We’ve put together a list of historic eco hotels in Europe that are making efforts to reduce their impact on the environment without skimping on service and luxury. A holiday at one of these “green” hotels will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated and feeling good about minimizing your carbon footprint.
Switzerland: Schloss Wartegg
Built in 1557, the Wartegg Castle is something out of a fairytale. Sitting on the shore of Lake Constance in eastern Switzerland and surrounded by beautiful English gardens, this historic hotel is nothing short of spectacular. But there’s more to the Wartegg Castle than just good looks.
The 24 bright and comfortable rooms feature exquisite details and expert craftsmanship. The solid wood used in the castle’s construction comes from the surrounding region, as does the sandstone. The utilization of natural and local materials goes beyond what one may notice at first glance. The building’s wood is oiled instead of painted, and natural fabrics like sheep wool are used instead of synthetics. After a long day of exploring, nothing will bring you sweeter dreams than a fantastic night’s sleep on a Hüsler Nest all natural mattress. And you’ll rest even better knowing that all detergents and cleaners used are biodegradable, natural and eco-friendly.
Astoundingly, 100 percent of the energy used at Wartegg Castle is green, with much of the power coming from a hydroelectric plant. Additionally, guests have access to Velo and e-bikes during their stay, encouraging those who want to to be participants in reducing their own footprint.
Food served at the onsite restaurant is mindfully prepared using certified organic products, and the inventive dishes even feature Demeter quality produce picked fresh from the castle garden. At Wartegg Castle, attention is paid to even the slightest of details, and only the very best is acceptable.
Wales: Caemorgan Mansion
Situated in the Welsh countryside, this small luxury mansion boasts cozy rooms that run on green energy and an atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.
Beverley and David Harrison-Wood, the owners of Caemorgan Mansion, make it their mission to run this guesthouse in a way that is kind to the environment. They light the entire mansion with LED lights and heat the space with a biomass boiler, greatly reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, all food, paper, cardboard and glass waste is recycled, and they even have ecologically friendly toiletries that are refillable rather than disposable.
Beverly and David say that their “green mindset” affects all business decisions they make. Their green efforts have not gone unnoticed: since the opening of this guesthouse, Caemorgan Mansion has been awarded Green Tourism Business Silver Level recognition, and was one of the first accommodations in the UK to be given the Tripadvisor Green Leaders Silver Level award.
Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards, L’ Unicorno is a paradise in the midst of a small Italian farming village. The charming farmhouse was built in 1654 and although it’s been comfortably restored, it still retains the splendor of time past.
Renovations have made it possible for L’ Unicorno to utilize modern renewable energy technology. In addition to independently producing all energy used at the estate, there is a strong emphasis on reducing waste. All organic leftovers are composted and used as fertilizer for the onsite garden and orchards, from which much of the produce is grown. These efforts have earned L’ Unicorno recognition as an Ecoleader Platinum by Tripadvisor.
Owners, C. & G. Becchetti Binkert, have created a beautifully sustainable system at L’ Unicorno. Their mission is to create an environment in which guests experience total relaxation and rejuvenation in a lush, natural setting.