Stay green in 2012
The London 2012 Olympics are the greenest Games yet and many hotels and holiday lets in Britain are following the organisers’ lead. Here are 10 green options near all the action.
London’s iconic Savoy hotel blends Edwardian and Art Deco interiors with bang-up-to-date green technology. Its innovative energy-saving measures are too numerous to list here, but you’ll sleep soundly between your luxury sheets as the hotel’s kitchen appliances reclaim heat to warm domestic water and your smart room thermostat regulates the temperature using natural ventilation. For the ultimate eco stay, book an Elements package and ask your Green Butler the greenest way to reach London’s Olympic venues and Eton Dorney.
An hour north of Manchester is Clough Bottom, a working organic farm. Hire one of the three lovingly converted stone cottages and flit between Olympic football in Old Trafford, fly fishing, horse riding and walks through the glorious countryside lining the Ribble Way. The friendly owners recycle cardboard, paper, glass, tin, metals, plastics and printer cartridges, and your compostable waste may well end up on the veg patch just outside.
Bournemouth’s colourful Victorian gardens, seven miles of golden coastline and some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK make it the perfect base for the Olympic sailing in nearby Weymouth. Take a little bit of the English seaside into your bedroom with a stay at the eco-friendly Menzies East Cliff Court. This four-star hotel perches high on Bournemouth’s East Cliff giving many of the rooms uninterrupted views over the bay.
If you’re planning to catch the Olympic football at St James’s then stay at the eco-friendly Riding Farm B&B. Just a few miles from bustling Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, this 19th-century farmhouse nestles in remote, wildlife-rich countryside, which the owners encourage with bird and bat boxes. Rooms are comfy and chic with antique furniture and rural views. The breakfast is a traditional farmhouse affair made with as much local produce as possible.
Cornwall’s luxurious Scarlet Hotel takes the phrase ‘eco-chic’ to a whole new level. It mixes solar panels, organised beach cleans and a biomass boiler with 37 gorgeous bedrooms. Each one boasts funky décor, floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor space for lapping up those sea views. There’s locally-sourced food in the restaurant and divine treatments in the spa. The UK’s buzzing surfing capital, Newquay, is just a few miles away as is Padstow, a pretty harbour town famed for its seafood. Perfect for a post-Olympic break.
You can’t get much cooler or greener than the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell, built with style and sustainability in mind. All of the 59 rooms have been individually designed and scream London chic. St Paul’s Cathedral, the Barbican Art Centre and the must-see Museum of London are close by whilst trendy Angel and Islington are a 10-minute walk north. Most importantly the Olympic Park is an easy Underground ride away.
Retreat from the Olympic hubbub in 16-century Cote How, the Lake District’s only organic B&B, and where US president Woodrow Wilson had his portrait painted in 1906. It’s in the heart of Cumbria amongst four acres of rural grounds close to majestic Lake Windermere. Inside, the bedrooms ooze character and offer idyllic views over Wansfell, Rydal Water and Grasmere. Food is locally sourced, most of it from Soil Association-approved suppliers and local organic farms.
Run with environmentally-friendly efficiency (right down to the vacuum-flushing lavatories), London’s luxury One Aldwych is the ultimate eco-chic hotel. The 105 rooms and suites are filled with bespoke furniture and the bathrooms with synthetic preservative- and paraben-free products. The fabulous swimming pool (complete with underwater music) is chlorine free, and the two haute cuisine restaurants responsibly source local, seasonal food. Covent Garden is right outside and it’s within easy reach of London’s Olympic action too.
It’s hard to find a better traditional-eco blend than this elegant 19th-century cottage in the heart of Shilton, an enchanting Cotswolds village. The Chestnuts combines beamed ceilings and a large inglenook fireplace with stylish furnishings, original art and eco touches like a compost bin and energy-efficient light bulbs. There is even a small library and secluded garden with views over the adjoining meadow. With space for up to ten guests, it’s the ultimate eco-luxe getaway for Olympic groups.
Roslin Beach Hotel is one of Essex’s best kept secrets. A peaceful seaside retreat located in Thorpe Bay not far from Hadleigh Farm, Olympic venue for mountain biking. Roslin sits opposite an award-winning beach, has stylish nautical-themed rooms and an alfresco terrace where you can tuck into locally sourced seafood dishes whilst soaking up panoramic views of the Thames estuary.