Love takes on a shade of green as newlyweds seek planet-friendly options to honeymoon
BY ROCHELLE OLIVER
Whoever said love is in the details was right, especially for those lovebirds who want to spend post-wedding-day bliss in luxury. Today’s honeymooners want more than a five-star getaway, however; they want to save the planet too. Eco-friendly getaways are becoming the it way to travel. Some locations simply save on water consumption, while others make going green a high priority. They buy local, preserve local wildlife and offer guests ways to offset their carbon emissions. Cruise lines, too, take measures to make green travel possible.
With so many options, guests can indulge anywhere from Aruba to Vietnam to the South American rain forests without laying down a heavy carbon footprint. Here are five places where you can unabashedly say “I love you – and the planet too.”
Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa
The green-conscious refuge of the Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa is a five-star oasis along the Mui Ne Beach in Vietnam. The hotel conserves water and energy throughout the property, which has 89 rooms, suites and villas. Anantara partners with the community to purchase food and services as a way to support the sustainability of the local economy and culture. Love birds can jump on a bicycle and venture off the property, a fairly easy area to navigate without getting lost. Some couples may be inclined to stay indoors and enjoy the beachfront villa, featuring a king-sized bed, private swimming pool, dining pavilion, bath and rain shower.
Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa: Mui Ne Beach, KM10, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam; phone: +84 (0) 62 3741 888; fax: +84 (0) 62 3741 555; www.muine.anantara.com.
Bucuti and Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba
Bucuti Tara Beach Resorts is located on a 14-acre white-sand stretch of Aruba and boasts of being the greenest hotel in the Caribbean. Along with reducing water and energy usage, the adults-only getaway installed solar panels to heat the water for both guests and the laundry facilities. The gardens are fed with cleaned and recycled water. These efforts, along with its commitment to protect and preserve everything from donkeys to sea turtles, have earned the boutique resort the Green Globe High Achievement Award. Bucuti Tara offers couples a variety of honeymoon packages, each emphasizing privacy, romance and seductive Caribbean sunsets.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts: L.G. Smith Boulevard #55B, P.O. Box 1347, Eagle Beach, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean; phone: + (297) 583-1100 (out of U.S. dial 011 first); fax: + (297) 582-5272; www.bucuti.com/resort-info.
The City Center and Aria Resort and Casino
The City Center in Las Vegas is home to five luxury hotels that are committed to sustainability and reducing carbon’s effect on the planet. Each hotel within the City Center uses energy-efficient appliances, low-wattage lights and nontoxic cleaning supplies. Through these efforts, City Center saves nearly 50 million gallons of water annually. While each venue is uniquely romantic, the Aria Resort and Casino, which holds a Green Key award, has a limousine fleet of 26 custom-built vehicles that operate on clean-burning compressed natural gas, which generates less pollution than gasoline-burning engines. At the Aria, guests are offered sweeping views of Las Vegas. Each room is equipped with one-touch remote-control technology.
Aria Resort and Casino: 3730 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada, 89158; phone: 866-359-7757; www.arialasvegas.com.
The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain
Located in the town of Avon, the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain sits next to a river and overlooks a ski village. This dog-friendly locale is noted as Colorado’s first LEED Certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) hotel. It uses eco-friendly cleaning products, environmentally friendly dry-cleaning services, water-efficient landscaping, saline pool as an alternative to chemically dependent chlorine pools and energy-efficient lighting throughout the venue. Guests are provided with in-room recycle bins and an option to participate in conservation efforts by re-using linens and towels during their stay.
Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain: 126 Riverfront Lane, P.O. Box 9690, Avon, Colo. 81620; phone: 970-790-6000; www.westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is well known for generating the most solar electric power of any hotel worldwide, a total of about 1,150,250 kilowatt hours of green power annually. This seaside stay sits on three acres along the Kohala Coast. The white-sand beach is a two-minute walk from the resort. While the island is a tropical paradise, many lovebirds would hesitate to leave their beach-side bungalows that are are upwards of 4,000 square feet and include amenities such as a personal pool and Jacuzzi.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743; phone: 808-885-6622; www.maunalani.com.