If you think conservation and excess are mutually exclusive, you haven’t really explored the recent trend toward uniting luxury and sustainable travel. Case in point: The posh, eco-friendly Curtain Bluff resort in Antigua now offers to shower clients with champagne at its new spa. Indulge in the signature caviar-and-champagne massage knowing that the staff has taken aggressive measures to recycle waste. Or de-stress in a full-body, aromatic mud masque without worrying about how your towel was laundered—they use only nontoxic detergents. Chuckle if you must at the irony, but the Green Globe–certified resort takes large steps toward sustainability elsewhere on its property, too. The pool is sanitized using salt rather than chlorine; drinking water comes from a reverse osmosis system that reclaims seawater; landscaping seedlings are grown on-site instead of being flown in; and the specially designed, energy-saving air-conditioning system uses an environmentally safe coolant. The resort also sets aside a portion of its profits to sponsor health-care and scholarship programs for local children. All in all, heading to Curtain Bluff is a pretty circuitous route to saving the world, but options like this one are sure to attract of plenty of willing do-gooders. 

Story by Sarah Schmidt. This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.