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Top 5 Luxury Eco Hotels in Europe

08 May 2022 5 min read

We don’t know about you, but lately, we’ve been dreaming of a luxury getaway. A change of scenery and a chance to explore somewhere new.

A love of travel and a passion for sustainability are at the heart of illi. So, we’re continuing our series of travel-themed pieces with a look at some of Europe's most luxurious eco-friendly hotels.

The Green House - UK

First up, The Green House.

Based in beautiful Bournemouth (showing you don’t need to go too far for an eco-friendly break), The Green House is the UK’s most environmentally friendly hotel. Situated near some of Dorset’s finest beaches, this refurbished Victorian villa really lives up to its name when it comes to sustainability. If you’re keen to explore some of the exquisite beauty England’s south coast has to offer, this is the place to stay.

The owners adhere to five core sustainability principles: 1. Source locally; 2. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle; 3. Consider what comes in and what goes out; 4. Insist on high welfare standards; and 5. Be transparent, open and honest.

Just a few examples of their sustainability efforts include comfy beds made entirely from bamboo, upcycled furniture, serving local, organic produce, and composting old coffee beans for the hotel’s community vegetable garden.

Named one of the top environmentally friendly hotels in the world, The Green House is a member of Considerate Hoteliers, whose aim is to follow environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices. They are also members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Find out more about The Green House.

Whitepod - Switzerland

Winner of the 2005 Sustainable Tourism Award, Whitepod is a truly unique, luxury stay.

Picture this.

18 eco-friendly geodesic pods, with floor-to-ceiling windows, situated 1,400m up the side of a mountain overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps. The pods sit on wooden platforms, with outdoor seating and closed, wood-burning fireplaces. Perfect for an evening enjoying the beautiful scenery with a hot drink in hand.

Features include organic bedding, furnishings made from local Swiss wood and recycled materials and water sourced from underground springs. All food is seasonal produce and all paper products are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Thanks to the pods’ clever design, they require 30 percent less energy to heat, making them extremely energy efficient. And rather than stick out of the landscape like a sore thumb, the chic looking pods are covered in white canvas in winter and green canvas in summer in order to blend into their natural surroundings.

For active travellers, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. While away the time skiing on the resort’s two slopes (including the use of the resort’s private ski lift), sledding, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain biking or paragliding. The resort also organises hikes with a botanist, showing guests different wild plants and their kitchen or medicinal properties. There’s even a kids club, with tons of nature oriented activities. And at the end of a long day, you can take full advantage of the relaxing sauna.

Learn more about Whitepod.

ION Adventure Hotel - Iceland

Iceland is a stunning destination for nature lovers. If seeing the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, why not book a stay at ION Adventure Hotel? Not only is it a beautiful hotel, set against a breathtaking backdrop, but it is also award winning when it comes to sustainability.

Transformed from an abandoned inn into a luxury boutique hotel, ION was built with sustainability at its heart. It’s mission is to be an ‘extension of nature’. And it couldn’t be better situated. ION sits on Mount Hengill, an active volcano, meaning the entire hotel’s heating is powered by sustainable geothermal energy.

Less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, in Selfoss, ION is perfect for those looking to explore the nation’s capital and rich history and culture, alongside experiencing the country’s natural wonders, including volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, hot springs and, of course, the Northern Lights.

The hotel’s modern design, contrasts beautifully with the surrounding natural landscape. Inside its 45 rooms, you’ll find a wealth of sustainable materials used in its decor. From lava to reused driftwood. All of the hotel’s products are fair trade and organic. As is the seasonal produce served in the hotel’s Silfra Restaurant & Bar. Wind down after a day of exploring with dinner at Silfra, a drink at the Northern Lights Bar, or book yourself in for a relaxing treatment at the Lava Spa.

Find out more about ION Adventure Hotel.

Theiner’s Garten Bio Vitalhotel - Italy

A peaceful refuge, Theiners Garten hotel is situated in dreamy South Tyrol, at the foot of the Dolomites mountain range, just a few hours east of stunning Lake Como (which inspired our recycled gold and lab-grown diamond Como Earrings) and north of Tuscany (which inspired our new Lucca and Riolo Studs). In 2019, it was named the most environmentally friendly hotel in the Alps. It was also awarded Climate Hotel status the same year and is a certified eco-hotel, according to Gütesiegel Klimahotel.

The owners were inspired by other European eco hotels to create this sustainable haven, made using local timber. With an emphasis on alternative energy sources, recycling and using only natural and organic products, it truly is an eco conscious traveller’s dream stay. While most hotel guests leave a carbon footprint of around 50kg or CO2 per person per night, guests at Theiners leave only 8kg of CO2.

It’s family owned, with 57 rooms, a gourmet restaurant and an apple farm. The restaurant also specialises in vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

A perfect spot for exploring the surrounding area. From historic castles and fascinating Gothic churches, to hiking the majestic mountains. Although there’s plenty to keep you busy at the hotel itself. The resort’s activity programme includes yoga, forest bathing, hiking, winery visits, mountain bike tours, city tours and film nights. Plus, a wellness garden, day spa, swimming pools, organic saunas.

Learn more about Theiner’s Garten.

Hotel ZOO Berlin - Germany

For a city break, Hotel ZOO in Berlin is a must visit. Built in 1889 as a private residence, the hotel’s old world charm and chic townhouse vibe is the perfect spot for those looking to explore the sights of the city in a more sustainable way. Its Green Globe certified, meaning it’s assessed twice a year on things like its water and energy savings, recycling and responsible use of resources. It’s a high standard to attain, so travellers know Hotel ZOO isn’t just talk when it comes to sustainability.

Featuring 141 rooms, each individually designed by famous interior designer Dayna Lee, the hotel’s sustainable design perfectly captures the glamour of Berlin in the early twentieth century, with a few avant-garde touches and unique artwork.

During your stay you can work out in the Sport Suite or pamper yourself in the Glowy Beauty Suite. Or head out and explore the local area. The luxury design hotel is surrounded by gorgeous boutiques, gourmet restaurants and fascinating galleries, perfect for a short stroll.

Finally, you can relax with a drink and some delicious food at the Grace Restaurant, Grace Bar, Rooftop or Winter Garden.

Find out more about Hotel ZOO Berlin.

We’re obsessed with these incredible hotels. Excuse us while we plan our next escape!

And, if you’re looking for some sustainably jewellery that’ll accompany you on your travels, shop our range of eco-friendly fine jewellery. We offer free worldwide shipping on all orders and each piece is made from high quality materials, making it perfect for every day wear or special occasions.