By now, we all know how important it is to recycle, buy locally-grown products whenever possible, and bring our own reusable bags to the grocery store. But, there’s also another way we can reduce our carbon footprint—and don’t worry, it has nothing to do with creating a smelly compost garden! It’s simply about being aware of our environment, even when we’re on vacation.
In recent years, hotels all across Britain have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon and become more mindful of their impact on the environment without sacrificing an iota of comfort. We’ve rounded up five oh-so-chic sustainable properties, equipped with everything from solar-powered roofs to electric car charging stations, so you can feel good knowing that the only footprints you’ll leave during your next holiday are those in the sand.
Treetops Treehouse in Devon, England
When a boutique hotel in the Devon countryside longed for more guest accommodations, they had two choices: clear an area of the woods and build an additional cottage—or construct a two-bedroom treehouse around the branches of a 200-year-old oak. They chose the latter. Outfitted with numerous lavish comforts, including a freestanding copper bathtub and a large terrace overlooking the fishing lake, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a little R&R (and live out your childhood treehouse fantasy).
The Scarlet in Cornwall, England
If sleek, stylish, and child-free (yep, it’s a rule) is more your style, then check out this cliff-top hotel located on the northern coast of Cornwall. Featuring a slew of luxury amenities, including a deep relaxation room, sunbathing terrace, and cloister garden, you’ll never want to head up to your room (but you should, because each one offers a stunning panoramic view of the property). But the hotel’s most exciting features are the ones you can’t see, such as its commitment to grey-water harvesting (using waste water from showers to flush toilets) and its roof constructed entirely from Sea Thrift (a local plant).
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa in Dundee, Scotland
Think all eco-friendly hotels are in remote areas? Think again. Located in Scotland’s second most populated city, this 152-room property has sustainability down to a science. Not only does the hotel only use eco-friendly chemicals, it purchases recycled furniture and accessories whenever possible, while paying careful attention to its energy consumption. Even more impressive—its Yu Spa has been named the first green spa in Scotland.
Organig Parc in Carnguwch, Wales
You won’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability at this rural retreat in Wales. Instead of cookie-cutter rooms, guests stay in charming holiday cottages that previously served as horse stables in the 1880s, and have since undergone extension renovation (using locally-sourced materials, of course). Even better—the property sources its water from the nearby mountain spring, fuels its stoves from fallen trees, and ensures that all waste food is recycled and composted to fertilise the farm.
Slieve Donard Resport & Spa in Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Nestled at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne, this luxury hotel boasts all the amenities you’d expect in a five-star hotel, such as gorgeous rooms and excellent dining, plus a few you probably wouldn’t—an electric car charging point, an on-site food waste processing plant, and a wood pellet boiler to power the world class spa facilities. Following an extensive £15 million renovation, the Victorian property is now one of the most environmentally-friendly hotels in Britain, receiving a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 2015.