Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Designer Bill Bensley constructed Shinta Mani Wild on the border of Southern Cardamom National Park in west Cambodia to help protect the surrounding 860-acre forest. A National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, the complex features 15 luxe tents, each sporting a theme—National Geographic is one—and an outdoor bathtub. Guests can arrive via zipline and fill their visits with picnicking, hiking, and helping rangers check wilderness cameras that deter poaching. The staff of 120 includes former poachers and loggers.
As the scope of sustainable travel has grown, remote ecolodges have inspired new ways to tread lightly and care for local communities and the environment. The paradigm now embraces geothermal energy, upcycled furniture, and sourcing food directly from farms, initiatives found in lodgings that range from safari camps to urban hot spots.
Big players in the hospitality world—such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, with the new LEED Gold-designed Lodge at Gulf State Park—are catching up with pioneers such as the award-winning Cayuga Collection, often using their scale to sway guests and staff to focus on responsible travel. Whether you’re headed to the backcountry or the big city, these new accommodations offer overnights that put sustainability in style.
- Nat Geo Expeditions