Green living is finally turning into more than just a trend – and rightly so. There is much to do in order to save our planet, so it’s only logical that we all try to do our bit. With plenty of fabulous eco-friendly hotels and resorts across the German-speaking region, there’s the right type of accommodation for anyone who is ready to go on holiday with a clean (or shall we say green) conscience. Sustainability has never been more enjoyable.
TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | PHOTO © PIXABAY
You don’t need to miss out on a luxurious holiday in order to help save the environment: far from it. Many hotels are switching to sustainable concepts and are not only great places to unwind and relax in, but also to get deeply inspired by. Slow food is on the menu, but the concepts usually go far beyond the culinary side. Generally, showing what slow living can look like is often just as much a part of these concepts as healing Ayurveda treatments, aromatherapy and reflexology. All in all, it’s about sustainable wellness with old and new methods that make ecological sense. Being mindful of our impact doesn’t spoil the fun – often it actually enhances our experiences, be it at home or on holiday.
The eco-friendly hotels in the German-speaking region are called ‘Bio-Hotels’ and are a cooperation of mostly owner-managed hotels in Switzerland, Germany and Austria who follow strict guidelines in order to qualify. Environmentally friendly energy and waste concepts are crucial factors, as well as the use of 100 per cent certified natural cosmetics and regionally sourced produce.
In Bavaria’s Alps, the green hotel moor & mehr is a little gem not to be missed. The traditional family-run hotel, led by its fifth generation, convinces guests with its passion for the healing powers of the moor, based on the Hildegard-philosophy. Mud treatments are a perfect natural way to detox the body and relax the soul. Sipping herbal tea made from ingredients from the hotel’s own garden, whilst watching the goats and horses graze in tranquillity, complements the experience.
The Nature Resort Gerberhof in Friedrichshafen-Ailingen, on the other hand, offers massages and facial treatments using natural cosmetics made from pure organic Aloe Vera juice instead of chemically treated water. Here, guests can also enjoy the Philippi-method as a bioenergetic meditation or massage, which is supposed to help resolve inner blockages and kickstart the body’s own healing forces.
The modern Bio & Wellnesshotel Pazeider in Tyrol offers yoga, chakra massages, deep relaxation and much more in a beautiful spa flooded with light. A mountain well with crystal clear water keeps gurgling gently and helps to promote an atmosphere of natural wellbeing. The extracts of Alpine plants are being used for cellular recreation or advanced bio-lifting, to name but a few uses.
The 400-year-old Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt in Austria’s Going is both an organic farm and a five-star luxury and wellness resort. With uninterrupted views of the breathtaking Wilder Kaiser mountains and a stunning range of wellness facilities, this is indeed a luxurious destination throughout. It includes a rock-themed water world with organic pine-clad saunas, waterfall grotto, a natural bathing pond and Europe’s largest hotel-housed salt-water pool. The salt water comes from nearby Bad Reichenhall and is particularly beneficial for the skin and joints. It’s also a great place for families, as it has a water world dedicated entirely to the little ones.
Last but not least, there is the green hotel Rupertus near Salzburg. This is certainly the place to be if you are looking for an active holiday. Golf, hiking tours or mountain bike adventures tempt guests during summer, whilst in winter, there are endless beautiful slopes to go skiing on. After a fun-packed day, guests can enjoy a soothing herbal steam bath, a dip in the natural bathing pond or unwind on the picturesque, barefoot path. Of course, there is also the organic GreenBAR, to have a little drink or two at. Currently, the hotel offers a package which includes yoga sessions and hiking tours, as well as vegan meals.
If you are enjoying a green lifestyle, why not extend that sense of natural wellbeing to your next holiday? Healthy pleasure, luxurious accommodation and wonderful landscapes are waiting to be explored and enjoyed with all senses. You might also meet some lovely people on your journey, too: because for these hotels, being officially eco-friendly means much more than having a certificate to show. They prove that ‘back to nature’ really doesn’t mean ‘back to basics’: not one bit.