“When approaching sustainability,” says Irene Forte, Wellness Consultant for Rocco Forte Hotels, “I always look at three straightforward pillars: People, Community and Planet.”
Travelling to a new country and taking a positive interest in the local environment, communities and culture are some of the most responsible things you can do. From buying locally to learning about natural resources, here’s a few tips to ensure your hotel stay enhances and protects the people, community and the planet.
Support local artisans
One of the most exciting things about visiting a new part of the world is getting to know the locals, and discovering their unique customs and culture. Get friendly with the locals at a farmer’s market or visit the workshop of a craftsperson and you’ll support the local people as you go on your travels.
Seek out small family-run vineyards in the rolling hills of Tuscany, or go on a tartan trail of the most famous textile mills in the Scottish Borders. Discover handmade tiles from Bagheria, a historic city on the outskirts of Palermo, or head to Puglia to find ceramics at towns like Grottaglie – home to the famous atelier of Enza Fasano. Their sculptural pots and colourful plates are stocked in Masseria Torre Maizza’s boutique alongside locally-designed clothing, jewellery and accessories.
Embrace the design of a destination
Each of our hotels is strongly tied to its location. Often in heritage buildings, our hotels preserve their history while modernising them with local design. For Olga Polizzi, Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels, local design “gives the hotels their sense of being rooted in the place they’re in,” she says.
Take a look at a gold-leaf mirror by the Florentine workshop, Il Bronzetto, for Hotel Savoy or the handmade wallpaper at Hotel de la Ville in Rome, created by local designers Rubelli and Dedar. See if you can spot five circular bespoke artworks at Brown's Hotel and visit the artist behind them, Kristjana S Williams, in leafy west London.
Eat fresh, enjoy seasonal, dine local
When it comes to dining, do as the locals do and sample regional flavours, from street food to cheeses made from the cows grazing in the surrounding fields. Keep food miles to a minimum by shopping at a farmer’s market or seeking out the region’s best olive oil. Consider a flexitarian diet and perhaps opt for a vegetarian or vegan option once in a while.
When dining at our restaurants you can rest assured that our chefs strive to use sustainably-sourced ingredients in their dishes wherever possible. At Verdura Resort, for example, organic olives and lemons go directly from our farm to your table. Fresh, local and seasonal produce is a rule that Rocco Forte Hotel’s Food Director Fulvio Pierangelini lives by, as seen in his seasonal dishes across six of our Italian restaurants.
Choose green transport
Tread more gently on the planet with greener modes of transport. During your stay, speak to our concierge about planet-friendly travel on two wheels or four. From Hotel Savoy and Brown’s Hotel you can cycle, freewheeling around the streets of Florence and London. And if you’re staying at one of the Rocco Forte Hotels in Munich or Berlin, make use of the hybrid Polestar cars offered free of charge for hotel guests.
Champion the plastic-free movement
It’s no secret that single-use plastics are bad for the planet. The good news is we can all play a part. Stay at any of our Rocco Forte hotels across Europe and your bathroom will be filled with plastic-free products, from bamboo toothbrushes to corn starch razors. Additionally, all of the Irene Forte Skincare products supplied are organic and come in recycled and refillable packaging.
“We use boxes made out of 100% recycled fibres and offer refillable products,” says Irene whose skincare range is developed with one eye firmly fixed on the future of the planet. Her organic products are made without mineral oils or plastic mircrobeads, and by partnering with the First Mile programme, lids and pumps that can’t be reused are recycled.
At Rocco Forte Hotels, we believe that protecting the environment and supporting our local communities is key to future-proofing the health of our planet. Read our sustainability policy to find out how we are continually working towards a more sustainable future.