Location, comfort, price – that’s how people used to pick their hotels for a quick weekend city break. Recently, another factor joined the mix: the hotel’s environmental footprint. Feel (guilt-)free to enjoy your stay at the following 10 eco-friendly escapes.
Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Lisbon
Right in the heart of Lisbon, the 4-star Inspira Santa Marta boutique hotel not only serves as an urban retreat, but also sticks to stringent environmental guidelines. While sauna, whirlpool, steam room, treatment facilities, and gym offer plenty of scope for relaxation after a dip into the vibrant city, the on-site team combines the best of both worlds – high tech and ancient Feng Shui principles – to create harmony and balance between guests and their environment. Lighting, colors, effervescent energy, and select materials create an exceptional atmosphere, all anchored in sustainable strategies and low-impact measures ranging from eco-friendly building materials to sparing use of everyday consumer products.
Viu Milan, Milan
Right on the border of Milan’s Chinatown, tucked away between century-old monuments, luxury boutiques, traditional cafes, bars, and restaurants, Viu Milan beckons with modern luxe appeal. Constructed from environmentally friendly materials, this premium hotel boasts opulent glass facades, interspersed with expansive vertical gardens brimming with jasmine flowers, climbing roses, and Italian wisteria in a delightful homage to the local “Bosco Verticale” landmark architect Stefano Boeri. The hotel’s interior also thrives on impressive variety, with each story shaped by its own range of patterns and materials. The glorious roof terrace with its generous pool, spa, yoga, and sporting facilities adds a further highlight to the eclectic offering. Surrounded by beautiful olive trees, guests here can simply lean back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree view of Northern Italy’s sophisticated design jewel.
Almodóvar Hotel, Berlin
At Almodóvar, natural and sustainable materials and organic designs join sensuous and ethical delights. Berlin’s first vegetarian eco-design hotel offers guests urban ambiance, hands-on sustainability, and plenty of creature comforts. All rooms of the Friedrichshain-based hotel meet high ecological standards and place guests right in the center of this buzzing neighborhood with excellent connections to other parts of the city. After a busy day out, the sauna beckons – or the Japanese-inspired oases of the dedicated wellness and spa area. Feeling peckish? The inhouse restaurant serves up some excellent tapas, Mediterranean dishes, organic wines and eco-inspired cocktails.
Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver
Vancouver has ambitious plans – the city aims to become the world’s greenest, most eco-friendly, and sustainable metropolis by 2020. A wealth of measures to avoid waste, clean the air, promote e-mobility, and make buildings greener easily makes Vancouver one of the cities most active in this arena. Hotels like the family-friendly Fairmont Waterfront have joined the city’s ambitious campaign – without relinquishing those much-appreciated little luxuries. The hotel’s heat recovery system, for example, saves more than 300,000 kW/h of power. Located in the city’s lively harbor area, and thus ideally situated for city and shopping trips, pub and restaurant visits, or extended walking or bike tours in Canada’s largest city park, Stanley Park, the Fairmont also treats weary souls to excellent international cuisine after a long day of explorations.
London remains the world’s most popular travel destination. Its internationally renowned Savoy Hotel, opened back in 1889 near Covent Garden, not only welcomed guests like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, but also counts among London’s most opulent hotels. An added attraction on arrival: Despite official traffic regulations, the hotel driveway requires guests to drive on the right-hand side, making this the only place in the UK where cars do not stick to the left lane. After three years of extensive refurbishing and renovations, the luxury hotel now sets ambitious industry standards with its novel energy, water, and waste management systems. A “green butler” is also on hand to advise guests on the city’s best organic restaurants, eco-friendly bars, or sustainable shopping experiences.
Hotel und Villa Auersperg, Salzburg
Hotel Auersperg was recently awarded “Host of the year 2017” accolades – and rightly so. Despite its city center location, it makes for the perfect vacation retreat. With a focus on loving details and the fair treatment of staff, guests, society, and the environment, the family business makes visiting this UNESCO World Heritage City a true pleasure. Those who return from a busy day of seeing the sights, appreciate the Auersperg’s elegant coffee & tea bar and sun deck or enjoy the hotel’s lavish sauna, spa, steam room, and various yoga or massage options.
Amari Watergate, Bangkok
Thailand’s capital is also the country’s economic and cultural center. Found in Bangkok’s bustling Pratunam quarter, best known for its busy shopping centers, the Amari Watergate gets the balance between sustainability and high-end luxury just right. And despite placing great emphasis on extensive energy-saving measures, the hotel nevertheless offers all modern conveniences and an ideal counterpoint to the city’s hectic pace.
Hotel Carlton‘s Montmartre, Paris
Time to follow in the footsteps of van Gogh and Picasso: Right in the middle of Paris’ popular Montmartre district, Carlton’s is a peaceful oasis of beautiful Art Deco design. As signatory of the city’s tourist board sustainability program, the hotel actively pursues measures that support sustainable and eco-friendly development as well as the Paris region’s natural and cultural heritage. What’s more, the roof terrace of the majestic 1920s building offers a wonderful view of Sacré Cœur, the Eiffel Tower, and Paris itself – especially at night. Thanks to its central location, Carlton’s is the perfect spot and starting point for exploring the city’s winding alleyways, cute boutiques, cool galleries, and countless special sites and sights.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
Flashing casinos, lavish shows, and giant entertainment palaces in the desert – Las Vegas is not exactly a paragon of sustainability. Yet right here, on the city’s pulsating central “strip,” the Mandarin Oriental beckons as a different kind of wellness oasis. Despite its prime location and 5-star status, the luxury hotel does not include a casino. Instead, it boasts a façade sourced from sustainable materials, eco-friendly air conditioning, plenty of natural light, and a wealth of untreated fabrics and furniture. Guests also get to indulge in the hotel’s generous, guilt-free spa, sports, and wellness options thanks to the latest in water-saving technologies.
Cavallo Point, Sausalito
The revitalization of the former Fort Baker military base was hailed as a major milestone in improving the region around San Francisco. Not far from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Bay, and the eponymous national park, the remodeled luxury resort Cavallo Point has faithfully retained the 17 historic buildings’ original design. Surrounded by beautiful vineyards, yet just ten minutes away from the city, it is excellently located for different day trips, but also draws gourmets with a refined palate thanks to its Michelin-starred restaurant, which is supplied by regional organic farms, and its truly spectacular views.