Getting close to nature on your next vacation doesn’t mean you have to rough it. For those who want immersion in the outdoors without forsaking comfort, sustainable tourism association Bee + Hive recommends five eco-hotels that include Swedish treehouses, a private island off Georgia and a luxury lodge in the Brazilian savanna.
Seven modern treehouses in the country’s Lapland region let visitors perch high above the forest floor. You can sleep in a giant bird’s nest, a mirrored cube and even a flying saucer built on platforms in the trees (retractable stairs or bridges provide access). Inside, the treehouses are outfitted with modern furnishings, even bathrooms. Look for moose, watch the northern lights or just blend into the landscape. A nearby guesthouse provides breakfast and an Internet connection to the world — if you chose. Starts at $450 a night for two. Info: Treehotel
Fogo Island on the northeastern coast of Newfoundland prides itself as being “still wild.” You can count on seeing caribou, puffin and the occasional iceberg floating by in spring while staying in one of the 29 rooms at the island’s namesake luxury inn. All rooms face the North Atlantic, set in what looks like two large boxes stacked on a rocky brow. The inn has a deep connection to the community; locally sourced food appears on menus, and room furniture and quilts are made by locals. Starts at $1,496 a night for two, including meals and guided tour of the island. Info: Fogo Island Inn
Surfers come to Siargao Island for Cloud 9, a barrel wave named for the way surfers feel when they’re riding it. on it. Perfect waves aside, Nay Palad Hideaway, which has just 10 villas of various sizes, is nestled between mangrove stands and white sand beaches. This is a perfect stepping off point to explore tropical jungles, underground caves and coral reefs, then unwind with a massage. Villas start at $630 per person, double occupancy. Info: Nay Palad Hideaway
A visit to Little St. Simons Island offers 11,000 acres of untouched wilderness and seven miles of beaches. Visitors come to hike, bird-watch (red knots and roseate spoonbills live here) and explore salt marshes and other habitats. The island has been privately owned since the 18th century and is accessible only by boat. A 1917 lodge and cottages house just 32 overnight guests. Prices start at $500 a night, including meals, snacks, naturalist outings. Info: Little St. Simons Island
Pousada Trijuncão, one of Bee + Hive’s newest members, opened in December. The luxury solar-powered lodge features seven suites in the country’s savanna, called the Cerrado. Wildlife safaris (sometimes at night) take visitors to look for the rare maned wolf, giant armadillos and the world’s smallest alligator, and to Grande Sertão Veredas National Park. Rooms have terraces and outdoor baths. Rooms start at $675 a night, including meals and amenities. Info: Pousada Trijuncão