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Eco escapes: lakeside retreat

Need a break? Why not combine living a conscious life with an ethical holiday? A beautifully relaxing retreat awaits you

by Psychologies

Psychologies' Contributing Travel Editor, green girl and SPA.Kitchen founder, Daisy Finder, rounds up the world's best ethical holidays. Enjoy this heavenly retreat, guilt-free.

Lush lakeside spa: Lefay Resort, Italy

It’s all pretty much perfect at this heavenly retreat nestled in the hills above Lake Garda in Italy. Inspired by the tiered lemon houses of the lake, with rows of stone pillars and wooden beams, this is a resort that looks the business and it delivers, too, with a seriously eco backbone.

Local materials are the name of the game here, and they’ve gone all out with the 90 spacious suites boasting olive-wood parquet floors, walnut furniture, Verona red marble and textiles made of natural cotton fibres. The heating is provided by a whizzy biomass plant fed by woodchips, and rainwater is recycled. Food ticks all the boxes, too: packed with seasonal ingredients from nearby farms, tuck in to lobster Catalanstyle with mango sauce, lettuce and bergamot emulsion.

The spa is equally impressive. Feel free to descend totally starkers into the magical salt-water lake, relax with a spot of reflexology, or get active with qigong (balancing the body, mind and spirit). Otherwise sweat it out in the saunas, splash about in the umpteen pools, or walk around the surrounding vineyards, lemon gardens and olive groves (the hotel produces its own olive oil). This is the sort of place where you can just let go and not worry about a thing. A few days in, you feel transformed; go for a 10-day programme and you’ll skip home a new person. Harriet Compston

From £242 per suite per night, including breakfast. For more information, visit lefayresorts.com