With daily new articles on the negative impacts of climate change, it's understandable that some witty travellers decided to move their focus to sustainability. There are various ways to continue to support the tourism industry but promote its eco merits and demand a shift from luxury to eco-luxury. We believe eco-luxury is the next big trend within tourism. We've seen that comfort and luxury can exist in a more sustainable context. It all started with our visit to Olive Green, a Heraklion accommodation that wanted to challenge the status quo and lead with its eco-friendly vision. Mostly self-reliant on its own solar panels and rainwater, Olive Green is at Crete's forefront to offer luxury and comfort combined with the authentic Cretan traditions, great customer service and delicious dishes in a sustainable manner.
So how exactly did they do it?
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Sustainable Heraklion accommodation
Respect for the environment is the cornerstone of Olive Green's idea. The hotel itself is a smart building created to coexist in harmony with its surroundings. The building is 100% eco-friendly and energy autonomy through their own solar panels and the other innovative features they use.
A simple and elegant solution if you take into consideration that Heraklion enjoys 2760 hours of sunshine per year. Why not harness the free solar energy to do good?
Olive Green takes recycling seriously even though there is still some use of plastic within the establishment. They also recycle lamp and batteries. There is a minimal amount of paper within the hotel room, in order to avoid cutting trees. Olive Green features smart tablets so guests can read about the hotel and surrounding areas, control their light, plugs and tv. There is also a free cellphone in every single room which is free to use by guests. They can navigate the web or make international phone calls at no extra cost.
And when there is free solar energy harnessed via the hotel's own solar panels, it's easy to see why smart tablets are prevalent in Olive Green. Again, a smart decision which protects the environment. Unlike booklets which need to be printed on precious paper and delivered to the hotel creating carbon footprint, a tablet can be reused over and over again and recharged using solar energy.
Olive Green didn't want to stop here. Just because there is solar energy available, Olive Green wanted to achieve a high level of energy saving too. The shell of the building has special thermal insulation and thermal-façade. Of course, there is double glazing in the frames for reduced energy loss.
Sustainable Luxury Rooms
Olive Green is a smart, eco-friendly hotel who wanted to create a luxurious and comfortable environment for its guests, without compromising on the environment. It's a modern hotel which welcomes citizens from all around the world.
Olive Green is located in the heart of Heraklion, making it a prime luxury accommodation for business and leisure travellers. We visited as a couple and wanted to experience modern luxury in a romantic context. Olive Green did not disappoint. Cretan tradition, authentic welcome, incredible dishes and fine elements which make this hotel truly stand out.
Feel the warm welcome the moment you enter your room and sample rusks, oil, salt and raki. Each room has been designed to uphold Cretan tradition and consists of seven different themes: Spinalonga, Elounda, Zaros, Anastros summer sky, Mitato, Cretan house at Kapetaniana village, Matala. These locations are within an hour reach from the hotel.
The rooms feature large photos inspired by the gorgeous nature you can find in Crete. Each wardrobe also depicts a Cretan custom. For example Cretan dance, Cretan costume, Cretan knot (knitting), Cretan knife, Cretan lyra (traditional Cretan music instrument).
Olive Green Main Areas
One of our favourite features were the main areas in Olive Green. The design's aim is to make you feel like you live in union with the natural Cretan surrounding. Wood, green, pastels, beautiful olive trees in the lobby.
Even the breakfast area features nature inspired wallpapers to transport you into an olive orchard. The 626 Lounge was also cleverly designed with hanging modern chairs which reminded us of rocking armchairs on our grandparent's patios.
Modern, sleek, yet cosy to make us feel welcome and comfortable. It's not an easy design to achieve but we can say with confidence that Olive Green did a fantastic job.
Eco Luxury for couples
Since we decided to focus on travelling more sustainably, we've been on the lookout for eco-friendly establishments which didn't compromise on luxury. This is perhaps the biggest misconception in the travel industry and one of the main pushbacks for major hotels: how can you preserve luxury and make it eco-friendly? Somewhere has to be a compromise.
In reality, as Olive Green proves it, there just needs to be created, will power and the desire to innovate. A simple shift from paper to smart tablets can make a huge difference. Being self-reliant on solar panels and employing clever recycling plans can help save our precious Earth. Unlike other hotels, Olive Green is strict when it comes to encouraging its guests to re-use their towels.
So why was this important to us? We want to showcase that you can have a honeymoon in Crete, enjoy the local traditions and not have to compromise on any aspects of your holiday. As a modern couple who enjoys a beautiful, modern, luxury room, we can also expect the management of the hotel to make reasonable efforts to cater for generations to comes and our precious environment.
We were thrilled to have found these visions within our Heraklion accommodation at Olive Green Hotel. It was great talking to the management and trying to understand the ideas and drive behind their decisions to cater for modern travellers who can clearly see the global issues and wish to help combat climate change. It's the little changes that can inspire a whole lot of new establishments to do better.
Olive Green Hotel
Idomeneos 22, Iraklio 712 02, Greece
Thank you Olive Green for sponsoring this post and making our stay in Crete possible. We loved your club suite and we are impressed by your truly eco-friendly concept and traditional Cretan hospitality. All opinions in this piece are our own.