I often meet hoteliers who go to great lengths to convince me of their environmental credentials.
But to identify the most environmentally-friendly hotel I decided to trust an objective indicator: the official Visit Britain Green Tourism Business Scheme.
This awards a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating to hotels based on rigorous inspection, validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism.
Only three hotels in London have so far been awarded a “Gold” rating and among these I’ve decided to highlight the Cavendish Hotel on Jermyn Street – close to Piccadilly Circus and very handy for shopping in London.
The reason I consider the Cavendish Hotel to be London’s number 1 “green hotel” is in part because it won this Gold Award before anybody else.
But it’s also because of the sheer creativity of some of its green initiatives, as you’ll discover below. The hotel is clearly ahead of the curve in this area.
To reinforce the point, the Cavendish Hotel also holds the Institute of Travel Management’s Icarus Environmental Awards for 2008 and 2009.
How then has it managed win such accolades? Here are some of its many thoughtful “green” details:
- Water-bottling system set up within the hotel.
- Energy-efficient heating and lighting systems.
- Aerated shower heads in guest rooms.
- Duel-flush toilets.
- Ongoing environmental training of staff.
- Environmentally-efficient boilers and laundry equipment.
- Old bedding, furniture and equipment donated to charity.
- Guests are provided with bikes to hire and given walking routes to explore London. Staff are encouraged to cycle.
- Ecological bathroom amenities.
- Energy-efficient lifts.
- Environmentally-efficient dishwasher.
- Use of local and organic produce in restaurant where possible.
- No hotel brochures and minimal paperwork in rooms.
- Recycling encouraged at every turn (dedicated recycling unit).
As an added feature, the hotel has even developed a creative Green Meeting Package for businesses!
In total, the hotel was judged on 150 separate measures by a team of independent auditors before winning its coveted Gold award. A lot of time, investment and effort has clearly been put into this.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more London hotels followed the Cavendish’s leadership in this area?
As the hotel’s General Manager puts it:
“The global hotel brands make bold statements about social responsibility and it would be great to see one of them providing leadership in this area”.
The Cavendish also rates highly on TripAdvisor, ranking within London’s top 50 from almost 400 guest reviews at the time of writing.
Guests seem to consistently rave about the hotel’s good-quality breakfast (sometimes included in the room rate).
You’re spoilt for choice because you could also easily stroll to The Wolseley or Fortum & Mason for a couple of London’s finest breakfasts.
So if you decide to stay at the Cavendish, it should not only be due to its fantastic green credentials but also its location and well-rated service.
Try to get an upgrade to one of the two top-floor penthouses (with a terrace and amazing view!), by far the hotel’s nicest rooms.
If one happens to be available, you might even be able to negotiate your stay there at a relatively modest premium.
Two other hotels with honourable mentions in environmental care are Base2stay (featured in our “luxury budget” feature as well as in a hotel video tour) and the Sheraton Skyline near Heathrow airport.
Base2stay was also recognised with a Gold Award due to its recycling of waste, energy-saving light bulbs, timer-operated lighting and efficient boiler system among several other factors.
Photo credits: Cavendish Hotel, Visit Britain Green Tourism for London.