By Chiara Spagnoli Gabrardi
The time for mistletoe and holly is approaching, and while the Christmas decorations invade everyone’s homes, couples and families start planning their skiing holidays.
Fortunately for those who aim to minimise their impact on the planet, there is a growing choice of mountain resorts that are completely environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Eluxe has selected our Top 5 Eco Ski Resorts. Whether you’re in the Alps, on a beach or staying home, we wish you all a very Eco Christmas!
1. Hotel Lagació – Alta Badia – Dolomites Italy
Hotel Lagació is set in the Italian Dolomites Unesco Natural Heritage Site, in the charming area of San Cassiano, Alta Badia, 1500 meters above sea level. The hotel has award-winning eco credentials for its use of natural products, locally-sourced food and water sources, and solar energy.
Deeply committed to the Ladin cultural heritage, the minimalist decor enhances the wondrous beauties of nature, since the Dolomites are rich in prehistoric finds and imperious magnificence, not to mention the well-equipped Superski area.This Boutique Hotel offers unpretentious luxury, natural comfort and the sincere cordiality of the place and its people away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Spacious suites, Lagació’s gourmet breakfast, luxurious spa and wellness treatments and a variety of leisure pursuits, such as mountaineering, biking or trekking, await guests.
2. Hotel Allalin – Saas Fee – Switzerland
Hotel Allalin couldn’t be set in a greener spot: Saas-Fee is famously a car-free resort, ensuring the Alpine air is even fresher. Plus, its slopes are high and glaciated, which reduces the need for snow cannons. Even the Saas Fee post office is carbon neutral because it off-sets by investing in renewables projects. No wonder this location is one of the top scorers of the Green Resorts guide.
The hotel was originally built in 1928 and is now run by the third generation of the Zurbriggen family, who also once carved all the original wooden furniture by hand. All the hotel’s guest rooms have all the amenities expected in a hotel in its 4 star class such as non smoking rooms, plush beds and bedding, but there are also steaming hot saunas and jacuzzis to enjoy after a chilly day on the slopes.
3. Whitepod Hotel – Les Cerniers – Switzerland
The Whitepod Hotel is set above Les Cerniers, a small village at the foot of the Dents du Midi, an hour and a half’s drive from Geneva or Lausanne. In this resort you’ll live the luxurious experience of residing like an Eskimo: futuristic, high tech but low impact domed eco pods on raised wooden platforms may resemble igloos but inside are all the necessary mod cons including a wood burning stove, double bed with duvet, a washbasin and oil lanterns. In winter you’ll enjoy 7km of your own private ski runs and a spectacular view of the Swiss Alps.
The pods, which are designed and furnished using local and recycled materials, blend effortlessly into the environment and are a short walk to the resort’s communal chalet and also the traditional mountain lodge where the less adventurous guests choose to stay. In the morning simply strap on your skis (or hiking boots) and take off. Alternatively you may enjoy other activities such as snow shoeing, snow racket excursions with a mountain guide, snow trekking, paragliding, wine and chocolate tastings, spa treatments and massages, a Finnish sauna, Japanese pool or hot bath just for two.
4. Aspen Meadows Resort – Aspen, Colorado – USA
Always reaching for the stars, Aspen’s environmental commitment shows in their generation of solar and hydro power, along with a strong green buildings policy, including the build of certified energy efficient golf buildings, restaurants, and employee housing. In this context, the Aspen Meadows Resort is continuously seeking new ways to stay up-to-date with environment-friendly practices. The internationally renowned boutique hotel, located in the historic West End of beautiful Aspen, Colorado, works in correlation with companies who share their vision in maintaining the health and integrity of the beauty of our natural world, such as the Aspen Skiing Company, Edible and the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Aspen Meadows Resort is certified by the United States Green Building Council, the Doerr-Hosier centre for the 98 suites and conference facilities. The Meadows Restaurant offers breakfast and lunch daily with outdoor patio seating, featuring international cuisine. For non-skiiers and slope lovers alike, the resort offers a great selection of sports and recreations such as the outdoor pool open the whole year round; a gym, tennis courts, mountain bikes, massage therapy, hot tub and a steam room, all located near skiing and golfing. Of course, the whole resort is surrounded by hiking and biking trails, and also rafting and fly fishing facilities.
5. Tauren SPA – Kaprun – Austria
Wellness, sport and relaxation are the soul of this hotel in Austria, which appears as though it were a huge sail immersed in the alpine landscape and equipped with the most sought-after luxuries. The ceramic tiles that decorate the hotel are inspired by natural stones and are Ecolabel certified. They create a harmonious balance between the surrounding landscape and the resort itself, an interchange of sensations that absorbs guests into a new dimension where respect for the environment and the ecosystem are values are of the utmost importance.
This exclusive resort has much more to offer, from the 160 panoramic rooms and suites overlooking the Hohe Tauern and the Kitzsteinhorn, to 2,000 square metres of watery fun indoors: there is a high-level pool with a water cascade, relaxing pool with grotto, a brine pool and a 25 m pool for doing laps. Indoor and outdoor saunas and a wellness area with Finnish saunas, Oven sauna, Herbal sauna and Bio sauna, as well as salt and aroma steam baths will be beneficial for the entire family.