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Michaela and Matthias Haller are the proud owners of the architectural hotel hottie, Bühelwirt, which sits in the gorgeous settings in South Tyrol's Valle Aurina (Ahrntal).
Bühelwirt's green philosophy is driven by the simple mantra of 'can we do better?'. The journey to becoming a 100% organic and sustainable hotel began with the engagement of local architects Alexander and Armin Pedevilla, who have an innate sensitivity to the environment, a recurring theme in their work.
Materials used in the construction and refurbishment were sourced from the doorstep - local indigenous and sustainable products. Energy efficiency is a core element. Bühelwirt used untreated natural materials in its environmental and building biology - from the timber cladding, insulations and energy preserving qualities.
"We want to be part of the solution, and we asked ourselves: What exactly is our contribution to the protection of our habitat? What screws can we turn to make the impact of our hotel less harmful - or even beneficial?"
Using the pandemic's recent lock-downs, the hotel owners have been working hard to reach the goal of becoming 100% certified organic and runs on 100% green electricity.
Sourcing from local producers is common to practise in these parts of the world, fostering an organic approach working with only such growers and farmers. Our food supply is totally pesticide-free. We have adapted the hotel kitchens to preserve foods naturally while reducing long transportation and plastic packaging. All guest amenities, too, are organically made from natural ingredients, animal cruelty-free and avoid single-use plastic containers.
The hotel interiors are local - again tied to their ethos of heritage, low impact, and social support for the region's local manufacturers and craft people. Copper lamps, loden curtains, timber-clad rooms and natural textiles bring a holistic feel to the rooms.
Energy is generated by water in the Alperia hydroelectric power plants in South Tyrol – environmentally conscious, renewable, and without CO2 emissions. Using the latest technology to record and report their CO2 emissions, controlling energy flows, and looking at ways to remain at low emissions levels. The carbon footprint is remeasured and recorded every two years to keep the hotel on track and improve even further.
The owners are committed to the environment that surrounds and the wider consciousness of planet health. More importantly, their business makes a difference and helps the community, believing that being involved and pioneering is the only way forward.
Bühelwirt will protect the habitat and give travellers an organic, sustainable option to stay and contribute to a better world.