Off-road opportunities abound
Cycling in Majorca is a beautiful way to keep fit and enjoy nature. In the cooler months, the mountainous roads and pure air attract world champion cyclists as well as other top sportsmen and women.
One of the best places to base yourself is Read’s Hotel between Santa Maria and Alaro, set amongst Olive and Almond groves, with views of the nearby mountain range. While many of the top country house hotels on the island are closed in the winter months, Reads is one of the few to open all year round.
The island is at its best in the uncrowded off-season, and biking is safer with less traffic about. The hotel also offers boat hire and hot air ballooning.
It has a spa, two pools, two restaurants, and yet is a personal, intimate, family-owned boutique hotel.
You won’t find a TV at any of these four South African retreats:
071 683 4133
If eco-chic’s a real word, then it was invented to describe Reflections Guest Farm. Many talk the eco talk, but this lodge, built on 26 hectares of what was once alien vegetation and pine forest, is most certainly walking the eco walk too.
After an enormous clear-out, the new indigenous vegetation is thriving – a tribute to Tim’s determination. It is quite hard to believe what has been achieved here actually.
The three chalets are totally “off-grid”, which means a full solar/ wind turbine hybrid system. The pine-wood chalets are cosy, yet spacious with crackling fires, soft-cotton sheets and wrap-around decks.
Sip an ice-cold lager in your outdoor shower while gazing out at the raptors circling above the chalets.
Individual hotels are doing their part in encouraging more ethical travel. Here’s a clutch of Green hotels, also called eco-hotels, you may want to check out for Earth Day:
*New Hampshire’s Mountain View Grand Resort, which recently installed a 121-foot wind turbine that is now generating up to half the resort’s power. Kids can check out the computer monitor in the lobby of the green hotel that shows how it works.
*The Little St. Simons Island in Georgia is accessible only by
The Siwash Lake Ranch is truly off-grid. Its a luxury dude ranch outside Kamloops, B.C and one of the most eco-friendly destinations in Canada. It’s a small, operation in the BC foothills near Kamloops, running entirely off the grid on solar power and a backup generator.
Patrons care about energy consumption and waste, and with the cost of energy and garbage disposal rising, going green isn’t just good public relations, it’s good for the bottom line.
Riding this wave, the Hotel Association of Canada is promoting a “Green Key” program that rates hotels on a scale of one to five keys, based on a survey of everything from what they’re doing with their wastewater, to how much power they’re using.
At the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, the hubbub of 21st century noise recedes as smoothly as the Lexus hybrid SUV which carries visitors to their rooms, a collection of cottages nestling along redwood-lined cliffs overlooking the Pacific.
The cottages–“treehouses” clad in aged wood and set atop 9-foot poles in stands of Douglas fir; curved steel enclosures with the rusty patina of Richard Serra sculptures; and modern spaces with sod roofs and clean lines–blend into the landscape.