What makes a Sustainable Hotel ?

October 22, 2020

Sustainable hotels offer the connoisseur a beautiful blend of service and social value in an eco-conscious manner! The best hotels subtly implement sustainability, by building on their green vibes at every step of the way, so that they compromise neither character nor experience.

For the traveller, being eco-conscious doesn’t mean stopping travelling. Exploring the magical islands of Greece or the colourful streets of Marrakech is still possible if it means selecting a boutique hotel with built-in gardens, organic & local food, and which is supporting the local community. Delicate olive oil coming right from the property’s farms, fresh fish cooked in tantalizing home spices sounds like a feast, right? This offering, then, becomes a part of the sustainable story the hotel offers.

Taking your carbon footprint seriously? Here are some of the ways boutique hotels are following sustainability:

A sustainable hotel starts with a sustainable buildingThe Foundry Suites, an eco-friendly hotel in Athens

Eco-friendly does not stop at “greenwashing” but is rather part of the hotel’s DNA. A sustainable hotel can bloom right from inception. An architecture inspired by the traditional patterns is simply suited for the weather in the region. Think about bright and airy Moroccan Riads. The high ceilings and smaller windows allow cooling of the spaces during summers while the central patio brings sunlight and fresh air.

Sustainability comes along with eco-friendly renovation techniques, like at The Foundry Suites a city boutique hotel located in Athens. Here, the contemporary restoration preserved the Athenian spirit of the shell building with local marble, byzantine bricks along with a Mediterranean rooftop garden.

Making the room experience eco-friendly

The magic of a truly sustainable hotel is the ability to deliver a robust experience, albeit sticking to green conventions. Sustainability can go with high-end service. A carafe of water in the room feels homier than standard plastic water bottles. Local artisan bed sheets, organic bathroom amenities or designer recycled paper writing pads are valued by the guests and adds character to the hotel.

Elialothis boutique hotel wins brownie points for having luxurious sustainability at its core. From lush organic bedding to handmade vintage décor and locally sourced gifts in all rooms, the luxury boutique hotel is all about the little details that shine.

Promoting the cultural heritage

Boutique Hotels are the best ambassadors for broadcasting the land’s identity, local art, literature, and scene. By making culture and local environment a part of the hotel’s story, guests can learn while collecting memories and getting unforgettable cultural exposure!

Many small hotels organize delightful art and craft classes with local artisans, cooking sessions with a gourmet chef, wine tasting and cheese-making lessons. This is a great way to offer a personal and unique touch to a guest’s stay. Villa Edo, a luxury guesthouse in Tunis, proposes to the guests a tour to the farmer’s market to buy fresh produce and assist the chef in dinner preparation. At Riad Zineb, specific tours to Marrakesh local markets are arranged, which includes learning calming mint tea varieties, gaining a touch and feel the experience of heaps of colourful and fragrant spices of sellers at nearby souqs.

Contributing to the local community

Sustainable small hotels usually go the extra mile and onboard the local community to offer a complete experience to their guests. Partnerships with bike service providers to local hangouts are a great way of supporting producers and adds much need awareness to their artful crafts!

Many boutique hotels in the Mediterranean countries would offer personalised trips to go picking olives from sprawling honey and olive farms or running partnerships with cafes to offer a locally cultivated meal.

Dar Zargouni, a boutique hotel in Tunisia, promotes the fine artwork of kilim or carpet weaving practised by local female artisans in Nefta. The small luxurious hotel showcases the old village charm with Tunisian rugs, magical steel lamps that lend rustic panache, all crafted by local artisans…

Offering Sustainable gastronomy

The best Eco-friendly hotels combine gastronomy with sustainability, growing a diversity of crops together and shopping from local farmer’s markets.

La Verrière boutique retreat in France offers all organically sourced products. Their initiative, named “Farm to Table” food, makes use of organic potager & meat taken from lambs raised on the property. How do freshly cultured yoghurt with sweet honey and locally sourced strawberries for breakfast sound? Delicious and so luxurious! Gathering ingredients from nature is a powerful way to connect with your surroundings. By employing a full-time gardener, the hotel produces veggies and fruits, utilized in the restaurant; as well as creating an organic/biodynamic approach for the whole property.

Boutique hotels like Les Rosées en Provence, in Mougins, would go the extra mile by composting waste and collecting rainwater that they would reuse in their sustainable garden. Along with responding to guests preferences, the chef would propose meals depending on the market of the day and local productions.

Going green is a philosophy and does not have to be forced, a hotel can still romance customers much the old-fashioned way! Hotels constructed with dedicated green spaces and access to the local scene help in reducing middlemen and getting ‘bio-friendly wholesome love’ to the end customer!

La Verriere
La Verriere, an eco-luxury boutique hotel in Provence (France)