Not only is this gorgeous hotel LEED gold certified, it is also located in the perfect spot to relax for a few days, or even to go and work from. Right on the beach of L'Escala, north of Barcelona, near Greek and Roman ruins and amongst pine trees, this building from 1907 has undergone a recent renovation and is now one of the most eco-friendly hotels I have ever come across, and at the same time one of the most beautiful!
It seems Hostal Empúries got it all right: they serve organic and local food and even grow their own vegetables. The organic waste from the restaurant is composted on site and serves as fertiliser for the gardens. Special care goes into the green roofs and areas around the buildings to allow biodiversity to thrive. Local plants are chosen since they don't need too much watering. Only rain water and recycled grey water from the bathrooms and kitchen is used for watering. All rooms have low-flow faucets and showers. Manager Albert Marín told me that on average a hotel guest on the Costa Brava uses 300 liters a day. At Hostal Empúries they use about half that.
Cradle to Cradle and VOC-free materials have been used during the renovation and carefully selected second hand furniture create a colourful and warm interior.
The hostal generates approximately 1/3 of the energy it consumes and 100% of the electricity is sourced from renewable resources. Towels are only cleaned when the guests decides so and soap and shampoo come in big dispensers to avoid packaging. The hotel is lit with LEDs and the air conditioning switches off automatically if you open the window. You can rent bikes or take part in any of the other "Love of the Territory" activities... did they miss anything? Oh, the beds! They are pretty much perfect too, read about the Coco-mat beds here.