Stylish and sustainable: the 14 best eco-friendly hotels in Europe

Eco Hotels - A sustainable choice for your vacation

If you want to take an environmentally conscious vacation, traveling by train instead of plane is a good start. But it's just as important to choose the right accommodation. Eco hotels are especially eco-friendly and help reduce your carbon footprint - from solar energy for water heating to locally sourced food in restaurants.

Eco friendly hotels are the perfect choice no matter what kind of vacation you are looking for - city break, family vacation, sports in the Alps or wellness in South Tyrol. Eco hotels offer only the best organic quality, cater to the needs of their guests and offer full transparency. Meals are guaranteed to be prepared from local and certified organic ingredients, and some organic hoteliers grow their own fruits, herbs and vegetables. Some organic hoteliers even have an organic farm on site!

These small changes can have a big positive impact on the environment. Plus, eco hotels offer beautiful natural surroundings and create a unique atmosphere for relaxation and a sense of adventure - making them much more interesting than most other lodging options!

So why not go above and beyond when it comes to sustainable travel?

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Photo by Stefano Bazzoli on Unsplash
 

Why are eco hotels so special and what exactly distinguishes an eco friendly hotel?

How can you recognize an organic hotel when planning your vacation?  We give an overview and also a few hotel tips for the European region.

What is an eco hotel?

Eco hotels are hotels that are committed to sustainability and protecting the environment. They rely on environmentally friendly practices such as the use of solar and wind energy, the use of recycled (construction) materials, and the support of local communities and vendors. This means that at an eco friendly hotel, you'll find a healthier, greener environment while supporting the local economy.

In Germany, there is no legal definition of the term "Eco-Hotel", and there is no legal obligation for hotels to call themselves "Eco-Hotel". However, there are various certification systems that hotels can use to document their sustainable and ecological approach. For example, there is the Eco-Hotel label, awarded by the German Environmental Aid, and the BioHotel label, awarded by the German BioHotel Association. Whether a hotel is allowed to use one of these labels depends on various factors, such as the use of organic food and the avoidance of chemicals in cleaning.

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Eco-hotel certificates

Eco friendly hotels must meet certain criteria to be certified as such. These include:

  1. Use of organic food: Eco hotels use only organic food and pay attention to a balanced diet.

  2. Environmentally friendly energy sources: Organic hotels rely on renewable energy sources and avoid the use of fossil fuels.

  3. Sustainable construction: Eco hotels use sustainable materials in construction and renovation and avoid harmful chemicals.

  4. Waste prevention and separation: organic hotels promote waste prevention and carefully separate waste for recycling or recovery.

  5. Supporting the regional economy: Organic hotels support the regional economy and source their products and services from the surrounding area whenever possible.

  6. Raising guest awareness: Organic hotels raise their guests' awareness of sustainable consumption and offer them opportunities to actively engage with the environment.

There are numerous seals and certifications for organic hotels, all of which are voluntary. The DEHOGA Federal Association speaks of about 50 environmental certificates and environmental seals for hotels and restaurants in Europe. On the portal myecostay.eu you can read about 400 seals for ecotourism worldwide. Some important seals of approval in the Alpine countries are: DEHOGA-Umweltcheck, Blaue Schwalbe, Certified Green Hotel (Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement VDR), EarthCheck, Green Key, Emas and Green Globe. It is difficult to find out which eco hotels actually operate sustainably and which participate in the greenwashing that is popular nowadays.

Eco Hotels Europe  

Eco Hotels Germany  

Ecohotel Sturm 

Location | Mellrichstadt, Germany

Nightly Rate | € 155+

https://www.hotel-sturm.com

The sustainable hotel attaches great importance to sustainable management, compliance with ecological standards and ethical principles. This is evident in many areas of the operation, from the kitchen to the spa area. Regional and organic ingredients are used in the organic cuisine, only organic cosmetics are used in the Rhön Spa, and ecological aspects are also taken into account in the use of building materials and supplies. The entire area is managed in an ecological way.

Various organic specialties are grown in the hotel's snack garden, which are lovingly tended and then tasted. Guests have the opportunity to take a trip to the garden themselves and enjoy the organic flavors.

Hotel Sturm is a perfect place to experience the beauty and uniqueness of the Rhön. The hosts make sure that guests can spend carefree days by offering them natural spa experiences and culinary delights of selected organic quality.

Ecohotel Pausnhof

Location | St. Oswald-Riedlhütte, Germany

Nightly Rate  | € 180+

https://www.pausnhof.de

The sustainable Hotel Pausnhof in the Bavarian Forest National Park is the first eco hotel in Germany and attaches great importance to sustainability and respectful treatment of nature. The Pausnhof has been farmed for 600 years and is home to Pinzgauer cattle, forest sheep, organic laying hens, ducks and geese, among others.

The restaurant uses regional and organic foods to offer guests a culinary experience. The rooms and bathrooms of the hotel are made of local wood and equipped with accessories and furniture from regional manufactories. Guests of the eco hotel Pausnhof can therefore look forward to an authentic and sustainable experience in the midst of nature.
 

Schlossgut Oberambach Das Biohotel am Starnberger See

Location | Münsing, Germany

Nightly Rate € 205+

https://www.schlossgut.de

Eco hotels are the new hotspot for travelers who value sustainable practices - and the Biohotel am Starnberger See in Oberambach is no exception. Set in an idyllic 52-hectare forest and meadow area, this luxurious eco-friendly retreat is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Not only are all the rooms furnished with organic, natural materials, but the ingredients for the cuisine are mainly sourced from local organic farms. There's also a selection of organic wines, beers and juices. And to help you really relax, they offer healthful amenities like allergy-friendly wall heaters and wooden furniture.
 

Eco hotels South Tyrol

Naturhotel Seehof

Location | Natz-Schabs by Brixen, Italy

Nightly Rate | € 160+

https://www.seehof.it

The Hotel Naturhotel Seehof is located in the Eisack Valley in South Tyrol and offers its guests an idyllic oasis of peace amidst the region's impressive landscape. The hotel has its own natural lake and is surrounded by meadows, forests, apple orchards and a breathtaking mountain panorama. The hotel's facilities are of high quality and offer you many moments of pampering, making every moment a pleasure.

The Seehof Hotel is a great choice for anyone looking to take a break from the daily stress. As an adult only hotel, it offers the opportunity to completely escape the noise of children and relax in a peaceful atmosphere. The surrounding area invites you to go for walks and hikes and offers numerous opportunities to explore the diverse nature of the Valle Isarco. Combine that with the high-quality facilities of Naturhotel Seehof and you have probably the best eco hotel!

Eco hotel Bühelwirt

Location | Ahrntal, Italy

Nightly Rate | € 70+

https://www.buehelwirt.com

bio-hotels-BW@mikerabensteiner
Copyright ©Bühelwirt @mikerabensteiner

Biohotel Bühelwirt is the ultimate eco hotel for those who want to explore the natural beauty and sustainability of South Tyrol. Located in Sankt Jakob in the Ahrntal Valley, the hotel is a blend of old charm and modern design. It consists of a main building that's over 100 years old and a modern extension connected by a walkway. From the guest rooms, you'll have stunning views of the nearby Rieserferner-Ahrn nature reserve, where there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, hiking, and climbing. With its focus on sustainability and local organic ingredients - some even coming directly from the hotel's own garden - Bühelwirt takes organic hotels to a whole other level. The Haller family cares passionately about their land and works closely with the community to make sure it stays that way.

bio-hotels-BW@mikerabensteinerCopyright ©Bühelwirt @montamont

bio-hotels-BW@mikerabensteinerCopyright ©Bühelwirt @mikerabensteiner

 

Biorefugium theiner's garten

Location | Gargazon, Italy

Nightly Rate | € 171+

https://www.theinersgarten.it

The eco hotel Biorefugium theiner's garten is a revolutionary eco friendly hotel in the heart of South Tyrol. With over 18 rooms built exclusively from sustainable and organic materials, guests can be sure to be surrounded by cozy natural elements. Refreshment and relaxation await you in the luxurious pool, sauna, and steam room amidst the tranquil, idyllic gardens. But wait, there's more! The restaurant offers many vegetarian and vegan dishes made from organic, seasonal produce and herbs that will tantalize your palate. The hotel garden also grows its own herbs and vegetables that are used in the kitchen. Immerse yourself today in the organic hotel experience at theiner's garten biohotel biorefugium - a bold choice that invites you to enjoy!
 

Tauber's Bio Vitalhotel

Location | St. Sigmund, Italy

Nightly Rate |  131+

https://www.taubers-vitalhotel.com

Bio-Hotels-taubersCopyright ©Tauber's Bio Vitalhotel

If you're looking for a first-class eco hotel experience that focuses on health and wellness, Tauber's Bio Vitalhotel is the perfect destination. Set amidst the breathtaking scenery of South-Tirol, guests can enjoy the beauty of nature without sacrificing modern amenities and comforts. The hotel offers a range of delicious organic dishes and other amenities that will make any guest feel right at home.

bio-Hotels-TaubersCopyright ©Tauber's Bio Vitalhotel

 bio-hotels-taubersCopyright ©Tauber's Bio Vitalhotel

Hotel Pfösl

Location | Nova Ponente, Italy

Nightly Rate | € 156+

https://www.pfoesl.it

The eco-frienldly Hotel Pfösl is an exceptional accommodation for visitors to the breathtaking Dolomites in Italy. It stands out among organic hotels for its exemplary commitment to sustainability. The hotel uses 100% green electricity from hydropower and cooks with organic and regional products. In addition, guests can enjoy the beauty from the mountains and still feel at home in the stylish and comfortable rooms of Hotel Pfösl.

This makes Hotel Pfösl a great choice for travelers looking for eco-friendly accommodation amidst the breathtaking Dolomites.
 

Blasla Hof

Location | Gsies, Italy

Nightly Rate | € 286+ (prices per accommodation unit (family 2 children))

https://www.blaslahof.com

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Copyright ©Blasla Hof

bio-hotels

Copyright ©Blasla Hof

Eco hotels are springing up all over the world, offering eco-friendly and sustainable options for travelers. The eco friendly hotel Blasla Hof is one of these organic hotels, located in a rural area and focusing on sustainability and originality. Many rooms are built of wood and furnished with natural materials - creating a warm atmosphere that allows guests to escape technology and immerse themselves in the original life of the Biohotel.

Guests can not only enjoy nature during their stay at Biohotel Blasla Hof, but also participate in community activities such as cooking, bread baking and hiking. To encourage technology-free nights, Wi-Fi is available but turned off at night. All in all, Biohotels offer a great way to experience sustainable living while pursuing adventure activities.

bio-hotels

Copyright ©Blasla Hof
bio-hotels
Copyright ©Blasla Hof


Eco hotels Slovenia

Hotel St. Daniel in Stanjel

Location | Stanjel, Slowenien

Nightly Rate | € 104+

https://www.stdaniel.si

Hotel St. Daniel is the ultimate organic hotel in Stanjel, Slovenia! Built of 100% recycled wood, the rooms offer the guests luxury and sustainability in one. The hotel's facilities are not only sustainable, but also offer guests a luxurious experience: in addition to stylishly decorated rooms with stunning views, the hotel also offers a spa area with an outdoor pool, saunas and a beauty area where guests can pamper themselves. Relaxation is brought mainly through meditation and crystals.

Eco hotels Austria

Naturhotel Chesa Valisa****s in Hirschegg

Location | Hirschegg, Austria

Nightly Rate | € 148+

https://www.naturhotel.at

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©Naturhotel Chesa Valisa 

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©Naturhotel Chesa Valisa

An eco-hotel cannot be better than the Chesa Valisa. With its pulsating altitude of 1,200 meters and the fascinating view of the two-thousand-meter peaks of the Kleinwalsertal valley, this traditional nature hotel is a real feast for the eyes. Inside, pure design awaits you. Pristine wood frames the rooms - handcrafted solid wood furniture included - along with natural clay plaster walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and measures to reduce electrosmog guarantee a weary slumber. To top it all off, you can explore the hotel's 20,000-square-foot garden or take a dip in the AlpinSPA's light-filled relaxation room's spring-water pool, three saunas, steam room and Kneipp basins to unwind your body and soul.

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©Naturhotel Chesa Valisa

bio-hotels

©Naturhotel Chesa Valisa

Hotel Rupertus in Salzburg

Location | Leogang, Austria

Nightly Rate I € 174+

https://www.rupertus.at

If you are looking for a dreamlike, sustainable vacation in a breathtaking landscape, then the Biohotel Rupertus in the Leogang Valley is the perfect place for you. The Biohotel Rupertus is a family-run business where sustainability comes first. Here, guests are pampered with local organic products and certified natural cosmetics. If you prefer to explore, the nearby forests and meadows offer endless opportunities for mountain biking or hiking, and afterwards you can take a refreshing dip in the infinity indoor & outdoor pool! This organic hotel takes eco-friendly living to the next level by using alternative energy such as district heating, photovoltaics and 100% green electricity.

Of course, the hotel is also pet-friendly and offers customized travel and services for your four-legged friend! In addition to these amenities, the hotel offers numerous activities in the region, from bike tours to amazing hikes. The organic Hotel Rupertus offers everything you need for a pleasant organic vacation!
 

Eco hotels Switzerland

Valsana Hotel & Appartements in Arosa 

Location | Arosa, Switzerland

Nightly Rate | € 198+

https://tschuggencollection.ch

Hotel Valsana is the ideal destination for environmentally conscious travelers who do not want to sacrifice style in the pursuit of sustainability. Set against the picturesque mountain backdrop of Graubünden, this organic hotel offers its guests 4-star accommodations and state-of-the-art energy management. In one of the 40 hotel rooms or nine apartments, you'll be surrounded by perfectly coordinated wood, stone, glass, and other organic materials designed by interior designer Carlo Rampazzi. Using locally sourced products from Switzerland and premium sustainable materials, Hotel Valsana offers travelers a unique experience that is both luxurious and conscious.

CERVO Mountain Resort

Location | Zermatt, Switzerland

Nightly Rate | € 235+

https://cervo.swiss

bio-hotels-Copyright-©CERVO-Mountain-Resort
Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort


Bio-Hotel-Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort

For travelers who want to get closer to nature, the sustainable CERVO Mountain Resort is a must! The hotel is powered by 90% geothermal and solar energy and offers you a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn every morning before you indulge in the best local cuisine.

After skiing in winter or hiking in summer around the village of Zermatt and the breathtaking view of the Matterhorn, the organic CERVO Mountain Resort welcomes you with its beautiful spa and tranquil atmosphere to relax after an eventful day. Whether skiing in winter or hiking in summer, this sustainable organic hotel will not let you down and will leave you rested, comfortable and inspired!

Bio-hotel-Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort

Bio-Hotel-Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort

Copyright ©CERVO Mountain Resort

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