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Inspiring hoteliers that are changing the world

August 10, 2020 Headline News, Hotel Feature No Comments Email Email

The Green Pearls® newsletters are usually about hotels and destinations along with their green initiatives. But our latest series is dedicated to hoteliers who are committed to more including sustainability in tourism and who continue to inspire us with their ideas on a daily basis.

Today our journey takes us to the far north, more precisely to the Bodden Coast and then to the Black Forest, to Bad Herrenalb.

A paradise for families by the Baltic Sea

How about a holiday with the children which combines space and flexibility with the amenities of a hotel? This is how Sabine Stange and Jürg Gloor imagined the perfect family hotel. Their first holidays together with their daughter in the early 90s did not fulfill these wishes. Either they had to decide to stay in an apartment and thus forego the luxury of a pre-prepared breakfast table in the morning, or compromise with a hotel room so small that a day of bad weather presented them with serious problems.

So, the desire arose to create a special refuge for families, which would provide both parents and children with all they could want. The vision was to offer parents and grandparents with small children a relaxing holiday, in spacious apartments, surrounded by nature, peace and quiet along with enough free space without having to give up the luxury of a hotel. They thought of a landscape at the Baltic Sea far away from mass tourism. The Berliner and the Swiss went on a hunt and found what they were looking for at Grabower Bodden not far from the World Heritage city of Stralsund. Here stood the old and dilapidated Nisdorf Estate.

The first documented mention of the former estate dates from 1302, when it belonged to Johannes de Ost de Neslestorp. After him it changed hands several times.

After the fall of the Wall, the estate stood empty and slowly decayed until Sabine Stange and Jürg Gloor discovered it and bought it in 1998. The extensive renovation included all buildings, but the historic structure was preserved wherever possible and environmentally-friendly materials were used.

A Vision comes true

In July 2003 the time had finally come and the Organic Children and Family Hotel with 12 spacious holiday apartments opened its doors and welcomed the first happy families. Sabine Stange and Jürg Gloor had succeeded in creating a haven where parents and children could spend carefree days enjoying their vacation time with each other. The hotel is surrounded by a 25,000m2 garden, where young and old feel right at home. Next to the sun terrace, a large playground, a natural swimming pond, and a sunbathing and playing area entice the younger guests.

Dream for kids and adults alike

Children can enjoy the ponies, sheep, cats and many other friendly animals which call Gut Nisdorf home. The surrounding area also offers everything that an active family could need! Only 200 meters away is the Nisdorf fishing port and a small swimming area. The Ostseeradfernweg (Baltic Sea Cycle Route) D2 from Flensburg to Ahlbeck on Usedom passes right by the hotel. If you follow it for about 500 meters along the water, you will find another small swimming area.

The kitchen offers a rich breakfast buffet and, in the evening, delicious warm meals made exclusively from high-quality organic food which has been mainly sourced from the region and then freshly prepared by experienced hands.

In the nursery, the little ones are well looked after. While pony rides, a fleet of bicycles, scooters and Kettcars, a wellness area with sauna, whirlpool and massages complete the wide range of activities on offer.

Sabine Stange and Jürg Gloor do not necessarily want to convert their guests, but rather be a shining example and inspiration for more sustainability when traveling along with a mindset that can also accompany families on their way home.

“We felt very comfortable at Gut Nisdorf. We particularly liked the combination of a relaxed family holiday in combination with sustainability. We were very impressed by your consistency and attention to detail in the implementation of sustainable hotel operations and we are pleased that we were able to take one or two ideas with us for our everyday lives.” Guests July 2020

RAMA: “The mission is not to missionize.”

This is what Stephan Bode, sustainability pioneer, owner and managing director of SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA in Bad Herrenalb and his CSR officer Stephanie Schießl say. Stephan Bode, who has also been awarded the B.A.U.M. Environmental Prize and Spirit-at-Work Awards, is committed to change with a great deal of enthusiasm, creativity, and passion together with his dedicated team. For years he has been one of the pioneers of sustainability in the hotel industry, he is committed to introducing more and more sustainability measures and in doing so realizes his dream of a holistically sustainable hotel.

A – Z like Zero Waste

Due to its secluded location in the middle of the pristine nature of the Black Forest Nature Park, the hotel sees itself as having a special responsibility for the region. “Sustainable action is a principle and a self-obligation for us. We have anchored sustainability in all aspects of our value-added chain. Firstly, a healthy natural environment is the foundation of a healthy economy and secondly, we are all guests on our host: EARTH. Just as we hoteliers and hosts expect our guests not to leave any lasting damage in our hotel, this should also be the standard for our environment,” explains Stephan Bode, who created and filled the position of CSR officer to further develop the sustainability awareness in the company. Stephanie Schießl has been working towards this vision on a daily basis for over 2 years. Internal processes are optimized and all stakeholders of the company are made aware of, trained for, and inspired by their commitment to sustainability. This includes aspects such as A for Abfallreduzierung (waste reduction), B for Blue Angel eco-label, and Z for Zero Waste Breakfast Buffet. Stephanie Schießl’s task is complex, cross-departmental and time-consuming. She has learned to distinguish greenwashing from authenticity and to implement everything step by step, since, as with all new approaches, products and information in the area of sustainability can quickly feel overwhelming. More than 100 measures are listed in the environmental diary of the SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA in order to offer as many alternatives as possible in all areas and to help inform everyone around them.

Stephanie Schießl, CSR Manager

“The mission is not to missionize. But it’s still to get the message through to people’s minds and hearts and to help everyone see that they must strive to become part of the solution. And to do as much as they can with no excuses for doing nothing because otherwise we will become stuck in the Attitude-Behaviour-Gap and then no one will take any initiative. Hotels should also benefit from effective, proven solutions, and in general, I would like to see less public discussion about who should take responsibility (politicians or consumers) and more of an environment in which everyone starts themselves through intrinsic motivation – as a person, as a company, as a guest. A lot would have happened once people realize this.”

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