Looking for eco friendly and sustainable accommodation that you can trust can sometimes feel like searching in the jungle (pun intended). We spoke with the founders of Coral Road who we’ve been following for a while to find out how they’re making it easy for travellers to find and book the best eco-friendly hotels in India.
This content is part of a sponsored collaboration with Coral Road, and may contain compensated affiliate links. Read more in our disclosure here.
Searching for Sustainable Hotels & Accommodation in India
India is well known for its culture, its history, its food and its contrasts, but its also home to incredible nature and biodiversity, too. India is, in fact home to 7% of the world’s biodiversity.
But it’s also a country experiencing the effects of climate change, and feeling them fast. Water shortages, erratic rainfall and soaring summer temperatures are affecting many parts of India, making the need to support sustainable options for our travels in India all the more important.
Fortunately, India is home to an incredible choice to eco-friendly resorts, sustainable hotels, homestays, community based tourism projects and much more. Choosing sustainable options for your trip to India is easy… if you know where to look and who to trust!
Which is why we’ve teamed up with Coral Road, who are our recommended site for finding eco-friendly and sustainable places to stay in India, to find out more about how they work with sustainable hotels in India, and how you can easily book them, too!
Our Favourite Sustainable Places to Stay in India
Looking for the perfect place to enjoy India’s nature and culture, while doing your bit to look after India’s natural resources? These are some of our favourite eco-friendly loges and resorts in India:
- Spice Village, Thekkady, by CGH Earth in Kerala. Click here for more info & rates!
- Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge, Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra. Click here for more info & rates!
- King’s Lodge, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Click here for more info & rates!
Finding Sustainable Hotels in India Through Coral Road
We were delighted to find Coral Road’s platform earlier this year, when researching for new sustainable hotels in India. As travellers and bloggers, we always want to do our bit to minimise our own impact, as well as share ways in which tourism can really help take care of our environment and people.
But, finding eco-friendly accommodations is not always that easy, as we’ve written about before. Many places call themselves “eco” but aren’t really doing anything, and some other resorts are doing a lot, but don’t talk about it.
Coral Road are helping to solve that problem by working with properties that have been externally verified for their sustainability measures.
Sustainable Tourism with Coral Road in India: A Mini-Interview
We caught up with the founders, Lani and Chayyan to ask them more about sustainable travel in India, and how Coral Road came about!
How was the concept for Coral Road born? Why did you choose India as your focus point?
(Lani, Coral Road) My husband Chayan and I love traveling and outdoor activities, especially snorkeling and diving. Sadly, for the past few years we started noticing a gradual destruction of some of the places we previously visited, including pristine coral reefs, beautiful beaches and other popular travel destinations in the Philippines (where I was born and raised).
This destruction was caused by many factors like climate change and practices like dynamite fishing, but one of the major reasons was unregulated tourism-related activities. In many locations, too many tourists were allowed to visit places with limited capacity, resulting in coral destruction due to boats anchoring and tourists stepping on the corals. In addition to that, some hotels dump their unfiltered waste directly into the ocean, resulting in bacterial growth that made it unsafe to swim. In some locations hotels are built so close to the water that there is no sand left to walk on during high tide.
After traveling a bit more, my husband and I realized that this problem existed in many locations around the world, including India (where he was born and raised) and we decided to try to travel more consciously and try not to contribute to this tourism-related destruction of places we loved. We wanted to travel a bit off the beaten path and try to find experiences that would connect us more deeply with both the place we were visiting, and the local community.
I love planning trips and I tried looking for better travel options online, but they were difficult to find! I researched for hours but couldn’t seem to find a good solution that was both reliable and comprehensive, covering all the places we wanted to visit as well as offering accommodations within our budget. We realized that a lot of people probably wanted to travel in the same way that we hoped to.
Therefore, we thought of building an online platform which will be useful for travelers like us to easily and reliably find sustainable (a word we learned more about as we did our research) accommodations. This platform would also provide an opportunity for travel providers with sustainable practices with a chance to share their success stories and connect with like-minded travelers.
We chose to focus India both for personal reasons, because it is where Chayan is from, as well as the great variety of experiences available in India, and the growing sustainable tourism movement. For example, there is a sustainability-related certification system specific to India (TOFTigers), and awards (India responsible tourism awards) to promote sustainable tourism. We also found some really fantastic partners in India that have very inspirational sustainability practices.
How do you help travellers find sustainable hotels to stay at?
(Lani, Coral Road) We know that it can be difficult to find an easy to use, reliable, and comprehensive source for sustainable travel each time you want to plan a trip. Therefore, we have done a lot of research ourselves so that our customers can avoid the countless hours having to do all the research themselves!
Specifically, we have done extensive research into all the sustainability-related awards and certifications in Asia.
On each listing on Coral Road, you can see the eco certifications and awards each accommodation has achieved. Also, you can clearly see the sustainability initiatives that each accommodation has, such as greywater recycling, or solar power, and you can even filter based on the sustainability initiatives that are important to you. For example, if animal conservation is important to you, you can see all the accommodations in the destination you want to go to that are working on this.
Our goal is to make it as easy and as fun as possible for customers to find sustainable accommodations.
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What criteria / quality controls do you use to make sure hotels really are sustainable?
(Lani, Coral Road) We carefully selected the certifications and awards that encompass the 4 pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, socioeconomic impacts, cultural impacts, and environmental impacts, as defined by the UNWTO. For certifications, we only select those that are accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which was created by the UN. The GSTC has criteria that align with the 4 pillars of sustainability, and these criteria can be considered as baseline global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism.
We have then curated all the accommodations that have achieved at least one of these awards or certifications. We made sure these hotels received their certification/award from a 3rd party upon an onsite inspection.
Where Can Travellers find out more / book through you?
(Lani, Coral Road) Our website is Coralroad.com or you can find us on Instagram and Facebook. We are currently offering all Soul Travel readers 10% off when they book with us – use promo code SOULTRAVEL when requesting your booking.
Have you stayed in an eco lodge in India? What are your favourite tips for finding sustainable travel options in India? Let us know in the comments below!