Stylish Spy rounds up the best eco spas for World Environment Day
You only need to look at the gallons of water being used in spas these days to realise that it’s not easy being green in a sea of blue - and that’s without mentioning those nigh-on-impossible-to-clean white robes and those warm, bubbly hot tubs. Yet despite the spa industry having one of the toughest jobs in the fight against climate change, some are making notable strides… Here’s five of our fave eco spas.
Winner of Best Eco Spa at the 2022 Good Spa Guide Awards, The Mandarin Oriental eliminated single-use plastic last year, and recently partnered with re-food to move leftovers out of landfills and into bio-rich fertilizer. In the spa, fitness guests are gifted branded reusable water bottles to discourage them from bringing plastic bottles in; a recent partnership with Clean the World gives discarded soaps a new lease of life.
Ashford Castle is the first hotel in Ireland to achieve the GREENMark Plastic Smart Standard Award for eliminating all single-use plastic from customer-facing areas. Their sustainability journey began in 2010 when they joined Green Hospitality Ireland; a decade later, they still retain the Gold standard. They haven’t stopped there… winning The Green Award’s Green Tourism & Entertainment category last year.
If you are going to use a lot of water, build it on a natural spring – that’s what Titanic Spa did, with all the water for their spa sourced this way. If that wasn’t enough, the spa uses solar panels to capture the sun for heating, only work with skincare companies that aim to be carbon neutral, make and clean all their own towels on site, and even create spa brochures using recycled paper and ink made from vegetable waste.
The Scarlet’s eco credentials could be used as a blueprint for future spas, with a roof lined with sea thrift to provide native plants for local wildlife, pools cleaned using reeds and algae (and warmed via Biomass heaters), non-bubbling hot tubs and locally-made soaps. What’s more, the building can be completely deconstructed to leave minimal trace – but we’d prefer it if it stayed, obviously.
There aren’t many spas that can claim to be completely paper-free, make their own electricity using Biomass boilers and solar panels, and clean their own water. Even the building is made of sustainable materials, with a grass and wildflower roof to insulate as well as attract the local wildlife. Alongside sister property Pennyhill Park, The Spa at South Lodge is now a certified B Corporation, meeting the highest social and environmental impact.