Eco-Tourism in the National Park
A Sustainable Hotel in the Bavarian Forest
With Germany's oldest and largest national park right on its doorstep, the team of the Best Western Hotel Antoniushof in Schoenberg in the Bavarian Forest is especially aware of their responsibility to the environment. All operations of the family-run hotel are built on a sustainable concept. This has been recognized several times with the membership in the Environmental and Climate Pact of Bavaria. By the end of 2022, the hotel plans to achieve one hundred percent climate neutrality.
Sustainable Hotel Management in All Facets
The Best Western Hotel Antoniushof in Schoenberg, Bavaria, has implemented a comprehensive sustainability concept in recent years. Daniel Giffhorn, the current senior manager and environmental officer of the family-run hotel, acquired the property with his wife Myrtha in 2007. Since then, the hotelier couple, together with their daughter Tamara Posch, who has been managing the three-star superior hotel in the second generation since 2018, have constantly modernized the hotel, focusing on sustainable business management. To fulfill their vision of a sustainably managed hotel, they have set themselves new goals regarding environmental protection, including a comprehensive environmental statement. Today, the entire hotel team live sustainability and environmental protection in all facets and every day. With the oldest and largest national park in Germany, the Bavarian Forest, right on their doorstep, everyone at Antoniushof takes responsibility towards this ancient landscape worth protecting. The Best Western Hotel Antoniushof is an active partner in the Bavarian Forest Partner Association. Daniel Giffhorn is a trained forest guide for the national park and offers specially prepared hiking routes dedicated to a soft tourism concept.
Already since 2009, the Best Western Hotel Antoniushof has been repeatedly awarded for its ecological strategy with the membership in the Environmental and Climate Pact of Bavaria. This state-wide recognition is only given to companies that go beyond the legal requirements and implement various environmental protection measures in their operations. "We are particularly proud of the fact that we, as a multi-generation business, have been a member of the Environmental and Climate Pact of Bavaria for more than a decade. In addition to the well-being of our guests, sustainability in all areas and the Bavarian Forest National Park as our most important partner are our top priorities. We are more than happy that we, being a member of the National Park Partners, can give something back to our region, and protect our beautiful landscape actively and responsibly. Sustainable strategies in everyday hotel life are a matter of course for us, because after all, with my two grandchildren, the third generation is already in the starting blocks – and so it is most important for me to set up our business as ecologically as possible," says Daniel Giffhorn.
"Sustainable strategies in everyday hotel life are a matter of course for us, because after all, with my two grandchildren, the third generation is already in the starting blocks – and so it is most important for me to set up our business as ecologically as possible"
Daniel Giffhorn Owner Best Western Hotel Antoniushof
Reducing Emissions, Boosting Regionality
As hotel operators, Tamara Posch and her parents Myrtha and Daniel Giffhorn are highly committed to environmental protection, sustainability and regionalism. With Germany's oldest and largest national park right on their doorstep, the family is a proud part of the Bavarian Forest community and actively promotes cooperation at the regional level to preserve and protect the surrounding nature. In addition to various services for guests, a separate environmental statement forms the basis for the sustainable overall concept of the property.
The top priority is to reduce CO2 emissions. To achieve this, a natural gas-fired combined heat and power plant was installed that generates more than 65 percent of the 120,000 kilowatts required annually. With the energy that is not currently needed, up to 4,000 liters of water are automatically heated and kept at a constant 70 degrees. The waste heat from the hot water is used via thermal pumps to provide warm water for the swimming pool. The remaining electricity is supplied by the green energy provider Lichtblick. This makes the building almost one hundred percent climate neutral. To close the small existing gap, the team at Antoniushof is currently looking for a fitting environmental campaign to compensate their complete CO2 consumption.
Another strategy to reduce emissions is to bundle purchases for the hotel and to cooperate with neighboring hotels and restaurants, overall resulting in fewer suppliers and thus, fewer deliveries to the region. Furthermore, the team of the Best Western Hotel Antoniushof prefers to work with suppliers and producers from the region and purchases, for example, meat or bread from producers from their own or neighboring towns. This not only promotes the region, but also keeps the delivery routes as short as possible.
Harmonic Co-Existence of Nature and Tourism
The Best Western Hotel Antoniushof in Schoenberg is an official National Park Partner in the Bavarian Forest National Park Network, an association of hoteliers, restaurants, tour operators as well as bus and train companies united by their love for their region. Together they want to offer travelers a unique vacation in untouched nature. To ensure that the scenic idyll of Germany's first ever national park remains so, the hosts are keen to protect the nature on site.
Sustainability, environmental protection, and resource management are a matter of course for the team of Antoniushof as well as for all other members of the association. "We want to take responsibility for our region, which could not be more beautiful: the unspoiled nature, hilly mountain landscapes and rich wildlife characterize the Bavarian Forest. Sustainability is not an empty phrase for us. Taking responsibility is our motto. We have therefore joined forces to bring the central idea of a national park and all the associated national park facilities closer to vacationers," explains Tamara Posch, who runs Antoniushof together with her parents.
Tried and tested: Daniel Giffhorn and daughter Tamara Posch, who run the Best Western Hotel Antoniushof in Schönberg as a first and second generation family business, check out one of the numerous hiking trails in the Bavarian Forest National Park.
"Sustainability is not an empty phrase for us. Taking responsibility is our motto. We have therefore joined forces to bring the central idea of a national park and all the associated national park facilities closer to vacationers."
Tamara Posch Owner Best Western Hotel Antoniushof
The Fact Check
Combined heat and power plant produces around 60 percent of the energy required as well as waste heat for heating purposes.
Green electricity from Lichtblick and further CO2 offsetting via an environmental project with the aim of becoming 100 percent climate-neutral by the end of 2022.
Member of the National Park Partners and close cooperation with partners, producers and suppliers on site.
Specially designed, environmentally friendly hiking routes for hotel guests including recommendations for conscious behavior in the national park.
Use of biodegradable cleaning agents as well as organic and natural products in the wellness and SPA area.
Green Housekeeping: Guests waive daily room cleaning and are rewarded with Best Western Rewards points.
Irrigation with rainwater and prohibition of toxic weed killers.
The Bavarian Forest is the first and largest German National Park. It was officially opened in 1970. Together with the neighboring Sumava Park in the Czech Republic, it forms the largest protected forest area in Central Europe.
The primeval forest of tomorrow: bogs, mountain streams and summits are allowed to develop naturally.
Rare wildlife such as lynxes, otters, beavers, capercaillies, hawk owls and even wolves find a home in the region all over again. In addition, there are 16 species of beetles alone, which are considered primeval forest relicts and only occur in extremely natural forests.
Give and take: In the national park, dead and fallen trees are allowed to rot in peace, because they are the food base and habitat for insects, fungi and birds and thus contribute to biodiversity.
350 kilometers of marked hiking trails, 200 kilometers of bike trails, 80 kilometers of cross-country ski trails and many interesting excursion destinations make a vacation in the Bavarian Forest exiting.