The concept of sustainable design is becoming increasingly popular among designers as the need for eco-friendly and resource-conscious projects grows. Implementing sustainable techniques can be challenging within hotel architecture and interior design, but with hard work and innovation, there are many examples of sustainability being achieved in hotel designs across the globe.
From innovative materials repurposed from old factories and sustainable construction techniques to thoughtful energy conservation measures, these projects show that luxury, style, and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
We’ll take a closer look at ten of the best sustainably designed hotels worldwide that showcase how thoughtful conservation efforts can lead to stunning design results. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or want to learn about which green solutions have been put into practice in hospitality designs, read on to discover ten exemplary examples.
The CERVO Mountain Resort is a stunning four-star hotel nestled high in the Swiss and Italian Alps. The updated CERVO is a beautifully remodeled hotel for the modern nomad where sustainability, connection to nature, and a “glocal” experience are enjoyed amongst the majesty of the Matterhorn.
Redesigned by multi award-winning studio Dreimeta, led by Armin Fischer and Andrea Kraft-Hammerschall, the remodeled spaces feature a modern interpretation of the Alpine lifestyle.
Among the three types of accommodations—The Huntsman, The Nomad, and The Alpinist—that now populate CERVO, warm colors, wooden surfaces, and natural materials coalesce with timelessly modern accents and views of the Matterhorn.
Following an eight-month renovation process that commenced in the summer of 2020, the hotel now presents an updated mission statement in line with its physical reincarnation dedicated to people who “act and travel consciously.”
Cervo recently partnered with the Responsible Hotels Switzerland Alliance to ensure compliance with the highest sustainability standards. With a renewed directive to decrease its carbon footprint, these are a few of CERVO’s sustainable highlights.
Bambu Indah was curated by American entrepreneur John Hardy and his family. After Hardy made money in the jewelry business, he reinvested it in green infrastructure in hospitality in Bali to great acclaim.
This property is a fever dream of luxurious hospitality, innovative nature-inspired architecture, and sustainable design elements. Nestled in the unadulterated nature of Bali’s most lush tropical forests, Bambu Indah utilizes many of the surrounding resources in harmony with the property.
This ecologically mindful jungle retreat nestled in the outskirts of the popular destination of Ubud goes to great lengths to live alongside rather than in nature.
With a history spanning centuries, Japanese architectural design is internationally acclaimed for its minimal beauty, harmony with nature, and sustainable efficiency.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse – a small-scale sustainable hotel set amongst the rice paddies of Yamagata Prefecture. In fact, this hotel was designed to appear floating on the rice fields.
Taking full benefit of its unique rural views, specially curated libraries look out to the nature that abounds. Its unique blend of eco-conscious and culturally enriching design has drawn visitors from around the globe keen to explore both its beauty and sustainability potential.
This art and culture-promoting property weaves sustainable elements into every corner.
The Brando French Polynesia is an iconic resort on French Polynesian atolls. Thirty-five villas on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays, and exotic birds greet guests. More than just a pretty facade, this property seamlessly integrates economic and social development principles with environmental protection principles.
The Brando provides a great example of this approach, showcasing four key elements that form the foundation for any successful sustainable design strategy: eco-resort infrastructure, renewable energy sources, conservation initiatives, and community engagement.
The Brando is all in on creating a green promise with precise execution. This includes a “Green Team” that overstays every element of conservation and sustainability on the luxury property.
Terrestre Hotel, is a small eco-boutique hotel located in the beach paradise eco heaven that is Tulum, Mexico. They’ve accomplished a small carbon footprint by adapting four key elements in their design. Each of Terrestre’s fourteen villas is designed around an earthy palette of colors and textures, which allows it to blend harmoniously with the outside areas.
Their use of solar energy, rainwater harvesting, passive building features, and green building materials make Terrestre an exceptionally well-designed green property.
This property combines water, air, flora, and light elements to blend with sustainable design innovations.
The Azulik Hotel in Tulum, Mexico, dubbed the Guggenheim Of The Jungle by the Financial Times, is a testament to sustainable design’s future. From its elevated eco-design core and impeccable nature-based architecture to its captivatingly minimalist approach to luxury amenities, this incredible hotel complex is an awe-inspiring example of how modern hospitality can harmonize with Mother Nature.
The forty-eight villas of AZULIK have been designed to create an atmosphere for rest and reconnection. They forgo air conditioning, television, or electric light, in favor of reducing letting guests get in tune with their surroundings.
Azulik integrates powerful environmental concepts like permaculture, xeriscaping, renewable energy production, and efficient water management, proving that even the most ambitious visions for sustainable living are achievable.
This property is sustainability personified from the building materials to the amenities.
The Pig at Combe, located in the heart of Devon, prides itself on its advanced sustainable design elements. Dedicated to a philosophy of responsible and thoughtful architecture, their mission is to bring an environment that is harmonious with the surrounding landscape and respects the small details that make a huge difference when planning for the future.
Twelve cozy rooms are located inside the vine-laden walls of this country-chic establishment, one of eight properties in The Pig family. Some even overlook chicken runs that supply the morning’s breakfast.
Some of their carefully crafted sustainable hotel design choices, from renewable energy sources to zero waste methods, aim to create a sustainable lifestyle without compromising on comfort or luxury.
Hotel Bardessono in California’s Napa Valley takes the sustainability concept to a new level with its innovative green building practices, modern amenities, and an overall commitment to environmental responsibility – elements that make it one of the most successful sustainable design hotels in the world.
Groomed gardens and a genuine farmstead create an authentically “off the grid” feeling within Hotel Bardessono’s sixty-two rooms. Dubbed “personal havens,” some even feature bespoke private patios and enclosed courtyards.
From its solar array on the roof to its low-flow water fixtures and use of recycled materials throughout, each aspect of Bardessono has been carefully crafted for maximum efficiency and minimal environmental impact.
Bardessono’s “deep green” mission has led to many eco-initiatives of note.
Vila Vita Parc in Algarve, Portugal, was recently acknowledged by Conde Nast Traveler as part of the 2022 Hot List. This accolade wasn’t just because it is a luxurious urban paradise but also because it leads in hospitality-related eco-efficiency.
Its two hundred rooms, eleven restaurants, and six bars manage to still feel private and secluded. This property has quickly become a benchmark of luxury for the Algarve area.
Drawing its energy from renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines and harvesting rainwater to sustain irrigation systems, Vila Vita has established itself as a leader in green development. Perhaps even more amazing is how seamlessly it integrates nature into the resort structure while still maintaining its relaxed five-star atmosphere.
Crowned the World’s Leading Luxury Green Resort in 2016, this 50-hectare estate brings a green vision into many of the design elements around the property.
The Svart, located on the Svartisen Glacier, finds itself comfortably in the “ultra sustainable”hospitality category. Situated in the breathtaking Arctic Circle Wilderness region, it is the world’s first energy-positive hotel resort.
One hundred bespoke rooms feature breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding pristine Arctic terrain giving an unheralded up close and personal experience with nature.
Designed around sustainability principles and environmental stewardship, Svart provides guests with a uniquely immersive experience that combines nature conservation efforts with luxury accommodations. From an innovative architectural design to thoughtful features throughout the building, Svart utilizes cutting-edge green technologies and materials to coexist harmoniously within its natural environment.
Sustainable design is important for the future of our planet, and hotels are uniquely positioned to lead the way. From the tech-disconnected jungles of Tulum to the tech-enriched glaciers of Norway, sustainably comes in all forms.
Check out our other hints on sustainable interior design with our interview with Mauricio Nava.