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In the heart of Melbourne is a boutique hotel that sits idyllically on Bourke Street.

Repurposed from the Unity Hall building, the Alto Hotel is overflowing with environment-friendly initiatives that focus on providing their guests with a unique experience as well as being ecologically sustainable.

First Carbon-neutral Hotel in Australia

Granted the first carbon-neutral hotel in Australia and the recipient of the coveted EarthCheck Gold Certification, the Alto Hotel has its roots in sustainability.

Early on in the hotel’s origins, creating an exceptional 4-star hotel alongside reducing their carbon footprint and using the least amount of natural resources was always up front and center in its vision.

Energy-efficient Building Design

Starting with creating an energy-efficient building design, the Alto Hotel embraced carbon-reducing features such as double glazed windows, staggered stud wall framing, sustainable water systems, and energy-saving equipment.

Over the years, other sustainable practices were introduced into the hotel’s operations.

Renewable Electricity

Sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable resources, installing on-demand hot water systems, and offering free parking to hybrid and electrical vehicles are just a few of the ways the Alto Hotel is striving to make a difference.

They even produce their own honey from their rooftop beehives and offer it to guests for breakfast.

Sustainable Accommodations

Besides the need for responsible and environmentally conscious hotels, why are boutique hotels like this rising up to offer sustainable accommodations?

Because that’s what travellers want.

68% of them, to be exact.

According to a global survey run by, an online resource for booking accommodations around the world, they found almost two thirds of tourists prefer to book eco-friendly hotels and accommodations, and this was just the beginning.

2017 Sustainable Travel Report

To honour Earth Day on April 22, released their findings from its global 2017 Sustainable Travel Report and what they found was encouraging for sustainable tourism.

What Travellers Want

They found that some of the top reasons why travellers choose green accommodations were…

  • To help lower their environmental impact on the places they visit
  • To have more of a locally-flavored experience
  • To eat more locally grown and organic food

What Travellers Look For

Furthermore, some of the most important sustainable practices that travellers look for when considering an eco-friendly accommodation were…

  • Solar energy
  • Sustainable water systems
  • Low-flow showers and toilets
  • Organic restaurants
  • Recycling bins in private room

Boutique hotels are catering to this sustainable appetite and are guided by best practices.

Sustainability Amongst Boutique Hotels

Since most are independently owned and operated, boutique hotel owners are personally invested in their business and take sustainability very seriously. They are also quick to respond to market demand.

Sustainable Lifestyle of Travellers

Sustainability is also a lifestyle and travellers often want to carry on with their eco-friendly practices on the road like they do at home.

At a recent Boutique & Lifestyle Leadership Symposium, a conference for the boutique hotel industry, Coni Thornburg, GM of Calistoga Ranch commented:

“People are living their lives the way they like to and don’t stop when they’re on vacation. People like to hear about how we grow food in our gardens, how we care for the chickens and understand where their food is coming from. We look at it like a full lifestyle—sustainability now is not just linen reuse and LED lights in the hotels.”

Boutique Hotels Making a Difference

With key sustainability initiatives in place, boutique hotels are in a phenomenal position to not only keep their guests happy, but also to make a tremendous impact on environmental conservation.


Boutique Hotels Show Sustainable Way

Top 10 trends in boutique hotels

Alto Hotel – Carbon-Neutral in Melbourne, Australia

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