Find your eco hotel in Barcelona
Traveling green is becoming a trend: after all, you don’t want to contribute polluting the destination you are visiting. The hotel industry is reacting and designing their venues more and more with sustainability in mind. However, it isn’t that easy yet to find an eco hotel in Barcelona, and a lot of research is needed to find one that is up to your green expectations.
When I travel I often search for green options, and in some countries there are official green accommodations listings that makes it so easy to find the right place to stay. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist in Spain yet, and the research required to find Barcelona green hotels is tougher. But if you are like me and the environment is one your priorities when choosing where to stay, don’t miss today’s post: we’ve done the research for you and we are excited to share the results.
This is our sustainable hotel selection in Barcelona:
W Hotel. The W hotel (or Hotel Vela, as locals call it because of its sail-like shape) makes part of the Green Key program, an international initiative that promotes sustainable practices in hotels all over the world. This is why the hotel has created an intern Environment Committee to manage the green actions that they are setting up. Energy saving is of course a must, which is why all the lights in the hotel are LED, and they have set up occupancy sensors to avoid wasting electricity when no one is around. Water saving is achieved with efficient showers and taps, as well as double-flush toilets. They run a recycling program available for not just the rooms, but also the common areas and the back office. Plus they use sustainable cleaning products and recycled paper.
EcoZentric. The first eco hostel in Barcelona, the whole construction of the venue and its design have been done with sustainability in mind, starting with the respectful restoration of the building that has produced way less waste than building it from scratch would have done. They have of course installed everywhere energy-saving heating, lighting and water systems, as home automation in order to ensure the highest efficiency. Plus all their linen is 100% organic cotton, and the complimentary toiletries are organic, too. Besides that, part of their profit goes to finance reforestation. Quite impressive for a hostel (with hostel prices)! Plus its central location very close to Plaça Catalunya makes it a very convenient choice. Did I mention you are invited to water the plants in your balcony?
Le Meridien. This popular hotel in La Rambla has been recently renovated with the goal to make it sustainable. High efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors have been set up, water preserving systems have been added, energy-saving programs have been set up… All this while choosing low-emitting materials for their furniture, floors and paints. They prioritize environmental-friendly products and suppliers, as well as alternatives to plastic bottles, and they use green house-keeping (that by the way, thanks to their Make a Green Choice program, if you choose to opt-out of it for at least 3 days you’ll be rewarded with StarWood points or discount vouchers for food and drinks). They also track the carbon footprint of their guests at their premises and work to find creative solutions to reduce it.
Grand Hotel Central. This hotel with an unbeatable location between the historical Gothic Quarter and the trendy Born district was the first luxury eco friendly hotel in Barcelona, as since its conception it was designed following a Green Thinking philosophy. Thermal insulation was crucial to prevent energy wasting from central heating. They of course also integrated all the efficiency systems that were available (LED lights, occupancy sensors, water saving devices…), and solar wafers contribute to the production of energy for the building. But they took it further setting up a system to reuse rinsing water from the laundry for other steps of the washing process, as well as using the steam and hot air from the ironing and dryer areas to heat water. Even the illumination of the façade of the building at night is controlled via a magnetic efficiency system. Also at the main restaurant of the hotel, Avalon by Ramon Freixa, they go for local produce and sustainable producers.
Casa Camper. This hipster hotel in the Raval district near La Rambla is also committed to the environment, and they are specially proud of their water management system that allows them to cleans naturally the water from shower and baths so it can be reused in the toilets, what achieves a 50% water saving. Solar wafers are used to heat the water, and they actively promote the use of sustainable transportation means such as walking, public transportation or bicycles that you can rent at the hotel concierge. In your room you’ll also find natural soaps and toiletries, and the bedrooms are facing a green vertical garden that produces oxygen and brings nature into the building.
AND BONUS! Would you rather stay in a beach town less than 30min from Barcelona by car?
MiM (former Avenida Sofia). This Boutique & Spa hotel in the heart of Sitges was the first hotel in Europe to be awarded the LEED Platinum certification, an international award acknowledges the most efficient and environmental friendly buildings in the world by analyzing the materials used to make sure they are not harmful for the environment or human health, and its water and energy saving performance. Besides energy and water saving systems, and the use of solar wafers and a double façade that allows thermal isolation, at the hotel they also run a program to make their staff environment-conscious, and go for sustainable gardening and the use of native plants. Moreover, their acclimatization system uses a 30% of air from the outside that is filtered to prevent allergies and breathing problems.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: does being a sustainable hotel affect your choices when booking?