Are sustainably-led hotels the next trend in luxury stays? The following five hotels in five European locations certainly think so.
For hotels, sustainability can take many forms, from local sourcing and community support through to eco-conscious structures and high-tech systems for reduced waste and energy consumption. The following five hotels in Sweden, Germany, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands are all ticking multiple sustainability boxes, while still providing a high-end stay.
ARCTIC BATH, SWEDEN
Situated in Harads in Swedish Lapland, Arctic Bath, is a unique wellness focused hotel that runs on 100% renewable energy. Its design has been inspired by a Viking boat house and centres around a circular floating spa and wellness centre. In winter it is a perfect spot for seeing the Northern Lights, and in summer, midnight sunsets.
Accommodation comes in the form of 12 sustainably constructed, glass-fronted lodges, with both over-water and on-land options, including the gorgeous two storey Suite.
Additionally, all of the delicious food served by the restaurant is made from locally sourced ingredients, showcasing family recipes. Other sustainable touches include dinnerware, vases and candleholders made nearby, and its boutique stocks handmade clothing from a local family.
It is also working with neighbourhood guides and businesses, providing a host of activities such as moose safaris with a “moose whisperer”, ice-fishing and wilderness photography tours.
BREIDENBACHER HOF, GERMANY
Breidenbacher Hof is located in Düsseldorf, Germany. It is a historic luxury hotel that has been welcoming discerning travellers for more than 200 years, with a reputation for fine hospitality.
Its main green focus is food and beverage, passionately working with a host of nearby farmers and producers to ensure that guests enjoy the finest seasonal and organic offerings from the surrounding countryside. This goes beyond mere rhetoric as can be seen from its website, with its dedicated and in-depth sharing of their stories and areas of specialty. It also provides curated chef-led culinary tours to visit some of them, which includes a cooking class, food and wine tasting.
Other eco initiatives include a Tesla charging station, bicycles for exploring the city, and a reuse, recycle, and reduce philosophy across its operations.
For the ultimate indulgence when it comes to room choices, look no farther than the Royal Suite.
CA'DI DIO, ITALY
Housed in a lagoon side building in Venice, dating back to 1272, the stunning Ca’ di Dio which opened last year made resource efficiency a priority from its initial design. This included investing in systems that limit its environmental impact, for example using lagoon water in innovative ways to save energy and water.
Its environmental-care ethos also includes respect for the city and its people. One of the most interesting components is the shoes worn by hotel staff. Designed by the Veneto-based company Dress to Live, they are made from waste, including fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic. It also produces a range of tasteful gifts that use up-cycled off-cuts from the renovation. Guests also dine on dishes featuring ingredients from small producers and its own garden.
All rooms and suites are tastefully furnished, many with Murano glass lamps, and exquisite marble bathrooms. The most coveted? The two-room Rooftop Terrace Suite.
GRAND FOREST, GREECE
Grand Forest is a secluded hotel and spa, offering five-star serenity, at the foothills of the Pindus National Park, near the historic village of Metsovo. The family-owned property features chalet style accommodations, all with breathtaking nature views, the top pick being the two-room Grand Forest suite.
Part of its ecological philosophy is a focus on local—it has its own mountain spring water supply, its interior design features bespoke handcrafted furniture by village carpenters, jewellery sold in its boutique is handmade by Metsovian artists, and ingredients from the restaurant, lounge and bar are sourced from the area’s farmers.
Additionally, its tailor-made nature-based activities for guests are led by resident experts, including mountain biking, horse riding, kayaking in summer and skiing in winter. A highlight for gourmands is the wild truffle hunting, with guests gathering just enough for a decadent al fresco lunch cooked and served by the banks of a river.
OP OOST, NETHERLANDS
Opened in July 2021, Op Oost is a 12-room, adults only, boutique hotel housed in a former 18th century farmhouse on Texel Island. Meticulously restored using many up-cycled materials, the property has a unique ambience.
All rooms and suites are light-filled and elegantly understated, with close attention to detail, and feature environmentally-friendly furnishings and vegan bath products. One that stands out is the split-level Farm Loft suite.
True to its farmhouse roots there are roaming free-range chickens and every ingredient used in the dishes at its Michelin-recommended restaurant is foraged, farmed, and fermented within close proximity of the hotel.
For a petite property it offers plenty of activities, such as foraging, farm and supplier visits as well as more fitness-oriented ones such as horseback riding, surfing, and yoga. For some R&R, indulge in an in-room massage courtesy of the hotel’s resident masseuse.