6 Best Eco Friendly Hotels in the World

When we think of sustainable travel, the image of an eco-lodge on a beach in Costa Rica, for example, often comes to mind. But traveling sustainably and responsibly isn’t just reserved for “ecotourism” and nature getaways—there are many ways you can reduce your impact on the environment when traveling for business.

A great step to becoming a more sustainable business traveler is to book eco-friendly hotels. Low-impact travel and high-end business or luxury hotel stays can coexist, and hotels around the world are exploring ways to take action and be more sustainable every day.

So, whether you’re booking your next big company retreat or hoping to find a hotel with a lower carbon footprint the next time you travel to meet the team in person, this is the list for you.

How to identify hotels with sustainable practices

There are many things to keep in mind while booking an eco-friendly hotel. It asks itself “What green initiatives has the hotel implemented?” Here are some things to think about before booking a hotel:

  1. Have they made an effort to get rid of single use plastic? Getting rid of those little shampoo bottles we all love to take home, or bottled water, are great examples.
  2. Is the hotel built in harmony with its natural environment? Think about whether construction and building materials are harmful to that particular ecosystem.
  3. Does the hotel use at least partially renewable energy (like solar)?
  4. Does the hotel use technology such as motion sensors to turn off lights or air conditioners in guest rooms when they are unoccupied?
  5. Does the hotel support the local community? Do they hire locals? Do they source food from the surrounding area?
  6. Has the hotel implemented a composting or recycling program to help make more responsible travel a reality?

These are just a few of the many ways hotels can be sustainable. For a more in-depth look, check out our dedicated article here.

Top 5 Most Sustainable Hotel Chains for Business Travelers

Sustainable travel isn’t just about checking into a treehouse hotel in Tulum or a beach bungalow in the Philippines. Some of the world’s largest hotel chains are taking steps to become more eco-conscious, and choosing hotels with sustainability practices is an important step in making business travel more sustainable.

1. NH Hotel

Cool rooftop hotel bar
NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderon

NH Hotels puts responsible environmental, social and economic behavior at the center of everything they do. They have launched a series of energy efficiency projects where they have replaced appliances such as light bulbs, minibars and heating with less energy consuming alternatives. They have installed water recovery and reuse systems to reduce water consumption. They have implemented a new policy to primarily work with responsible suppliers who recycle and reuse materials within the responsible consumption of resources. These initiatives, among many others, set NH Hotels as truly green hotels.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

2. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Hotel pool next to the beach
Wyndham Hotel and Resort La Quintana

The company motto, “Committed to Doing What’s Right”, drives Wyndham Hotels & Resorts their rely on me Culture means they operate best practices in water conservation, waste disposal and responsible use of energy. Some notable examples of their green initiatives include using energy-efficient lighting, air sealing their properties, installing irrigation controls for landscaping, and reducing single-use plastics (such as water bottles, for example). The company remained committed to sustainable practices throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and expects sustainable travel to be a major trend in our new reality.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

3. Ruby Hotel

Sustainable Building Germany
Ruby Hotel Cologne

The German boutique hotel chain boasts properties such as the Ruby Ruby Marie or Ruby Lisi, which have been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the US Green Building Council. They rely on green electricity, source food from local organic gardens and farms, and give guests drink vouchers for not washing their towels every day. Ruby Hotels has also installed technology to ensure energy is not consumed when guest rooms are unoccupied and works hard to eliminate food waste and limit their own greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

4. Intercontinental Hotel Group

InterContinental New York Berkeley

With a truly global presence, IHG Hotels & Resorts has placed sustainability as a core value of their business. All hotels in their portfolio are subject to the IHG Green Engage™ system, where each establishment is able to measure and manage its impact on the environment. IHG hotels are able to choose from a number of green solutions to help reduce energy use, track cost data, focus on sustainable purchasing or install energy-efficient appliances. Hotels are ranked into 4 levels according to their sustainability efforts

Read more about their sustainability efforts here.

5. Marriott International

Las Vegas Marriott

Marriott International embeds sustainability into everything they do, from integrating it into every step of their supply chain to placing it at the heart of site building and design. By focusing on responsibly sourcing local materials and working with like-minded suppliers, this hotel chain is able to reduce the negative impact of its operations on the environment. 294 Marriott International Group hotels are pursuing or have achieved LEED®, BREEAM®, or Estidama certification.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

Top 5 Most Sustainable Urban Hotels for Business Travelers

You don’t have to go off-grid to find a sustainable hotel to stay in – many urban hotels around the world are making a commitment to sustainability. Check out these urban eco hotels before booking your next business trip!

1. Urban Trafalgar, Barcelona

Urban Trafalgar

With thermal insulation and intelligent air conditioning systems, Yurbban Trafalgar proudly boasts a Class A building certification. A relatively new hotel, they place great emphasis on employee and customer wellness, participating in social projects and sponsoring the preservation of Catalonia’s olive trees. They celebrate the local community by working with local producers and artisans.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

2. Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona

Lobby Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona
Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona

With a Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification, Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona prides itself on high-impact initiatives such as certified food products, solar panels, LED lights, appliances with an A+ energy rating, recycling, promoting sustainable mobility and EU Ecobell. Cleaning products. The hotel collaborates with several NGOs across Spain, including the Dr. Clavel Foundation and the Sant Joan de Dieu Social Project. They were also selected as one of the top 10 hotel sustainability and rehabilitation projects in the 3rd edition of the Rethink Hotel competition.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

3. Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Singapore


Parkroyal Collection, with a hotel-in-a-garden design concept Pickering has to make it to the list of best eco-hotels in Singapore. Four-story high sky gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls and, of course, cutting-edge technology that introduces sustainable design are all elements of this iconic hotel that make it the perfect place to stay for eco-conscious business travelers. Green and blue glass is used throughout the property to improve solar performance, and water use is minimized through rain harvesting, among other groundbreaking innovations in hotel design.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

4. Rubens at the Palace, London

“Living Wall” – Rubens at the Palace

The most prominent feature of this luxury London hotel is undoubtedly its 350 square meter “Living Wall”, which houses 10,000 herbs. Not only does it provide habitat for wildlife in the bustling city center, but it also serves to maintain hotel temperatures in summer and winter and improve air quality in the surrounding area. The hotel also works closely with Belu Water, which donates 100% of its profits to WaterAid to transform lives with clean water.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

5. Element New York Times Square West, NYC

Material New York Times Square West

Constructed primarily of recycled materials, Element New York Times Square West is a symbol of sustainable design in the Big Apple. The hotel has come up with a number of innovative solutions to weave sustainability into its day-to-day – from installing wall art with recycled tires, launching a towel recycling program and eliminating plastic utensils and paper cups. They use green cleaning products throughout their property and have water-efficient faucets and fixtures.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts here.

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