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By Chere Di Boscio
Big cities are not considered ‘eco-destinations’ by most, but compared to some brand-new ‘green’ hotels built on virgin land in exotic locales, existing properties in European cities can indeed be eco-friendly.
Take the London Bridge Hotel, for example. Set within a grand Victorian building, the location of the hotel was popular even in Roman times, as the many archaeological discoveries found under the hotel during its development attest to. The hotel has recently undergone a restructuring of policy that has made it more sustainable. For example, it has dedicated itself to conserving natural resources through their responsible use of energy, water and materials, all whilst maintaining the quality of service expected by their guests. Managers at the hotel monitor its eco-performance, and constantly improve their reduction of energy and materials through re-use and recycling; staff are trained to pay particular attention to these areas.
Moreover, the hotel works only with suppliers whose policies are as green as theirs are. To illustrate, all dairy supplies are procured from within a 50 mile radius from the hotel, and meats and produce are supplied by The Red Tractor, a scheme is managed by a non-profit organisation and inspects production not only at the farm level but all the way through until it is packed. This ensures that food safety and hygiene standards are maintained, as well as standards for animal welfare and the environment.
As for the hotel itself, it’s situated in the Southwark area of London, just opposite London Bridge, which links Southwark to the City, on the north side of the river. The area is filled with exciting museums and art galleries (including the Tate Modern), fantastic London restaurants and a theatrical heritage that dates back centuries. Make sure you pay a visit to Borough Market, the heart of London’s fresh food scene.
Like many hotels in London, rooms are quite small and views are a bit drab, but they are clean and quiet. There’s also a wonderfully equipped gym for the perfect workout, or you can run beside the River Thames. If it’s not raining, that is!
The London Bridge Hotel could use a few eco-improvements, such as changing all bulbs to LED or using only eco-friendly cleaning products, but I was told this will happen by 2016. Given that the hotel already has low-flush water systems in place, as well as lights on motion sensors, a clean-on-request policy for linens and key-controlled climate and energy systems in each room, there’s no doubt that the London Bridge Hotel is a great mid-range property for those on a short break to London.
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