Where you can relax and recharge in nature

Spending a few nights in a hotel seems like a distant dream for most of us. The ‘unplug’ button has been pulled for the world of travel over the past few months because of COVID-19 restrictions.

However as summer approaches in Europe and accommodations are beginning to open their doors again, we are getting excited for a change of scenery. Although romantic or adventurous city tours could be off the cards, we can still escape our homes for a while, and make a home in a different place surrounded by nature.

There are many beautiful accommodations in Europe that allow you to enjoy hiking, walking through the forest or along a beach, visit a spa, eat tasty local food and enjoy the atmosphere of a small town.

We handpicked 5 of our favourites. They’re all eco-friendly and bookable again this summer. We wouldn’t be surprised if you want to pack your bags right now and leave home to explore them all.

Whitepod Hotel – Switzerland

With rooms that feel like you’re in a treehouse and an endless view over the alps, the Whitepod hotel experience is something special. In the ‘forest pod suite’ guests get a private sauna. Food can be delivered directly to your pod and a large terrace gives you space to soak in the view.

What makes it sustainable:

  • energy efficient domes and sustainable energy sources
  • food is sourced locally and waste is recycled
  • A 20-minute walk from reception to the pods emphasises the importance of spending time in nature

Coco-Mat Eco Residences Serifos – Greece

At this tranquil hotel in Greece you get to wake up to a view of the ocean, while living in a traditionally built, but eco friendly room. Hearing ocean waves daily from your bed is part of this hotel’s charm, and will transport you to full summer mode immediately.

What makes it sustainable:

  • use of traditional local architecture and contemporary sustainable practices
  • bioclimatic architecture ensures natural air-conditioning throughout the hotel
  • bedding made from natural materials such as cotton, coconut fibres and linen

Løvtag – Denmark

Designed by Berlin based Danish architect Sigurd Larsen, these treehouse cabins are the ultimate modern, nature experience. ‘Nordic minimalism’ is the expression the architect uses.
During your stay in the cabins you can enjoy the fairytale-like forest, lakes and charming towns in the surrounding area.

What makes it sustainable:

  • built using sustainable materials such as eco-labelled TermoWood
  • Insulation with paper wool, and untreated, chemical free wooden facade
  • local community involved in building and maintaining the cabins, as well as providing a sustainable breakfast (from a local bakery)
  • surrounding nature is preserved as much as possible – even fallen trees stay

Hofgut Hafnerleiten – Germany

This unique hotel with 11 individually designed houses is a paradise for architecture, food and nature lovers. You can enjoy barista and cooking classes or simply indulge in the fine food offered by the hotel.

What makes it sustainable:

  • hotel garden that grows fruits and vegetables and provides a space for stillness and meditation
  • sustainable construction methods and use of natural materials
  • water is sourced from own well and filtered
  • focus on regional producers

Can Sastre – Ibiza

Can Sastre is a boutique hotel in the heart of the island of Ibiza. It’s located near the city centre, but the pool and garden areas provide a safe haven for relaxation. The rooms are individually styled with a common theme of the rustic finca style. A place you’ll want to call home for a long time.

What makes it sustainable:

  • Majority of hotel is solar powered
  • Use of sustainable materials such as bamboo straws, wooden plates
  • Organic toiletries
  • Sustainable architectural practices

by Katharina Alf