Green travel has a new player in the game. The highly regarded National Geographic Society made an announcement that is bound to provide a lasting impact on the travel and hospitality industry. The grand news? They are officially launching the National Geographic Unique Lodge of The World, a collection of boutique hotels bearing their proprietary stamp across the globe. This initiative is carried out via the National Geographic Travel division of the organization.
The Unique Lodges Of The World collection consists of 24 properties on six continents. The hotels underwent a rigorous vetting process that was designed by Nat Geo Travel to satisfy their aims of offering a truly enriching guest experience while at the same time upholding the cultural and natural heritage of the property as well as further integrating sustainable tourism practices on a more permanent basis. To that end, the assessment also involved three crucial questions posed by experts from the Society to the hotel properties they eyed for inclusion:
Overall Property Review – Would this hotel property provide its guests with a sense of unique design and appearance that honors the cultural heritage and the surrounding environment in which it is located?
Guest Experience and Overall Quality of Service – Do guests have ample opportunities to enjoy elite hospitality services and chances to avail themselves of activities that promote lasting interaction with locals and the environment?
Sustainable Tourism Guidelines – How committed is the hotel property to protecting cultural and national heritage of its site and to conservation and green operations? And is there an active inclusion of the local communities in the hotel’s overall mission?
The process also included interviews of all hotel staff from top to bottom. All of the properties can be viewed in full at their website, and the 24 hotels that were selected to be the first Unique Lodges are:
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
Kasbah du Toubkai, Morocco
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
Lizard Island, Australia
Longitude 131, Australia
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
P0acuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rosalie Bay Lodge, Dominica
Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
Sayari Camp, Tanzania
Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
The Brando, French Polynesia
The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan
In addition, National Geographic has launched an intensive promotional campaign that includes advertising via social media and other forms of digital marketing. They’ve also assembled an advisory group that will further detail the program’s direction in terms of strategy and better environmental practices. The Unique Lodges collection is also a main facet of the organization’s new array of travel packages simply titled Private Expeditions. Other lodges can apply for membership in the program here.