Wild about the planet


Wild about the planet

For World Environment Day 2024 we celebrate the hotels making our planet greener – and one of our charity partners leading the way…

Kate Pettifer

BY Kate Pettifer5 June 2024

We’re not taking you back to business school, but it’s safe to say that development and acquisition needn’t always have negative consequences for the natural world. There’s a lot of Earth-kind goodness around the globe – not just in the charity sector but in hospitality too.

Let’s begin with charity, though: the World Land Trust (WLT) is one of Mr & Mrs Smith’s partners, and this environmental champion is a leading light in helping conservation outfits worldwide safeguard important patches of nature-rich land and under-threat wildlife corridors.

We support WLT’s Buy An Acre programme. Where land can be purchased (with a ballpark cost of £100 an acre), the Trust lends its economic clout to on-the-ground organisations around the world (currently 51 in total) so that they can take ownership of it for protection. But that’s only half the story…

Some of our most sustainable hotels are also invested in the natural beauty of their surroundings. So, we decided to take a closer look at the Buy An Acre programme, and to celebrate those hotels already taking a leaf out of WLT’s book.


Most of World Land Trust’s Buy An Acre projects focus on snapping up forested landscapes, but in Patagonia, the charity has teamed up locally to help secure a riverine steppe with micro-native frogs, fish species and plant life that otherwise might escape protection from development.

Smith-approved stays in this region also go the extra mile. Explora, which has four hotels in Patagonia (and is a fellow B Corp business), has a 6,000-hectare conservation reserve bordering the Torres del Paine national park in Chile. Neighbouring the same park, Awasi Patagonia established a nature corridor by leasing land from local farms to protect the animals that use it. Tierra Patagonia removed all on-site vegetation during construction before replanting it once the works were complete, and the return of the guanacos, ñandús, native birds and foxes suggests it’s worked out. Its owners also actively support a regional reforestation project which aims to plant one million trees across Chilean Patagonia’s national parks. And it would be neglectful not to mention the Singular Patagonia, whose two nature reserves in the region span nearly 15,000 hectares.


Atlantic forest makes up just a few per cent of Brazil’s remaining primary forest, and the Reserva Ecologica de Guapiaçu (Regua) – which protects this important habitat – is one of WLT’s longest-standing and most successful projects.

WLT’s programme, Buy An Acre, has helped to bolster the size of the area being conserved; there are reforestation elements to its partnership with Regua and rangers patrol the reserve to protect the endangered species such as tapirs, curassows and guans, which are all targeted by hunters. Southern woolly spider monkeys live here, too, and are seriously endangered, with a population of just 1,300. If you’re staying in Rio de Janeiro and fancy an inland jaunt to see the reserve for yourself, day trips can be arranged. And if you’re further south, visiting São Paulo, Rosewood’s hotel in the metropolis is a pioneering example of developments bringing replanting to the city.

The Best of the Rest

South Africa is a growth area for WLT’s work: the charity’s taken on a handful of new projects in the country in recent times. In the Western Cape, the Buy An Acre programme is engaged with the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT) to protect a rich area of shrubland that supports everything from birds of prey to orchids.

Mr & Mrs Smith is lucky to have hotels in its collection that exemplify this kind of giving back to the planet that hosts them. Without Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn, which safeguards 90 per cent of its estate as a protected reserve, Californian species such as red-legged frogs, Smith’s Blue butterflies (no relation) and native condors would have a much smaller patch to call home. In Montana, 300 acres bordering the Yellowstone river are now under the protection of Smith-approved Sage Lodge. And in Peru, admirably early adopters of eco-tourism Inkaterra have been replanting and conserving native cloud forest, documenting new species of orchid and butterfly along the way, since the 1970s.

Doing our bit

Mr & Mrs Smith’s contributions to World Land Trust come from company donations made annually, and from your generosity towards our two ‘land’ and ‘sea’ partner charities (Blue Marine Foundation is the latter). We give £1 to charity whenever you buy a Get a Room! gift card (£5 if you select an e-gift card) and you can donate to WLT and Blue Marine Foundation through our donations page whenever you feel inclined. To date, in three years of working together, we’ve totted up £42,971 in donations to WLT’s Buy An Acre programme (or 429 acres of protected land, for all you number-crunchers out there). That’s a lot of trees…

You can find all our stand-out environmentally-friendly hotels in our most sustainable hotels collection.