Nestled in the mountains of Switzerland, you can find 15 igloo-like pods dotted along a mountainside about 4,500 feet above sea level. These little domes are apart of Whitepod Hotel, an eco-friendly luxury resort. About an hour from Geneva airport, this unique hotel and restaurant can be found within the Les Cerniers village. While each pod is different inside, they are all created with sustainable practices as a priority, and encourage guests to experience the Swiss Alps in a way they never have before.
So what makes this destination so eco-friendly? Each pod was designed to combine ecotourism and luxury, starting with the geometric shape of the pods. Each geodesic dome consists of a network of triangles that help support the frame work. As a result, the amount of material needed is minimal. The pods were also created to be energy efficient. Ambient airflow inside each dome helps keep energy levels low so the pods require about 30 percent less energy than typical structures.
In addition to the environmentally friendly design, the pods create a unique luxury feel inside. Each dome offers a suite -like accommodation and creates an isolated cocoon in nature. Currently the resort offers three types of pod interiors. There's the “family” pod which allows for parents to bring along their children and other family members. The “cosy” pod is perfect for couples to share some alone time while taking in the natural panorama. Lastly, if you want to splurge, there is the “deluxe” pod that is ideal for longer stays. This winter the resort will be adding a fourth option, the “suite” pod, to take the experience up another notch with three new special designs, like the 007 suite.
The resort also encourages sustainable practices throughout its property. Each pod is fashioned with organic bedding and energy consumption is kept at a minimum by using closed fireplaces. The resort keeps water consumption under control with water saving devices on shower heads and faucets. They also use nearby spring water to encourage local use. To avoid harmful chemicals, the cleaning team is equipped with only biodegradable cleaning products.
Whitepod makes efforts to reduce any waste produced by utilizing Forest Stewardship Council and Processed Chlorine Free paper products for everything from their toilet paper to brochures. To further minimize waste, the hotel has a strict sorting policy organic and non-organic waste. Since meals can often create significant waste, the resort takes steps to run a sustainable food and beverage program. The food offered is seasonal and as local as possible. Their fish is also certified sustainable. The on-property restaurant, Les Cerniers Restaurant, focuses on mountain specialties and regional ingredients.
Once you’re done ogling at the breathtaking views from your modern igloo and snacking on the local fare, it’s time to explore the grounds. If you're more of the indoor type, you can find a long list of massage offerings in the Pod-house, which also houses a sauna and bar area. During the summer, you can get outside and hit the trails or play tennis.
More of a winter sports person? Whitepod faces Vilars, a ski resort and as a Whitepod guest, you’ll be able to access over four miles of ski slopes with private ski lifts or dog sledding. If you brought your group from the office for a corporate getaway, try memorable team building like igloo construction, luge racing, snow showing, or avalanche simulation. Whether you're with family, friends, or your team, Whitepod is a great destination unlike any other, and definitely sets an awesome example for how to prioritize eco-friendly practices while giving guests a memorable and unique experience.
From Fiji to Africa, hotels all over the world are turning to renewable energy sources like geothermal heating and solar panels. These ten properties offer a green destination for eco-conscious travelers looking to keep their carbon footprints light.
Almost all ecotourism is adventure travel, but not all adventure travel is ecotourism. Fortunately, adventure travel is slowly but surely embracing ecotourism practices.
Eco-conscious tourism possibilities in Mexico's Riviera Maya now include immersive, sustainable food experiences.
Lacey Cunningham shares stories from her 15 years at the NPS, and gives tips on how to enjoy the parks.