The principal association of ecological hotels in Europe
Bio Hotels was founded in 2001 by Ludwig Gruber and a small group of Austrian hotel-owners. The initiative had its origins in one of the current Bio Hotels, the Hotel Sommerau in Salzburg.
Initially, only nine hotels belonged to the association, but it has grown and now there are around a hundred —in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Slovenia, Greece and Spain. The Hotel Mas Salagros Ecoresort & Aire Ancient Baths, which was the first Spanish member, joined the association when it opened in June 2015.
The principal motivation of the members of Bio Hotels is to support a different way of achieving results, based on sustainability. This focus determines their decisions and what they offer tourists, so these values are at the heart of all their activities. This way of working is therefore based on beliefs, such as the conviction that organic farming is better than conventional methods, and that it is of fundamental importance that a company treats its employees and the environment well, even for its business to be successful.
Organic farming is the production method that ensures greater biological control of both the cultivation methods and the processing of foods, due to a system of official certifications that act as guarantees. Bio Hotels is the only European hoteliers association that regulates the quality of the foods its members provide to their guests, requiring all members to be certified organic and ecological.
When the association was founded, it was decided that the same regulations that organic farmers and food producers comply with should be applied to all its hotels. That's why, in collaboration with all of the European countries' organic certification bodies, a regulatory mechanism was developed for the Bio Hotels. As a result, only those hotels that pass the required organic and ecological checks may belong to the association.