Some define luxury lodging as a place with lots of gold and marble, others by pampering service, and some by private exclusivity.

Laguna Azul, on a Caribbean island off the coast of Panama, falls into the latter category, with a dose of green travel guilt reduction for good measure. You can only reach it by private boat transfer and once you’re there, you certainly don’t have to worry about vendors bothering you to buy bead jewelry or rowdy 20-somethings partying late into the night. This is a sedate, relaxing spot meant to make your cares melt away.

Plus where most upscale resorts seem to treat energy and pollution as an inevitable by-product, Laguna Azul does its best to

Biodegradable soaps and products are available throughout the property. Waste water is treated and used to irrigate the landscaped grounds, and the hotel’s roof is designed to collect rainwater. Solar energy complements a generator. Laguna Azul also strives to thrive hand-in-hand with the local indigenous community. Currently, fifty percent of the workforce (with a goal of at least seventy percent) is from the Ngöbe community.

Considering all that’s included: meals, drinks, boat transfers, a daily tour, and on-site activities, the rates here a great value: $500 per couple any time of the year.

See our full review of Laguna Azul Resort in Bocas del Toro.