Caribbean Mexico: how to find a green hotel

15 October 13

| 4 Great Tips |

Fairmont Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Fairmont Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to some of the Caribbean’s best and most beloved resort destinations, including Cancun, Cozumel, Riviera Maya and beyond. The range of choices for lodging can, in fact, be downright bewildering. And when it’s an eco-friendly resort, hotel or inn you’re seeking—as we fervently hope you are—the search gets even more challenging. Here are four tips for finding a great green bed in the Mexican Caribbean.

1. See who the experts recommend, and why.

Our own green travel journalists have traveled extensively in Mexico, including the Caribbean states of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo. On the GTG Homepage, in the sidebar under “Where Do You Want to Go?”, click The Americas > North America > Mexico. Then just scroll down to the location you’re planning to visit.

2. Find out who’s got green certification.

An independent audit by a major green certifier is your best assurance your lodging is indeed walking the eco-friendly talk. There are a growing number of reputable green certifiers that rate tourist accommodations. For example, one of these, Green Globe, lists more than a dozen certified green hotels and resorts in Mexico, most of them in the Yucatan Peninsula.

3. Check out how the hotel tells its own story.

Most properties seriously into being green tell you so proudly on their websites. They’ll provide links, reference green certification, and provide details on how they incorporate sustainability initiatives in construction, operations, accommodations, dining, spa, room amenities, employment and community involvement. If you see no such mentions or only unsubstantiated words like “organic,” “local,” “eco-friendly,” “eco-lodge” or “environment,” your antennae should start quivering. There’s no law against the use of green jargon; it’s up to you to do your homework. There is, however, one exception: Many luxury chain hotels do not list green features on their sites, but you can find out what the practices and policies are, chain-wide, on the corporate site. Regrettably, marketers at luxury properties are too often wary, still, of promoting their green creds, for fear that luxury-minded customers will think they somehow diminish the quality of experience. That’s why we at GTG recommend only travel that’s both green and great.

4. Book with a green-friendly travel site.

Several of the major travel booking websites now promote green lodging options, but you have to know where to look. TripAdvisor’s Green Leaders designation, for instance, is currently limited to properties in the U.S. Expedia teams with Sustainable Travel International, a non-profit dedicated to promoting responsible tourism, for its green hotel listings. Travelocity is the only major online travel company that tags eco-friendly hotels site-wide. Another option is traveling the Caribbean with Travelbag, a UK-based booking site whose commitment to responsible tourism comes with a pledge to “ensure that we use hotels and suppliers that both give something back to the local community and have a minimal effect on the environment. That’s why we work with non-profit organisations such as Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) and the Wilderness Foundation.”

 

 

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