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13 eco-friendly hotels to dream about: From coastal retreats to city boutiques

Do your bit and try an eco-friendly hotel this summer

Updated: August 11, 2021
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Hotels have finally reopened and we could not be more excited! After months spent dreaming of getting away, we're planning on making our next break a green one. Some of the UK's most luxurious and indulgent hotels share the highest environmental credentials. We caught up with the Good Hotel Guide for their editor's picks.  

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The Zetter, London

An upstanding example of repurposing, the flagship of the eco-conscious Zetter Group is a former Victorian warehouse transformed into a trendy, design-led hotel. Environmental concerns and sustainability are fundamental to the operation. A borehole beneath the building flushes the loos and cools the fridges and bedrooms. If you open a window, the air conditioning cuts out. A central atrium and automated skylight provide natural light and ventilation. Bath products are free of toxins. The Zetter is, furthermore, a founder member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, dedicated to sustainability and localism, waste reduction, energy efficiency and Fair Trade. 

For more information visit or book now via

whatley manor room

Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

In little more than a year there have been significant changes at this Cotswold-stone manor house hotel with a spa and Michelin-starred kitchen. The management is working with Earthcheck to attain the UN’s 17 goals for sustainable development, reducing food waste, eliminating plastics, recycling paper, composting…  Drawing inspiration from surrounding organic farmland, the kitchen and housekeeping are embracing organic practices. A part of the lovely grounds has been allowed to return to the wild to encourage wildlife, with bat boxes, bird boxes – and, at breakfast, honey from the hives.

For more information visit or book now via

the pig

The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent

A wonderful organic kitchen garden is at the heart of operations at this Jacobean manor house, as at all the Pig hotels, where respect for the environment is palpable. The use of local artisan suppliers and home-grown and foraged ingredients keeps food miles to a minimum and reduces packaging (the Pigs produce some 17 tons of fruit and vegetables a year, which need no wrapping, not to speak of tens of thousands of duck, hen and quail eggs, or honey from the hives). Mushrooms thrive on coffee grouts. Antique, and upcycled furniture and reclaimed materials are used wherever possible. Plastics are anathema. Old linens are ragged for cleaning. They’re so green, they’re positively cabbage looking. 

For more information visit or check out the stellar reviews on

the scarlet

The Scarlet, Cornwall

There is an air of serenity at this modern, light-filled, adults-only hotel on the cliffs above a sandy beach, with floor-to-ceiling windows, meadow gardens and spa. Initiatives include responsible sourcing, waste reduction, energy-usage monitoring, rainwater harvesting, grey-water harvesting… Indeed, sustainability was wrought in the very fabric. The building was positioned to exploit the views and the sun’s heat and light. Timber was responsibly sourced, a biomass boiler installed. Cornish sea thrift roof covering provides not only insulation but also an environment for butterflies and insects. And, of course, reptiles from the building site were carefully rehomed.

For more information visit or admire the views in the guest pictures

cary arms

The Cary Arms, Devon

Approached by a wooded corniche road, Lana de Savary’s hotel stands above the beach, overlooking the Teign estuary. In recent years it has taken long strides towards sustainability and social responsibility. Landfill waste is down by some 70 percent. A state-of-the-art filtration system produces still and sparkling mineral-quality water. LED lighting with movement sensors, and a car charging point, have been introduced. An aqueous ozone generator has replaced bleach. Garden waste is recycled in unused woodland using the centuries-old heap rotation system. Even the wines are from sustainable sources, with £3 a case donated to charities committed to turning the tide on plastic. 

For more information visit or take a look at the reviews

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harts hotel

Hart’s Hotel, Nottingham

Built on the medieval ramparts of the castle, Tim and Stefa Hart’s 21st-century hotel was conceived with the environment in mind. The narrow building plan makes for easy ventilation without air conditioning. Light floods in through east- and west-facing windows. All rooms have a combi shower as well as a bath, to reduce water and energy use. Food is locally sourced and waste is minimal (ask for a doggy bag). Cleaning products are eco-friendly, paper is sourced from FSC mills, plastic straws are out and kitchen oil is recycled. They  just politely ask that we do our bit too and turn off the taps, lights and TV. 

For more information visit or have a browse on

lympstone hotel

Lympstone Manor, Devon

The three Rs – ‘reduce, recycle and reuse’ – were guiding principles in the restoration of this beautiful manor house in parkland on the River Exe, the creation of celebrity chef Michael Caines. A wildflower meadow encourages bees and butterflies. Timbers from fallen trees are pressed into service. There are car charging points, and the staff get around the estate by electric buggy. The wonderful food is as guilt-free as possible, thoughtfully and locally sourced. A 'boat to plate' policy ensures that fish is not overbought, while 'carcass balance' means that offcuts and bones go into stocks and are not simply thrown away. 

For more information visit or visit

READ: 11 simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly

jesmond dene

Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle Upon Tyne

In a wooded valley in the city suburbs, Peter Candler’s Tudor-style mansion is an oasis of calm and a beacon of eco-friendliness. A ‘Green Team’ trains new staff members to ensure recycling of everything from used batteries to lightbulbs. Food and drink are locally sourced. LED lighting, a Power Perfector, motion sensors and smart meter are helping to reduce electricity consumption. Aerated showerheads and dual-flush toilets cut water wastage. There is a car charger, bike storage, rain butts for watering the gardens, and when furniture and china are replaced, the local charities are beneficiaries. 

For more information visit or browse the reviews on

captains club

Captain’s Club Hotel, Dorset

Resembling a cruise liner, on the banks of the Stour, Robert Wilson and Tim Lloyd’s spa hotel is all-singing, all-dancing fun for the whole family and the family dog. But along with the leisure vibe go seriously high values, which means recycling where possible, sourcing food locally, and constantly monitoring good practice to comply with environmental legislation. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of natural light. State-of-the-art double glazing, efficient water systems and lighting sensors help to conserve energy. Wildlife is a prime concern, and they support the Christchurch Harbour Ornithology Group, dedicated to the study and conservation of the local fauna. 

For more information visit or check out the pictures on

devonshire arms

The Devonshire Arms, Yorkshire

‘Luxury without sacrifice to the environment’ is the motto at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s hotel in grounds and gardens on the River Wharfe. Plastics are being phased out, paper is from sustainable sources, glass is recycled, while anaerobic digestion creates power from food waste. Washing powders are eco friendly, fruit and vegetables home grown, and a hive in the kitchen garden encourages bees to pollinate. New staff are instructed in the importance of recycling, and customers are encouraged to leave their car and to walk the 80 miles of footpaths on the nearby Bolton Abbey estate.

For more information visit or have a read of the amazing reviews on

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the royal crescent

The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath

At the heart of the glorious sweep of a Grade I listed Georgian crescent, this glamorous hotel pampers guests while not shirking its responsibilities to the wider world. Green credentials begin with an acre of secluded garden, providing a haven for birds, bees and butterflies, and herbs for the kitchen. Coffee machine capsules and toiletry bottles are recycled. Movement sensors and LED lighting in staff areas, with an energy-efficient boiler, have reduced fuel use. The hotel has also joined the National Garden Scheme. Arrive by electric car on one of the opening days and charge it up while you look around: all proceeds go to charity.

For more information visit or read the blurb

thyme at southrop

Thyme at Southrop Manor, Gloucestershire

'A village within a village', Caryn Hibbert’s restored Cotswold manor and farm has been a labour of love, a slow, measured work of restoration grounded in a determination both to preserve the past and to secure the future. Modern technology has been harnessed to ensure energy efficiency, with the use of ground source heat pumps and wood chip boilers, sophisticated ventilation and heat-recovery systems. A 17th-century tithe barn now houses a cookery school. Everything is in tune with nature and the seasons. The historic connection with the land has been maintained, while vegetables, herbs and eggs collected daily from the kitchen garden and farm.  

For more information visit or discover more at

coes faen

Coes Faen, Gwynedd

The repurposing of a Victorian lodge on the Mawddach estuary, as a beautiful, 21st-century B&B, along with the views to Snowdonia, takes the breath away. Space, natural light and technology have all been exploited in the makeover. Every room has a unique spa feature and computer-controlled low-energy lighting system. Biomass central heating is integrated with solar panel water arrays. Rainwater is captured for toilet flushing. The roof space is insulated with sheep’s wool. Everything possible is recycled or re-engineered. Local organic produce appears at breakfast and Tuscan-inspired suppers. There’s a charging point for your car – or come on horseback; they have stables. 

For more information visit or take a look at your options at

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