The Salthouse Hotel
The Salthouse Hotel is a 24-bedroom luxury, eco-hotel with six eco-lodges, a spa and bar-restaurant situated on private lands in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, an area famous for its salt pans.
Where did the sustainability ethos of the hotel come from?
“The Directors of the hotel were personally very interested in and passionate about sustainability. Through their travels around the world, they could also see that sustainability was something that was becoming a bigger and bigger factor for customers. Their commitment from the outset was to become the first fully sustainable hotel in Northern Ireland. They researched what best practice around the world was and set themselves high sustainability standards from the outset. The Salthouse Hotel is testament to the fact that luxury can also be sustainable. We are very proud of the efforts taken to ensure the hotel does everything it can to minimise its impact on the environment whilst also realising cost savings and delivering a memorable luxury experience to our guests.
Claire Steele, Front Office Manager, The Salthouse Hotel
What are your big sustainability initiatives?
The Salthouse Hotel generates its own energy through solar and wind power. A 225kw wind turbine has been mounted onsite and 150kw solar panels installed around the hotel which cumulatively generate the same amount of power as 150 households a year. The energy generated is used to ignite the hotel’s motion-sensor LED lighting, heat the hotel through heat pumps, charge the Zappi electric vehicle charging points as well as the 13 electric bikes onsite. It also supplies energy for the fully electric kitchen in the restaurant and the SMART technology system which monitors consumption around the hotel. When there is a spike in consumption, the system kicks in to rectify it. Timber frames around the building are used to retain any heat, and biogas and wood pellet boilers are used for further heating. The net result is that the hotel gives back more to the grid than it consumes. These measures not only minimise emissions but also lead to significant cost savings for the property.
Local Purchasing and Responsible Procurement
Local and eco-friendly options are favoured as part of the hotel’s purchasing policy. This applies to everything from hotel pens to food and beverage choices, from refillable toiletries to cleaning supplies bought in bulk. The hotel feels that local sourcing is highly beneficial as it builds local relationships, contributes to the local economy and allows for shorter and quicker delivery times. The hotel works with local, environmentally-conscious waste management companies, Bailey Waste and River Ridge, with a view that ‘waste shouldn’t cost the Earth’. There is also a herb garden onsite from which produce is used in the kitchen.
“Everything that we use, we try and keep it as local as possible because we are all about giving back and helping each other.” Claire Steele, Front Office Manager
Sharing the Sustainability Message
Sharing knowledge and educating both staff and guests is a fundamental element of The Salthouse Hotel’s Sustainability Strategy. Staff do not need to have an eco-mindset or have sustainability expertise before they take up a position at the hotel. Full induction is provided, including information on the hotel’s practices and reasons for implementing them, the sustainability systems in place, how to manage the SMART technology and help regulate consumption in the rooms and hotel in general. In this way, the hotel seeks to widen the circles of knowledge and practice for sustainability.
On arrival, guests are informed about the sustainability practices of the hotel and invited to sit into the Salthouse Mindset. There is a no print policy and there are QR codes available in their rooms so guests can retrieve information on their practices and menus. When supplying the guests with refillable glass water bottles, guests are informed about where the water comes from, that it is retrieved from the well on site and filtered through the Salthouse Hotel systems.
“It's really good to share that understanding with guests, that even when they're ordering, there are alternatives that can be good for the environment.”
Claire Steele Front Office Manager
What are your sustainability ambitions for the future?
“Our entire business runs on a sustainability philosophy and projects that do not allow us fulfil our sustainability ambitions do not get progressed. We will continue to balance innovation and expansion with sustainability and positive impact. We have plans for new eco lodges and a spa as well and we are busy researching our best options for materials, power and collaborations.”
Carl McGarrity, Director