VeggieHotels: Your Healthy, Sustainable, Ethical Vacation

by Editor
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In Partnership with VeggieHotels

VeggieHotels Book Cover

From a cozy vegan B&B in the mountains to a stylish yoga retreat on the beach, from vegan luxury stays to vegetarian weekend breaks, exists for the vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and plant-forward traveller.

We are so impressed with their handpicked directory of hotels, guest houses, hostels, and bed and breakfasts, where the criteria are simple: there is no meat or fish on the menu.

Additional health and sustainability benefits, like serving organic food and encouraging slow food according to farm-to-table principles, are common. Most kitchens also offer other dietary options like gluten- and lactose-free dishes, clean eating, raw and/or whole foods.

Whether planning a vegetarian, vegan, eco or nature vacation, you’ve found your new go-to guide. And, of course, it’s not only for veggies! At many VeggieHotels, passionate cooks whip up creative vegetarian and vegan menus that satisfy even very sophisticated palates. 

We caught up with German-based co-founder Thomas Klein to find out how it started and where VeggieHotels is going.

P.S. Get the book. It’s simply gorgeous!

Wander: You embarked on your directory in 2011. Ten plus years later, do you find hotels come to you now for inclusion?

Thomas: It is more than 10 years ago that we started VeggieHotels as an exclusive platform for purely vegan and vegetarian hotels. And still today we get requests from all around the world from hotels, B&Bs and guest houses that apply for a VeggieHotels membership. It is a good sign that more and more hoteliers are considering making an honest move towards a plant-based cuisine.

How long did it take you to produce the first edition of the book?

It was a process that lasted over a year. First, we had to find the right publisher. It was particularly important for us to find a publisher who maintains a worldwide sales network. The publishing house teNeues was the perfect match as they distribute their books in all important markets. Then of course producing the book took several months. 

Selecting the featured hotels, sourcing photos, and writing the text was quite intense work that involved our whole team and the experts of the publishing house.

Have you and your team personally visited all of these properties?

Of course it is not possible to visit hundreds of VeggieHotels in person. But over the years we have seen quite a lot of them! Besides that, we are in personal contact with all our member hotels.

Why do you think more and more people are embracing vegetarianism and veganism?

Plant-based products and the accompanying vegan lifestyle have already reached the mainstream and are no longer a mere trend. According to Statista, a provider of consumer data, “the global vegan food market is expected to reach a value of over 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. In 2021, the market size was close to 16 billion U.S. dollars. The compound annual growth rate is expected to be nine percent.” For example, already 54% of Germans describe themselves as flexitarians, meaning they are eating a primarily vegetarian diet and only occasionally eating meat or fish.

Do you find VeggieHotels are also more planet-focused and sustainably-minded?

Healthy plant-based food and sustainability go very well together. So we find that many VeggieHotels are also focusing on organic food and have an eye to running their venue as sustainable as possible. We have a detailed search on our website where you can select special features like “100% organic food,” “Built following ecological principles” or “Vegan room facilities.”

What’s next for VeggieHotels and VeganWelcome?

VeggieHotels® and VeganWelcome® have firmly established themselves now as international brands in the hotel industry landscape. The continued growth of the websites shows that in a few years, the niche product “Vegetarian-Vegan” has become a stable trend in the hotel business.

We see it as a challenge to keep up the standard and provide the profiles of our hotels with more details and search functions so that every visitor of and will easily find the hotel or B&B where he or she can spend a relaxing vacation. 

Wander’s curated selection of VeggieHotels:

Willka T’ika Essential Wellness
Cusco, Peru

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a locality shrouded in myths. Its original inhabitants, the Quechua, have deep and grateful connection to this region and its fertile soil, situated between Cusco, the picturesque former capital of the Incan Empire, and the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu. 

When Carol Cumes arrived here for the first time in the 1980’s from the USA, she not only experienced the sincere hospitality of the people who live here but also sensed the powerful energy that fills the valley. She kept returning over the years, finally purchasing the land for Willka T’ika in 1994. With help from the locals, she worked with great reverence for nature to achieve her vision of a luxurious retreat, one that would combine the essence of Andean culture with the philosophy of yoga. Today, her guests stroll along paths that wind through the seven energy-giving 

Chakra Gardens, at the crown of which grows a thousand-year-old Lucuma tree. Three greenhouses, an herb and vegetable garden, and protein-rich Andean superfoods form the foundation of Willka T’ika’s delicious gourmet organic vegetarian cuisine.

Yoga group events, wellness retreats, and conferences are hosted in the hotel‘s beautiful facilities that include two lightfilled yoga rooms. Retreat guests enthusiastically participate in traditional Andean rituals and healing sessions, which leave a particularly deep impression in these unique surroundings. Overnight guests find Wilka T’ika to be an ideal sanctuary for exploring the local region—Pisaq, Moray, Machu Picchu. In the evening, guests can relax in solar baths, carved out of rock and fragrant with blossoms and medicinal herbs, while gazing into the Milky Way.

Sewall House Yoga Retreat
Maine, USA

In the late 1800s, William Sewall, a naturalist and the great grandfather of the current owner, welcomed a pale and thin young man as a regular summer guest to Sewall House. At the time Sewall could not have imagined that this young Harvard student with a weak heart named Theodore Roosevelt would later become the 26th President of the United States. Sewall and Roosevelt enjoyed a lifelong friendship as well as joint adventures, and Sewall House, situated in the enchanting landscape of northern Maine, was destined to become a safe harbor that would welcome people in search of relaxation and healing.

In 1997, well-known yoga teacher and nutritionist Donna Sewall Davidge became the fifth generation of her family to manage this historic house when she decided to purchase it and transform it into a yoga retreat. Northern Maine is the perfect place for a retreat, situated as it is along the Canadian border and featuring forests, lakes, abundant wildlife, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Baxter State Park, hiking trails, and healthy fresh air. 

Just as in the past, guests can look forward to escaping from everyday life and enjoying the solitude and tranquility, the beauty and the healing forces of nature, much like Theodore Roosevelt. The retreat center offers different styles of yoga with expert and personalized instruction. Healthy vegetarian meals—with vegan and gluten-free options available upon request—promote healing. The beneficial recipes of Chef Nadja Waxenegger have already been immortalized in the Sewall House Cookbook.

Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre
Ontario, Canada

Many escapists view the Canadian wilderness as a dream destination. And it is! The expanse of forest, meadows, rolling hills and valleys set the scene for this beautiful retreat center. Tucked into the countryside of Ontario is a peaceful oasis with private cabins, forest in every direction, big open sky and a view of the Wye Marsh conservation area and Georgian Bay – welcome to Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre.

The emphasis here is on reflection and “letting go”, so the cabins are intentionally simple. No television or phone or noise of traffic but rather comfy beds, snuggly duvets and sounds of forest to retreat from your everyday life, sleep deeply and reconnect to yourself…something that is truly a luxury these days!

Connecting to Nature, relaxing and nurturing your body, mind and soul are the theme of this 150-acre (60-hectare) private property. That means incredible vegan food, fresh air, peace and quiet await you. Every meal is prepared with love using fresh, organic whole foods, local whenever possible. Explore the forest on 16 miles (25 kilometers) of hiking trails or snowshoe or ski in the winter.

Create your own personal retreat with complete silence if you wish or bring a group of friends. Enjoy a bonfire under the stars or curl up with tea and a good book. Writers come here to break through writer’s block, artists draw inspiration from the natural world’s rich color palette, bird watchers are kept busy and photographers can find a great shot in any direction.

Nearly anything seems possible in this special place. The center offers yoga and meditation programs as well as personal coaching by the owners Liz & Kurt Frost. Both are psychotherapists and yoga teachers.

Just 90 minutes from Toronto and shuttle service from the airport. Your adventure awaits!

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