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Twenty years ago, luxury travel and sustainability may have seemed like two mutually exclusive concepts. After all, how can extensive buffets, private pools, 24/7 air-conditioned rooms and regularly replaced premium toiletries ever be compatible with the principles of sustainability? Well, now they can.

Over the decades, as the effects of development take its toll on nature, we have been forced to face the reality of our survival if we continue acting inconsequentially. This has perhaps altered the perceptions and lifestyles of some to be more conscious about the way they eat, live and yes, travel.

Today, sustainable travel is no longer a myth – it is a decision that consumers have to make to influence their own carbon footprint on earth. At the same time, luxury is no longer defined by the facilities and services aforementioned.

Discover how these 9 luxe eco-friendly resorts are changing the sustainable travel landscape in Malaysia so you can have a guilt-free escape.

The Datai Langkawi - The Spa

The Datai Langkawi – The Spa

1. The Datai Langkawi

As far as rainforest retreats go, The Datai sits among the top in the country. And it doesn’t fall behind on the sustainability front either. For one, every tree that was cut during development was replaced by another or repurposed to build the suites and villas. Resident naturalist Irshad Mubarak later coined the Datai Pledge: a series of initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable future for guests and the local community. It includes the rehabilitation of coral reefs and promoting sustainable fishing; protecting wildlife in the area; and introducing educational programs for sustainability, targeted at youth. Meanwhile, guests are treated to spacious, tranquil accommodations and luxe amenities worthy of the resort’s 5-star prestige.