The Eco-Friendly Wellness Concept
Comfort, Indulgence, and an Eco-Friendly Concept Hand in Hand
The Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme in Bad Staffelstein, Franconia, has integrated more than 60 environmentally friendly measures into its daily hotel routine. This shows that environmental protection and comfort go hand in hand with the right concept. In the kitchen, the focus is also clearly on regionality and sustainability: For this, the spa hotel even developed its own sustainable F&B concept.
Teamwork Makes the (Green) Dream Work
With more than 60 points, the Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme in Bad Staffelstein relies on a sustainable action plan for environmental protection in everyday hotel life. In doing so, General Manager Andreas Poth relies on the expert knowledge and experience of his team and involves his employees directly in the process – because also in terms of sustainable operations, teamwork makes the dream work. In this way, the staff continuously work together on further strategies for a greener hotel. Additionally, they regularly check and monitor the efficiency of the eco-friendly activities. The measures are implemented in all areas of the hotel and range from modern, efficient solutions for energy and power supply to environmentally friendly, regional concepts in the kitchen and restaurant to sustainable details in housekeeping and in the office.
To raise the awareness of the hotel team about environmental protection in the everyday operations, special training courses are offered for employees to foster learning and exchange of ideas. Experiences and expertise of the individual departments are needed to successfully implement further measures. "We see that the topic of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role, also in the hospitality industry. Our measures call for the entire team because we want to make a difference in terms of environmental protection in all areas of the hotel. Employees are the experts in their respective fields of work and so their suggestions for a greener hotel are also very efficient," explains Andreas Poth, General Manager of the Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme Bad Staffelstein.
„. Our measures call for the entire team because we want to make a difference in terms of environmental protection in all areas of the hotel. Employees are the experts in their respective fields of work and so their suggestions for a greener hotel are also very efficient.“
Andreas Poth General Manager Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme
Sustainable F&B Concept
From farm to table, eco-friendly produce and regionality make up the cooking philosophy of Alexander Hartung, Executive Chef at the Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme Bad Staffelstein. For the hotel's two restaurants, each with Bavarian and Mediterranean cuisine, the native Franconian is always on the lookout for exquisite dishes and selected ingredients. Together with General Manager Andreas Poth, he has established a quality concept in his kitchen. According to the trademarked 3-of-5 concept, that Hartung uses to put together his dishes, all ingredients and products meet at least three of the following five criteria: biological, ecological, economical, regional and sustainable. "Our kitchen philosophy on produce is based on five basic building blocks. The condition of the processed food is that at least three of the five criteria are met. In this way, we not only guarantee the taste, quality and freshness of our dishes; in the process, we are also taking care of the environment and our region," explains Hartung. There are currently 205 organic products on the menu alone, all of which are at least EU-certified and come from species-appropriate husbandry or ecologically controlled agriculture. In addition, organic wines and coffee are served. "Our concept is a unique selling point for our hotel because no other restaurant in our area implements sustainability in this form. The consistently positive feedback from our guests additionally confirms that this is a really good path we are taking here," says hotel manager Andreas Poth.
From Farm to Table
The hotel's kitchen team sources most of its food from regional suppliers within a radius of no more than 100 kilometers. Alexander Hartung regularly checks the quality of the products on site and makes sure that his selected suppliers also use resources responsibly and with respect for nature and the environment. He is in regular contact with the Obermain-Jura eco-model region, which unites farmers and producers from Upper Franconia under its umbrella. The surrounding area of Bad Staffelstein is a real treasure chest for the chef and nutrition professional: The principle "From farm to table" is really working here.
The region is home to a wide range of direct marketers, for example farms with their own farm stores, fruit growers or bakeries, as well as the largest density of breweries in the world – almost all of them family-run. In addition to many long-established businesses with typical Franconian products, contemporary gin distilleries and fine chocolate manufacturers have been established as well in recent years. In addition, many young farmers are starting up their businesses and are operating under strict ecological guidelines – in "harmony with nature," as Hartung explains. In addition to quality, proximity and close family partnerships are good arguments for the chef to rely on producers from the area. "Thanks to the short distances, we can of course save CO2, but we can also guarantee that we are regularly supplied with very fresh products. For example, only ripe fruits or vegetables are delivered and without any loss of flavor," Hartung explains.
In the Upper Franconia region, the regional principle embodied in the sustainable food concept b(o)orn for nature is really working, since the density of producers is at a record high: Measured against the number of inhabitants, there are the most bakeries and confectioners, the most butchers and the most breweries in the world.
The Right Way to Handle Food
Managing Director Andreas Poth and Head Chef Alexander Hartung are keen to ensure that all areas of the hotel and the F&B area are managed in a particularly resource-conserving and thus sustainable manner. A very important factor is the handling of food. The Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme is a member of the association "United against Waste", which is committed to reducing food waste. Hartung wants to actively fight waste and likes to remain flexible for this. Meat and fish not only come from the shepherd or fish farm around the corner, but the animal is also processed "from nose to tail." "With lamb, for example, we offer braised dishes from some parts, and of course also the classic short roast - but the days are gone when we offered rack of lamb only. From other parts we make sausages and from the bones we cook a stock. In this way, we process the whole animal from head to tail, and nothing is left," he explains. The team in the kitchen thus flexibly cooks with what is available, and the service staff is briefed accordingly. Hartung wants to raise awareness in this area and get his guests to rethink their understanding of food. "We are all a little spoiled, especially when it comes to meat. Therefore, often only the filet pieces are on the menu. However, nature offers us such a broad spectrum and we should take advantage of that," he is convinced.
„Thanks to the short distances, we can of course save CO2, but we can also guarantee that we are regularly supplied with very fresh products. For example, only ripe fruits or vegetables are delivered and without any loss of flavor.“
Alexander Hartung Executive Chef Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme
Resource-efficient Hotel Operations
The four-star hotel already produces half of its total electricity consumption itself with its own combined heat and power plant, and a further 40 percent is covered by a photovoltaic system. The remaining electricity is purchased from an eco-electricity provider with zero CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme uses LEDs and energy-saving lights as well as motion detectors and timers throughout the building. Around 75 percent of the energy required for heating, water and the extensive wellness area is generated from the waste heat of the block-type thermal power station. The 136-room hotel was also fitted with full thermal insulation to prevent heat loss. A gas condensing boiler with an efficiency of 94 percent provides heat recovery from solar radiation in the wellness relaxation room.
Green Details Throughout the Hotel
In addition to the comprehensive strategies, the Best Western Plus Kurhotel an der Obermaintherme also shows that numerous smaller measures can make a difference. For example, the 60-point plan includes numerous "green" details in the hotel's everyday life, such as environmentally friendly cleaning agents and office supplies, as well as a digital reading circle that offers more than 500 magazines and daily newspapers. A good alternative has also been found for various items: For example, reusable cups are issued for coffee to go via a deposit system. Plastic waste bags have been dispensed in the bathrooms, and hygienic paper floor covers are used instead. Guests are also involved in the concept, as they decide when and how often towels and bed linen should be changed. In implementing the measures, it is just as important to the team to make their own day-to-day hotel life more environmentally friendly while maintaining the accustomed comfort and quality of the four-star establishment.
The Fact Check
Holistic Environmental Strategy in the Spa Hotel
The hotel's own sustainable and regional F&B concept guarantees fresh and healthy dishes in the two hotel restaurants.
The hotel is actively campaigning against food waste with the "United against Waste" initiative.
Regional supplier network: There are many producers and manufacturers in the Upper Franconia region around Bad Staffelstein.
90 percent of the electricity is generated in the spa hotel itself, of which 50 percent is generated by the hotel’s own combined heat and power plant and 40 percent by a photovoltaic system.
The hotel obtains its remaining electricity from an eco-electricity provider - completely without CO2 emissions.
The combined heat and power plant supplies around 75 percent of the energy for heating, water and the wellness area through waste heat.
With the gas condensing boiler, the solar radiation in the wellness relaxation room is used for heating via heat recovery.
Only environmentally friendly cleaning products and recycled office supplies are used throughout the hotel.
The digital reading circle offers variety for everyone - without any paper waste.
Coffee to go is available at the hotel bar in reusable cups.
Guests are decision-makers: Everyone can choose when towels and bed linen are changed and thus make their own contribution to environmentally friendly hotel management.
Waste is avoided throughout the hotel.