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Global Vision Awards 2010

Sanctuary at Oil Lentille in Kenya.

Photo: Courtesy of the Sanctuary at Oil Lentille


Green Luxury: Sanctuary at Ol Lentille, Laikipia, Kenya

A three-year-old retreat in central Kenya, the Sanctuary at Ol Lentille has everything luxury travelers expect from a safari lodge: suites with plunge pools; gourmet meals and butler service; and guides who find some of the country’s best game viewing. It also has other, more surprising touches, including solar-generated power and harvested rainwater that supplies 80 percent of the lodge’s needs. What’s more, Ol Lentille has created a conservation model that makes partners and owners of the local Masai community.

Take the Trip: Between game drives, guests can brush up on their game tracking with the lodge’s private bush-skills course (doubles from $1,200, all-inclusive).

Environmental Leadership: Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, Central America

Costa Rica’s status as a forerunner in green travel is built on pioneering hotels such as Lapa Rios Ecolodge and Latitude 10 Beach Resort. What these properties have in common is Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a small management company that works with them (plus three more in Costa Rica and one in Nicaragua) to help combine luxury with sustainability. Rooms are carefully set within forests, infinity pools are maintained with salt and ionization, and refillable water bottles are provided at check-in.

Take the Trip: Lapa Rios (doubles from $380) offers naturalist-guided evening walks through the surrounding jungle, where guests can spend the night in a covered platform bed. For more, see cayugaonline.com.

Sustainable Design: Feynan Ecolodge, Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan

Although the Middle East has become the epicenter of over-the-top development, the 26-room Feynan Ecolodge takes a radically different approach. The adobe-colored property, 2 1/2 hours from Amman, is both austere and alluring—and true to its bedouin roots. Solar panels generate power, and house-made candles light the rooms at night. In the winter, olive-pit charcoal is burned in fireplaces for heat. Guests hike through the wildlife reserve, dine on traditional dishes, and get a taste of the authentic Middle East.

Take the Trip: While at the lodge, book a full-day walking tour, which includes a picnic, introductions to local shepherds, and tea in bedouin tents. (doubles from $120).

Green Giant: CityCenter, Las Vegas

A behemoth development of hotels, residences, restaurants, stores, and casinos may seem an unlikely paragon of sustainability, but the year-old CityCenter is anything but conventional. Its LEED-certified hotels (the Mandarin Oriental, Vdara, and Aria Resort) were constructed with cutting-edge green-building techniques. Classic Vegas amenities have been given a new twist: limos run on natural gas; slot machines double as air conditioners. But it’s the sheer scale of CityCenter’s accomplishments that’s most notable. The development’s efficiency initiatives alone save an estimated 94 million kWh of energy and 50 million gallons of water each year.

Take the Trip: The 4,004-room Aria (doubles from $159) is the largest LEED Gold–rated resort in the world. For more, see citycenter.com.


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