A luxury hideaway doesn't have to cost the Earth, says Sophie Lam

White Pod Switzerland

With concerns over the impact of winter sports, the creation of White Pod in 2004 came as a breath of fresh alpine air. Accommodation is in six domed tents on wooden platforms. Bathrooms are shared and pods are heated by wood stoves and lit by petrol lamps. But the real treat is the setting - an uninterrupted vista of the Dents du Midi, which can be explored on skis or bicycle, depending on the season.

White Pod, Dents du Midi, Switzerland (0041 471 38 38; www.whitepod.com). Pods start at Sf205 (£91), half board.

Hotelito Desconocido Mexico

Situated in a protected wetland estuary containing sea turtles and 150 species of bird, Hotelito Desconocido recognises the fragility of its surroundings. There is no electricity - solar power and candles are used instead. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the garden and fish is caught locally. The palafitos (stilted huts) are built from bamboo, palm leaves and clay, and feature art from local craftsmen. Rooms are set against a backdrop of tropical plants, coconut palms and cacti, either overlooking the Pacific or estuary. From June to January guests might even get the chance to see rescued baby turtles being released into the sea.

Hotelito Desconocido, Costa Alegre, Jalisco, Mexico (00 52 322 281 4010; www.hotelito.com). Doubles start at $440 (£244), full board.

Strattons England

One way to lessen your ecological footprint is to reduce air travel. Strattons is one of a handful of upmarket environmentally-sensitive hotels in the UK and has won a cluster of awards. Waste is recycled, produce is local and toiletry containers are refilled. However, little has been spared when it comes to luxury. Each of the seven bedrooms at the restored Queen Anne Villa is individually decorated with wooden floorboards and an eclectic mix of furniture. A series of stables has also been converted into a suite, complete with a marble mosaic wet room and solar-powered radio.

Strattons, Swaffham, Norfolk (01760 723845; www.strattons-hotel.co.uk). Doubles start at £130, including breakfast.

Canvas Chic France

Canvas Chic brings nomadic Central Asian canvas dwellings to the rather unlikely location of southern France. The camp of three yurts reopens in the Ardeche at Easter with an additional nine individual tents, one Oriental in style with a bamboo four-poster bed, another Indian-themed with crimson bedlinen and etched lamps. Tents and pathways are lit by solar power and candles, and the shared bathrooms use heated rainwater. New for this year are several family-oriented yurts.

Canvas Chic, near Labastide de Virac, Ardeche, France (00 33 4 66 24 21 81; www.canvaschic.com). Three nights from £255, including breakfast for two.

Fiji Islands Resort Fiji

The son of Jacques Cousteau opened this Fijian hideaway just over a decade ago. Among the staff is a marine biologist who takes guests to nearby mangroves to plant seeds, or to explore coral reefs, and explains the local ecosystem. But there's plenty of time to relax and appreciate the location. Accommodation is in bures or cottages, which are naturally ventilated - there are also no televisions or telephones. And if the setting alone doesn't satisfy, there are also Fijian language lessons, yoga, trips to local markets or hikes through tropical forest.

Jean-Michel Cousteau, Fiji Islands Resort, Vanua Levu, Fiji (001 415 788 5794; www.fijiresort.com). Doubles start at $647 (£359), full board.

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