10 Best Eco-Friendly Resorts In India To Relax And Unwind In, Post COVID

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Living in the pandemic, there are no doubts about the fact that the best thing to do is avoid travelling as much as we can and stay indoors. The dreaded second wave in India has not ony taught us but the whole world as well that the battle against COVID is still on and we must ensure that we follow safety protocols to the T. The biggest & the nicest change in the last few months has of course been the fact that the cases have gone down and massive vaccination drives have been going in all parts of the world.

Which brings a sense of security and hope in our hearts that things are getting better. With the lockdowns easing across the country, it doesn’t hurt to keep your heart and mind hopeful and engaged by planning out your next trip. And to alleviate a bit of guilt that might crop up at even the thought of considering anything else apart from COVID, we’ve decided to be environmentally conscious and give you a rundown of the best eco-friendly resorts that you could visit for your next staycation safely.

With the world where it’s at and climate change threatening the possibility of several more pandemics, it’s imperative that we remain ecologically conscious and do right by the environment, even as we imagine a better future where things go back to the way they were. Here are all the lovely eco-friendly resorts that you can bookmark and keep for your future trips:

1. Bhakti Kutir, Palolem Goa

Best time to visit: November-March 

Anyone who’s ever planned a trip to Goa has had to decide between living it up in the party-hub North Goa and relaxing and exploring cultural sites in the more serene South Goa. With how all of the past few months have been, we recommend the latter. In the lap of coconut groves of Palolem and Patnem in the South, the resort offers cabanas that are made of local materials like coconut wood, rice straw, and bamboo. 

Each room has a small passage for trees and plants to grow through, bringing you closer to nature. Besides the lush, therapeutic, and soothing atmosphere surrounded by local plants and trees, the property conserves energy by using power-saving lights and using the heat generated by the refrigerator to dry linen. Furthermore, all the toilets are linked to a compost system and the wastewater is used to water the gardens. Go here for a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.

2. Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal 

Best time to visit: April-October 

This 110-acre property is blessed with herds of elephants making their way through the region’s Shola jungles. The beautiful bungalows here are done up tastefully with wood from reclaimed doors and windows and guests here often spot tuskers going about their day over cups of coffee grown on a coffee plantation on the property. The region is also adorned by organic farms growing avocado, sweet lime, pepper, guava, and a whole lot more which fill the air with a wonderful aroma. All the villas have solar lighting and cast-iron stoves for chilly nights. If you’d like to experience wildlife up close and personally, this one’s for you.

3. Nameri Eco Camp, Nameri National Park

Best time to visit: October-April

One of the oldest nature resorts in the Northeast Of India, this one’s geographical location makes it great for contemplating life while gazing at the sky, the Nameri river, and the Eastern Himalayas. The property consists of twelve thatch-and-bamboo tents along with two cottages which are built in the style of the Mising tribe of Assam (and Arunachal Pradesh) and the restaurant serves traditional food made with vegetables sourced from the camp’s organic garden. Guests can take a look at elephants, tigers, and more than 420 species of birds while on foot or raft down the Jia-Bhoreli river. 

4. Khem Villas, Ranthambore 

Best time to visit: October-June

Go on a customized safari, familiarize yourself with the local arts and craft, plan a picnic lunch by the river Chambal or take a walk through lush gardens while spotting jackals, jungle cats, hyenas, desert fox, or even crocodiles at this property. Located on the fringes of the Ranthambore National Park, Khem Villas is a family-owned boutique property that offers cottages, tents, and rooms that are run on solar energy and battery banks. All the food is grown on the property and is irrigated with rainwater. If adventure and comfort are what you seek, this is for you.

5. Rainforest Retreat at Mojo Plantation, Coorg

Best time to visit: September-May

Taking a peek into a botanist couple’s dream to explore the relationship between nature and humankind, this property is housed in the most natural and breathtaking parts of Kodagu District. It offers two cottages that are surrounded by bamboo, bananas, and coffee, and orange plants and are illuminated by eco-friendly 12V solar lights. Organic waste is used in the property’s biogas plant which powers the kitchen and any that’s left is composted and used to fertilize crops of coffee, kokum, cardamom, vanilla, and a lot more. This one’s for travelers who are conscious and intellectually curious travelers.

6. Singinawa Jungle Lodge, Kanha

Best time to visit: November-February 

Offering luxury in the neighborhood of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, this property was built from the ground up and transformed from a weed-infested overgrazed plot to a glorious green retreat with the help of certain agricultural techniques. It offers 12 beautiful cottages overlooking the forest with double walls with a three-inch gap to ensure thermal and sound insulation and reduce the cost of heating and cooling. The property is solar powered and its water is harvested rainwater. Take a look at the rock formations nearby, go on a safari with trained professionals, or relax in the resort’s pool or spa, this one’s for when you wanna indulge. 

7. Shaam-e-Sarhad Village Resort, Bhuj

Best time to visit: October-March

Created as a part of an initiative by the Government of India and the United Nations Development Program to support rural tourism and create employment opportunities for locals in Hodka, this property is built by the local community. It consists of 3 bhungas (traditional houses) and 6 tents, all with attached private bathrooms. The walls are adorned with mirror work, textiles, and local crafts, and the entire property is surrounded by local plant species. If you’d like to support and experience the local culture, this one’s for you.

8. Karadi Malai Camp, Chengalpattu

Best time to visit: November-March

A drive’s away from Chennai, this one’s a convenient escape into the wild side from the chaos of city life. The owners are popular herpetologist-conservationist couple Romulus Whitaker and Janaki Lenin and the staff recommend guests to explore the Vallam Reserve Forest and hike up the Karadi Malai Hill to take a look at a variety of birds like the spotted owl and snakes like the Russell’s viper. Walks through the forest to the nearby paddy fields familiarise the guests with farm ecosystems, some of which are led by members of the Irula tribal community. The property offers 3 cottages made with bamboo matting and timber and each is solar-powered. Tap into your inner adventurer with a getaway to this place.

9. Elsewhere, North Goa

Best time to visit: November-March 

If you love being spontaneous then a staycation on a secluded strip of land that’s accessible only through a wooden footbridge is right up your alley. A complete departure from the hustle and bustle of city life, this property’s location is kept secret and only revealed to you once you’ve confirmed your booking. With the Arabian sea on one side and the Otter creek on the other three, it offers 4 traditional houses, over 100 years old, that are equipped with modern conveniences. If you’d like to sleep outdoors, you can pick a creek-facing tent as well. All of the beach houses and the tents have been built using reclaimed material while all of the water is recycled.

10. Kadumane Homestay, Dandeli

Best time to visit: October-May 

If you love the local experience everywhere you go, then you’d enjoy the company of Narasimha Bhat, the owner of this homestay as he spends hours helping guests identify all the different kinds of herbs that he grows on his property. We’re talking kadumane, citronella, and lime blossoms amongst many others. Offering laterite-stone cottages, a mud house, and tents surrounded by fruit trees along with an abundance of spearmint tea and wild honey, you could go kayaking, try coracle rides, or even raft down the Dandeli river. 

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