Greenest Hotel in the UK – but is it good for EV drivers?
Natalie’s review of the Green House Hotel – Bournemouth
When you run a T-shirt business dedicated to promoting electric cars and the ‘greenest hotel in the UK’ is on your doorstep, you are naturally obliged to have lunch there and check it out.
Hence on the somewhat ominous date of Friday 13th July, Ellie –SPARK+VOLT’s lovely marketing guru – and I, hopped in our Kia Soul EV for the short drive over to the Green House Hotel in Bournemouth.
Watch our three minute round up vid here, or check out the full review below. . .
This luxury boutique hotel is renowned in our area for its environmentally friendly policies; from the organic, Fairtrade, locally-sourced menu, to using solar power to help heat its water. It's also won quite a few awards and is a gold member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme, so we were keen to experience its delights first hand.
On arrival, we were blown away by the setting. The building is stunning – it’s a grade II Victorian villa, with a patio outside that’s perfect for afternoon tea – an oasis of calm in the midst of bustling Bournemouth – a beachside town which becomes even more bustly when the sun is shining!
We struck a little hurdle, however, when we parked to charge our car. There is one space with two charging points at the hotel, but sadly one was only suitable for Tesla cars, and the other was a type 2 charging point. This is great if you drive a European electric car or the latest Nissan Leaf but it wasn’t suitable for our Kia Soul EV. Usually, charging points like these just have a socket you can plug your own cable into, but this one had a tethered type 2 cable, so we weren’t able to use it at all.
That said, a quick look at Zap-Map on my phone showed there was a charger within walking distance on Christchurch Road, so if you were in need of a charge and you couldn’t use the charge points, you wouldn’t be stuck forever.
We parked up in a normal bay on the stroke of 2pm – just as lunchtime was finishing – but the staff were absolutely lovely and said we could choose from the lunch menu if we wished. Throughout our visit the service we received was absolutely brilliant – especially as Ellie has to eat gluten-free, and the waiting team couldn’t do enough to help.
I ended up with one of the most fabulous afternoon teas I’ve ever had. While I’m a big fan of cream teas, my dislike for sultanas in scones is even bigger. No worries on that score here – not a sultana in sight – instead these delicious scones came with chocolate chips in! It’s also possible to have a gluten-free cream tea – complete with choccy-chip scones – as long as you book at least the day before.
Every morsel of the food was absolutely sublime, and while it’s certainly not the cheapest place to eat in Bournemouth – my afternoon tea was £18.50 – I think it’s reasonably priced considering the standard of the food and the portion sizes.
All in all, it was a lovely visit and we are definitely going again – not least so Ellie can order the gluten free afternoon tea – but we were a bit perturbed towards the end of our visit when the electric car charging point got ICEd! Parking was getting busy, and we would hope the car could have been moved if an EV driver had shown up in need of a charge…but still… no ICE please!
The children’s menu could be considered a bit pricey, but this isn’t the sort of place for cheap and cheerful family eats – neither does it claim to be. There were a few women with very small babies lunching when we arrived, and there is a basket of toys in reception. But while the staff are incredibly welcoming, children aren’t allowed in the restaurant after 7pm…which is fair enough, as it’s the perfect venue for a celebration or romantic dinner without the kids (as much as we love them haha!)
On our way home, we couldn’t help imagining what we’d like the most eco-friendly hotel in the UK to have – from a completely eco-friendly building boasting solar PV panels on the roof (nigh-on impossible to do with a listed building, we know), to a super-hub charging point suitable for all types of EVs. . . and, of course, where ICEing would not be encouraged under any circumstances… hey, we can dream.
In the meantime, I’m giving the Green House Hotel a strong 4 out of 5 sparks, because it is lovely here, the service is incredible, and the eco-management policies are superb.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, drive safe!
Nice review Natalie. Of course the ideal car park is charging points on every space! No ICEing then because everyone can park anywhere.