The Grüner Baum hotel village in Bad Gastein, in Austria’s Salzburg province, has entered spring 2015 with the completion of an eco-transformation of the entire property.
The four-star hotel has finalised the 15-month ‘green makeover’ with the implementation of eco-electricity throughout the property. The addition of electricity that is generated by hydro and wind power completes a series of changes that the owners have been rolling out since since early 2014, in a drive to become the Gastein valley’s first entirely organic hotel and only the third hotel in the Salzburg province with such credentials.
The first step in the 80-room hotel’s eco journey was overhaul of the spa offering, revolving around the addition of treatments that exclusively use local, certified organic skincare products from Salzburg-based firm Marías Organic Care.
The hotel’s owners added the six new Marías Organic Care treatments, which range in price between 40 and 100 euros, in May 2014.
The Grüner Baum hotel progressed the ‘bio-metamorphosis’ in August 2014, replacing all products in its kitchen and cellars. Every consumable product – from wine, soft drinks, tea, coffee, salt and pepper to flour, vegetables, chips and ice cream – is now certified as organic by Austria Bio Garantie, the Austrian market leader in inspection and certification of organic products.
The hotel is also committing to using fish from its own pond, wine from vintners with certified sustainable agricultural practices and beer is from the local Gußwerk brewery. As the Grüner Baum serves up more than 100,000 meals a year, the use of exclusively organic food and drink represents a significant undertaking.
The penultimate aspect of the drive, completed by January 2015, was the roll-out of exclusively organic products for all cleaning within the hotel, including the use of recycled paper. The recent addition of bio-electricity was the final ingredient.
As attestation of its commitment to enhancing its eco-credentials, the Grüner Baum hotel has become a member of ‘BIO HOTELS’, a pan-European group of more than 50 hotels that all agree to adhere to stringent criteria of energy-efficient construction, organic cuisine and environmentally sound waste management.
To guarantee quality, the hotel will procure solely from suppliers whose organic products are guaranteed by official Austria Bio Garantie certification. The certificates must be renewed every 12 months, during which time Austria Bio Garantie conducts two checks. Six-monthly checks will also be conducted by the management of the Grüner Baum hotel.
Max Blumschein, the general manager of the Grüner Baum hotel, said, “Organic travel experiences will be a key trend of 2015 and onwards, of that we’re convinced. And the team at the Grüner Baum hotel is very excited about starting a new stage in our history, as an entirely organic property.”
The Grüner Baum hotel completed an 18-month 500,000 euro family-focused makeover in summer 2011, which included the addition of a petting zoo; guest Segways, 15 Lederhosen-clad iPads; the extension of free WiFi throughout the entirety of the hotel; the addition of an adventure playground (a converted silver fox farm); the addition of a “chill-out lounge” for teenagers and older children and the upgrading of the thermal water (28°C) outdoor pool.
The property is a family-run, four-star hotel in its own 210-acre private valley. It borders the 1,836 km2 UNESCO-listed Hohe Tauern National Park, the biggest national park in Austria and Central Europe’s largest nature reserve.