Eco Hotels

environmentally aware and ethical hotels
sustainable and ethical travel







Eco Hotels

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Eco Hotels

It often seems like the hotel industry simply pays lip service to ethical and environmental issues. Do hotels really believe that a note asking you to re-use your towels constitutes a socio-ethical policy when the heating or air-conditioning is cranked full on and they employ the cheapest foreign labour they can get? The origin of food is often indeterminate and contact with the local economy minimal.

Why not ask them a few questions to sharpen their performance:

  • can you turn the heating/airconditioning down please?
  • where is your food procured? Is it local/organic?
  • can I see your ethical policy please?
  • do you re-cycle?
  • in what ways do you support the local community?

There are a number of environmental accreditation organisations working with the hotel industry.

Having had our rant, we have to acknowledge that the world does have a fair number of environmentally conscious hotels, so here is where you can find a few of them:


Bedruthan Steps Hotel, Cornwall - Family friendly hotel on the Atlantic Coast, with a strong environmental policy. Close to Mawgan Porth Beach, many of the rooms offer sea views. Restaurant and café offering local produce -special feature is the attention the give to kids menus. Indoor and outdoor pools, spa treatment, jacuzzi and beauty treatments.

Mose Grove Organic Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria -
This refurbished Victorian hotel in the Lake District is passionate about everything organic, from the local organic produce they serve to the natural paints and sheep fleece insulation used in the refurbishment of the building. The offer 11 stylish bedrooms, each one different.

Percy's Country Hotel and Restaurant, Virginstow, Devon -
Set in 130 acres of verdant gardens, this is a tranquil paradise from which to escape the pressures of modern living. Living accommodation is situated in a restored, converted 17th century granary and offers every comfort from Egyptian cotton bedlinen to broadband.

Primrose Valley Hotel, St Ives, Cornwall
Primrose Valley was the first hotel in Cornwall to win green accreditation, and was 2009 winner in the Cornwall Sustainability awards. They couple a strong sustainability policy with positive actions, including their list of "50 things to do without a car". Have a look to at their "list of 20 things that make us more sustainable". Every room is different and you can also enjoy the Ren Room for therapy and beauty treatment. All this and just 60 seconds from the beach.

Treglos Hotel and Spa, Constantine Bay, near Padstow, Cornwall -
Four star hotel and spa set on a bay in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The hotel has a strong environmental policy and is particularly concerned with the conservation of the local habitats. Many of the rooms have sea views and their award winning restaurant offers local Cornish produce. It has its own beautiful golf course on heathland overlooking the spectacular North Cornish Coast, as well as indoor pool with spa treatment rooms.

Tyf Eco Hotel and Adventure Sports Centre, Pembrokeshire -
Located in the tiny Welsh city of St Davids the hotel is set in a converted 12 bedroom windmill. It is the first hotel in Wales certified by the Welsh Organic Scheme, and has a ethical purchasing policy. They offer world class coasteering -sea kayaking, surfing and rock climbing and it is also a perfect location for retreats, courses and events.

51 Buckingham Gate, London -
Smart five star hotel in the heart of Westminster that champions green causes with its own 'green team' who promote environmental initiatives amongst the hotel's 250 staff. The have 86 luxury suites and serviced apartments for short or long stay, along with spa including a state-of-the-art gymnasium, saunas and steam rooms.


Aqua Dome, Tirol Therme Längenfeld -
A stunning thermal spa and wellness hotel set in the Tirollean mountains. It features a domed, glass-walled thermal spring hall with two pools and a huge waterfall -two canal pools connect to the amazing outdoor area, with the whole complex designed to blend with the mountain setting.
Rogner Bad Blumau, -
An extraordinary hotel and wellness spa in an architecturally inspiring environment -green roofs, organic forms, colourful facades and golden domes make up this amazing complex. Power, heat and energy are supplied by the two curative springs. The spa aims to touch all senses -imagine floating in the warm water, daydreaming, under canopies, on the grass-covered roof or reading in the room of silence. Features include a geomantic path, Celtic tree circle, island of flowers of love, path of the wild fruit, love trees and garden of the 4 elements. There is so much we could write about the hotel -do have a browse through their website.
more eco hotels in Austria




Vaha Spa -
Idyllic spa set in a lemon orchard in northern Cyprus 16 km west of Kyrenia. They offer a comprehensive range of spa treatments, including hot stones, massages, body wraps, facials, hip and thigh treatments as well as Qi Yoga, a therapeutic blend of Hatha Yoga (balancing and restorative Yoga) and Qi Gong (ancient Chinese healing practice), to create centring, grounding, energy harnessing, stress relief and healing on a cellular through to an energetic level.

Czech Republic

Mamaison Residence Belgicka Prague, Prague
Executive aparthotel just ten minutes from Wenceslas Square offering serviced apartments in a classic Art Nouveau building fitted out by interior designer Barbara Skorpilova. Awarded a European Eco-label, they offer business class accommodation with all the facilities you would expect, although its a pity they don't make more of their eco credentials.
More eco hotels in the Czech Republic.


CPH Living , Copenhagen

Denmarks first floating hotel offers the best in Scandinavian design and perhaps reflects the future of a world with sea level changes. Located in the heart of the city, the converted barge is furnished to a high specification and offers twelve beautiful rooms with classic Danish furniture and furniture designed especially for the ship. Wifi internet throughout.

More Eco hotels in Denmark.



Kakslautten -

A stunning hotel, igloo village and cabins complex in Lapland. Especially notable are their glass igloos from which you can watch the Aurora Borealis -they say they use specially insulated glass. Snow restaurant, smoke saunas and wilderness exploration completes the experience.



Maison Flore,
A ten room environmental hotel in the heart of Arcais in the marshes of Marais Poitevin. The hotel is located in two historic marsh houses that have been refurbished with 40 sqm of photo-voltaic roof tiles, and an aerothermal floor heating system fed by an air/water heat-pump itself connected to their own solar energy system. They operate a green housekeeping program which only uses environmently friendly cleaning products and are planning to install a 10,000 liter rainwater collector for greywater flushing.
Villa Rosa, Alsace -
Small nature hotel restored with natural paints, oiled floors and wax. It has achieved 'Hotel au naturel' classification meeting of criteria on the preservation of the environment such as use of renewable energy, waste recycling, water preservation, and reduction of noise and light pollution.

more eco hotels in France.



Mitart, Berlin -
Central Berlin hotel and café in a listed building, with easy access to the cultural life of the city. The café serves organic food, sourced locally, and they support local artists, whose work is on display in the hotels 30 individually styled rooms.
Ökotel, Hamburg, Germany -
Comfortable modern ecological hotel in built using natural materials to a low-energy building standard, including highly insulated, photovoltaics for energy, waste recycling, greywater flush system, and environmentally friendly cleaning products. They also offer certified organic food for their guests.
More eco hotels in Germany


Guest Inn -
Selected Ecotourist traditional accomodation in Greece. The philosophy of Guest Inn, the first Greek Network of Rural Accommodation is to display and promote small tourist accommodation via the Internet, as well as to suggest and provide the traveller with accommodation which is particular to its location and complies with specific common quality standards.
Grecotel, various locations -
The largest hotel chain in Greece wouldn't seem a likely candidate for a selection of eco-hotels, but they are in fact proud of their green credentials. They established their environmental department in 1992, persuaded Coca-Cola to reintroduce returnable glass bottles to Greece; and set up the Agreco traditional organic farm in Crete supplying many of their hotels with organic produce. Their stunning resort hotel in Cape Sounio near Athens has a strong educational programme "ambassadors of the environment" lead by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the great underwater broadcaster.


Eldhestar, Hveragerdi -
Eco labelled countryside hotel dedicated to the Icelandic Horse. Located 30 minutes from Reykjavik in a geothermal resort with many excellent riding and hiking trails. Strong environmental policy including the careful control of tours to avoid damaging delicate ecosystems.
Hotel Hellnar, Hellnar -
Country hotel and retreat located at the head of Snaefellsjokull Glacier with spectacular views. It was the first hotel in Iceland to be Green Globe Eco rated. Owner Gudrun Bergmann worked with her late husband Gudlaugur on environmental protection and sustainable tourism for many years, and Gudlaugur was project coordinator for Local Agenda 21 in Snaefellsbaer municipality. Activities include glacier tours by snowcat, horse riding and hiking. Snaefellsjokull National Park is just minutes away and island tours are available at Stykkisholmur, and hour away.


Lake Hotel -
An eco friendly spa hotel in Killarney -boasts geothermal heat pump and solar hot water systems as well as being located in a beautiful lakeside situation with mountain views.

Brook Lodge
, Macreddin -
Country house spa hotel in Wicklow with its own micro-brewery and organic restaurant that also features geothermal heating from an underground spring supplemented by a biomass boiler.

Wineport Lodge, Westmeath -
A contemporary cedar clad lodge in a stunning waterside setting with West facing balconies that give all the rooms a view of the sunset. The hotel offers local organic food, woodland hiking. and a host of environmental features including wetlands for water treatment.



Lana Hotel, Lana -
Ultra modern boutique hotel built from straw bale construction in the mountains of north east Italy. Relax with an active massage or enjoy the pool.
Panorama, South Tyrol -
Bio-hotel offering panoramic views of the Ortler Mountains and food produced on their own organic farm. Enjoy beautiful hiking country or relax in their sauna.

More eco hotels in Italy


Capsule Hotel, The Hague/Antwerp -
A hotel with a difference -sleep inside your own "love pod" -actually they are oil rig survival pods, simply kitted out for a very different night's experience. Location varies -check the website to see where they are now.

Green Key -Dutch eco label that scores hotels, campsites and restaurants in Belgium, Holland and Germany with a bronze, silver or gold environmental barometer (Dutch language only).

Hans Brinker Budget Hotel -a budget hotel that takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to eco travel -have a look at their eco-tour and you will see what we mean......



Ongajok Mountain Farm, near Alta -
A traditional farm comprising nine buildings around a yard in the wilderness of northern Norway. They offer accomodation for up to 35 guests, with traditional Norwegian cuisine including grouse, reindeer and trout from mountain lakes. The farm is accredited with a Swan Eco Label, and works actively to minimise the environmental impact of your stay, with measures including waste sorting and recycling, bio toilets, and localkly sourced ingredients.

Scandic Hotels, Oslo -

This Scandinavian hotel chain has a strong Responsible Living agenda -it introduced the concept of its 97 percent recyclable hotel room in 1995 and has opened two eco-hotels in Oslo -the Oslo Sjolyst- and the newer Byporten Oslo. A particular feature is the ability of guests to electronically override the temperature settings. They are retrofitting all their hotels rooms to reduce the amount of plastic and metal used, replacing them with natural materials. They aim to be zero CO2 by 2025.

Thon Hotels, across norway -
This chain has set out their aim to have all their hotels certified as "Eco-lighthouses" by the end of 2008 -policies include waste reduction and environmental friendly waste management, purchasing environmental friendly products and ecological food. They also offer self catering apartments in some locations.



Quinta Rio Touro, near Cascais -

A certified organic farm, that is part of Sintra/Cascais Natural Park World Heritage Site. Enjoy an organic breakfast made from their own produce and pick your own oranges straight from the trees.

Hotel Rural Quinta de Bispos, Serra do Caramulo -
Eco-labelled country house hotel and apartments on an organic farm in Central Portugal. The complex enjoys fantastic views and offers pools, turkish baths, horseriding, walking, tennis and a music recording studio. Eco measures include photovoltaic solar power, water and waste management, plus briefing of all staff on ecological issues.



Cerro de Hijar, Malaga -

This three star hotel enjoys a stunning mountain location, silence and fantastic views -you can do trekking, biking and horseback riding or retire to the hotel for a spa and gastronomic meal.
Consolacion Hotel, Monroyo / Mont-roig. Matarraña -
A striking modern hotel located in the Matarraña, Aragón, one of the most beautiful and undiscovered regions of Spain. The hotel was designed by architects Camprubí i Santacana as an innovative project comprising a central house with communal areas, plus ten rooms built as cubes with three solid and one glass wall, enjoying interrupted views of the natural surroundings. The rooms have sunken baths of luxurious black slate and a chimney suspended in mid air, as well as speakers for your I-pod. The restaurant serves some of the best regional produce and the swimming pool, carved from the rockface, enjoys the same spectacular views.
La Correa, Canary Islands -
An oasis of peace and tranquillity in the heart of a native vegetation estate situated in Altavista de Arona (South of Tenerife). This small rustic hotel of only 6 double rooms offers a variety of activities from hillwalking to paragliding. They serve organic food, organise therapeutic services and talks on wellbeing and try to bring respect for the environment into everything they do.


Kolarbyn -

Describes itself as Sweden's most primitive hotel -stay in a forest hut -you are provided with firewood, matches, sheepskin blanks and primitive cooking facilities. Bring warm clothing!


Salt and Sill, Klädesholmen -

A modernistic floating hotel moored at Klädesholmen, one hour from Gothenberg. The oceam itself provides heat through a turbine beneath the boat. Enjoy the coastal air and fresh fish from one of the top seafood restaurants in Sweden.


Balance, Les Grange -

Organic vegetarian cooking plus well-being treatments using the La Grange natural spring water -sauna, pool, shiatsu or simply relax in the garden with a herbal tea.

Style Hotel, Zermatt -
Wellness hotel near the Matterhorn, offering pool, jacuzzi, caldarium, sauna and massage, along with certified organic food.

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Featured books:
Eco Hotels of the World
Alex Conti
Oct 2008
The best eco hotels in the world, all green star rated for their contribution to saving the environment.
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Green Places to Stay: Eco-lodges and Other Green Places to Stay
(Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay)
by Richard Hammond
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

in association with

Scandic Hotels have sustainability at the core of their policies with over 100 Swan eco-labelled hotels in northern Europe.