Sustainable travel

10 of the best eco hotels in the UK

The Good Hotel Guide offers its top picks for digs with a green edge

Friday 08 October 2021 13:26
<p>Sharon and Nigel Reed’s hospitality at  the Pendragon Country House in Cornwall is legendary </p>

Sharon and Nigel Reed’s hospitality at the Pendragon Country House in Cornwall is legendary

To mark the publication of the new edition of The Good Hotel Guide, we asked the editors to name 10 of the best eco-aware hotels for 2022.

Here are their top picks.

Thyme, Southrop, Gloucestershire

Thyme is a restored Cotswold manor and farm buildings

A lovingly restored Cotswold manor house and farm buildings here combine as a hotel and cookery school. Eco-friendly initiatives include sophisticated ventilation and heat pumps and boreholes. There is a chlorine-free spring-water swimming pool, and careful land management encourages an abundance of wildlife. Cattle graze seasonally on the water-meadow grasses, as guests graze contently in the Ox Barn.

Doubles from £340, B&B. No children under 12. EV charging.

Hart’s Hotel, Nottingham

Hart’s Hotel uses local seasonal ingredients

The narrow profile of this Noughties hotel on the castle ramparts makes for effective natural ventilation. Insulating render to the exterior and substantial masonry block-work walls reduce heat loss. Daylight streams through floor-to-ceiling windows and everything possible is reusable or recyclable. Delicious menu of local seasonal ingredients reduces food miles, and they’ll pack up leftovers to take away.

Doubles from £139, room only.

The Zetter, Clerkenwell, London

The Zetter is set in a repurposed Victorian warehouse

Sustainability is at the heart of the operation at this cool hotel, occupying a repurposed Victorian warehouse. Water from a borehole flushes the loos and cools fridges and bedrooms. A central atrium and skylight provide natural light and ventilation. Open your window and the air conditioning cuts out. They are big on recycling and cycling – rent one of the bikes and go sightseeing.

Doubles from £153, room only.

The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

The Scarlet has an extensive spa

Your room is cooled by Atlantic breezes at this clifftop spa hotel, its roof lined with insect-friendly sea thrift. Heating is provided by biomass boiler and solar energy; ‘grey water’ from showers flushes the loos, and algae filter the water in the outdoor pool. Rooms have no single-use sachets; call up for a coffee, while the valet service sees that your car is charged.

Doubles from £245, B&B. EV charging.

Dorset House, Lyme Regis, Dorset

Dorset House was converted using sustainable methods and materials

Lyn and Jason Martin used sustainable methods and materials to restore their Victorian house to create a stylish B&B. Double-flush loos and aerated shower heads reduce water usage. Energy-efficient heating, draft-proofing, waste reduction, recyclable materials, refillable toiletries and eco-friendly cleaning products reduce environmental damage, while breakfast is a feast of organic Dorset produce.

Doubles from £115, B&B.

Pendragon Country House, Camelford, Cornwall

Pendragon Country House has achieved Green Tourism Gold status

Sharon and Nigel Reed’s legendary hospitality at their King Arthur-themed B&B extends to the rabbits, hedgehogs, avian and pond life that thrive in grounds free from chemical fertilisers. Solar panels, a biomass boiler, dual-flush loos, phosphate-free cleaning products, rainwater harvesting, recycling, composting and EV charging assure Green Tourism Gold status.

Doubles from £94, B&B; singles from £68. EV charging.

Cedar Manor, Windermere, Cumbria

Cedar Manor is a member of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Caroline and Jonathan Kaye take palpable pride in their beautiful Victorian country house, and in minimising their carbon footprint, while respecting the local community and sharing the glories of the Lake District. They are members of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and have raised more than £17,000 for such causes as Fix the Fells and Save our Squirrels. Breakfast is sourced from local suppliers.

Doubles from £155, B&B. No children under 10. EV charging.

The Felin Fach Griffin, Felin Fach, Powys

The Felin Fach Griffin’s owners are founding members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

Respect for environment and community are in the very DNA of Charles and Edmund Inkin’s relaxed, stylish dining pub with rooms. Founding members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, they source food from small local suppliers, employ and train local people, support local charities and have created a social hub. Bedrooms have local art, Welsh blankets, natural toiletries, no TV, and no plastic packets. Supper might bring plum tomato tart with salad leaves from the garden.

Doubles from £145, B&B.

The Torridon, Torridon, Highland

Guests at the Torridon are given wildflower seeds to plant

On leaving this baronial-style hunting lodge on the shores of Loch Torridon, guests are presented with wildflower seeds to grow for the bees. Water is sourced from a borehole and new trees are continually planted, while timber chipped on site fuels a biomass boiler. Food is sourced from the estate farm and kitchen garden, where cows and pigs dine out on the leftovers.

Doubles from £155 (Stables), £305 (main house), B&B. EV charging.

Argyll Hotel, Iona, Argyll and Bute

Argyll Hotel is a gold-rated Green Tourism business

Fresh laundry dances in the breeze off the Sound of Iona at this unpretentious, owner-run hotel. A Gold-rated Green Tourism business, they use only biodegradable wash products, encourage awareness of wildlife, and keep food miles to a minimum, sourcing fish from the surrounding waters, organic fruit and vegetables from the garden, and produce from neighbouring crofts.

Doubles from £100, B&B; singles from £77.

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