If you want to be a more responsible traveler, choosing sustainable hotels for your trips is the perfect way to start. Sometimes though, it’s not easy to tell whether a hotel you’re looking at is sustainable or not. These five markers will help you identify which properties are playing a part in the healthy growth of your destination. Here are a few things to look for before you book and during your stay.


The hotel has a clear sustainable policy or commitment on their website

The website may feature steps the hotel has taken to manage its impact on the environment, or notes for travelers about what to expect at the property. You can also look for certificates from accrediting bodies such as LEED, EarthCheck, Travelife and Green Key to see if a hotel meets internationally accepted criteria for sustainable tourism.

The hotel has close relationships and interactions with the local community

Community relationships can mean sourcing produce from farms nearby, buying art or furniture from local craftsmen, and hiring staff from the surrounding area. The hotel may host clean-up events, support charities in town, or promote community-based tours. Hotels that work closely with their communities usually offer guests a more authentic portrayal of local culture.

The hotel minimizes its impact on the environment and use of resources

Any hotel that claims to be sustainable must manage its waste, energy and water processes. Solutions for waste can be segregating, composting and recycling. Energy efficiency can include solar power, LED lights, and devices that save electricity. Water management may involve reducing washing and excessive water consumption, and using bio-friendly cleaning products.

TIP: Some properties go a step further to help protect nature by guarding coral reefs or supporting nature reserves. These are excellent places for nature lovers to stay.

The hotel has a plastic-free policy in its rooms and operations

Most hotel rooms come with complimentary plastic water bottles which will be used once and then thrown into a landfill. Plastic bottles can take more than 500 years to fully decompose. Be sure to choose a hotel that uses glass water bottles instead, and has replaced plastic straws, bags, and packaging in its rooms and restaurants with biodegradable alternatives.

The hotel involves its guests in sustainable activities and practices

Hotels need you – their guests – to join in their sustainability efforts. Enjoy staying at places that offer free bicycles and water refilling stations, and that encourage you to segregate waste, turn off lights, and bring your own toothbrush. By actively sharing your sustainable stay with friends, you can help raise awareness for the businesses that are trying to do better.

TIP: If you’re not sure if the hotel you’re considering follows these practices, don’t be afraid to ask! Hotels that have a commitment to sustainability are usually happy to talk about it, and the others will benefit from hearing what guests are looking for.

Booking a sustainable stay doesn’t mean you have to sleep in a bamboo hut. In Quang Nam, there are several five-star resorts and boutique hotels that follow a sustainable model. Wherever you find a sustainable stay, it means that the owners or hosts have thought deeply about the experience they are offering guests, and how it affects the surrounding nature and community. As a plus for you, you can be sure to receive that level of care and attention during your visit.

If you need more help, visit our Green Travel page to discover great places to stay in Hoi An and Quang Nam. See you here soon!