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Top 10 eco-friendly resorts in Indonesia

Discover our pick of eco-resorts and what you can do to reduce your environmental impact.

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Villa in Indonesia

By staying in an eco-resort in Indonesia, you can enjoy the beauty of this biodiverse nation with minimal impact on the environment. You'll find a range of initiatives to effectively manage waste, water consumption, energy consumption and carbon emissions as well as wildlife and conservation projects and community environmental awareness.

Indonesia joined the United Nations World Tourism Organisation International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories back in 2016, and the Ministry of Tourism is focusing on creating thousands of sustainable tourism villages to conserve the environment and empower local communities.

While ecotourism is still a growing trend, there are many eco-resorts in Indonesia that you can enjoy on your next holiday.

Bambu Indah, Ubud

1. Bambu Indah, Ubud

Stay in bespoke, yet luxurious, bamboo structures for a unique experience at this boutique hotel.

  • To save water, towels and sheets are only changed every third day unless otherwise requested.
  • There is a no-plastic policy to reduce waste, with papaya stems used for straws and banana leaves served as plates.
  • The founders have started a number of eco-businesses including The Kul Kul Farm, Green School, Green Village and Green Camp, which you can learn more about during your stay.
  • Toiletries are made from 100% natural ingredients so no chemicals enter the environment.
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Six Senses Uluwatu, Uluwatu

2. Six Senses Uluwatu, Uluwatu

Enjoy the serenity of Bali in a sky suite, penthouse or cliff top pool villa with stunning ocean views.

  • Internationally recognised green resort with certification from the World Green Council, an organisation that supports hospitality and tourism operators in improving sustainability practices.
  • Over 12,000 plastic bottles are avoided every six months by using reusable glass bottles.
  • Hundreds of litres of cooking oil are recycled into biodiesel every year to reduce the strain on natural resources.
  • All waste is composted, recycled or reused, with local certified companies commissioned for sustainable waste management.
  • Local and international sustainability standards for the environment, safety and health are met or exceeded.
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Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort, Raja Ampat

3. Raja Ampat Biodiversity Nature Resort, Raja Ampat

With diving, island-hopping, trekking, wildlife-watching and local hospitality, there's plenty to keep you entertained at this eco-friendly resort.

  • Solar electricity powers the resort 24 hours a day to reduce energy consumption and excess electricity is stored in generators.
  • To limit water use, traditional bucket style showers, low-flow toilets and faucets are in each room. Plus, sheets and towels are changed only every three days.
  • The resort educates the local community about how to protect marine life, with actions in place to discourage fishing from the coral reefs.
  • Fresh food is bought locally to reduce the carbon footprint and to support the local economy. No pork or beef is served in meals.
  • Waste is reduced by eliminating plastic and reusing or recycling where possible.
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Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, Dalang

4. Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, Dalang

Bathe in natural rock pools, breathe in fresh mountain air, and enjoy the sounds of nature from your uniquely designed jungle bungalow.

  • Natural and biodegradable products are used for cleaning, pest control and toiletries to eliminate chemicals.
  • A number of energy and water-saving measures are in place including low-flow showers, LED light bulbs, sensor lights and washing sheets and towels every three days.
  • The owners also have a consultancy business where they educate other businesses on becoming eco-friendly.
  • Over 20 years of growing trees and raising awareness of wildlife preservation to the local community.
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Bawah Reserve, Berakit

5. Bawah Reserve, Berakit

If an overwater bungalow surrounded by turquoise lagoons and pristine beaches is on your bucket list, you can tick it off right here.

  • Solar panels are being actively installed throughout the property.
  • All buildings are designed for minimal impact on the environment, with bungalows constructed to avoid damaging coral beds.
  • Reef-friendly sunscreen is available for guests to purchase to avoid chemicals damaging the reef and sea life.
  • Wastewater is sent to treatment areas and solid waste is recycled when possible.
  • On-site marine biologists protect turtle breeding by providing nesting beaches and relocating eggs that are in danger.
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Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, Kalimantan

6. Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, Kalimantan

Wake up to birdsong and the hoos of gibbons at one of the few locations where orangutans can be seen in the wild.

  • A percentage of profits goes towards projects such as planting new trees.
  • Staff, guests and the local community engage in training programs to raise environmental awareness.
  • The lodge has its own eco-standards system to be able to measure its carbon footprint and be accountable for environmental impact.
  • Solar power is used to reduce energy consumption, with solar lights, energy-saving bulbs and solar hot water systems in place.
  • The lodge protects hectares of land around the property, which is used as a sanctuary for wildlife and native plants.
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Janji Laut Resort, Sulawesi

7. Janji Laut Resort, Sulawesi

Stay among lush tropical gardens and discover well-preserved marine biodiversity in one of the world's richest diving sites.

  • A chemical-free eco-wastewater system is used to eliminate the spread of bacteria into the ecosystem.
  • Plastic is avoided where possible and all waste that can not be composted is taken to the closest city for recycling.
  • No fumigation is done on-site and guests are discouraged from using repellents.
  • The resort works with the community to teach sustainability and eco-friendly practices, with a focus on keeping the ocean free of waste.
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Banyan Tree, Ungasan

8. Banyan Tree, Ungasan

With an ethos of "Embracing the Environment, Empowering People", this resort ticks a lot of boxes when looking for an eco-resort in Indonesia.

  • The resort holds the EarthCheck Gold Certification, which is an international benchmarking standard for sustainability practices in chemical use, energy, waste, emissions and community involvement.
  • Straws and plastic cutlery are banned with a goal to eliminate all single-use plastic in the future.
  • The 50 Miles Dinner policy means that any food that is not grown on-site can only be sourced from less than 50 miles away to reduce carbon emissions.
  • The resort raises awareness of climate change in local communities and promotes responsible consumption of resources and effective waste management.
  • Thousands of trees are planted each year and the staff work with local organisations on clean-up projects in the area.
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Soori Bali, Tabanan

9. Soori Bali, Tabanan

With an infinity pool, gym, spa, library and three dining options, you won't have many reasons to leave this gorgeous Balinese resort.

  • The resort holds the EC3 Global EarthCheck Standard for Building, Planning and Design certification.
  • Water consumption is reduced through water-efficient appliances, separation lines between water that is used within the property and gardening water, and by using recycled water for irrigation.
  • To minimise the use of artificial lighting and AC, the resort is designed in a way to provide natural lighting and ventilation, with villas also kept cool by greenery and the materials used.
  • 85% of ingredients are sourced from local suppliers to reduce carbon emissions and to support the local economy.
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Bali Eco Stay, Wanagiri

10. Bali Eco Stay, Wanagiri

Reconnect with nature through the sights and sounds of the jungle and discover traditional Balinese life at this tropical forest sanctuary.

  • A strict no plastic water bottle policy to reduce waste.
  • Water is sourced directly from the mountain. Consumption is reduced by using low-pressure showers and only changing sheets and towels every three days. Wastewater is recycled into gardens.
  • Natural soaps and shampoos are supplied in all rooms and biodegradable cleaning products are used to eliminate chemicals getting into the ecosystem.
  • 60% of the resort is powered by hydroelectricity using water from the local river.
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Why we chose these accommodation options:

  • They have a long list of initiatives to reduce their environmental impact and share a common goal for a sustainable future.
  • Wastewater and waste management systems are in place to protect the local ecosystem, with single-use plastics reduced where possible.
  • Property owners and staff encourage and educate guests on sustainable practices and work is done with the local communities to raise environmental awareness.
  • Some also have conservation or wildlife projects to restore and protect local species of flora and fauna.

What to know before you go to Indonesia?

Even though sustainability and eco-tourism are still developing in Indonesia, the government is taking steps to preserve the environment. However, there are some things to be aware of before you visit to help you make positive decisions and reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Millions of tourists visit Indonesia each year. Mass tourism has had a particularly negative impact on popular places like Bali, with a huge strain on the already poor infrastructure and waste management systems. Rubbish-filled beaches and diving spots, heavy traffic and pollution are a growing problem, so it's important to consider how you are contributing to this and what you can do to avoid negatively impacting areas of Indonesia you visit.
  • There are some attractions where animals, such as elephants, monkeys and tigers, are used to make money from tourists. Many of these animals are mistreated and live in poor conditions, so by not visiting these places, you can reduce the demand.
  • With over 17,000 islands in Indonesia, it's likely that you will spend some time at the beach or swimming in the ocean. Touching or standing on live coral can kill it, so avoid swimming too close. If you find any broken off pieces of coral, leave it where it is as it could be a home or food source for other creatures.
  • If you visit a cafe or restaurant that doesn't offer you a physical menu or does not list out the dish items, make sure to ask what the dish contains before ordering. It's still common to see shark, dog, turtle and other endangered species served up to unsuspecting tourists, so this will stop you from eating something you don't want. This isn't to say you should be hesitant to eat everywhere you go, just be diligent.
  • Tap water is generally not safe to drink but check with your accommodation as sometimes it is collected directly from mountains or rainwater and treated. It's a good idea to carry a couple of metal bottles with you that you can refill so you are not tempted to purchase plastic bottles while you are out.

Things to avoid when booking eco-accommodation in Indonesia

There are many properties that class themselves as eco-friendly, but after a closer look, they don't have many sustainability measures in place. The level of sustainability can vary depending on the type of property, but we like to see a wide range of initiatives in different areas that are having a direct impact on the environment and the local community.

When choosing an eco-resort in Indonesia, these are some things we would avoid:

  • Changing bedding and towels every day
  • Sourcing food and supplies from far away rather than locally
  • Using toiletries and cleaning products with chemicals
  • Not treating and disposing of wastewater in an environmentally friendly way
  • Using plastic water bottles and other single-use plastics
  • Minimal recycling, burning of rubbish or dumping of waste
  • Promoting activities and tours that can impact wildlife, plants or sea life in a negative way
  • Using a lot of meat products for meals
  • No energy saving measures such as solar power or energy-efficient light bulbs

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