Rare treasures: entirely vegan hotels
Veganism means living without animal products, not only regarding food but the entire way of live. There are more and more people who decide for this lifestyle, be it for reasons of climate protection, environmental protection, the world food problem or health. The demand for vegan alternatives is steadily growing and a “vegan-friendly option” is becoming more and more common in restaurants. At the same time, hotels that are consistently and completely vegan are less widespread. Since the beginning of this year, two pioneers in this area are among the Green Pearls® partner hotels: the i pini in Tuscany and the LA VIMEA in South Tyrol.
Vegan live: more than eating habits
It needs much more than providing dishes free from animal products to be an entirely vegan hotel. The vegan approach of the Green Pearls® partner hotels covers all areas and is complemented by a focus on natural materials. For example, the buildings are constructed using natural materials only, such as hemp, limestone or terracotta. The furnishing consists of wood and linen, natural paint and other natural materials – vegan, fairtrade and organic. There are no animal products such as leather, silk or down. The mattresses are biodegradable, the sheets are made of fair trade cotton, vegan and ecofriendly detergents are used to do the laundry. And of course, the cosmetics in the bathroom of a vegan hotel do not contain animal ingredients and are developed without animal testing.
Enjoying with a clear conscience
Although the concept of veganism cannot be reduced to the topic of food, it still plays an important role. In their kitchens, LA VIMEA and i pini use only ingredients that come from their own organic vegan agriculture – of course without the use of animal manure – or that are bought from regional and local producers. Their creative cuisine includes all the ingredients local nature has to offer. This way, the hotels also avoid long transport routes. The central idea behind the entirely vegan concept is to respect all living beings as well as nature. Still guests have every comfort and do no have to miss anything, as the two Italian pioneers prove.
i pini: a vegan organic agrivilla that combines tradition and sustainability
The i pini is a historical villa with its own farm, situated between vineyards and olive groves in the Tuscan San Gimignano. The medieval city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect starting point for a cultural trip. The listed building from the 16th century has been used as an agriturismo for a long time. In 2017, the owners set a milestone in terms of “bioedilizia” – sustainable architecture – and coined the term organic agrivilla. With great attention to detail, they uncovered the elaborately designed wall parts made of tuff and re-plastered them with lime and rice chaff in a sustainable, natural and vegan way. The rooms are furnished with high quality natural materials such as clay, natural floors and furniture made from solid wood. At i pini, historical character and the modern awareness of sustainability go hand in hand. For example, out of respect for history the traditional cultivation of saffron has been resumed. The organic vegan agriculture also includes organic winegrowing, the production of olive oil and the versatile cultivation of old varieties of fruits and vegetables. And the perfect place to enjoy these delicacies is the panoramic terrace with a view of the gently rolling hills.
LA VIMEA: Italy’s first entirely vegan hotel
The approach of LA VIMEA, i pini’s big sister in South Tyrol, is equally holistic. The four-star-hotel opened in 2016 as Italy’s first entirely vegan hotel and is considered as a benchmark in the vegan scene since then. The secret of success is to combine veganism, enjoyment and recreation, to firmly believe in the concept and to act in a ressource-saving way. For adults only, the refugee has everything that is needed for a relaxing vacation: a spacious park, cozy rooms where natural materials play an important role, authentic Aryuveda treatments, a chlorine-free salt-water pool and a natural swimming pond. And of course, there is a focus on culinary pleasure as well. Guests enjoy the creative cuisine and many vegan newbies are surprised what can be achieved withouth animal products. The delicious dishes are served with the characteristic wine from LA VIMEA’s own biodynamic cultivation.
Pionieers in veganism and sustainability
There are only a few hotels in Europe that are as consistently sustainable and vegan, from menu to architecture. At i pini and LA VIMEA, everything is vegan down to the smallest detail, has been developed without animal testing and can be returned to nature. Both hotels are certified by BIOTIQUE, whose certification also includes requirements regarding sustainability and a vegan orientation. So, why not pay a visit to both of these new Green Pearls® hotels on a trip to the Italian regions Tuscany and South Tyrol.