Fantastic Four: Chic Eco Hotels
Nicola Brady scours the globe so you don't have to... picking four hotels with exciting eco credentials.
Hostal Spa Empuries
Where: Girona, Spain
Why: The Hostel Spa Empuries ticks all the eco credentials off the list (energy produced on site, vegetable garden, sustainable design), but it's the social policies that are really worth celebrating. The hotel works with a charity to build resources in Burkina Faso, from a sports centre to a school for 200 children. Not only will they match any donation a guest chooses to make, all of the staff donate 0.5pc of their salary to the scheme too.
How: Room rates start at €85. Fly to Girona with Ryanair (ryanair.com)
The Green House
The Green House, Bournemouth
Where: Bournemouth, UK
Why: It's hard to find a 'green' hotel that lives up to all of its promises. But at The Green House, you'll find their environmental ethics weaved throughout every element of the hotel. In the bedrooms, bespoke wallpaper is printed on sustainable paper, using vegetable inks. Elsewhere, the walls are adorned with Farrow & Ball paint, whose headquarters are 15 miles away. The food served in the restaurant, Arbor, is locally sourced too.
How: Rates start from £99 (€137), including breakfast. Fly to Bournemouth with Flybe (flybe.com)
Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda
Lefay Resort & Spa, Italy
Where: Lake Garda, Italy
Why: When you're looking at a view as drop dead gorgeous as Lake Garda, you want to make sure you're protecting the locality. At the Lefay Resort & Spa, a strong sustainability policy has always been at its core. There are nifty eco schemes throughout the hotel, but the style of the resort hasn't been compromised - there's a gorgeous infinity pool, fabulous restaurants and a spa to die for in there too.
How: Rates start at €290. Fly to Verona with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com)
Inn at the Presidio
Inn at the Presidio
Where: San Francisco, USA
Why: Green living has long been synonymous with the Californian spirit. And you'd be hard pushed to find a concept as San Franciscan as this - the walls at Inn at the Presidio are insulated with shredded blue jeans. Almost everything at the hotel is sourced within the San Francisco area, including the staff uniforms, which are all made within the city limits. The hotel is set in the Presidio, a national park site at the Golden Gate.
How: Nightly rates start from $270 (€252). Fly to San Francisco with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com)
NB: All prices subject to change.