Five Nature-Based Lodges on our 2021 Travel List

Glorious spring is here while summer is waiting expectantly for her debut. The change of the seasons coupled with restrictions on travel beginning to open up has us hopeful and excited to take a visit to a new place. Here are five of those places on our 2021 travel list – chosen for their eco-initiatives, stunning landscapes, locally-sourced food, and well-thought-out accommodations.

1. Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm – Albuquerque, NM

Photo by Sergio Salvador.


From its striking Pueblo Revival architecture, lavender fields, and lush gardens to the most renowned field-to-fork dining experience in the Southwest – Los Poblanos thoughtfully embodies its mission of “preservation, sustainability, community, and hospitality.”

Photo by Douglas Merriam.


Enjoy a brunch of chilaquiles and lavender spritz at CAMPO – Los Poblanos’ casual fine-dining restaurant, featuring local organic ingredients sourced right from the farm and the surrounding Rio Grande River Valley. After your meal, take a visit to the Farm Shop to peruse through the artisan products made from lavender grown at Los Poblanos. Spend the evening exploring the historic 1930s gardens and finish it by the kiva fireplace in your historic hacienda.   

2. Kasbah Bab Ourika – Atlas Mountains, Morocco


An initial impression of this destination is extravagance. From traditional Moroccan architecture to panoramic views of the commanding Atlas Mountains dotted with groves of olive and citrus trees, beautiful botanical gardens, and food sourced from the adjacent Ourika Valley – the experience here is both immersive and well-appointed. However, a closer look unveils an eco-conscious resort that utilizes solar panels, gray water, traditional building techniques (rammed earth), as well as community initiatives including water storage for the larger community and partnership with local businesses.


Join a themed workshop like pottery or photography. Go for a 2-hour camel trek, make tea picked from the botanical garden, explore the National Park, or enjoy a traditional hammam spa experience– a scrub with black Moroccan soap.

3. Craveiral Farmhouse – Sao Teotonio, Portugal


An approachable but refined combination of modern luxury with farmstay offerings, the expansive grounds of Craverial include a farm-to-table restaurant, educational farm, orchards, permaculture gardens, nature center, pools, and wellbeing center. With an emphasis on conservation, the farmhouse is first and foremost a nature experience.


Take a horse ride around the grounds, or a surfing lesson at the nearby beaches of Zambujeira do Mar and Carvalhal. Relax in the gardens and finish the evening outside on the terrace with an organic wood-fired pizza topped with local ingredients. End your meal with a glass of medronho, a traditional Portugal fruit brandy digestif.   

4. Trout Point Lodge – Nova Scotia, Canada

Photo: George Sutherland


Located within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve, Trout Point is a quintessential wilderness lodge and nature retreat. This 100-acre estate is an extensive wilderness experience with water views of the Tusket & Napier River, yet still just a short drive to historic seafaring ports and French Acadian Villages. Trout Point is an eco-lodge recognized by National Geographic, Scientific American, and Green Key Global Programs. The Lodge employs solar power and gray water, utilizes natural materials for construction, and encourages “Leave No Trace” principles, among many other efforts.


Spend the morning “forest bathing” in the pristine Acadian Forest, the afternoon kayaking on the river, and the evening soaking in the wood-fired hot tub. Relish your 4-course gourmet meal, followed by expert-guided star gazing.

5. Estancia Los Potreros – Cordoba, Argentina


“Heaven on the hill tops” is a 1945 guest description of Los Potreros, a striking working family ranch located within a provincial reserve in Cordoba, Argentina. This multi-generational estancia is warmly hosted by owners Louisa and Kevin Begg, who emphasize this is a “homestay not a hotel stay.” Los Potreros is committed to responsible tourism– employing renewable energy sources, implementing tree-planting programs, and working with local authorities to re-introduce native wildlife on the estancia. The food program operates with a strong “farm-to-table ethos,” sourced directly from the estancia garden and range, including beef, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.


A focal point of Los Potreros is the rich heritage and riding culture of Argentina. Spend the day learning the traditions and style of the famed gauchos of South America. Take a ride past rural homesteads, among the rolling hills, or to swimming holes and waterfalls. Join a working gaucho to move cattle, take salt to the herd, or challenge your horsemanship skills with “destrezas de gaucho”, gaucho games. Want a break from the saddle? Try a driving tour with your host to learn the family history of the estancia. Finish your day with a glass of the celebrated Argentine Malbec, served with “asado” – a traditional South American barbecue dish accompanied by fresh organic produce picked from the garden. Retire to your well-appointed and decorated estancia room, grateful that the traditions of yesterday are so thoughtfully carried out to today.

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