Green Hotels Association
    October 2012  


We at "Green" Hotels Asscation® are so proud of our members and want to share with you their successes. Maria Lougaris, Managing Director, at PARTNER MEMBER Castelli Hotel, shares a story here about providing their guests with a "richer experience."

She is telling her guests that she wants them to have a richer experience, “thus adding more color to their precious leisure time.” She is recognizing how precious all of our leisure time is, and she’s saying the property is honored that the guests have chosen to spend that time at her hotel. Every hotelier should extend that recognition and appreciative voice regarding your guests’ PRECIOUS leisure time. You'll enjoy her story.

Our optimistic success story has to do with our fertilizer, which we use for the hotel grounds’ needs.

We are situated at beautiful Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea of Greece; a green paradise, with very hot weather for about 6 months, and very rainy winters. Our hotel’s grounds are approximately 12,000 square meters (3 acres), a large part of which are gardens―the botanical garden, our vegetable farm, lemon trees and olive groves.

The island’s characteristics reflect instantly a holiday paradise. At the same time, we believe our guests will also enjoy learning more about the local community, thus adding more color to their precious leisure time―taking walks around the scenic villages, visiting the Castelli farm and getting acquainted with Greek nature’s wealth, taste the fresh fruit, pick olives with our team and see how the local pure extra-virgin olive oil is produced.

First, a few words about our buffet breakfast. It features our home-made breakfast cake, baked with our own fresh, pure ingredients―pure extra-virgin olive oil, eggs from our farm, oranges/grapefruit from the garden.

The olive groves that surround the hotel are not sprayed with toxic chemicals, and the pure virgin olive oil produced is used for baking the home-made cake served at breakfast, and also for salads at the pool snack bar. In other words, our gardens’ perfect status is a high priority, and essential for the hotel guests’ richer experience. Gardening demands a great deal of laborious hours and has many costs, one of which is fertilizer.

Until last year, the local fertilizer supplier served our needs, but since April, 2011, our composter is creating our fertilizer! We mostly recycled materials we already had on the premises to build the composter, so the cost was very low. All food-preparation staff are involved, so now all vegetable waste is used to create our organic fertilizer. In just 6 months, we produced more than 10 sacks of fertilizer―more than enough for last autumn’s needs. Since each 50 kg (110 lb) sack would have cost about 50 Euros ($62.50), it is a big achievement!

Once the waste is separated and passed to the gardener, the extra time needed is very little. We are actually using waste to create something essential, and we produce this fertilizer as pure as possible, which is very difficult to find in the market.

At the same time our waste volume is reduced, so cleaning ladies need less time to carry the waste to the bins, and fewer plastic bags are used, so more benefits arrive at the same time! This year we have already increased our fertilizer production―great practice of reusing and recycling! And our guests thoroughly embrace it, which makes us even more confident for greater results in the future!

As Castelli celebrates 20 years in business, we also proudly celebrate the award of our third Green Key eco-label awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FFE) through The Greek Society for the Protection of Nature ( The Green Key committee evaluates both green management and education actions, taking into consideration sectors such as water and energy-saving policies, recycling and also how the guests and staff are involved in the greening. Castelli also celebrates its second Gold Award (2012) which acknowledges our very high commitment to sustainability.

Contact Maria at or visit Castelli Hotel for more information on this exciting project.

To learn more about GHA and how your property can be greener, jump to "Green" Hotels Association® !


Do you have green onions, leeks or other veggies with roots in your kitchen? When you cut off the roots, you can simply push a hole in the dirt in your garden, push the root base into the hole, cover it with dirt and it will regrow!




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19 years
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Unique Visitors Hits
11,360 890,196
Feb 10,628 779,617
Mar 12,693 937,200
Apr 11,283 726,114
May 10,997 667,475
June 9,515 578,873
July 9,883 580,884
August 9,809 590,792
Sepember 10,135 541,873
TOTAL 2012 96,303 6,292,524

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