I am not going to lie. I am itching to be able to travel again. With the world still grounded by the Covid 19 pandemic, I am sure I am not alone in getting itchy feet. My thoughts swing wildly between being desperate to escape to the Gili Islands and live in a beach shack, or explore more of what the UK has to offer. The UK will win out for the remainder of this year, Gili will have to wait in the wings… However, wherever I go, I’m keen to continue my journey into sustainable travel. I have discovered 7 eco hotels UK based, that I feel give a touch of luxury as well as amazing ethics. If you like the idea of more sustainable hotels, but are not quite ready for shepherds huts or yurt stays, this guide could prove useful! My selection of more slightly off grid, hard core eco choices is coming up in the next week or so…..
Now, while I am not here to preach to anyone, this pandemic has actually given us a gift. It has given us the gift of foresight. We have been shown exactly what we can achieve in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. In just a few short weeks, New York alone has seen a 50% drop in their air pollution compared to levels recorded this time last year. That is phenomenal! This is not activists or politicians showing us, it is Mother Nature herself. We can build on these lessons. We can travel differently after coronavirus. Being more aware of how we travel and what impact we have is a massive start!
Sustainable Hotels – What are they?
Let me first of all, give you a little heads up in what makes a hotel, an eco hotel. It is way more than asking guests to not wash their towels every day! If you want the official definition, it is as follows;
A sustainable, or eco hotel is a hotel that has made important environmental improvements. This should be to both its structure, and it’s ethics. It should have reduced carbon footprint, and as minimal as possible impact on the environment.
So basically, for a hotel to call itself an eco hotel, it needs to be operating a sustainable approach in all areas of its process. It should also be constantly looking for ways to improve. It needs to be going way beyond reducing single use plastic and recycling. These 7 sustainable hotels I have discovered all tick those boxes.
7 Eco Hotels, UK Situated
The Scarlet Hotel – Cornwall
Address – Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ
The Scarlet, an adults only hotel, is fiercely passionate about sustainability. To date, they have 111 different ways in which they are sustainable. This figure is growing year on year. They also support and help fund various environmental charities. Two of the charities are Surfers Against Sewage, and CoAST – a sustainable tourism in Cornwall initiative. The views from some of these rooms are absolutely breathtaking! The hotel’s “Cherish the World” ethos is upheld and bred into every single member of the team at The Scarlet. The hotel even offers a discount of you have travelled to them in an eco friendly way (walk, bike, coach etc).
Old Lands – Monmouthshire
Address – Dingestow Court, Dingestow, Monmouthshire, NP25 4DY
This is literally my dream stay. A family estate, owned by the Bosanquet family for 200 years. A family of naturalists and ecologists, their philosophy is that natural slow living is beautiful. Although not strictly speaking a hotel, the accommodation is individual cottages. It has solar panels heating the water, an abundance of vegetables grown in the gardens, and a passion for ensuring the land supports biodiversity. The overall mission of Old Lands is that they are always looking for ways to put back more than they take from planet earth. I blooming love that and I would love to stay here.
The Pig Hotels – 6 Locations throughout the UK
These little piggies are becoming very well known. I think pretty much every travel instagrammer I know has been to a Pig. As well as being rustic and beautiful, The Pig Hotels have an amazing eco policy. They are famous for their food. They do not serve anything in their hotels that has not been grown or reared by them, or is within 25 miles of the hotels. Their recycling initiative is incredibly comprehensive. They use spent coffee grounds to grow their famous mushrooms, all their food waste is composted to enrich their soil, they even have upcycled or second hand furniture. There is not one part of the running of the Pig Hotels that has not been thought about from a sustainable and eco friendly view. They are doing amazing things
The Green House – Dorset
Address – 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 3AX
Another dream stay for me. The Green House is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme. They consider having the tag of eco hotel, a tag to be worn with pride. They generate much of their own electricity. They use local craftsmen for their furnishing wherever possible, and have so far improved 100 things to make them more of an eco hotel. Even their wallpaper is Forest Steward certified.
Although I am vegan and the hotel does serve meat, it only sources meat where the animals welfare is of the highest standards. As I have a meat eating husband, that means a lot to me. Said to be the UK’s greenest hotel, I cannot wait to visit when we are able to. There is honestly so much that this hotel is doing, I could not possibly tell you all. It is amazing.
The Traddock – Yorkshire
Address – Austwick, Settle, Yorkshire Dales LA2 8BY
The Traddock has the privilege of being set in some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer. It is the beauty around them, that drives their desire to be as sustainable as possible. They use low energy technology, have recently switched to a sustainably fuelled heating system, and recyclable and energy efficient lighting. They also only use local and responsibly sourced ingredients, chemical free cleaning supplies and grow their own herbs and vegetables. They have plans in place for natural, environmentally insulation to be put in place throughout the hotel, reducing their energy consumption even further. I also love their Woodland scheme they have. For every offer booking made, they plant a native broadleaf tree in the Yorkshire Dales. Big whoop whoop to that from this little tree hugger.
Eco Hotels London
I wanted to include a couple of London hotels in this guide. Heading into the capital is something many people do, no matter where they are from in the UK. A couple of more eco friendly hotel choices choices are always useful!
The Zetter – Clerkenwell
Address – 49-50 St Johns Square, London EC1V 4JJ
I have not stayed at The Zetter yet, but it is right up my street. You know my love of quirky hotels, and this one has quirks in abundance. The rooms have a real retro feel about them, (but in a cool way) and note worthy style. The hotel uses eco friendly technology and materials. It even has its own water source that it pumps its water from. The Zetter was built from the get go with eco friendliness and planet health at its heart. Even the timber used within its construction was from sustainable sources. A fabulous eco hotel in London.
One Aldwych – London
Address – 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
I love One Aldwych. Although I have yet to stay there, I have had drinks and dinner there. It is a beautiful hotel. The rooms are stunning! The hotel has won several Green Awards, and is constantly striving to better its eco hotel status. Amongst many other initiatives, One Aldwych has a fantastic water use reducing system, uses locally sourced and fair trade ingredients and a comprehensive recycle system. It is one of the few hotels to have been granted the Luxury Eco Certification from Sustainable Travel International. A luxury hotel with strong eco ethics at its heart.
Longueville Manor – Jersey in the Channel Islands
Address – Longueville Road, St Saviour, Jersey JE2 7WF
My little bonus ball…(ok, hotel) – I have included this hotel as although not fully there yet, Longueville Manor is making enormous leaps into its sustainability status. I have been lucky enough to stay in this hotel, (you can read about our stay here) and what a treat it is. Not only impeccable, faultless service, but its tireless work towards continually improving its sustainability. Longueville Manor operates a “New Leaf” programme, which develops sustainability in five key areas. Those areas are Environment, education, recycling, water saving and energy saving. They also grow all of the vegetables and herbs used in the restaurant, have bee hives to produce the honey. Their grounds also have woods that are carefully nurtured to attract and provide a safe home for the wildlife. It is doing amazing things and is passionate about doing more.
So, why not choose an Eco Holiday UK Style?
We have come a long way from the image that used to be conjured up by the term “eco hotel”. In the past, our imaginations gave us wooden shacks with water being brought up from a well. Bare footed guests that wanted to be at one with nature, with or without their clothes…ahem. Well no more! We have the choice of beautiful luxury, but with the health of the planet uncompromised. It’s a win win situation right? If you do fancy a little more off grid luxury, these Eco friendly Luxury Glamping sites might hit the mark!
I totally appreciate that often, affordability comes into the mix. It can be a little more heavy on the pocket to go to more eco friendly hotels. I get it! However, even if you do not go full on sustainable hotel, I am hopeful that your choices will be more mindful. That perhaps you will click on a hotels website and look for its sustainability ethos? Maybe you will try to investigate how and if your accommodation of choice are trying to do better? If we have the expectation that hotels and accommodations should be doing better, then change will come. Changes, even small changes, are still steps forward.
Further reading and references on Sustainable Hotels;
I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on travel after these challenging times are over. Do you feel you might travel a little differently? Has your accommodation you choose ever been chosen for its sustainability programme? Do you think these issues are important to you now? I would love to know your thoughts and experiences.