Stay in a Eco-Friendly Hotel for Your Next European Vacation

These sustainably-minded European establishments don't just provide impressive accommodations; they're living, breathing embodiments of a greener, more responsible approach to hospitality.

Stanglwirt in Kitzbühel, Austria (Photo courtesy of Stanglwirt)

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After months of planning, you’ve just arrived at your luxurious hotel in a scenic European destination. It’s all you’ve hoped for — a beautiful setting, cozy bed with soft linens, excellent service, fine dining, a high-end spa, outdoor activities, expansive grounds. What you didn’t realize is that the hotel you’ve chosen may be contributing to global warming, hurting the local economy, damaging the ecological balance of the region, exposing guests to a toxic environment, adding to the overflowing landfill, and serving food filled with artificial additives. Booking a hotel that is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable is easy, but there is far more at stake.

According to the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, the hospitality industry contributes one percent of global carbon emissions, can use up to eight times more water per person than the local community, and is a primary consumer of single-use plastics. And according to, products that are used as part of hotel operations can pose potential hazards to human health.

You can protect yourself, the planet, and the local residents by staying at a sustainability-focused hotel. There are a number of hotels in Europe that are certified as BIO HOTELS®. These 100 percent organic establishments feature innovative architectural designs, farm-to-table dining, sustainable recreation, eco-conscious amenities, and green electricity. They are are not just places to rest one’s head but are pioneers in the hospitality industry – redefining luxury and comfort with a commitment to environmental conservation and community engagement and support.

According to a report by Future Marketing Insights, increased awareness about sustainability among the younger generation is expected to drive the global tourism market, which is estimated to reach a net revenue of nearly $13 million, with green tourism forecast to capture 35.7 percent of the total market revenue in 2024. A recent Virtuoso sustainability survey also reports that “45 percent of respondents agree that traveling sustainably enhances their experience.”

It’s no wonder that BIO HOTELs, such as Land Gut Höhne in Germany, have committed to practices and amenities that include using natural building materials, separating waste, offering electric car charging stations, and implementing sustainable energy practices.

In addition to the 44 certified BIO HOTELS (as well as home rentals), there are also numerous other European resorts that are supporting sustainable tourism while providing guests with a remarkable experience.

The 400-year-old Stanglwirt in Kitzbühel, Austria is a luxury hotel-meets-organic farm type of property that includes a children’s farm and pools, a biomass power plant, the largest salt water pool in Europe, antibacterial floors, and five types of sauna. Visitors at this five-star resort can focus on their wellness while enjoying views of the picturesque Kaiser Mountains, drinking pristine water from the Kaiser spring, dining on dairy products produced from the on-property farm, and indulging in a treatment at the family-friendly spa. Owner Balthasar Hauser says, “Our family knows that this place is a center of natural power. Our values, our traditions, our family history – our whole world is reflected in every corner.”

Stanglwirt (Photo courtesy of Stanglwirt)

Another five-star eco-property is the newly opened opulent Hotel Maria in Helsinki, Finland that minimizes their environmental impact through reducing energy and water consumption, monitoring food waste, supporting local suppliers, and featuring seasonal, organic produce. They have been awarded with a Green Key certificate for their sustainability efforts. The hotel is housed in restored historical buildings that are protected by the Finnish Heritage agency. General manager Katriina Moksi told greenlodgingnews that “In selecting partners and making purchases, we always consider various aspects of sustainability, and we are pleased to be generating an increased demand for high-quality, sustainably produced local goods and services in Finland.”

Hotel Maria (Courtesy of The Hotel Maria)

On Loch Lomond in Scotland, guests of the Cameron House can enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the property, view Eurasian otters and red squirrels, see the Hobbit House in the Enchanted Forest, explore Trossachs National Park, play golf on an 18-hole championship course, visit the spa’s rasul mud chamber, or meander through a field of wildflowers in the Untidy Garden. The resort was recently awarded a silver designation at the Greengage Awards for their aggressive land management, rewilding, and carbon reduction efforts.

Cameron House (Shutterstock)

With a focus on nature, the luxurious Cali Mykonos in Greece implements responsible practices through initiatives such as using sustainably sourced building materials, preserving fresh water by having seawater swimming pools, providing insulation through green roofs, and honoring local history and culture. Enjoy an endless summer on this sun-soaked island at a hotel that is flooded with natural light, features art and furniture from local purveyors, and was built with materials that reflect the surrounding landscape.

Cali Mykonos (Courtesy of Cali Mykonos)

There are several resources available to find a hotel that aligns with sustainability values but doesn’t sacrifice comfort or luxury. In addition to the 50 listings on the BIO HOTELS website, you can also book certified sustainable hotels through online travel agencies recommended by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Beyond Green is another place to search for hotels that are striving to protect the planet while providing meaningful experiences.

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  1. Fascinating, fun article, Shareal. With these eco-friendly hotels, you’re not missing out on anything; just the opposite! I checked them out per your great links here, trust me. I really love the Hotel Maria in Helsinki, the Cameron House in Scotland, and the Stanglwirt in Austria.

    They’re all so great, I might not want to leave to do the proper sightseeing. Just the various pools alone would keep me in the water half the time! All the therapeutic massages? I need this. Not saying I feel sorry for myself, but I live in Ca. Actually I do, big time, for well known reasons about it I won’t list here!

    The last time I was so engrossed in an online Post hotel feature was several years ago on an ice hotel up in Quebec. Really interesting, perfect for the right people, but no thank you.


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