Keemala Phuket, Thailand

A greener stay – four LGBT-friendly Thai hotels putting the planet first

If you’re an avid traveller, you’ll know one thing for sure: hotel trends come and go. But one movement that has taken the international hospitality industry by storm is here to stay – and we’re all for it! Hotels and resorts in Thailand and all around the world have become powerful players in making travel more responsible, more environmentally-friendly and, in short, all over more sustainable.

It’s not hard tracking down a green and gay-friendly place to stay in Thailand (after all, you can still sleep in simple beach bungalows in some places!), but some addresses go out of their way to give back to nature… Here are our favourite ones!

Six Senses Hideaway, Koh Samui

Six Senses Hideaway, Koh Samui, a sustainable Thailand hotel
It only makes sense: the Six Senses Hideaway in Koh Samui does its best to protect the breathtaking landscapes surrounding it. Photography courtesy of Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Among the world’s most sustainability-devoted luxury hotel brands, Six Senses is almost a bit of a no brainer. Their stunning resort on Koh Samui achieved Green Globe 21 benchmark all the way back in 2006 – a recognition of the hotel’s effort to save water, recycle where possible, commit to paper products and so much more.

More recently, the property has also opened an on-site ‘farm on the hill’, from which they source produce, and they have started to engage the local community and tourists by partnering up with Trash Hero, a Samui beach clean-up program. If you’re looking for a sustainable place to stay in Samui, make sure to check out the Six Senses!

Keemala, Phuket

Keemala Phuket, an environmentally-friendly Thailand resort
As if the header image wasn’t enough: Keemala Phuket offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the greenest possible credentials and ‘ethical eating’. Photography courtesy of Keemala Phuket

The Keemala Phuket resort is famous for good reason. Set within the island’s verdant jungle territory, its pool villas and cottages operate on a lowest-possible impact philosophy – for instance, each villa features its own water treatment system to reduce excess use and smart heating technology that minimises electricity use.

More amazingly still, Keemala also strongly encourages ‘ethical eating’; dishing up some of Thailand’s most delicious vegan and vegetarian meals, a huge step towards contributing to lowering carbon emissions and saving animal lives. In fact, guests can even make friends with the resort’s biggest star; a water buffalo that was saved from a slaughterhouse and now resides at the luxurious Phuket retreat!

Elephant Hills, Khao Sok National Park

Elephant Hills, Khao Sok National Park, a conscious Thailand elephant camp
At home with the gentle giants: the pool at Elephant Hills is for human guests, only, but the elephants are taken award-winning care of. Photography courtesy of Elephant Hills

This fabulous, LGBT-welcoming tented elephant camp and hotel in pristine Khao Sok National Park has made a name for itself for the measures it has taken to protect its awe-inspiring surrounds. Take, for instance, the floating tents on Cheow Larn Lake, each equipped with its own solar panel and wind energy system.

Moreover, Elephant Hills tackle the issue of plastic waste by providing guests with reusable stainless steel water bottles and super-cool bamboo toothbrushes whilst offering toiletries in permanent, refillable containers only. And as for their elephant herd, this place has won several awards for pioneering animal welfare standards – what more could you ask for?

Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood

Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, an eco-friendly Thailand hotel
One with nature: the stunning Soneva Kiri resort is surrounded by the pristine landscapes of lesser-touristed Koh Kood. Photography courtesy of Soneva

This drop-dead gorgeous barefoot luxury hotel on lesser-known Koh Kood is built on some of the highest sustainability standards in the hospitality industry, publishing an accessible, annual report on its impact on the environment for complete transparency. Plastic straws were banned from Soneva hotels in 1998, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg:

The super-luxe hospitality brand raises USD 90,000 each year with its Soneva Drinking Water program, funding more than 500 clean water projects across the globe and bringing drinking water to an astonishing 750,000 people internationally. To top things off, Soneva Kiri is officially a carbon-neutral resort… It quite simply doesn’t get any better!

Sustainable Thailand hotels