Holidays in the sun and trips to exotic faraway places may seem like distant memories at the moment, but the day will come when once again we can pack our bags and spread our wings.
By then, will our attitude to travel have changed? Travel Editor and commentator Simon Calder coined the phrase ‘travel less, travel better’ when predicting post-COVID-19 travel trends, and this could become the mantra for future travel.
Crowded beaches, packed bars and long queues at tourist attractions may seem alien. We have grown accustomed to keeping our distance and respecting personal space, enjoying walks in local parks and simple home pleasures.
In London, we have relished the clear skies and birdsong in a flight-free world. So will the post COVID-19 traveller be more respectful and more appreciative of the world’s natural beauty?
As sustainability has become more important for travellers, eco-friendly destinations contributing to the protection of local environments were rising in popularity even pre-coronavirus.
Conscious luxury is becoming more and more readily available in eco-hotels both at home and overseas, so for travellers who want to appreciate nature, whether in the jungle or under the ocean, and leave behind nothing but footprints, there’s no need to compromise on style.
BACK TO NATURE IN DOMINICA
The Caribbean may be synonymous with hedonistic glamorous resorts, but Dominica has always been known as the ‘nature island’ of the region with wild hiking trails and dense rainforest, rather than all-inclusive resorts and reggae rhythms.
The lovely eco-resort Jungle Bay Dominica reopened recently after Hurricane Maria destroyed the original property in September 2017.
Each villa is accessed via a private walkway through tropical trees, banana plants and flowers. An ideal antidote to lockdown, visitors are immersed in nature with a jungle spa bathroom, lounge and patio to enjoy the spectacular scenery and sleep under bedding hand-painted by local artisans.
Plus, with wellness being the focal point, daily yoga classes are available, the Bamboo Spa offers an eclectic range of treatments massages and therapy, and local organic cuisine and cultural experiences are on the menu.
SLEEP UNDER THE SEA IN THE MALDIVES
The Maldives is one of the world’s most threatened destinations, suffering from the effects of climate change as it faces a rise in sea levels and the bleaching of its coral reefs.
Pullman Maldives Maamutaa was only open a few months before the COVID-19 crisis hit, with 122 opulent villas, including two exclusive Aqua Villas with bedrooms submerged beneath the turquoise waters – the first of their kind to be introduced in The Maldives.
There is guided snorkelling around the thriving house reef, as well as dolphin cruises at sunset. Pullman’s naturalist can take families on informative walks along the beaches, through the vegetation and around the natural lagoon. With sustainability at it’s heart, the hotel’s Marine Biologist offers educational talks to children of all ages.
ECO LUXURY IN COPENHAGEN
Copenhagen aims to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025, while Denmark overall is regularly voted one of the happiest and healthiest countries.
Villa Copenhagen was set to be one of the most impactful new hotel openings this year (pre-coronavirus), transforming the city’s century-old post office into a luxury eco-hotel.
Prioritising conscious luxury and nature throughout, the property is investing heavily in renewable energy, partnerships with environmentally friendly and sustainable local brands, and forward-thinking initiatives, including the luxurious Earth Suite designed with only sustainable materials.
Also unique to the hotel is its interior green spaces created to promote calm, wellbeing and sociability.
SUSTAINABLE STAYCATION IN ST IVES
For those who don’t want to take any chances with travel restrictions this year, there are a host of initiatives to make a staycations in the UK sustainable as well as luxurious.
Winner of the AA Eco Hotel Award 2019, Carbis Bay Hotel St Ives is the first hotel in the world to have installed pathways and a promenade made from recycled plastics from the ocean, using, to date, the equivalent of some 3.5 million plastic straws.
There is plenty to do for families in the area, including a visit to The Eden Project, recently voted the top Eco Attraction in the country, as well as the coastal path to St Ives with its quaint cobbled streets.