Green Hotels

Energy efficiency has always been the norm in the mountains or people couldn’t stay warm and businesses efficient. Infact studies have shown mountain buildings typically use much less energy than buildings using air conditioning in warm climates. But standards continue to improve dramatically and here’s a list of properties that go the extra mile in the fight against climate change in ski resorts.

Austria

Hochfügen-Hochzillertal, Explorer Hotel

Explorer Hotels are the first ‘passive hotels’ utilising zero-emission buildings  certified as 100% carbon neutral. Purpose-built with an innovative construction including its own photovoltaic system and good insulation combined with a stringent energy strategy meaning it uses 70% less energy than hotels of the same size. The hotels save 85% thermal energy compared to a similar regular hotel and 60% electricity by using photovoltaic systems. The Zillertal hotel opened in 2017.

Montafon, Explorer Hotel

Explorer Hotels are the first ‘passive hotels’ utilising zero-emission buildings  certified as 100% carbon neutral. Purpose-built with an innovative construction including its own photovoltaic system and good insulation combined with a stringent energy strategy meaning it uses 70% less energy than hotels of the same size. The hotels save 85% thermal energy compared to a similar regular hotel and 60% electricity by using photovoltaic systems.

St Johann in Tyrol, Explorer Hotel

Explorer Hotels are the first ‘passive hotels’ officially climate-neutral in zero-emission buildings  certified as 100% carbon neutral. Purpose built with an innovative construction including its own photovoltaic system and good insulation combined with a stringent energy strategy meaning it uses 70% less energy than hotels of the same size. The hotels save 85% thermal energy compared to a similar regular hotel and 60% electricity by using photovoltaic systems.

Sölden, Explorer Hotel

Explorer Hotels are the first ‘passive hotels’ officially climate-neutral in zero-emission buildings  certified as 100% carbon neutral. Purpose built with an innovative construction including its own photovoltaic system and good insulation combined with a stringent energy strategy meaning it uses 70% less energy than hotels of the same size. The hotels save 85% thermal energy compared to a similar regular hotel and 60% electricity by using photovoltaic systems. Their Otztal hotel opened in November 2018.

Canada

Big White, BC, Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites

Multi-environment-award winning hotel with numerous initiatives. In 2002 they started their first project to install an extensive and advanced solar hybrid water-heating system, one of the largest in Canada, thus preventing 90 tonnes per year of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere. This solar system with 102 solar panels feed a 6000 litre solar storage tank, and was designed to heat up to 90% of the water for the hotel’s 90,000 litre indoor swimming pool, 2 hot tubs and 154 guest rooms during the summer months, while in the winter the solar heating system can cover nearly 60% of the hot water heating.

Finland

Pyhä, Ski-Inn Apartments

The Ski-Inn Apartments are an ecological choice for accommodation since the carbon footprint of their energy consumption is zero. The electricity is generated with hydropower and the heating with biomass. 

France

Chamonix, Chalet Dalmore & Chalet Cragganmore

Chalet Dalmore and Chalet Cragganmore are both powered by turbines from the neighbouring river L’Arve making them totally self sufficient when it comes to electricity and energy supplies. Other features include geothermal underfloor heating and even the floor to ceiling glass is self-cleaning.

Chamonix, The Eco Lodge

Built to the ‘passiv haus’ standard with super-insulation, in most areas 60cm thick, the Eco-Lodge has geo-thermal heating, solar thermal heating and photovoltaic solar panels all providing warmth and  electricity, collectively producing enough power to make the house net zero emissions. There are numerous other initiatives in the building’s design and operation to provide maximum efficiency too.

St Martin de Belleville, Chamois Lodge

Fitted with a geothermal heating system which uses a series of pipes in vertical bore holes containing a refrigerant which absorbs the heat from the ground. The system then connects to a heat pump, which extracts the heat and pumps it around the chalet providing underfloor heating and hot water.

Germany

Oberstdorf, Explorer Hotel

Explorer Hotels are the first ‘passive hotels’ officially climate-neutral in zero-emission buildings  certified as 100% carbon neutral. Purpose built with an innovative construction including its own photovoltaic system and good insulation combined with a stringent energy strategy meaning it uses 70% less energy than hotels of the same size. The hotels save 85% thermal energy compared to a similar regular hotel and 60% electricity by using photovoltaic systems.

Italy

Cervinia, Hotel Lac Bleu

After a fact-finding trip to Sweden the hotel’s managers turned their property into a low-impact hotel, exploiting local resources (solar and biomass) and improving insulation. The hotel’s photovoltaic system has been integrated with a system of solar thermal collectors and a helium heat pump that optimizes production from renewable sources. The hotel is also managed and monitored by a control system that avoids energy waste and consumption and in 2011 it won a regional award for its green efforts.

Japan

Niseko, Ki Niseko

Ki Niseko utilizes the energy of the region’s natural onsen hot springs. Waters from the onsen are used to heat the hotel in winter and also recycled for hotel eco-friendly energy and snow maintenance. Energy-efficient bulbs and appliances are used throughout the hotel, and guests are encouraged to turn off their lights and air-conditioners when they are not using them.

Switzerland

St Moritz, Hotel Europa

A solar power plant has been supplying energy for the Hotel Europa since 2008, recovering the energy used for their production in the first six months. The high altitude of the Engadin makes the facility particularly efficient: performance is superior to that which could be achieved in, say, Rome or Athens. The hotel has many other environmental initiatives.

Verbier, Chalet Rock

Chalet Rock boasts a state-of-the-art wood pellet and solar-powered heating and ventilation system as part of its environmentally-friendly policy.

Zermatt, Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

The Matterhorn Group which runs the Zermatterhof is certified under ISO 14001:2015 international standard of environmental management and among many initiatives the hotel’s old oil heating system has been replaced by modern pellet heating, which is operated exclusively using regionally produced pellets. Thanks to the local sourcing and the modernization of the system, it has been possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 0.835 metric tons.

USA

Jackson Hole, Hotel Terra

Everything about Hotel Terra has been designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions right from the use of recycled steel and recycled materials for roof tiles to ensure maximum energy efficiency in operations then offsets the energy it does use with the purchase of equivalent solar, hydro and wind energy.

Michigan, Crystal Mountain,
Inn at the Mountain

Crystal Mountain has long been one of North America’s leading ski areas when it comes to the fight against climate change, with many different initiatives, and has been recognised by SKI magazine as a Golden Eagle Award winner – the highest possible environmental award. During upgrades to their main accommodation they installed a geo-thermal heating and cooling system which operates 48% more efficiently than a conventional system providing significant ecological savings over coming decades.