Top 10 eco-chic
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Set on the cliff above Mawgan Porth beach, this hotel is one of the chicest in Cornwall. With eco touches like grass roof insulation and toilets flushed by rain water, it has 101 stylish double bedrooms, plus nine apartments and 16 villas, each sleeping up to six, most of which boast stunning sea views. As well as an indoor and solar-heated outdoor pool, tennis courts and games room, there are excellent children's clubs, so Mum and Dad can enjoy some quiet time in the top notch spa. Perfect.
Run with environmentally-friendly efficiency (right down to the vacuum-flushing lavatories), this is the ultimate eco-chic hotel with 105 rooms and suites featuring bespoke furniture, Frette bed linen and bathrooms with mini TVs. The West End is a cocktail's stick throw away – but with the hotel's fabulous spa and chlorine-free swimming pool (complete with underwater music), two haute cuisine restaurants and three swanky bars, you may never want to step outside. Children welcome.
Tucked away down a long private drive in the heart of the Peak District National Park, this working sheep farm offers three self-catering cottages – and lashings of peace and tranquility. Sleeping two, three and four, each cottage is packed with character, with exposed stonework, old oak cross-beams, sink-into sofas and eco-friendly woodburners – great for thawing out after a day's ramble along the famous Monsal Trail, which starts at the end of the drive.
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Bristol's harbourside, this hotel makes for a great base for exploring the city. It's green too, with its own "energy committee" which has introduced everything from guest recycling schemes to sensor activated lights. It has 275 smart bedrooms, a good restaurant and bar, indoor heated pool, fitness suite and no less than 14 beauty treatment rooms. Swap the car and bus for a bike during your stay – the hotel offers all its guests free bike rental for an eco-friendly way to explore the city.
They don't get more eco-chic – and idyllic – than this cottage, located in the heart of Shilton. Dating back to the 1850s, it combines original features such as beamed ceilings and a large inglenook fireplace with bread oven with stylish furnishings, original art works and eco touches, like a compost bin and energy efficient light bulbs. It sleeps up to six in three doubles, plus an extra four on two double sofa beds, one in each lounge. There is even a small library and secluded garden with views over the adjoining meadow.
When it comes to English elegance, this hotel in the heart of the New Forest is cream of the crop. It has 80 bedrooms, all decked out in stylish furniture, rich fabrics and bespoke carpets, some with four poster beds and floor to ceiling glass panels with garden views – though you'll most probably spend most of your time in the stunning Thai-inspired spa. It's eco-friendly too, with electricity generated from wind farms and local, free-range produce used throughout the three restaurants.
This charming inn is all about being green, from the carbon-neutral heating system and locally sourced, organic toiletries to its home-grown herbs, fruit and vegetables, which are whipped up into tasty dishes in the restaurant. It's even won awards for its eco efforts. After a full-blown supper with all the trimmings, scale the stairs up to the 17 double, twin and family rooms, each en suite with a flat screen TV and free internet access.
For eco-chic with a rural twist, head to this beautiful retreat, set in 250 acres of woodland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Choose from the eight two- or three-bedroom lodges, finished in Scandinavian redwood with pine interior, or the 34 luxury holiday homes which sleep up to six or eight. All are double glazed, with fully-fitted kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor verandas. Don't miss the “eco gym”, a trail through forest where participants can test their fitness with pull ups, sit ups and a balance beam along the way.
Once a Presbyterian church, built in 1810, this property is now a charming B&B – ask to see the fascinating book written in 1910 by the (then) Minister, detailing the first 100 years of the church. It is run with impressive eco-awareness, from the low-energy light bulbs to the furniture made with wood from sustainable forests, which fill each of the six en suite bedrooms (they also have super king-sized beds). After a slap-up breakfast, using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, set off to explore the Northumberland coastline.
Stunning with a capital “S”. Opened in 2009, this hotel takes the phrase "eco-chic" to a whole new level, combining solar panels, organised beach cleans and a biomass boiler fuelled by local wood chips with 37 gorgeous bedrooms. Each one boasts sleek furnishings, funky lighting, floor-to-ceilings windows and outdoor space – perfect for lapping up those sweeping cliff-top and sea-and-sand views. There is top notch locally-sourced food in the restaurant and divine Ayurvedic treatments in the spa. You'll never want to leave.