The rise of the urban eco-hotel

Big chains and bijou boutiques across the world are saving energy without saving on style. Sarah Barrell reports on a rural idea taking root in the city.

From the Seychelles to the Mexican coast, the Ecuadorian jungle to the Scottish Highlands, eco-retreats have become part of the modern travel landscape. They are wildly diverse in style and standard, but what most have in common is that they are remote, rural, and far, far away from big cities.

However, a new generation of urban eco-hotel is bringing the concept of green-minded tourism out of the jungle. Just like their rural counterparts, these hotels vary in their efforts to shrink their carbon footprint, a challenge that seems all the more arduous in a polluting, energy-guzzling city. Yet cities can be better suited to supporting eco-hotels than remote rural settings.

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