort have been constructed using eco-friendly methods and materials. Guests will notice that all the small green details have been covered. Again, a wide range of activities are available at the resort as well as local attractions such as craft workshops. Explore the local area and mingle with the local people to get a feel for the traditional side of life here.

Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxin Spa

Consider a trip to Chicen Itza where you can enjoy luxury accommodation but be close to the various Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. The spa offers a range of holistic treatments that take their inspiration from the Mayan culture. There are a number of ecotourist activities in the region and the hotel can arrange for you to take part.

Puerta Calakmul Ecovillage

This is the perfect resort if you want to spend a little time exploring the jungle. The hotel has a high standard of accommodation as well as a range of amenities for guests to enjoy. Staff can arrange for you to go on trips to see the local ruins and other attractions in the area.

The hotels have employed a wide range of eco-friendly measures in order to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes alternative methods of energy production such as solar power and wind turbines as well as strong recycling policies and water saving measures. Using local produce not only cuts down on a carbon footprint but also supports the local communities. Why not consider one of these resorts for your eco-friendly honeymoon?