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Eco Chic | Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand

October 3, 2011

Soneva Kiri Eco Resort by Six Senses is an absolute gem of a resort. Not merely because of how it looks amid the natural setting overlooking the bay, but because of the revolutionary promise of what an eco-conscious resort can look like. From the organic flow of bamboo and how it coils into shape at the resort’s Children Center, to the unusual option for guests to dine in a lofty woven Tree Pod perched 16 feet off the ground. And as if that wasn’t already cool enough, all of the food and beverages arrive courtesy of a flying waiter via a zip line.

Soneva Kiri is located on Koh Kood, a pristine and untouched island on the east coast of Thailand. It comprises 42 pool villas along the beach front and on the hillside, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Each pool villa offers living areas and air-conditioned bedrooms surrounded by water features. Several villas feature private spa suites. Three restaurants present a range of dining experiences. In addition to many leisure facilities, the resort will feature a Six Senses Spa village and a celebration pavilion. Honeymooners will be pampered with a complimentary Soneva honeymooner benefits.

Flights from Bangkok take 60 minutes by the resort’s own lightplane, then 2 kilometres by motor boat. Round trip BKK airport transfer (land/boat) from USD380 per person, excluding. tax & service charge. Prices are subject to change.

Soneva Kiri’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy
We care for a better environment and our place with the local community!

Soneva Kiri, Six Senses Spa and the hosts are committed to improving the ecological and carbon footprint from activities associated with the resort and spa industry namely providing accommodation, dining, excursions, spa, sports and aquatic activities. We are committed to developing a sustainable environment by using the indictors highlighted below. We will continuously monitor our performance and sustainable activities against the targets and goals set by Six Senses, which will be adjusted, amended and acted upon wherever appropriate, and we will continue to submit performance data to Six Senses.

Social Responsibility
Soneva Kiri Resort and Spa’ philosophy is to give something back to the local community in which we operate. For this reason, we set aside funds for social and environmental purposes following the Social and Environmental Responsibility Fund: – 0.5% of the revenue

Inspiration: Lux Interior Designs, Architecture-View

Eco Chic | Jean Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

October 3, 2011

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One of the most renowned vacation destinations in the South Pacific, the award-winning, five-star Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort is located on 17 acres of a coconut plantation on the island of Vanua Levu, overlooking the turquoise blue waters of Savusavu Bay.

The celebrated resort is a favorite spot for romance, honeymoons and weddings. It’s a great choice for families who want to combine breathtaking surroundings and superb dining with a wide range of eco-friendly activities such as snorkeling, a day of ecological awareness or a trip to the rain forest capped off by a dip in a gorgeous freshwater jungle pool.

Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort is a gorgeous little resort on peninsula next to some amazing diving and snorkeling in a marine reserve. Traditional Fijian architecture coupled with an organic garden, a plan to restore the surrounding eco system, and a community foundation that gives back to the local people are just a few of the factors that make this resort special.

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• Full-time, on-site Marine Biologist
• Aware-winning Cultural Host
• Each day of the week is devoted to making guests aware about a different aspect of our culture and environment
• First recycling program on Savusavu
• Organic garden that grows many vegetables, herbs and fruits for our guests
• Edible landscaping
• Protecting the Namena Marine Reserve
• New waste water system using coconuts and recycled bottles to product clean water in picturesque lagoons
• Local involvement with our environmental efforts through the community and schools
• Fishing outside the reef, in the deep ocean where fish are plentiful

The Resort is a partner of Ocean Futures and The Good Night Foundation, a non-profit organization that builds on the concept that a guest’s Resort night can contribute to doing good in the community and beyond. In partnership with leading hoteliers and caring guests, The Good Night Foundation raises funds to support local and global programs that help make all parts of the world safe, healthy and desirable places to live and visit.

At Good Night Foundation partner hotels, a four dollar (FJD) charitable donation is added to each Bure per night. The Good Night Foundation addresses global challenges by funding programs focused on improving health, education, poverty and the environment, including the Savusavu Community Foundation. In this way, guests know their contributions benefit each community they visit. Guests who do not wish to participate may opt out by contacting the Resort front desk at any time.

As no garbage collection is available for the resort, waste management is a high priority because the resort has to deal with it all themselves. Plastic and metals are recycled by facilities nearby on the island, while paper is collected and then transported to another island. The resort operates a community foundation that raises money to help support the local community and it also employs locals from the nearby village and offers job training.

The resort only buys fish that are sustainably caught by local fisherman, which has created a sustainable market in the area that encourages environmentally friendly fishing habits.

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Eco Chic | Bamboo Bridge School, China

October 2, 2011

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Located in a rural Chinese village, bamboo Bridge School in Xiashi, China has rejuvenated the entire community by providing a place for children to learn, a means to cross the town’s river, and a public gathering space. Architect Li Xiaodong designed the little two-room schoolhouse as a multi purpose facility for the whole village, and it has become the heart of the town.

The school is constructed out of two large steel spans that cross the bridge and smaller steel supports and framing. Local materials and wood were used to create the facade, interior furnishings and school furniture. While the steel is very modern, especially in the context of a rural village, the material will last a long time while creating a structurally-sound school. The use of local materials helps the building blend texturally and aesthetically with the rest of the village.

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Inspiration: Archietcture-View

Eco Chic | Dar Hi Eco Retreat, Nefta, Tunisia

October 2, 2011

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New resorts that are coming on stream around the world are increasingly demonstrating clear responsibility toward their immediate communities and environments by going green. Practicing ecotourism of various degrees, embodied in beautifully-designed edifices that celebrate the earth with locally sourced building materials, furnished with local arts & crafts that instantly give them a distinctive and unmistakable brand identity. Such is the statement that the new Dar Hi Eco Lodge in Nefta, on the fringe of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia.

French designer Matali Crasset’s first venture into architecture blends social and private spaces and keeps cool in the intense sun. Located on a hill on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia, the Dar Hi borrows from local traditions and materials to create an environmentally sensitive retreat.
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Dar Hi is made almost entirely from locally sourced materials and labor. Such a refreshing reflection on the potential for localization in building design. The clay bricks and exterior finishings made with local materials but the structural elements were developed using local building techniques.

The interior woodwork, fabric, and decorations are made with local palm fiber and wood. In fact, a group called Palmlab researches uses for palm in a faculty located within the Hotel. 

The floor plan of the eco resort consists of outdoor shaded community areas, a central spa and bath, and rooms which all take advantage of the immense views while creating privacy and shaded outdoor spaces below. 

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Eco Chic | Miraval Spa & Wellness Retreat, Tucson, Arizona

October 2, 2011

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Miraval Spa and Wellness Retreat in Tucon, Arizaona, is more than a mere resort for healing your mind and body, it also working to protect the earth. Developed by Miraval’s master plan Mithun, they add new buildings to the older buildings for wellness, meditation, yoga, outdoor treatments, and guest rooms. With rammed earth buildings, respect for the desert, mindful use of water and energy, Miraval is certainly a place for eco inspiration as well as for your soul.

Accommodations are luxurious, the 118 guest rooms decorated in a contemporary Southwestern style, with all the modern conveniences. Some feature fireplaces and patios with stunning views of the surrounding Sonoran desert and the Santa Catalina mountains.

Meals are included, and the cuisine is suitably health-conscious, using fresh natural ingredients, and cooking classes are available for those who wish to take a bit of the Miraval dining experience home. The focus on health and relaxation brings with it certain austere measures — there’s no smoking allowed, and alcohol is served only after the day’s activities. Children are not permitted, and though there’s no minimum stay requirement, it’s recommended that guests stay several days in order to take advantage of all Miraval has to offer. All in all it’s a remarkably thorough escape — just half an hour from Tucson and two hours from Phoenix, it nevertheless feels a world apart.

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Miraval are constructed of rammed earth, which serves as thermal mass keeping the interior cool during the day and emitting heat at night. Clay adobe bricks were made on site with local materials and used to build the outdoor showers, while branches from local saplings were used to screen in the mechanical areas. Decomposed granite paths meander throughout the resort and aid in drainage during the rainy season.

The guest rooms also feature a number of other eco and energy efficient materials like low voltage lighting, high content recycled concrete counter tops, high performance windows, and non toxic, low VOC paints. Landscaping surrounding the guest rooms, like the entire resort, makes use entirely of native plant species that do not require irrigation. The resort also has plans to build an on site treatment plant that will reclaim waste water for landscape and irrigation use. Overall the resort and its facilities tries to highlight the close connection that we have to nature and Mithun worked to do the same in all of the elements they included in their design.

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Inspiration: Architecture-View

Eco Chic | House on Great Barrier Island, Auckland, New Zealand

October 2, 2011

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Designed by New Zealand-based Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, this wooden home on the Great Barrier Island north east of Auckland, New Zealand is built on stilts and elevated for flood protection. The sun is used for passive heating, electricity and solar hot water heating, and with its stilt foundation, the home makes a light impact on the site.

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The home is built on a beautiful site surrounded with large Puriri trees, Blackwoods and other natives. A foundation of stilts raise the main living area of the home off the ground by one meter and in case of major flooding, the home would hopefully be above the high water mark and remain safe. The home lifts in order to reflect the rise of a hill off to the west of the home and the living area is completely open with large floor to ceiling windows of low e glass.

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During the summer, the windows slide open to take advantage of the natural breezes and temperate climate. The winter sun likewise helps the home stay warm as it shines in through the large windows and a beautifully designed fireplace provides some heat when the temperatures drop. A solar hot water system on the roof provides plenty of hot water for the home and its many guests, and a photovoltaic system provides electricity.

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Inspiration: Architecture-View

Sleek & Chic | Hotel Aire de Bardenas, Tudela, Spain

September 27, 2011

The Hotel Aire de Bardenas is a four star hotel with 22 rooms including four deluxe suites, piercing alongside the Bardenas Reales National Park and Biosphere Reserve in Tudela, Spain. The restaurant invites you to sit and enjoy authentic savory dishes in the middle of nature. The chefs cultivate the same products served to your table. Vegetarians will find themselves in paradise with the vegetables from the Ribera of Navarre, their speciality. Each room combines comfort and well being with simplicity and naturalness. Some of the rooms include a private patio with an exterior bathtub.

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