Net-zero hotels: 6 top stays for travelers who prioritize sustainability

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Editor’s note – monthly ticket is a CNN travel series that shines a light on some of the hottest topics in the world of travel. In November, we’re checking into the world of hotels and resorts.
(CNN) – As we wrap up the final months of 2022 and look forward to a new year, there’s a buzz phrase that’s gaining steam in the world of sustainable travel: net-zero hotels. In other words, housing that is fully powered renewable energy sources,
As the big hotel groups move on a slow motion In reducing carbon emissions, some smaller players are taking the green lead and tackling the climate challenge, boldly committing to a net-zero future well ahead of government targets.

Forget carbon neutral. Soon that word will be obsolete. Net-zero goes much further than paying someone else to offset emissions while relying on fossil fuels for heating and cooling.

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Here’s a look at six hotels and resorts that are on the move.

Room 2 Chiswick, London


London’s Room2 Chiswick has a biodegradable green roof that absorbs CO2.

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room 2

Recognizing the climate crisis, Room 2 owner Robert Godvie spent two years planning a “whole life” net-zero hotel.

This means reducing the carbon footprint from construction to running the hotel, which is slated to open in late 2021.

“The result is a hotel that is 89% more energy efficient and shows what can be done.”

Obviously, net-zero energy does not mean net-zero luxury.

At first glance, it may seem like just another design hotel, with its terracotta floors, pendant lights and lush red velvet bar stools.

Giveaways include invisible elements in the rooms such as power sensors and ground source heat pumps, water-saving fixtures, and a ‘blue roof’ that converts rainwater into energy. A biodiverse green roof uses 200 tonnes of soil and wild flowers for the purpose of absorbing CO2.

Room 2 Chiswick, 10 Windmill Road, Chiswick, London, United Kingdom; +44 20 3988 0220

Wren Urban Nest, Dublin

Situated on a quiet street between Temple Bar and Trinity College, this newcomer proclaims itself to be “the most sustainable place to live in Dublin”.

The capsule hotel, containing 137 pod rooms or “nests,” was designed “using advanced carbon reduction technologies,” says architect Michael Mullen.

“The ventilation system captures 81% of the rejected heat using a thermal wheel and heats incoming fresh air for free,” he says.

That energy is also used for hot water, while the hotel’s kitchens lack gas. Water conservation and low-loss fittings make water demand “around 60% lower than a typical hotel”.

Peek inside and you’ll quickly realize that ditching the carbon offsets doesn’t detract from the design. Scandinavian minimalism – wood, wicker lights and natural colors – meet Irish textiles and furniture, and abundant greenery.

“Cozy” and “snug” bedrooms, only 9.5–12 sq m (102–129 sq ft), pack in “compact luxury” with amazing energy efficiency. But that doesn’t rule out Chromecast and blazing fast WiFi. or handmade soaps, locally crafted mugs and rugs, and roasted coffee.

Comfort Hotel Solna, Sweden

In June 2021, Scandinavia will welcome its first certified “zero-energy” hotel. The 336-room Comfort Hotel Solna is located a few miles north of central Stockholm.

The angular building sports 2,500 square meters of colored solar cells, making it “the world’s most photovoltaic-dense”.

“We generate enough solar power to send a Tesla around the world 50 times!” The hotel claims on its website. and more than its annual energy needs.

“Nothing is left to chance,” says owner Petter Stordalen. “The elevators charge as they go down to power the ascent. The building is cooled and heated by heat pumps that draw energy from borehole bearings (underground thermal energy storage).

From nautical-themed rooms to an industrial-chic bar reception, this “energy-smart” hotel showcases Nordic design while being relatively easy on the wallet. The light-filled space is furnished with wood, raw steel, earthy colors and Bakelite bowl suspended lighting.

Boutique Hotel Stadthalle, Austria

A sustainable oasis in the heart of Vienna.

A sustainable oasis in the heart of Vienna.

Tina Herzl / Boutique Hotel Stadthalle

Long before hotels started promoting their net-zero properties, it turns out that Vienna was a true zero-emissions pioneer.

In a century-old house surrounded by solar panels and garden beds, the 79-room boutiquehotel Stadthalle has been running on solar power and other renovations since 2009.

“A zero-energy balance might not sound sexy for a hotel,” says owner Michaela Ritterer. “But our guests think it is. About 70% stay because of our ‘green at heart’ approach.

“We generate as much energy in a year as we consume with groundwater heat pumps, solar panels and photovoltaic technology. The excess goes into the grid and sometimes in peak season, we store surplus renewable energy from the city such as biomass. source of.”

The quaint rooms feature recycled wine bottle chandeliers, upcycled wood furniture, sheepskin bedheads and Klimt prints. Forget energy-dense minibars. Try playing some chords on the piano instead.

Breakfast is in the inner courtyard “Oasis” among herb pots, flowers and ivy walls. Above, the lavender ceiling bursts with butterflies and bees.

Hailed as Vienna’s “Green Queen”, Reitterer says she took a long-term view of betting on renewable energy in her quest to “change the world”, ushering in a “sustainability stone age”.

Hotel Marcel, New Haven, Connecticut

Part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, the new Hotel Marcel New Haven is a 165-room hotel inside the city’s iconic Pirelli building that is “powered only by the sun” and is combining a mythical past with a climate-first future.

It operates independently of fossil fuels, resulting in zero carbon emissions.

Along with receiving the hotel is expected to be certified as the first net-zero hotel in the US lead platinum And passive house certificate. (Hotel representatives tell CNN that the net-zero certification process requires 12 months of third-party verification and monitoring of various systems.)

“Fossil fuels are really a 20th-century technology, and they are more expensive to use now,” says Bruce Baker, the architect-developer of the Hotel Marcel.

“A net-zero hotel is truly self-sustaining and makes up for all the energy it uses.”

Brutalist landmark was transformed using smart building techniques from thermal insulation energy recovery system and air-source heat pumps that move outside air indoors. Again, this means up to 80% energy savings, with no skimping on style.

“More than 1,000 solar panels generate electricity to meet the building’s needs,” says Baker.

“Solar panels covering the roof and parking canopy provide 100% of the electricity for lighting, heating, cooling and electric car charging stations.”

Behind its latticed concrete façade, the Hilton Tapestry Collection Hotel features walnut furniture, white terracotta tiles, and Bauhaus geometric print rugs—all custom-designed.

Rooms have touchpad controls to control temperature, lighting, and automatic shades. Triple-glazed windows and dramatic views of Long Island Sound meet curated art, retro lights, and original wood-paneled walls.

Hotel Marcel, 500 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT, United States; +1 203 780 7800

Four Elements Hotel, Amsterdam

Herbs Garden Restaurant at The Four Elements Hotel.

Herbs Garden Restaurant at The Four Elements Hotel.

four elements

This “eco-luxe” hotel on the banks of Amsterdam’s Izmir Lake went into 2019 almost unnoticed.

a BREEAM-Certified Building In the city’s Ijberg neighborhood, the Four Elements Hotel uses wind turbines to produce energy for air conditioning and heating. A solar chimney produces electricity to heat water, while a solar façade of glowing photovoltaic panels converts the energy into electricity.
The idea for “Earth, Wind and Fire” came from engineer Dr. Ben Bronsema, who discovered that African termite mounds remained at the same temperature by opening and closing doors despite extreme climatic conditions.natural air conditioning,

Green has never felt so sexy as it does from the top-floor Wind Sky Bar, with its recycled wood banquettes, exposed pipes, orange poufs and peacock blue fabrics. Meanwhile, the Herbs Garden restaurant features the likes of traditional fermentation, preservation, pickling, and smoking.

The decor in the 195 rooms is also cozy Dutch gezellig. Behind the moss-enveloped numbers are salvaged wood floors and reclaimed brass bedheads and architectural lighting.

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