Thanks to global warming, environmental awareness is becoming more of a priority with each passing day – which is why we’re so proud to have some exceptional eco-friendly hotels in our collection. From energy-efficiency in Vienna to sustainable systems in Italy, read on to discover our greenest properties across the continent. Which carbon-conscious hotel gets your vote?
1. Hotel Schwarzer Bock: Ansbach, Germany
With foundations dating back to 1100, Hotel Schwarzer Bock is a true historic gem. Its heritage is keenly felt at every turn, as the hoteliers – the Fuhrmann family – have done a marvellous job of preserving the property’s traditional spirit, while adapting it to contemporary life.
There’s one thing in particular that they’ve modernised, which is to run the hotel as eco-consciously as possible. For instance, the food and drink served at the onsite restaurant is made with products from nearby farmers, wild game from neighbouring forests and wine from local sellers, so that everything on the menu is fresh, ecological and authentically Bavarian. Every traditional ware you consume has come from nearby, avoiding costly and polluting transport – an emphasis on sustainability that can be found in the hotel’s other efforts, too, such as in their brochures, which are printed with Faber-Castell products from the region.
One of our most eco-friendly hotels, Hotel Schwarzer Bock leaves no stone unturned when it comes to being green. Energy costs are reduced throughout the property, particularly in areas such as the Garden House, which naturally keeps cool to temperatures as low as 10°C. (Who needs aircon?) Guests can also enjoy a range of ecological perks, such as environmentally-friendly coffee made with recyclable Nespresso capsules, or the ability to charge their electric or hybrid car with PV-Solar Energy sourced from the terrace. Each carbon-conscious tweak is subtle yet effective, and by staying at Hotel Schwarzer Bock, you’ll benefit the environment without really having to lift a finger.
How much? Weekend prices from €131 a night – click here to book your “Weekend Package”
2. Heritage Hotels: Lisbon, Portugal
All five of our historic hotels based in Lisbon are also part of the Heritage Hotels group, which has strict guidelines in place when it comes to honouring the environment. Special eco-conscious procedures are followed to replace hazardous substances (e.g. cleaning chemicals) with environmental alternatives, and the use of waste parks ensure that everything onsite is recycled and discarded appropriately. This includes glass, organic and inorganic waste and cardboard, for which each Heritage Hotel has a rigorous system in place to make sure nothing is disposed of without due consideration of the environment. In addition, features such as flow meters, energy-saving lightbulbs and ecopoints at service areas all help to lessen each hotel’s carbon footprint, making even the smallest of actions – such as running a tap or switching on a light – an eco-friendly maneuver.
When you book a room at a historic property in Lisbon, not only are you getting a unique and cultural experience, then, you’re also staying in one of our most eco-friendly hotels. Choose from Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel or Hotel Britania – all of which are adjacent to the lively Avenida da Liberdade – or opt for a rare retreat at Solar Do Castelo, built on the site of Royal Palace’s former kitchens. The luxurious As Janelas Verdes is also a fantastic choice for an eco-conscious stay. Boasting beautiful features such as a garden and fountains, you can enjoy the many fruits of nature while knowing you’re doing your part to preserve it.
How much? Last Minute prices start from €110 a night – click here to choose your favourite hotel.
3. Hotel Stefanie: Vienna, Austria
Along with four other properties in the Schick Hotels group, Hotel Stefanie has acquired the Austrian eco-label for tourism. This proves that this historic hotel has taken every measure possible to be eco-aware, and, specifically, has had to meet an impressive 227 environmental requirements.
Of all our eco-friendly hotels, then, Hotel Stefanie has put extra-special care and thought into how they adhere to the environment: considering everything from how its guests sleep to eat and bathe. For instance, the hoteliers purchase solely free-range eggs for the onsite kitchen. They’ve replaced lightbulbs with eco-friendly LED lamps throughout the building, use environmentally-certified printers when necessary and recycle shower gel bottles, which further contributes to good causes (such as the non-profit e.motion). Hotel Stefanie even sponsors the Arche Noah foundation for crop diversity, which advocates for the preservation of cultivated plants over monocropping.
Suffice to say, this Viennese property goes above and beyond when it comes to being eco-friendly, all without compromising on the quality of your stay or the historic features of the building. With the latest environmental technology sitting comfortably aside the hotel’s Austrian antiques, elegant furnishings and traditional touches, you’ll be in for both a cultural and carbon-conscious break.
How much? Prices for 3 nights from €108 a night – click here to book your 3-night-stay
4. Villa Le Barone: Chianti, Italy
Surrounded by Italy’s most vibrant landscapes is Villa Le Barone, a breathtaking property that’s committed to sustainability, both within the building itself and across its sprawling grounds.
60 percent of the energy used throughout the hotel is sourced from their solar panels, while energy and water-efficient devices are installed in every room to minimise energy usage and costs. The property’s “green walls” provide natural insulation, too, while their strict policy on recycling ensures that all glass, paper and plastic waste is thoughtfully thrown away.
In the parking area, guests can find a charging point for their electric cars before heading out into the Chianti countryside… though the best of nature is also at hand in the villa’s own gardens. Villa Le Barone is committed to planting new trees each year, and in 2020 alone, has planted 400 olive trees – doing their part to both take care of and contribute to their enviable landscape. Harmful pesticides aren’t permitted onsite either, to protect the biodiversity of their grounds, which means that you can enjoy all sorts of beautiful wildlife throughout the year: from the spring song of wild birds to the cheerful chirp of cicadas in summer. Even the onsite pool is cleaned with salt, not chlorine, minimising the use of harmful chemicals while adding to the hotel’s gold ecological status. With all that in mind, is it any surprise that Villa Le Barone is considered one of the best in class eco-friendly hotels?
How much? Prices from €194 a night – click here for more details and send a request
5. L´Unicorno: Brescia, Italy
The paradisiacal country house L’ Unicorno sits within a small Italian farming village, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards. Built in 1654, it’s since been lovingly restored – and while it’s managed to retain a strong sense of tradition, its renovations have also made it possible for the owners, C. & G. Becchetti Binkert, to utilise modern renewable energy technology.
Along with independently producing all energy used at the estate – an extraordinary feat – reducing waste is a top priority of the hoteliers. All organic leftovers are composted and used as fertiliser for the neighbouring garden and orchards. Further, they grow most of their own produce: creating a sustainable system that benefits both the environment and hotel guests, who can enjoy delicious, seasonal and fresh dishes at the onsite restaurant year-round.
This cyclic and eco-conscious system has been so successful, it’s contributed to L’ Unicorno achieving the merit of Ecoleader Platinum by Tripadvisor. This, along with the hotel’s overarching ethos – to give guests a rejuvenating experience in a lush, natural setting – makes it a remarkable role model for other aspiring eco-friendly hotels… and one you certainly don’t want to forego visiting.
How much? Prices for 3 nights start from €585 – click here to book your 3-night-stay
6. Schloss Wartegg: Rorschacherberg, Switzerland
Sitting on the shore of Lake Constance and surrounded by beautiful English gardens, Schloss Wartegg is a stunning sight. But there’s more to the historic hotel than its good looks. In fact, it’s one of the most eco-friendly hotels in our collection.
A big reason for that is that 100 percent of the energy used at the property is green. It utilises most of its power from a hydroelectric plant, so you can rest assured that no matter what you’re doing – whether you’re watching TV, showering, making a morning coffee in your bedroom or charging your phone – you’re being mindful of the environment with minimal effort.
Schloss Wartegg’s eco-friendly philosophy is evident elsewhere, too. Your days exploring the charming castle grounds can be enjoyed on one of the property’s Velo or e-bikes – which are energy efficient and emission-free – while the dishes served at the hotel restaurant are made with certified organic products, along with Demeter quality produce picked fresh from the garden.
With attention paid to even the smallest details, guests who stay at Schloss Wartegg are in for a stay that’s as exquisite as it is ecological. In fact, consideration of nature is built into the very walls of the castle itself. The sandstone used throughout the property comes from the surrounding region, along with the wood – which is oiled instead of painted – while natural fabrics like sheep’s wool are used instead of synthetics. Further, when your room is cleaned to sparkling perfection by the staff, they’ll only use biodegradable and natural detergents. Even when you drift off to sleep, you’ll be doing so on a Hüsler Nest all-natural mattress… guaranteeing you the sweetest, greenest dreams.
How much? Prices from €150 a night – click here to book your stay