Most of us with self-diagnosed wanderlust have recognized that the passion to travel and the desire to preserve nature go hand in hand. And for obvious reasons.
There are so many snowcapped mountains to see, forested trails to hike, and oceans to swim in. So we buy our reusable water bottles and grocery bags, bike to work, and conserve water by cutting our showers short to ensure Mother Nature’s beauty lives on.
But what about when we’re actually traveling? Normally, the mass amounts of transportation and hotel living don’t support our green lifestyles. Not all hotels are made the same! With eco-friendly hotels on the rise, it’s becoming easier for you to support the preservation of the Earth while exploring it.
We’ve already covered three stunning eco-hotels in the United States, so now it’s time to recognize a few fancy and forward-thinking hotels in Europe that demonstrate exceptional green practices.
Recognized at the World Travel Awards as 2013’s “World’s Leading Resort” and “World’s Leading Sports Academy” and 2011’s “World’s Leading Green Resort,” there’s no denying that Forte Village has it all. Located in Sardinia, Italy, the resort has always been ahead of its time when it comes to respecting and preserving nature’s beauty.
In the 1970s the resort led the way in water conservation by installing a rainwater collection system and subsequently installing a plant to recycle this water. As for transportation, only bikes and electric cars are used around the resort. And Forte Village goes beyond just preserving the Earth; in fact, the resort is home to tons of bountiful plant life. On the Forte Village grounds, you’ll find an orchard, an organic vegetable garden, and, oh, you can’t forget about the 116-acre park. Covered in 15,000 trees, 2 million plants, and numerous other plants and flowers, the park will transport you to a lush Mediterranean dreamland. As described on the resort’s website, in the park, “the tops of pine trees touch the sky, the fragrance of eucalyptus wafts through the air, the contrasting shades of olive trees and the tropical plants add colour to the landscape, not to mention the majestic palm trees, the svelte and strong bamboo plants, the lively hibiscus, the elegantly composed yucca, and the spartan aloe vera.”
To read more about this magically green destination, visit Forte Village’s website.
The Green House
The Green House, located in Southern England’s coastal resort town, Bournemouth, is as green as it sounds. Known as the UK’s most eco-friendly hotel, this 4-star getaway lives by 5 core principles: source locally; reduce, reuse, recycle; consider what comes in and what goes out; insist on high welfare standards; and be transparent, open, and honest. With these guiding principles, The Green House maintains a high level of social and environmental responsibility.
Most, if not all, of the materials used to build and operate the hotel have been thoughtfully selected. The carpet, made from 100 percent sheep’s wool, is naturally fire retardant meaning it requires no chemical treatment. Similarly, the wallpaper and paint used in the hotel are produced with natural ingredients. The lighting as well as the shower, toilets, and taps were all carefully selected to ensure efficient use of energy and water resources. To heat and power the hotel The Green House uses solar thermal panels and an on-site Combine Heat and Power unit. In the kitchen, highly efficient burners are used to prepare fresh, seasonal, and local meals.
Nearby the hotel, you can enjoy a long list of outdoor activities including biking, hiking, sailing, surfing, and more.
To learn more about the beautiful area and the long list of eco-friendly accommodations visit The Green House’s website.
Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda
Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda will leave you at a loss for words. But if and when you do find them, you won’t be able to shut up. This resort is dripping in luxury and eco-consciousness. Located in Brescia, Italy, the resort is strategically tucked away on a hillside and gifts guests with a breathtaking view of the renowned Riviera dei Limoni—not that the views of the hotel aren’t magnificent enough. The hotel’s list of lavish features is just about as extensive as its list of green attributes.
In the Italian tourism sector, Lefay leads the way in cutting carbon emissions. The resort has cut its carbon by 1,130 tons a year and complies with the Kyoto Protocol to offset their residual quota of emissions. Lefay uses a portion of the room rates to purchase carbon credits, so guests can feel directly involved in efforts to lower CO2. To keep emissions low, Lefay uses a biomass plant fueled by wood chips, which optimizes the use of local wood and mitigates environmental impact. The thermal energy created heats pools, rooms, and produces sanitary warm water. Strategic architecture allows for the reduction of energy and heat dispersion, and an extremely high level of thermal insulation.
Simple practices like the installation of water-saving devices and chemical free textiles and linens help to keep the resort green and safe for guests. Of course, these are just a few of the many green practices of the Lefay Resort. To learn more about the resort’s thorough list of eco-friendly attributes visit its website.