What are green hotels and why you should pick one?

Green hotels protect the environment through efficient use of energy, raw materials and water while still providing guests with the best services possible. The goal is to minimise the negative impact of travel on our planet through green operations and sustainable consumption. 

However, a true green hotel should protect more than just the environment. So as a conscious traveller how do you ascertain whether a hotel is eco-friendly or just pretending to be one?

In a nutshell: a hotel that embraces the principles of sustainability in combination with community giving-back programs is a true green hotel or eco-hotel. 

It will enact most, if not all, of the following initiatives:

  • An eco-friendly design
  • Employ local staff, and treat and pay them fairly
  • Uses alternative or renewable energy sources 
  • Bonus points if the hotel is carbon neutral, or working towards it
  • Encourage guests to conserve water along with their own initiatives such as guest linen reuse programs, greywater recycling, etc.
  • Offer homegrown (preferably organic) and locally sourced food in its restaurants
  • Provide recycling bins in guestrooms and adopt a recycling programme
  • Give back to the local community via various initiatives
  • Provide alternative guest transportation, such as bicycles and shared taxis
  • Source sustainable linen and locally-produced artwork for decoration
  • Use gentle, eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Donate furniture and other over-used materials to charity

Staying in a sustainable hotel not only reduces your carbon footprint but also shows your support for the local community. In addition, it can boost your own wellbeing, and introduce new experiences that are absent at standard hotels.

Key features of Green Hotels

Repurposed Materials

A big part of sustainability starts with the materials we use for construction. Recycling and repurposing materials for construction is growing in popularity. At the Post Ranch Inn in California, guests can relax in a room constructed with reclaimed wine casks or rest on a bench made from a fallen tree. At RIMBA Jimbaran Hotel in Bali, Indonesia, the lobby is built from driftwood and the remnants of old fishing boats.


Hotels that produce as much energy as they consume are called net-zero hotels. Hotel Indigo in Dubai runs entirely on solar power. Boutiquehotel Stadthalle in Vienna uses solar panels, photovoltaic cells and groundwater heat pumps. When you charge your cell phone or watch TV, you produce zero emissions. With a digital building management system, the hotel can monitor, control and track energy use to become more efficient. 

Biophilic Design

In biophilic design the goal is to connect guests with the outdoors. It can achieve a sense of serenity, mixing natural with artificial and can contribute to overall health and wellness of guests. Plus, guests will stick around longer, with a 36% higher dwell rate compared to hotels without it!

Biomimicry Solutions

Biomimicry is a type of design that draws solutions from living things, such as insulation made from cacti or wastewater treatment that simulates wetlands. Biomimicry in hotel design can enhance the experience for the modern, eco-conscious traveller. Future hotels are not only energy efficient but coexist peacefully with natural habitats.


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