Green + Eco-Travel

Green Retreats

by Matthew Link

Where: Pacific Coast, Mexico

The pitch: On an otherwise empty beach 60 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, lies the 24-room "Little Unknown Hotel." It's not really that unknown, as Brooke Shields gushes about the place, and the owner is former fashion designer, Dakar Rally winner, and all-around overachiever Marcello Murzilli.

Green factor: Despite the bronze candelabra dangling from the thatched palapa roof and the ever-flowing margaritas, the Hotelito is as eco as they come. Rooms have no phones or electricity (no Telemundo this trip!), and the whole place runs off solar power. Windmills pump water for spa treatments, soaps are handmade, and light comes from candles and torches.

Creature comforts: With no electricity, how does one get moving in the morning? Well, just hoist the red flag in your room, and Mexican-style coffee is on its way. Later, head to the outdoor spa for a "mermaid bath"—a massage using sea salt and essential oils.

Eco-activities: Spy on the secret lives of egrets, great blue herons, and pink flamingos on rowboat tours through the adjoining El Ermitaño wetland reserves. Or simply take a siesta in a hammock. And from June to January, guests help release baby turtles on the protected shoreline nesting area at sunset.

Green rule of thumb: "Always pack biodegradable products like shampoos, creams, mosquito repellent, and soaps," says Hotelito's Noemí Aguinaga Rodríguez. Of course, all of the above are provided at the property.

Hotelito Desconocido
Tel: 800 851 1143
Doubles from $300

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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