Retter Seminar Hotel, Austria, built on the core pillars of sustainability and service quality, has once again been re-certified by Green Globe.
This conference and wellness hotel, set next to the Pöllauer Valley Nature Park in Styria, is one of the best year-round retreats for guests wanting to connect with nature, organic foods and rejuvenation. Because of its commitment to sustainability, Retter was awarded the 2013 ‘Hotel of the Future’ by TRIGOS, Austria’s prestigious award for corporate and social responsibility. And this year, Retter’s owners Hermann and Ulrike Retter were awarded ‘Hoteliers of the Year 2014’ by leading hospitality magazine Hotel & Tourism.
Significant investment has been put into the 50 room retreat since its last 9 million euro expansion in 2008. In the past twelve months further improvements have been made delivering 19 wide-view rooms and suites with panoramas of the East Styrian hill countryside. Three cozy restaurants – Plum, Chestnut, Rose Hips – have been added and all connect to the new Nature Park terrace, as well as an auditorium for 200 guests with six new light-flooded conference rooms.
Wellness is a key offering and Retter Seminar Hotel has its own certified organic orchard, which supplies the hotel kitchen that also holds it own certification for the preparation of organic foods. As part of Retter’s sustainability policy, additional produce is sourced from organic farmers around the Pöllauer Valley, providing guests with nutritious meals while supporting the health of the local economy.
Retter’s owners, Hermann and Ulrike Retter believe this commitment to local business and production has greatly assisted them surviving and also thriving during recent periods of economic downturn.
Ulrike Retter said, “Beside procuring local produce for our kitchens we also choose local trade and crafts people for renovation and expansion of the hotel. We deliberately support local companies that use natural materials such as Kapo-furniture Viennese workshops, Stone Beetle, the Pöllauer Swietelsky site (formerly Gande construction) and the Locksmith Kimmelman.
“The recent addition to the hotel of the ‘First Austrian Hotel Hiking Staircase’ is a great example of our approach to promoting local skills and natural attractions at the same time. The stairwell is crafted to exhibit photo displays of the natural beauty of the Pöllauer Valley. As guests ascend each floor they are delighted by picturesque vistas of the nearby Nature Park,” added Ulrike Retter.
Green Globe’s independent auditor, Karl Reiner of the ÖAR Regional Consulting GmbH, carried out the recent verification inspection and was impressed with the high degree of recycling, including use of rainwater, as well as incorporation of energy efficiency with energy-saving technology.
Karl Reiner noted, “Retter Seminar Hotel has focused on using renewable energy sources, both the purchase of 100% green-generated electricity, and wood chip heating from timber sourced from a local private forest.
“The hotel also works to lower the carbon footprint of its guests by offering a free shuttle service for individuals and groups from the nearest station. Also, groups of 20 or more are transferred free of charge if their company is within 150 kms. And on top of these initiatives the hotel is in the process of converting its car fleet to electric vehicles and already offers 5 charging stations to guests with e-cars at no cost, “ added Karl Reiner.
Sonja Halwax, Marketing Management
Retter Seminar Hotel Restaurant
A-8225 Poellauberg 88
Green Globe Auditor
ÖAR Regional Consulting Ltd.