Socially Responsible Hotels & Where To Find Them

I recently wrote about Responsible Travel and the role social enterprise hotels can play in sustainable travel practices. However, I quickly realized that not only have the majority of people not heard about social enterprise hotels – but they have no idea how to find them! Quick recap – social enterprise hotels are operated for the good of the local community. A lot of hotels are focusing more and more on their effect on the environment (I’m sure you’ve all seen the words eco-hotel in recent years) And that’s great – I’m pleased to say that the majority of hotels have conservation policies in place regarding energy and water consumption etc as a bare minimum. However in the pursuit of corporate responsibility, social responsibility can often be sidelined. Social Enterprise hotels  – in their purest form – are run on a not-for-profit basis, where revenue generated from the hotel is given back to charitable endeavors and programs which help the local community. In this post I have listed every Socially Responsible Hotel that I can find across 6 of the 7 continents – and tell you how the income they generate is used to help the community.

Responsible travel may seem like a buzzword – but the message behind it is important. Pop on over to my responsible travel post for a run down of the 4 main principles of responsible travel with actionable tips of how you can help if you are little unsure. This post expands on the first principle – to help the local community and by making little changes to our usual habits – like staying in a socially responsible hotel where possible – we can help make a difference.

Socially Responsible Hotels - Hotels with a heart

Socially Responsible Hotels & Where To Find Them

 

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN NORTH AMERICA

In The USA

11 Howard (5* Boutique Hotel)

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation: 11 Howard, Soho, New York NY 10013
How are they Socially Responsible? 11 Howard has partnered with the Global Poverty Project – an international education and advocacy organisation working to catalyse the movement to end extreme poverty; Feed – a program creating products which fight against extreme poverty through the provision of school lunches in developing countries; and Groundswell – which partners with local community organizations to create collaborative public arts projects.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Stanford Inn by the Sea (4* Eco-Resort)

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation: 44850 Comptche Ukiah Road, Mendocino, California CA 95460
How are they Socially Responsible? The Stanford Inn look at reducing impacts on the environment and providing the healthiest context possible for guests, diners, staff, and the surrounding community. They work for social equity for their staff in order that they can survive in a very expensive region. They also provide educational programs in gardening, cooking, nutrition, yoga and meditation onsite, along with sponsoring community arts, theater, athletic events and programs.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In Canada

YWCA Hotel Vancouver (2-3*)

Responsible Travel - Social Enterprise HotelsLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The YWCA Hotel Vancouver is a hotel with a heart and a mission. All the money from your stay at the hotel goes toward YWCA Metro Vancouver programs and services to help women and children in the community – such as affordable housing, single mother support services and free hot meals in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (For full list click full list click here)
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Skwachays Lodge (4*)

Respoonsible Travel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The Skwachàys Lodge is a boutique hotel located at the crossroads of Vancouver’s historic Gastown and Chinatown neighbourhoods, catering to visitors seeking unique accommodation with a cultural twist. The modern boutique hotel is also a social enterprise that will give back 100 percent of its profits to the non-profit society and local aboriginal community.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

YWCA Hotel Banff 

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The YWCA Hotel Banff runs a small hotel and the revenues from this business are reinvested to support community programs, affordable residence and to pay wages. The Mission of the YWCA Banff is empowering women, girls and our community through leadership development, advocacy, and the provision of relevant programming and services.
Book Now via Expedia.com | Compare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Hotel Y Montreal

Socially Responsible HotelsLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The Hotel Y Montreal is a 3* star hotel is 15 mins walk from the McGill University and Bonaventure Metro. As with other Y properties,  the revenues from this business are reinvested to support community programs, affordable residence and to pay wages. The Mission of the YWCA Montreal is empowering women, girls and our community through leadership development, advocacy, and the provision of relevant programming and services.
Book Now  and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In Mexico

Playa Viva (4* Eco luxury Lodge & Yoga Retreat)

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? “Where Your Vacation Meets Your Values” Playa Viva provides an opportunity for tourism to do more than spend money on a hotel only but really engage deeply with the local community in giving to areas of real interest to guest and create real change. Projects they support include organic farming program for ecosystem development providing technical support to local farmers; development of a buying agreement with US Organic Food companies to ensure demand for farmers; Farm to Table Program working to build resilience of local food system; Pack for a Purpose program to support local schools and clinics and a clean beach project working with local not-for-profits.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN EUROPE

In England & Scotland

The Wesley Hotel (4*)

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? In the heart of London, The Wesley is the UK’s first certified Ethical Hotel and supports marginalized students and young people across the UK and overseas supports educational projects in Kenya.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Good Hotel London 

Respoonsible Travel - Socially Responsible HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Good Hotel London is a profit for non-profit floating hotel with a waterfront location and rooftop terrace offering panoramic views. They offer extensive hospitality training to the long-term unemployed to help them reintegrate into society; stimulate local business through the use of Ingredients, materials and labour from local small business owners and craftsmen; and internationally, they fund the education of children from low income families in the mountain regions of Guatemala.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Tower House, Oxford (3*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The hotels profits go to the Oxford Hub to support university students engaging in social action in both their local community and beyond. Projects include: School Plus – student volunteers tutor struggling schoolchildren; Branch Up – activity days for children giving them the chance to go to museums or the zoo when they otherwise wouldn’t;  and LinkAges – helping tackle elderly isolation by matching student volunteers to people living alone, running activity sessions in care homes and giving IT lessons.
Book Now and get the best rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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The Beach Hotel, Minehead 

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The Beach Hotel is fully committed to helping young people in the community to shine. Offering apprenticeships, training and support to develop the talent in the kitchens and other services. Many of their apprentices go on to become full time additions to the energetic and professional staff team.
Book Now and get the best rate via Booking.com | Compare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Callander Hostel, Central Highlands,Scotland

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HostelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Callander Youth Project Trust aims to improve the quality of life of young people, aged 11-25, in Callander and the surrounding rural area by maximising their potential through access to the best possible recreation and educational facilities, support and resources
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In Austria

Birgkarhouse, Hochkonig (near Salzburg) (3*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Ideal in its location and unlimited in its potential, Hotel Birgkarhaus also has a very unique way of spending its profits. As a social enterprise hotel, ALL profits are reinvested back into social justice and social enterprise initiatives both locally and internationally. 25% of all profits go to inclusive disability skiing and 75% are directed to the COINS Foundation to redistribute to worthwhile causes.
Compare Prices for Later | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Hotel Magdas, Vienna (2*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The Magdas Hotel in Vienna is a social enterprise designed to provide opportunities for migrants that have arrived to Austria as refugees. Currently employing about 20 migrants, it’s mission is to improve people’s lives. Just by staying the night, you are helping make this social enterprise a success, while growing opportunities for migrants and refugees in Europe. Starting in 2017, all G Adventures travelers staying in Vienna will overnight at the Magdas hotel, helping to support its unique and important business model.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

RELATED: 48 Hours in Vienna – Things to Do, Where To Stay and Where to Eat

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In Germany

hotel grenzfall, berlin (3*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Hotel Grenzfall describes itself as an Integration Hotel. The concept of an integration hotel originated in Hamburg. In 1987, the parents of eight children with varying degrees of disability joined together in the Initiative Werkstadthaus e.V. and then brought to life a project that was unique in all of Europe – the Stadthaushotel Hamburg: where disabled people have lived and worked together since 1993. ‘Embrace Hotels’ (who own the Hotel Grenzfall) followed this concept and now have hotels in a variety of European Countries. They are committed to living the concept of integration on a daily basis and understand integration as teamwork .
Book now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.comRead Trip Advisor Reviews

RELATED: 48 Hours in Berlin – Things to Do, Where To Stay and Where to Eat

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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN OCEANIA

In Australia

Song Hotel, Sydney (3*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Owned and operated by the NSW YWCA, they have promoted the ‘profit for purpose’ fundraising model since 1984. Revenue from the hotel is used to fund YWCA programs and services such as domestic violence support, women’s refuges, homeless support, mentoring for young women, financial literacy, and life skills.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In The Cook Islands

Ikurangi (Eco Retreat) 

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Ikurangi Eco Retreat is committed to the environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability that tourism can bring to the community. All guests are invited to participate in our “mana tiaki, protect a little paradise” campaign which aims to promote long term environmental awareness (both on holiday and after returning home) and raise funds among visitors to the island that go toward one of five key focus areas: biodiversity, climate change, youth engagement, waste management and ecologically sustainable development.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN CENTRAL AMERICA

In Costa Rica

Cayuga Collection (Luxury & Sustainability across 8 Properties)

Location:
How are they Socially Responsible? A collection of 8 luxury hotels throughout Costa Rica (with 1 in Nicaragua) that are raising the bar when it comes to sustainable tourism. All of their decisions are based on a commitment to the triple bottom line model: people-environment-economics. They follow the highest ethical standards and take responsibility for their actions and in all their hotels they buy local, employ local,  promote sustainable food practices, encourage genuine engagement with the community and the work tirelessly to improve on the already industry leading sustainable practices.

In the past few years they have set up the charity Earth Equilibrium and they currently channel their donations and community support efforts through this organization. Their primary goals are to provide school supplies for students and classrooms; provide textbooks for students; provide small infrastructure like desks, chairs, shelves & improve current infrastructure like bathrooms and toilets.
Book Kura Design Villas Now and get the cheapest rates from Booking.com

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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN SOUTH AMERICA

In Brazil

Mirante do Gaviao (Amazon Lodge) 

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? They employ members of the local community and support a local non-profit that promotes education and conservation by training local teenagers on woodworking and on the local environment so they become local guides and environmentalists.
Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN AFRICA

In Malawi

Tongole Wilderness Lodge

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Tongole Wilderness Lodge is dedicated to operating the business in the most sustainable way possible and with a commitment to making a positive impact to the surrounding communities. The lodge provides significant training and employment opportunities in a very poor region of the country. The safari activities on offer to the lodge’s guests have been carefully selected to have as low environmental impact as possible in order to protect this pristine region. Tongole Lodge was built with locally sourced and sustainable materials and self-sustainable systems like solar power generation have been installed. Finally, at the heart of the Tongole Wilderness Lodge is The Tongole Foundation; a community upliftment charity, which has a real and lasting impact on the community, providing hope and pride in this beautiful area.
Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In Uganda & Rwanda

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (4.5*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Clouds was designed, built, and managed by WildPlaces but is owned by the people of the local Nkuringo community. The Nkuringo Gorilla group was habituated specifically in order to garner the participation of the community in the conservation of the gorilla habitat. The community earns a significant share of the revenue generated by the lodge and there are many spin-off benefits from these earnings.
Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Wildplaces Apoka Safari Lodge (4.5*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The company  has established an ongoing relationship with the village of Lokorul which lies on the outskirts of the Kidepo Valley National Park. Beyond hiring almost exclusively from the village and offering professional training, WildPlaces has engaged them in developing tourism activities. Guests can now visit the village and see how the Karamojong live. They can spend time learning about preparing the local food and building a kraal. They can chat with the village elders and participate in activities with the children. WildPlaces relationship with Lokorul has enabled them to build a village clinic and we have facilitated regular visits with a doctor in the region.
Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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VOLCANOEs SAFARIS & Volcanoes Safaris PARTNERSHIP TRUST

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Along with hiring locals to work on property and to build and maintain their lodges, they support the community by buying land to resettle conservation refugees, such as the Batwa tribe. In 2017 alone they will transfer 18 families currently squatting on farm land to land of their own in newly built homes, in their tranditional standard.

Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) officially opened their first café, the Bwindi Bar. Located near Volcanoes Safaris’ Bwindi Lodge on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the café is staffed by disadvantaged youths living near the Bwindi National Park in Buhoma. It is hoped that the training they receive will boost their future prospects.

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SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HOTELS IN ASIA

In Cambodia

House Boutique Eco Hotel 

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? The hotel strives to play an active part in supporting the community in which we operate and offer our employees an environment that puts their development at its heart. The hotel recruitment and training systems ensure that people from local hospitality NGOs are able to access employment opportunities and develop the skills required to progress within roles at House Boutique.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Soria Moira Boutique Hotel (3*)

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Soria Moria are committed to minimize their negative impacts on the environment and communities, and focus on sustainability and capacity building in people. Through their Employee Ownership Scheme the local employees have become partners and majority owners of the business, accounting for 51% of the shares. Soria Moria also only employs local staff and provides good working conditions and onsite training and development for them. All department heads are locals, and weekly sessions are held to develop and train them in problem solving, communication and management skills. Their long term aim is to let the local staff be able to manage the day to day operation on their own. They also have a trainee program, higher education programs alongside language and literacy classes.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

In The Philippines

Makabata Guesthouse & Cafe

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? Makabata Guesthouse and Café is a social enterprise where every cent generated goes back into supporting Bahay Tuluyan’s programs and services for children. Makabata Guesthouse and Café serves as a training ground for young people of Bahay Tuluyan where they gain valuable skills as part of our Independent Living Skills program. The skills they gain while working at Makabata Guesthouse and Café help them to make a successful transition into the workforce.
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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In Indonesia

Hotel Orangutan

Socially Responsible Hotel - Social Enterprise HotelLocation:
How are they Socially Responsible? We are a not -for -profit  start-up, partnering with the local community to focus on improving the lives of the Bukit Lawang villagers, habitat , orangutans and other  local wildlife through eco-tourism and conservation. 
Book Now and get the cheapest rates via Booking.com | Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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That’s a wrap folks. Hopefully this article will give you pause for thought when you’re looking for travel accommodation and it becomes more of a habit to find socially responsible hotels. They are an important part of the responsible travel mindset – and by choosing to stay at one, you can have a positive impact on the local and global community.

The idea is that this post will become a central directory for socially responsible hotels – so if you know of any not listed above, please shoot me a message at maketimetoseetheworld(@)gmail.com

And as always – please pin, tweet and share – I really do appreciate it. Click the share bar on the left for full sized pins

Socially Responsible Hotels - Hotels with Heart   Socially Responsible Hotels - Hotels With a Heart

Hi There! Thanks for reading Social Enterprise Hotels & Where To Find Them – You’re Guide to Finding Socially Responsible Accommodation When Traveling. I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to stay at any of the hotels I recommend I get a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. This commission helps keep the site online – so thank you in advance for clicking through! Read my full Disclosure here

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Socially Responsible Hotels & Where To Find Them was last modified: by

51 thoughts on “Socially Responsible Hotels & Where To Find Them

  1. Kevin Wagar says:

    It’s great to see hotels working to give back to their communities and to the environment. There are so many huge resorts and tourism industries that suck regions dry. It’s so important to see things move the other way.

  2. Megan Jerrard says:

    I agree that socially responsible is starting to become somewhat of a buzz word, though it’s very heartening that so many brands and organizations are starting to incorporate social responsibility into their brand. I always try and watch out for green washing, where they’ll say they have socially responsible initiatives, but it’s more just for show. But I think that for the most part, hotel owners are genuinely trying to reduce their negative impact, improve on their positive impact for the local community and really give social responsibility a good go 🙂

  3. Kavey at Kavey Eats says:

    Loved your previous piece on responsible travel so am really liking this companion piece on how to find responsible hotels and several examples. It’s really good to actually read what particularly behaviour from each place makes it responsible, how it helps the local community and more.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Kavey – I wanted it to be a resource that was informative about where your money actually goes. I’ve heard a lot of hotels claiming they are ‘green’ when they’re barely meeting minimum requirements, and didn’t want there to be any questions about these hotels social responsibility.

  4. carla abanes says:

    Thanks for this list, I will check out Soria Moira in Cambodia. I am there the second week of June. I love support hotels that also serve as training ground for students.

  5. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    It is really heartening to note that these hotels are doing their bit and are socially responsible. It is imperative that all stakeholders support and contribute in giving back to the society and the environment. This would include hotels, travelers, NGO’s, airlines, tour operators and everyone else who is connected.

  6. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie says:

    This is an all-around win-win. The traveler can feel like their money is well-spent and going towards something, while the hotel gives back to the community and supports important causes. I love the range, too. From women’s issues to famine, it would be great if more travelers knew about these options and could make them a regular part of their travels.

  7. danik says:

    Fantastic post Vicki and I have to admit, the amount of times I walk, cycle pass the Wesley Hotel on Euston Road, London, UK and never knew that they are a socially responsible hotel has never dawned me. Great fact and I might try it out one day 🙂

  8. Claudia says:

    Its so encouraging to finally see that more and more hotels are not only focusing on caring about the environment but also about their workers and the local community. I will keep the name of hotels that you listed in mind.

  9. sherianne says:

    What a great list! To be honest, This is not something I check when looking for a hotel, I need to be more aware for sure. I especially like the PLAYA VIVA

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Sherianne!
      I had no idea about Social Enterprise Hotels up until a few weeks ago and wrote this post to increase my awareness as well as everyone else’s!

  10. LeAnna Brown says:

    Wow! I travel extensively and agree that “socially responsible” is a bit of a buzzword, but these hotels seem really cool. We are budget travelers, but it seems like a lot of these are more “boutique” style hotels. Any that you recommend as budget options?

    • Vicki says:

      Hi LeAnna
      I wish there were more low budget options – there are a couple of hostel-esque type places listed, but these may not be in the region you are traveling in. Hopefully more hotels (of all budgets) will come forward and ask to be added to the directory – These are all the ones I could find after weeks of research!

  11. Dave (Silverbackpacker) says:

    As a backpacker i am always looking for good deals. I much prefer to stay at a Local Homestay than in a faceless hotel. After reading this list i am now thinking to check out some of them on my travels. Bookmarked 🙂

  12. Barb says:

    It s a great list of socially responsible hotels. I have lived in NYC and Oxford and now in London and I havent heard of the hotels you listed. It is great to raise awareness about these places.

  13. Anne says:

    There’s some awesome hotels in this post. It must have taken you ages, I will be checking some if these out when I finally make it to Vancouver

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Anne – and yes – I think I clocked up over 20 hours research on this one (before I even started putting it together!) But I think it was worth it. I hope you have a great time in Vancouver!

  14. Reshma Narasing says:

    Such a comprehensive list this is! I would definitely like to try at least a few of these when I travel to these destinations. Thanks for clearly mentioning how each of these hotels is contributing their bit for responsible travel. I loved Playa Viva in Mexico, too gorgeous!

  15. Mike Cotton says:

    It’s interesting to see how hotels (and business in general) can be socially responsible. It’s too easy for many to pay lip service than actually take action. Thanks for the though provoking post.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Mike – I had so many people contact me to be included who were only paying lip service and wanted the exposure. I just wish there were more true socially responsible hotels out there!

  16. Clare says:

    I had no idea that there were hotels working as non profit and helping the local communities. It’s a pity though that there are not more out there, helping the local communities. I would love to stay in some of these places as they all look amazing and are doing a great thing.

  17. Tami says:

    And wouldn’t it be to the advantage of more hotels to become more responsible? It seems that everyone is looking for a way to give back to the community — even the communities to which they are traveling!

  18. Mark says:

    Thanks for this list of hotels. This is a great start and it’d be awesome to have a directory for socially responsible hotels. Trip Advisor and some of the large booking companies such as Agoda and Booking should have this as a category and incentive it by giving lower commission rates. My wife and I run a hotel, The Birdhouse El Nido, and are putting in a non-profit aspect based around waste management and composting for our permaculture design. We do this for ourselves as well as for others not necessarily for recognition but incentivizing these things in the industry might encourage others as well. I appreciate your efforts in this post!
    Cheers,
    Mark

  19. Alana K says:

    Check out Arenas del Mar + All Cayuga Collection hotels. They just won the Legacy Award in the Earth Changers category from Nat Geo. Best stay I’ve ever had! 😉

  20. Rhonda Albom says:

    This is a fantastic resource., with something for every budget. It’s nice to see more and more places protecting the wider community. I hope the trend continues.

  21. Megan says:

    A great list that demonstrates that being sustainable doesn’t deter from your luxury experience while traveling. The Stanford Hotel isn’t too far from me and I do need another trip to Mendocino so I might have to book a room soon.

  22. Emma Raphael says:

    That is a great comprehensive list. Loved reading about all the different ways these companies are socially responsible. Have taken special note of the ones in the UK, Scotland and Europe. Thanks! 🙂

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