Kenyan-born landscape architect and ecolodge expert Hitesh Mehta has a Zen take on design: No lodge is perfect, he says—there is always room to evolve and improve. Here, Mehta describes key ingredients of the ideal ecolodge.
First and foremost, the lodge must be set in or near a natural area that it is helping to protect.
Not just a source of employment, it must also help safeguard indigenous culture and heritage.
It must stand in harmony with its natural and cultural surroundings.
Food should be locally grown, healthy, and organic.
Providing friendly, efficient service and interactive experiences should be the constant focus.
The lodge is planned, built, and operated in an environmentally sensitive fashion.
Now make your plan with our guide to the world's 50 top ecolodges (or at least tempt yourself with our jaw-dropping photo gallery). They are spectacular, green, and, surprisingly, there's one suited to nearly every budget.