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Eco-friendly hotels in Canada that are making a difference

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure - whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

Want go green on your next trip? Start with choosing eco-friendly hotels and lodges that do their part for the environment. Here are some stylish green hotels across Canada that go the distance when it comes to operating with the planet in mind.

What are eco hotels?

Eco or ‘eco-friendly’ hotels and lodges are properties that are committed to reducing the negative impact of tourism, as well as giving back to the communities in which they operate. These eco hotels prioritize the environment by integrating practices that reduce waste and reach for sustainable growth in small to big ways. Things such as changing guest linen and towels less frequently, providing soap and shampoo in bulk containers instead of travel size bottles, and using green energy to power the property are all common practices in an eco-friendly hotel.

Some eco hotels in Canada may also be a member of Green Key Global, a green hotel certification program for accommodation (Green Key Eco-Rating) and function venues (Green Key Meetings Program) committed to reducing their carbon footprint and increasing their environmental standards. A hotel will get a rating of 1-5 ‘green keys’ depending on its actions and commitment to sustainable travel practices.

12 green hotels in Canada to book for your next trip

  1. Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
  2. Algonquin Eco-Lodge, Ontario
  3. Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, Vancouver
  4. Element Calgary Airport, Calgary
  5. Boxotel, Montreal
  6. Banff Aspen Lodge, Banff
  7. Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia
  8. Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria
  9. Hotel du Vieux-Quebec, Quebec City
  10. Globetrotters B&B, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  11. Inn On College, Saskatoon
  12. Around The Sea Rotating House, Prince Edward Island

1. Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino

Image of Premier Room in Wickaninnish Inn hotel, a top green hotel in Canada. Hotel bed is made with a green and white blanket on top. Fireplace, table and chair, and view of the Pacific Ccean through the window.
Premier Room at Wickaninnish Inn. Photo credit: Kyler Vos

Green Key rating: 5
Best for: Canadian coastal luxury in an eco-friendly setting

The Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island’s west coast in Tofino is luxurious and sustainable travel at its best. Being a top green hotel in Canada is not something new for this inn, as the owners have been committed to sustainability from the beginning. During the planning and building of the Inn, careful consideration was placed on preserving the stunning forest and using trees that needed to be cut to make room for the hotel. You’ll find walls of red cedar and spruce trees in the lobby, café, and library. Not only that, but the Inn is also part of the Clean the World initiative, a global organization that re-purposes soaps and shampoos to support communities in need.

2. Algonquin Eco-Lodge, Ontario

interior of algonquin eco lodge. a cozy living room with red couch, stairs, posters on wall
Image courtesy of Algonquin Eco-Lodge

Green Key rating: not a member
Best for:
true nature lovers looking for a relaxing getaway

The Algonquin Eco-Lodge in Ontario is one of those eco-friendly hotels that puts sustainability first. You’ll be completely off the grid at this cozy eco-lodge in Algonquin Provincial Park but blessed with lake views, hiking opportunities, and some much-deserved JOMO (joy of missing out). The lodge runs on micro-hydro electricity sourced from a nearby waterfall, so you know this is a truly sustainable hotel. Some of their environmentally friendly amenities include a wood-fired sauna and an outdoor carbon-neutral hot tub. Enjoy the company of your travel buddies by the campfire in the evenings and spend your days exploring the provincial park or canoeing in the eco-lodge’s private lake.

3. Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, Vancouver

view of Vancouver harbour from above
Vancouver harbour

Green Key rating: 4
Best for: luxury eco-friendly stay in the heart of Vancouver

Coast Hotels is a small hotel chain with properties in popular getaway destinations throughout Canada and the US, from the Osoyoos Lake in BC to Kauai, the greenest island in Hawaii. Many Coast Hotels have Green Key ratings, including Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver. As one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Vancouver, Coast Coal Harbour Hotel has a Zero Waste management system, which means none of the hotel’s waste will end up in landfills, and offers a luxury-end service and amenities. This green hotel in Vancouver is just around the corner from Stanley Park, where you can spend the day exploring Canada’s beloved urban oasis.

Further reading: From Lapa Rios to Tree House Lodge, find paradise at these beautiful eco lodges and resorts in Costa Rica.

4. Element by Westin Calgary Airport, Calgary

downtown Calgary at sunset
Downtown Calgary

Green Key rating: 4
Best for: Marriott BonVoy members

Element Calgary Airport by Westin is a LEED-certified green hotel, which means it is a member of one of the world’s leading environmental certification programs – Leadership in Energy and Environment Designs. Built with sustainability in mind, this eco-friendly hotel features rainfall shower heads and items that have a low environmental impact, such as Energy Star appliances, in each room. It also provides recycling bins for paper, plastic, and glass to encourage eco-conscious travel.

5. Boxotel, Montreal

Rooftop at Boxotel, eco-friendly boutique hotel in Montreal. White couches, tables, and Montreal skyline in the background
Image courtesy of: Boxotel Montreal

Green Key rating: 4
Best for: modern, urban, and eco-friendly hotel for longer-term stays in Montreal

Feel right at home in la belle ville de Montréal! Boxotel is one of the greenest hotels in Montreal, and provides a unique boutique hotel concept with 20 rooms fit for travellers looking for a long or short-term stay in the city. Take your pick between a studio, a loft, and an apartment space, and lounge on the rooftop which offers beautiful views of downtown Montreal. The spaces come complete with a kitchen and washer/dryer units. Put your food waste in the compost bins, and enjoy the locally made, eco-friendly soap provided. The hotel is located right in the Latin-Quarter, so you’ll be within walking (or biking) distance to more of Montreal’s impressive neighbourhoods.

6. Banff Aspen Lodge, Banff

main street in Banff, Canada. Rocky Mountains in the distance.
Stay at an eco lodge in Banff

Green Key rating: not a member
Best for: nature lovers into environmentally friendly travel

When one of Canada’s top tourist towns like Banff is located in a national park, going green is a priority. The Banff Aspen Lodge was renovated in May 2021 with an uplifting contemporary design and green features, including a property-wide recycling program, low flow toilets, and motion sensor lighting in the hallways. Guest rooms at this green hotel are equipped with eco-friendly amenity containers, vegetable-based soaps, and hand towels and toilet paper partially made of recycled materials. Staying more than two nights and don’t need housekeeping services? As a thank you, the hotel will make a $4 donation to the Banff Community Foundation in your name. Alternatively, enjoy a complimentary drink at the onsite Whitebark Café.

7. Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia

cozy suite in Trout Point Lodge. Bed, fireplace, table with a bottle of champagne and two glasses poured.
Image courtesy of Trout Point Lodge

Green Key rating: 4
Best for: luxury, serenity, and superb flavours at a low-impact eco resort

Located in the Tobeatic Wilderness Area of southwest Nova Scotia, Trout Point Lodge is like no other eco lodge in Atlantic Canada. Some of the property’s sustainable initiatives include 100% use of solar-powered and/or rechargeable landscape lighting. Guests can unwind guilt-free in the wood-fired hot tub and the wood-fired barrel sauna on the property, both free to use during your stay. Wine and dine in style at the resort’s two dining rooms, which serve unique Atlantic-Acadian cuisine using ingredients sourced from the on-site gardens as well as regional partners committed to sustainability.

With no WiFi service at the property, you’ll be able to enjoy a truly immersive experience during your stay. Go on a Forest Bathing excursion, or book a guided hike or kayaking session to explore the nearby Tusket and Napier Rivers, and the surrounding Acadian Forest. All scheduled outdoor experiences are complimentary with your stay. In the evening, join the staff astronomer on a star gazing expedition, so you can experience the best of North America’s Darkest Skies.

8. Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria

Inner harbour Victoria at sunset
Inner Harbour in Victoria, BC

Green Key rating: 5
Best for: ocean views and local flavours with sustainable, stylish, and modern suites

The Inn at Lauren Point is British Columbia’s first carbon-neutral hotel because of its many eco-friendly features, including hydrothermal technology to cool the rooms with ocean water, LED lights that improve energy consumption, low-flow fixtures for water efficiency, and an impressive 7-stream recycling system. And the on-site restaurant Aura sources sustainable, local, seasonal ingredients. You can feel good about staying in this community-driven eco hotel, all while soaking in the gorgeous views of downtown Victoria and harbour from the private balconies found in the hotel’s luxurious rooms and suites.

9. Hotel du Vieux-Québec, Quebec City

quebec city street in the old town in winter
Quebec City

Green Key rating: 5
Best for: sustainable hotel choice in historic Old Quebec

In the heart of Old Québec is Hotel du Vieux-Québec, an innovative, sustainable hotel consistently rated the best in Québec City. Operating under carbon neutral standards, this eco-friendly hotel uses natural biogas, which means using raw materials, such as agricultural waste and plant material, to power it. This beautiful space also has three rooftop gardens that produce organic vegetables, flowers, herbs, and honey for the restaurant. The hotel’s green roof also helps regulate temperatures in the property. As for the design, all new furniture at HVQ is made locally. Refillable fixed containers in the bathrooms are filled with the hotel soap, shampoo, and conditioner, which contributes to waste-free travel.

10. Globetrotters B&B, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Outside patio with wooden furniture and garden at Globetrotters Bed and Breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Image courtesy of Globetrotters B&B

Green Key rating: not a member
Best for: Bed & Breakfast packages for eco-conscious travellers

Globetrotters B&B is an eco-friendly hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of Ontario’s top places to visit. It is conveniently located, just a 20-minute walk from Old Town, where you can find local restaurants, charming boutiques, and award-winning wineries. Be sure to check out some wineries during your visit, as a stay here also includes complimentary wine tasting coupons. When booking at Globetrotters, you can choose from one of three gorgeous suites, all of which come with a fresh and healthy breakfast served with seasonal fresh fruits and home-baked pastries. Linens are typically air-dried for that fresh, outdoor scent, and the all-natural bath products are sourced from another Niagara-on-the-Lake local business.

Another unique feature is that the public areas in this B&B showcase original works of art by Canadian artists. If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, Globetrotters is a great choice to consider as it’s just a 25-minute drive away.

11. The Inn On College, Saskatoon

Building at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. grass and trees in front of building on a sunny day.
University of Saskatchewan campus

Green Key rating: not a member
Best for: accessible downtown location close to public transport

If you’re visiting Saskatoon, a great budget and eco-friendly hotel option is The Inn On College, which is located in a quaint neighbourhood on an elm tree-lined boulevard with trendy local cafés, shops, and restaurants, and within walking distance of the top sights in the city. The University of Saskatchewan is right across the street, and the hotel is only a short walk from the popular Meewasin River Valley Trails. The property has made recent renovations to improve energy efficiency, earning it a TripAdvisor Green Leaders Award. Guests love the comfy organic cotton mattresses, locally made in nearby Regina. The Inn is also an active participant in the Tourism Saskatoon Green Stem initiative, making it one of Saskatchewan’s best green hotel choices.

12. Around The Sea Rotating House, Prince Edward Island

exterior of Around the Sea Rotating hotel in PEI, a green hotel in Canada
Around the Sea, PEI. Photo credit: Sandra Phinney

Green Key rating: not a member
Best for: unique, eco-friendly stay by PEI’s beautiful Cavendish Beach

Not only is this vacation rental one of the best sustainable accommodations in Atlantic Canada, it’s also one of the most unique. Around The Sea is the world’s first rotating house with luxury condo rentals, offering guests breathtaking views of Prince Edward Island’s National Park Beach on the Green Gables Shore. The entire house rotates slowly throughout the day, so no matter what room you stay in, you’ll have an amazing ocean view. The company that owns it also runs solar tours, including solar boat and pedal bus rides. Book with them for an unforgettable eco vacation in PEI!

Excited about green hotels & sustainable travel?

Sustainable tourism means reducing your carbon footprint, and a more holistic, purposeful mindset when it comes to travel. Here are some tips to help you ‘go green’ and travel in an eco-friendly way.

  • Opt for authentic eco-lodges, hotels, and resorts on your trip
  • Learn more about the importance of slow travel
  • Invest in a carbon offset for your flights
  • Take public transport (or better yet, walk or bike where possible!)
  • Always carry a reusable water bottle
  • Get involved in environmental activism in your local area
  • Invest in reusable travel items: coffee mug, metal or bamboo straw
  • For more tips on how to go green on vacation, see our article here.

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