Looking for the best vegetarian hotels across the world? Want to know the best places to stay for vegan food? Here are some of the best veggie and vegan hotels in the world.
Saorsa 1875, Scotland
This summer sees the launch of the UK’s first 100 per cent vegan boutique hotel, Saorsa 1875 in pretty Pitlochry. Owners Jack and Sandra McLaren-Stewart have given a Victorian house in the Scottish Highlands a revamp as ethical as it is luxurious. A showcase for stylish plant-based living, the hotel has 11 bedrooms named after local wildlife and everything from the toiletries to the green energy is Vegan Society certified and cruelty-free. A cocktail bar, Faodail, offers tastings and masterclasses while nightly five-course dinners, cooked by chef Luca Sordi, are served around a communal table and feature dishes such as Scottish mushroom pie with yellow beetroot, rainbow chard and star anise or charcoal temaki with marinated roots, mustard, rocket and marigolds.
The Forest Side, UK
A ramble through The Forest Side’s personal fellside (home to roe deer, red squirrels and blankets of wood sorrel) will work up an appetite for vegetarian fine dining at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Chefs call upon a one-acre vegetable and herb garden (everything is cooked on the days it’s picked), planted with over 100 different varieties – try golden beetroot with cuckoo flower and smoked yow’s curd, and roast mooli with cherry bell radish at a 6- or 10-course dinner. Pickling is big here (try the walnuts), as is foraging – order a ‘Forager’ cocktail at the bar, made with pineapple weed-infused vodka and homemade ginger beer. Rooms are made cosy with woollen carpets and local Westmorland beds, and some have panoramic views of The Lake District.
The Forest Side’s Michelin-starred kitchen makes the most of a one-acre vegetable and herb garden
Hotel Balatura, Croatia
Though only 6km from the Adriatic coast, this 300-year-old stone manor house in the hushed Vinodol valley is hidden from Croatia’s tourist traffic by a screen of karst mountains and woodland. It’s strictly vegetarian – ingredients for dishes such as homemade pasta with red cabbage and barbecued celery, and juices made from elderberries or nettles, are often foraged from the valley, while a herd of goats provides the milk. Rooms are named after local flowers or herbs (they’re decorated to match that plant’s colour) and have been carefully restored – expect sunken showers carved out of stone, and TVs hidden behind moveable oil paintings. There’s a pretty courtyard dining area, flanked by rosemary and lavender bushes, and on-site workshops to try, including yoga and poetry.
Bedrooms are named after local flowers or herbs and come with TVs cleverly hidden behind moveable oil paintings
Bean Me Up, Goa
Start the day with fried okra sausages, buckwheat pancakes and scrambled tofu at Bean Me Up, a b&b and yoga space ‘for the nomadic traveller’ near Vagator beach. It’s like its own village, with a handful of huts comprising a bar (order a smoothie made with goji berries, strawberries, cacao and nut milk), vegan restaurant, guest house and fairtrade clothes shop, all buzzing beneath a canopy of mango, jackfruit and palm trees. Chilled music plays in the background, chefs make their own tofu (served fried with peanut sauce, or glazed with ginger) and rooms are modest but charming, each one decorated according to a theme (pick Jungle or Atlantis) and bright with natural light.
Hotel Heritage, New Zealand
Here you’ll find the first restaurant in New Zealand to achieve vegan certification from the New Zealand Vegetarian Society – quite right too, given that Hectors specialises in plant-based dishes, local ingredients and raw food. Set underneath a canopy of palm trees, in a seven-storey atrium, the restaurant serves dishes such as macadamia cheese salad with poached vegetables and candied walnuts; raw coconut yogurt cannelloni; and organic, made-in-Auckland tofu. There’s also a vegan tapas menu at the lobby bar, including baked tempeh and rosemary-dusted fries. Stay in the Art Deco Wing, or the contemporary Tower Wing, and eat from the raw breakfast bar every morning (sprouts, seed, fruits and even seaweed).
Here you’ll find the first restaurant in New Zealand to achieve vegan certification from the New Zealand Vegetarian Society – quite right too, given that Hectors specialises in plant-based dishes, local ingredients and raw food
Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, Austria
This is, apparently, the first urban hotel with a zero-energy balance – huge solar panels (next to a rooftop lavender field, the largest in Vienna) heat enough hot water to supply the entire building with renewable energy. The organic, veggie-friendly breakfast includes jam made from Austrian fruits, honey made by the bees that buzz around the lavender field, homemade bread and hazelnuts – if it’s sunny out, eat in the wildflower garden. Every year the staff harvest and dry that sky-high lavender, so guests can take it home in the form of jellies, soaps and bath essences. Rooms are modest and bright, and family-friendly options come with painting books, fresh fruit every day and quirky decor (look out for the tennis racket mirror).
The Stanford Inn by the Sea, America
It’s hard to imagine a hotel more happily situated than The Stanford. Overlooking its own organic gardens, above California’s Mendocino Bay, this eco-resort sells itself as a haven for people hoping to reconnect with nature, creativity and joyfulness (there’s a wellness centre, spa and canoe tours on offer, and rooms have a cosy, log cabin feel with ocean views). Ravens restaurant is all about plant-based cuisine: try sea palm strudel, wild mushroom polenta, or a kale stack, made from kale, avocado verjus vinaigrette, cauliflower ceviche and avocado tartare. Plus they’ll arrange wild mushroom walks for you, and there are regular vegan retreats to join – meat-free meals, cooking classes, yoga, nutrition talks and mountain bike rental included.
Overlooking its own organic gardens, the Stanford Inn sells itself as a haven for people hoping to reconnect with nature, offering wild mushroom walks and a plant-based restaurant
Nimb Hotel, Denmark
Copenhagen’s Gemyse restaurant, at Nimb Hotel in the Tivoli Gardens grounds, uses its own kitchen garden (complete with greenhouse café, where guests can bake their own twist bread) and an organic supplier as the basis for its (mainly) meat-free cuisine. Try pot-roasted leek with buckwheat, broccoli asparagus with kimchi, or fried cabbage with walnuts for dinner. Then, if you’re staying over on a Friday during the summer season, you can enjoy live music from Tivoli’s open air stage until midnight. Although it looks like an Arabian palace from the outside, Nimb’s rooms are all modern and luxurious, with four poster beds, wooden floors and Apple TVs.
Copenhagen’s Gemyse restaurant uses its own kitchen garden as the basis for its (mainly) meat-free cuisine
Raphael Hotel, Italy
The entire facade of this 17th century building is covered in lush vines and wisteria; it’s a green oasis in Rome’s otherwise chaotic centre, just a short walk from St Paul’s Basilica. The ethos here is biodynamic and organic, and is best encapsulated at Mater Terrae – an elegant, upscale vegetarian rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city’s domes. Sicilian chef Ettore Moliteo (a protégé of Pietro Leeman, founder of the first European vegetarian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star) serves the likes of vegan Sicilian cannoli and wild mushroom terrine. Choose either a modern, Richard Meier-designed room (characteristically light, and awash with blonde wood) or a classic, luxury suite decorated with reds, golds and velvet.
The Whitebrook, UK
Great British Menu star Chris Harrod regained The Whitebrook’s original Michelin star (first achieved by James Sommerin, when it was called The Crown at Whitebrook) in 2014, and designs his menu around locally foraged ingredients such as pennywort, hogweed and bitter cress. Fruits, vegetables and meats come from producers around nearby Monmouth, and there’s a carefully designed vegetarian tasting menu that includes roast Jerusalem artichoke with ‘forest findings’; fermented carrot with sea beet; and crown prince pumpkin with three-cornered garlic. The eight refurbished bedrooms upstairs (The Whitebrook is set deep within The Wye Valley, so staying over is tempting) are all large but splash out on one with a double-ended bath and sleigh bed if you’re feeling flush.
Conscious Hotel Westerpark, Netherlands
There are four Conscious Hotels in Amsterdam, but the newest, Westerpark, is the first hotel in The Netherlands to be powered entirely by wind energy. There’s a park right next to the hotel for morning constitutionals, and a surprisingly beautiful 19th-century red brick former gas works on the other side. Rooms are airy, with iron-frame furniture and background birdsong from the park, but the main draw is the hotel’s Kantoor bar and restaurant – it’s not exclusively vegetarian, but organic ingredients are transformed into meat-free stars, such as nettle risotto, tofu cheesecake with dried tangerine, and broccoli crumble. Breakfast comes from the same kitchen and includes hearty avocado, quinoa and watercress on rye.
Words by Charlotte Morgan
Photographs by Stanford Inn Eco-Resort