Indagare’s Impact Hotel Criteria’s extensive collection of thousands of hotel reviews only includes properties we have visited and vetted first-hand. While scouting, we assess scores of details, from aesthetics to quality of service. Our Impact Hotel Program awards badges to those hotels that best exemplify a strong commitment to making travel sustainable, so our members can make an informed choice based on what’s important to their experience. Indagare’s criteria are informed by the stringent expectations of experts in the field of sustainability, such as the Global Sustainability Tourism Council. Partner hotels are also evaluated against aspects of our Indagare Impact pillars. Any property that qualifies for Indagare’s Impact Badge has provided documented proof of compliance with a supermajority of the parameters laid out below. (Note that Indagare continues to vet hotels and adds Impact Badges once a hotel has specifically shown to Indagare that it complies with the criteria. There are hotels that meet these standards which Indagare has not yet vetted, and they will be awarded badges at that time.)

Natural Heritage

The hotel supports and contributes to biodiversity and conservation efforts, including the use of its own land, where applicable.

The hotel commits resources to the upkeep of its surroundings, even outside its property, including the prevention or introduction of invasive species.

The hotel offers guests the ability to interact with the surrounding nature in a responsible way that respects the integrity and welfare of the flora and fauna involved.

The hotel’s construction was done with minimal impact on its base and incorporates natural aesthetics and local materials.


The hotel tracks its impact on the environment, including waste, emissions, light, noise and water contamination, and has implemented a plan to reduce that impact.

The hotel sources products with minimal impact on the environment, including capital goods, consumables, building materials and gardening products.

The hotel offsets carbon emissions that it has not already eliminated.

The hotel provides meaningful ways for guests to minimize their own environmental impacts during their stay.

Cultural Heritage

The hotel’s design melds into or matches the community it inhabits and incorporates local customs, traditions and cuisines, while respecting their intellectual property.

The hotel commits resources to the preservation of customs and culture of the community, as well as upkeep of important local sites, without impeding the locals’ use of the same.

The hotel offers guests the ability to interact with and learn from the people in the local area in a responsible way that benefits all parties involved, at the pleasure of the impacted locals, and provides instruction on expected codes of conduct.

The hotel seeks input from the local community on large-scale decisions that would impact them.

Community Development

The majority of the staff is hired locally, without discrimination and with fair wages, and the hotel offers management opportunities and personal career development to locals.

While respecting traditional culture, the hotel also enacts quality-of-life improvements (such as regarding infrastructure and education), especially for marginalized members of the local community.

The hotel sources as much of its food, toiletries, décor and other supplies as possible from local traders, farmers, artists etc.

The hotel either runs or partners with a local NGO.


The hotel has implemented a short-term, medium-term and long-term management plan for the above. This plan is clearly and transparently outlined for all, including staff, guests and community members.

Promotional material accurately reflects the initiatives organized by the hotel.

The hotel has sought outside certification on any or all of the above practices.

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to learn more about Indagare Impact and to plan a trip that not only inspires and empowers you as a traveler, but also helps support the destination you’ve visited.

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