Which is the best eco-resort in Europe? What hotel indulges guests in everything they would expect from a luxury hotel but with eco-friendly credentials? In this review, we help you navigate the merits of the best eco-resorts in Europe.
Sustainable tourism is essential in a world with an ever-warming climate. More and more of us want to do our bit to save the planet while we travel, and by staying in a hotel that uses solar panels, eco-friendly cleaning products, water-saving devices, and recycles everything, we know we are at least trying to make our world a better place. The key when choosing an eco-resort is to select one with beautiful swimming pools, gourmet restaurants, spas, and luxurious rooms so that you don’t lose out while doing your best to maintain the world’s delicate eco-system.
1. Vivosa Apulia Resort, Italy
Our top choice is the Vivosa Apulia Resort, an elegant 4-star eco-resort hotel overlooking the beautiful Ionian sea in Marina di Ugento. Vivosa Eco Resort deeply loves nature and aims to protect it by adopting a strategy of environmental and energy sustainability.
Green touches include the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and waste, re-using water, separate waste collection in all areas of the resort, using solar panels to produce clean energy with zero environmental impact, and adopting xerogardening and almost zeroing the use of plastic. These practices have contributed to Vivosa earning important eco awards and certificates, including TUI Umwelt Champion (TUI environmental champion), Ecoresort certification, the Gold TraveLife Award (Sustainability in Tourism Award), and compliance to the ISO14001 environmental management system.
Built-in local stone, Vivosa is located in a natural park, Parco Naturale Litorale di Ugento (Salento, Apulia), in a fragrant pine forest just a few steps from the crystal-clear Ionian sea. It has its own private beach with fine white sand and warm, shallow waters, and various pools, including the addictive water slide pool, an outdoor wonderland for the kids.
This eco-hotel has ten buildings surrounded by pines. It has 333 bedrooms, furnished in Mediterranean style with either a balcony or terrace and located around ten magnificent courtyards brimming with flowers. All products used within the resort are made with high-quality raw materials, and guests can be confident that they are using natural and mainly local products.
Vivosa Apulia Resort boasts a gorgeous central pool comprising four basins on different levels and offers a great place to relax and sunbathe. There is also a great children’s pool, integrated whirlpool zones, hydro massage beds, waterfalls, watercourses, and a sauna, steam bath, outdoor pool in the spa zone.
A gently sloping white sand private beach with crystal clear waters is reached by a pretty path and offers a free beach service that includes sunbeds and umbrellas. Other facilities and services on offer include two tennis courts, aqua-gym, beach volleyball, a Simon Elliott Golf Academy providing beginner and advanced lessons, sailing, sea kayaking, and windsurfing down at the beach.
For children, there’s the family-friendly Vivosa Kids, a daily program in the mini club for children from 3 to 12 years, a junior club from 13 to 15 years, a scout camp, and a playground in the shade of the pine forest with fun outdoor games, table tennis, and table football. Babies can enjoy dance, and there are shows dedicated to children. There is a program of entertainment in the evenings too, and Wi-Fi is available in common areas, in guest rooms, and on the beach.
The all-inclusive basis at this hotel includes buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as barbecues and themed evening buffets in the main Via Appia Restaurant. You will also be able to relax at the Scirocco beach bar, Dolce Vita pool bar, and Damiano’s club lounge, which is all included as part of your stay.
2. Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, Italy
Lefay Resorts have signed an agreement with the Ministry of the Environment for projects aimed at neutralization of CO2 emissions. This is achieved through the purchase of CERs credits (in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol), intended to reduce emissions in Italy and in developing countries.
Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti is surrounded by the majestic mountains of the Dolomites and overlooks the Alpine town of Pinzolo. Verona is its closest international airport.
Facilities include a large indoor/outdoor pool with outstanding views of the valley, a 24-hour gym, an indoor lap pool, a large magnesium-enriched whirlpool, a yoga studio, and The Energy Therapeutic World, which has five themed areas with different water and sauna-based therapies. The Spa is massive and spreads over four floors of facilities, making it one of the largest spas in The Alps.
The ski shop, ski concierge, and shuttle to the Pinzolo gondola means that the 140km of pistes making up the Madonna di Campiglio ski area are just moments away.
3. Lefay Resort and SPA Lago di Garda, Italy
Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda is the sister hotel to Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti and offers a tranquil oasis overlooking Lake Garda with an eco-friendly design, integrated into the local landscape and inspired by lemon groves, traditional local buildings used for the cultivation of lemons, characterized by original stone and wood pillars.
Surrounded by natural terraces, woods, and olive groves, this is a magical place with a superb spa at its very heart, together with delicious cuisine and comfortable, bright, and spacious suites.
The interiors use natural materials from the local area. And you get all this, as well as a luxurious wellness retreat, which has been awarded a number of environmental certifications, including the Green Globe and the Being Organic and Ecological Spa award. In 2017, and Best Luxury Eco-Spa.
4. Naturhotel Forsthofgut
Naturhotel Forsthofgut is a 5 star, family-run, family-friendly ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel situated on the Asitz mountain slopes in Leogang, SalzburgerLand, Austria. Surrounded by nature, 200m from the nearest lift, 150m from the ski kindergarten, the hotel offers easy access to 408km of pistes and 121 lifts across three prime ski regions.
Dating back to 1617, the hotel has evolved from a forestry business and guest house into one of Austria’s top hotels. Their delicious dining is sustainable, organic, vegan, and they also offer Japanese menus. There’s a specialty cocktail bar and wine tastings twice weekly, a dedicated Lakehouse Spa for adults, and the world’s first forest Spa (waldSPA Family & Kids). Extensive water features include multiple pools, some with waterslides, saunas, treatment rooms, an Onsen bath and washhouse, an infinity pool, a natural chemical-free swimming lake, a floating Finnish sauna, and a natural plunge pool.
The nearest airport is Salzburg Airport, and the transfer by road to the resort takes 1 hour, or guests can arrive by rail to Saalfelden and by road to the resort (5 minutes).
Naturhotel Forsthofgut’s green credentials include its architecture, eco-friendly products, and reducing & recycling.
The Monterosa ski area provides the stunning backdrop to the five-star ‘eco-resort CampZero. Constructed with natural elements and meticulous attention to detail, CampZero is a place where nature, sport, and technology meet, offering authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences.
The internal climbing wall is a one-of-a-kind architectural structure made entirely of concrete. It was designed with the help of local mountain guides and engineered for thrill-seekers, rock-climbing enthusiasts, and anyone ready to try something new.
Sit back and relax in the wooden hot tubs or in the wood-fired sauna with a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. The 25 m indoor pool was built to blend seamlessly with the surrounding Alpine scenery.
The Boulder Bar is the perfect place to enjoy some downtime with friends after the day’s adventures. You can take advantage of an extensive wine list, a modern cocktail menu, and, of course, delicious food throughout the day.
The hall is the place where everything and everyone meets: it’s the place to hang out after a long day, enjoy the library, share videos and photos of the day on their screens, listen to music, watch your friends rock climbing on the internal wall, have a drink and unwind.
CampZero’s eco-sustainable ethos can also be seen in the two 22 kW Tesla charging stations available for guests.
6. Pineta Naturalmente Hotel
Pineta Naturalmente Hotel is surrounded by the Dolomites and comprises of three mountain houses and four mountain chalets surrounded by nature, with cozy rooms and family suites.
Nine rooms have local Trentino wood or an alpine chalet look, with independent suites on one or two floors. The Pine House and the Wald House are two beautiful buildings that are equally as splendid, with interiors furnished in true mountain style. These rooms are perfect for couples looking for rural, mountain warmth, and hospitality.
Relax in the Hedoné Health Spa or hold meetings or business dinners in the typical Trentino Inn Restaurant. The Pineta Hotel is like a small mountain village, surrounded by the tranquillity of the valley that still keeps its traditions alive.
The Beauty Farm at this eco-resort offers beauty treatments, a swimming pool, whirlpool, saunas, solarium, and a relaxation area with herbal teas.
7. Relais del Maro
Relais del Maro is a popular hotel, consisting of various housing units distributed in 3 buildings located in the ancient village of Borgomaro, a few kilometers from the Ligurian Sea. Staying here offers an authentic emersion into the Liguria lifestyle. The relaxed, slow pace of life here is typical of a village where everyone knows each other.
This hotel protects the identity of the local area, and its style of hotel development has a low environmental impact. It enjoys sustainable restoration and renovation of existing buildings. The swimming pool is heated using solar panels.
8. Theiner’s Garten Bio Vitalhotel
Theiner’s Garten Bio Vitalhotel in South Tyrol was created from local timber stuck together without chemical glues or cement. Awarded ‘Climate Hotel’ status in 2019 this hotel embraces organic sustainability without sacrifice.
Every detail has been realized based on their lifestyle concept according to eco-sustainable criteria, without sacrificing elegant luxury, refined comfort, and pleasure. In the kitchen, they use only organic food. The ingredients are transformed with creativity into exquisite gourmet dishes, which can win over even the most demanding gourmets.
The rooms are equipped with soundproof walls and are free from electromagnetic pollution. They use only natural products in the wellness area; some are from their own cosmetic line.
9. Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel
Discover an assortment of igloo-shaped tents nestled at an altitude of 1400 meters, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at the Swiss mountainside. Whitepod’s Eco-Luxury pods sit on a wooden platform that offers a delightful and private terrace. Each environmentally friendly pod comes with a pellet stove and an en-suite bathroom. A central chalet offers a sauna and a bar, and a buffet breakfast is served here daily.
During winter, 2 ski slopes are available on weekends and during holidays. Dog sledding tours in winter and hiking with dogs in summer, paragliding, guided tours, and massages can be organized on-site.
10. EcoHotel, Rome
EcoHotel Roma is located within the little-explored Valle dei Casali nature reserve in western Rome. Take in the view of the picturesque natural panorama from the terrace, just a stone’s throw from the Vatican and the city center.
As a supporter of sustainable tourism and friendly hospitality, the 3 star EcoHotel in Rome offers a modern, comfortable environment for a refreshing eco-style stay, away from the chaos of the center but within unexpectedly easy reach from the nearby bus stop.
The hotel’s quiet location within the Valle dei Casali nature reserve, together with bright and welcoming spaces such as the terrace, the garden, the snack bar, and the reading room, are the perfect ingredients for a break.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.