A triumph of eco-chic

Named as the nation's best small hotel, The Greenhouse Hotel in Dorset takes its environmental responsibilities seriously

It has just picked up the trophy for Best Small Hotel of the Year and deserves an entry in this month's Leaders. The Greenhouse Hotel, an eco- chic boutique hotel in Bournemouth, claims to be the "greenest hotel in the UK"that "lives and breathes sustainability".

It is a bold statement, but one that doesn't tend to dissolve when you scratch the surface.

The usual things are taken care of: energy efficient lighting and the guests are asked to reuse their towels. But, as the owners recognise, "these things alone won't change the world". And so, over the past four years, the hotel has initiated a number of things to prove it is taking the agenda seriously.

The building itself uses the sun to heat the water and a lot of the electricity used is generated by an on-site CHP unit.

Each of the 32 rooms is fitted with locally-made 100% wool carpets. The solid wood furniture has been made in the UK, using trees felled by storms or tree surgeons. Where there's wallpaper, it is Forest Stewardship Council-certified and made in the UK using vegetable inks. Where there isn't, you'll find Farrow & Ball eco paint.

The company car runs on the cooking oil that has been used in the kitchen. If you eat at the brasserie, you'll find local, fresh, organic food sourced from producers with high animal welfare standards.

In the bar there's locally-brewed beer and spirits - and the wine list has been carefully chosen taking into account the carbon footprint of every bottle.



Food & drink | Reuse


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