How would you like to spend the night in a 15,000-liter wine barrel? Or perhaps you'd prefer to make your home-away-from-home in an old drain pipe?
These unique lodging options aren't just quirky -- they're also environmentally friendly. And they're part of a growing array of green lodging options that range from the mundane to the bizarre. Here's a look at the latest in green lodging options around the globe for travelers of all stripes.
Hotels worldwide are adopting sustainable practices including energy and water conservation, waste reduction and environmental-education programs for staff and guests.
At Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo., guests can enjoy 5,000 acres of what the resort calls "Raw Colorado." The ranch itself, which consists of one main lodge and 16 cabins, sits on just 1% of the property, giving guests easy access to untouched forest, meadow and streams in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
The Broad Axe Barn, the ranch's space for weddings and events, was built with beams from a Civil War-era barn in Indiana. And the property uses environmentally friendly geothermal heating and cooling systems. Doubles start at $245 a night.There's only one environmentally friendly way to dispose of used cooking oil in Juneau, Alaska: The Westmark Baranof Hotel. The hotel collects used cooking oil from area restaurants and mixes it with regular heating oil to heat the property. (Restaurants that don't send their leftover oil to the Baranof must ship it to the lower 48 states, a very expensive alternative.) Doubles start at $119 a night.
All of the herbs and seasonings used to prepare the gourmet fare at Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada are grown on the resort property. This luxury resort takes its commitment to the environment seriously, using solar hot water heaters, maintaining a chlorine-free swimming pool and grinding up leftover guest soaps to use as laundry detergent for staff uniforms. Doubles start at $850 a night.
To minimize disruption of water flow and wildlife migrations, the hotel sits atop a raised platform. Its water comes from deep wells and rainwater collectors and is heated by the sun. Wastewater is recycled and used to water the gardens.