Eco hotels seem to win on importance, lately, as people understand the need of sustainable and responsible travel. But what exactly is an eco-hotel? What is the standard of an eco-hotel? And what exactly is the standard of an eco-hotel in Italy?
I had been thinking about visiting an eco-hotel as well, so I can make my own judgment, and I was happy to get a chance when I visited Italy in June this year. My first stay at an eco-hotel was at Hotel II Corazziere Merone close to Lake Como. Coming from Germany myself I expected my first visit to an eco-hotel to be in Germany actually – since we Germans are into sustainability – I had never expected it to be in Lake Como. However, I went and here are my thoughts.
Location of the Eco Hotel II Corazziere Merone in Lake Como
Hotel Il Corazziere, a 4* property, is in the northern part of Italy, Merone, about 25 minutes drive from Como and 45 minutes drive from Milano in the region of Lombardy.
It calls itself a rural resort, and actually, it is. Though you are in Como in about 25 minutes, it is a very quiet and peaceful area. The train station of Merone is about 1,3 km away, and the next bistros, pharmacy etc. are in about 10 minutes walking distance (p.s. it is located in Lake Como but not directly at the lake, so the picture from above is not from Merone).
It took me a while to find the right entrance but then I was there: my first eco hotel.
Concept of Eco Hotel II Corazziere Merone in Lake Como
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. The hotel uses three words to describe its concept. It has a long history, and it has developed from an Osteria restaurant to a hotel comprising two buildings and a restaurant. Over the years it has changed its energy consumption, and now, about 50% of its energy is provided by wind, sun, and water energy.
Meat and vegetables are bought regional, according to their 0 km concept (some vegetables are from their own garden).
First impressions of Eco Hotel II Corazziere Merone in Lake Como
I arrived by car, and I passed it first, and headed to the restaurant, which is next to the hotel and very inviting. I quickly noticed goats and rabbits in that area (fenced). When I noticed I passed the hotel, I parked my car at the parking space and entered the building to my right. I have been to many 4 and 5* recently, but this property is a beautiful 4* hotel and one of the best I have visited, lately. The lobby is bright and quite luxurious and the staff friendly.
Rooms at Eco Hotel II Corazziere Merone in Lake Como
I was, I assume because of my dog, accommodated in the first building, as those rooms have access to a garden.
The lobby of the second building seemed more elegant, and the one of my building, the first, more comfortable (and the reception is located in the second building only).
I was pretty happy with my room. At the ground level, I had access to the garden and my own sunbeams. We (my dog and me) had regular visits from rabbits who felt very comfortable under the sunbeams – so you should not be scared of rabbits coming close to you. According to the hotel owner, the sunbeams are made from recycled plastic, which is another feature of the Reduce – Reuse – Recycle motto.
The room was bright, spacious, and clean and internet worked fine.
The only thing I wondered about was a plastic tooth mug in my bathroom – wrapped in plastic. In a beautiful 4* property I would normally expect glass tooth mug – to find a plastic cup in an eco-hotel was a bit surprising.
Restaurant/Breakfast at Corazziere Restaurant
I ate at that restaurant Corazziere Restaurant the first night. I did not get to see the menu because the menu was pre-ordered for us (I visited with a group), but as for northern Italy typically, it is very meat and cheese based.
I eat no meat, and I do not like raw cheese, and so I was happy to get some tasty vegetarian dishes and the dessert (a chocolate cake) was definitely a highlight and I would not mind having one right now, again. The restaurant was decorated elegantly and it was quite nice to dine there (so the place for fancy dining in Merone).
The breakfast is not served in the restaurant, but in the hotel building, and it allows you to eat breakfast outside – with a nice view of a river. Here, you will also have meat and vegetables from the region.
The breakfast at Eco Hotel II Corazziere Merone was large, with fresh and hearty choices. As a non-meat eater and someone who actually does not like raw cheese the choices were limited but still enough.
So, how was my first stay at an eco hotel? To be honest, if it had not been discussed that lengthy with other people I probably would not have noticed that it is an eco hotel. I never had the feeling I miss out on any fancy activity. Well, there was no pool nor anything else that probably would be very energy intensive – but it was great staying at an eco-hotel without having the feeling to compromise.
So I really enjoyed my stay at Hotel Il Corazziere. I did not only the concept I liked but also the atmosphere and the friendly and bright buildings and the peaceful area. If I planned on staying at a hotel reading and relaxing, I would, without hesitation, recommend that hotel and would love to come back.
The only thing that left me wondering were the plastic cups in the rooms, which did not fit 100% in the concept of a green hotel (and the huge amount of animal products which is not very environmentally friendly either). Looking at the overall concept, it is something small, but I would have preferred, for the environment and for the more luxurious experience, glass cups.
In general, staying an eco hotel in Italy is a great experience and I never had the feeling I had to sacrifice.
Check out more reviews on Hotel II Corazziere Merone
Disclaimer: I was invited by Enit on a press trip, however, as always the opinion is mine. This post also contains affiliate links, which means I might earn a small commission if you buy a service/product via my links.
Review: Hotel II Corazziere Merone
Read more about Italy: What to do at Lake Como.
Review: Hotel II Corazziere Merone