Organise your next trip on the Emerald Island
Sustainable travel for all budgets
When we try to reduce our impact on a daily basis by avoiding plastic, eating and using organic/natural items (such as food, cosmetics and cleaning products), choose slow fashion brands,... it can be a different story when we travel. Indeed, you can forget to bring your reusable cup, your cotton bag (you realise that in the grocery store, of course). Ok, I can write “I” instead of “you” because it clearly happened to me in the past. Anyway, you got the message, it can be more difficult to continue your zero-waste and sustainable habits on holidays. One of the solutions would be to rent a room in an eco-friendly accommodation.
Disclaimer: I’ve haven’t visited these places but I’ve listed them because I would love to go there and they seem to match my expectations for a sustainable vacation. Obviously, I am not sponsored either.
Where: Powerscourt Paddock– Co. Wicklow.
Price: From 49EUR per person.
Certifications/ Awards/ Membership: Glamping association.
Environmental initiatives: Fresh locally produced foods, organic and eco-friendly toiletries, bathroom with a cast iron stove and hot water shower, contemporary fire pit.
Good to know: you can pre-order fry cured meats, vegetarian food and crepes (delivered to your tent door), outdoor hot tub jacuzzi.
Where: Inishbofin Island – Co. Galway.
Price: 40EUR (Includes Full Irish breakfast ans complimentary shuttle service to and from the ferry).
Environmental initiatives: Passive solar heating, 10 solar panels, LED lighting, no tablecloths, A energy rated washing and drying machines, recycled local stone use to build the front of the hotel and cottage, reusable containers, waste recycling, energy saving printer, commercial composter, green bins for recycling, no disposable cups/plates/cutlery/ bottles, local fish and vegetables where possible, fair-trade teas, coffee & sugar, recycled paper and envelopes, refilled ink cartridges, peat free compost, bird feeders and bug hotels. For more details, please check here.
Good to know: Gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan options available, you can book the whole hotel (min. 20 people), birdwatching courses, wild birds and nature photography.
Gregans Castle Hotel
Where: Ballyvaughan– Co. Clare.
Price: From 259EUR per room.
Certifications/ Awards/ Membership: Burren Ecoutourism – International Ecotourism Society (TIES) – Ecotourism (Sligo) - Ireland Leave no trace.
Environmental initiatives: Electricity from Airtricity (generated from windmills), food waste and office paper is composted, vermi-composter, garden waste is composted and reused in the garden, recycling, A rated electrical appliances are purchased, super-efficient combi-condensing gas boilers, energy usage monitoring system, they are gradually replacing light bulbs with low energy led, halogen and fluorescent versions, timber trimmed from their own trees for firewood, natural treatment system to purify water, water supply sourced from a spring on the Corkscrew Hill, harvesting rainwater, local food from small artisan producers as much as possible, no harmful chemicals used in the garden, chemical free natural bath products, environmental sensitive cleaning products when possible, they planted 250 trees in 2005. Organic teas and fair-trade coffee available. For more details, please check here.
Good to know: Free bicycles, no television in the rooms, you can have your private garden area, view on the mountains, reflexology and massage treatments.
Killarney Glamping at The Grove
Where: Killarney – Co. Kerry.
Price: From 79EUR.
Environmental initiatives: private room in a tent, communal fire pit area, glamping.
Good to know: En-suite toilet, private kitchen, electricity. View on the mountains, 1.5km from Killarney Town centre and National park, exclusive prices to a 4 star leisure club.
Meadowsweet Hill Lodge, the "Honeymoon Suite"
Where: Fintown– Co. Donegal.
Price: From 47EUR.
Environmental initiatives: private rooms in nature lodge, part of an organic farm where the host grow they vegetables & produce homemade herbal teas, wood burning stove, self-build lodge made of wood.
Good to know: The hosts will welcome you with a hot beverage and some home-baking. King size futon bed. Low ceiling with narrow staircase. Scenic woodland.
Nature Lovers Off Grid Yurt
Where: Ballyhaunis– Co. Mayo.
Price: From 19EUR.
Environmental initiatives: self-contained yurt on a permaculture smallholding, solar lights, composting toilet, no electricity or Wi-Fi but the hosts can charge devices for you at the cottage.
Good to know: you can borrow bicycles, 15 minutes from Knock Airport and 3 miles from the train station, no showering facilities so the kettle and bucket are your friends, the hosts offer fresh organic eggs, seasonal greens & berries, breakfast but also homemade one pot meal.
Rock Farm Slane
Where: Slane – Co. Meath.
Price: From 120EUR (for 2 adults staying 2 nights).
Certifications/ Awards/ Membership: Meath Eco Tourism network, Ireland Leave no trace, Organic Trust, Eco Tourism Ireland Gold, Slane Food Circle, Neighbour Woodland scheme.
Environmental initiatives: Sustainable farming and environmentally-friendly business practice, building made out of straw, clay or lime, reducing the use of wood/fuel for burning, minimising the use of non-sustainable materials, energy efficient lighting, harvesting rainwater, natural foul waste treatment system, eco-friendly cleaning products, detergent and toiletries, hedgerows and edible hedges, bird edges, hazel & willow coppice to provide a sustainable supply of firewood, native woodland planting, organic farming, responsible marketing. More details here.
Good to know: You can rent a yurt, a tipi, a hut, a tent, a cabin or a lime house. There is something for everyone. Gas heated showers and eco-tourism toilets are available (even 1 or 2 compost toilets). They host weddings, celebrations, BBQs and much more.
Sandymount Hotel Where: Dublin 4 – Co. Dublin.
Price: From 134EUR.
Certifications/ Awards/ Membership: Europe’s Leading Green Hotel (2017), Green Hospitality Silver Award, Repak member, Pakman Award Winner for “Excellence in Waste Management”.
Environmental initiatives: Compostable straws, hotel recycling program (90% of the waste is recovered or recycled each month), aerator shower heads to reduce water usage, 100% energy efficient light bulbs, 11% of the electricity is from renewable sources, natural methods to control pest in the garden, Free Wee Library, Irish turf used in their Victorian fireplace, staff is trained to reduce, re-use and recycle, electric car charger, opt-out housekeeping rewards, Green Team, insect “hotel”, supporting Irish farmers and producers, local food. It is also planned to provide a bike shelter. More details here.
Good to know: Complimentary parking and Wifi, a few gluten-free and vegetarian options (the seafood chowder casserole is vegetarian according to them, probably a mistake).