Going to the Netherlands and looking for a green hotel near Den Haag? This is a great choice! We liked our stay there a lot.
Mövenpick Den Haag-Voorburg is a 4* Mövenpick hotel. Voorburg is a few kilometers away from Den Haag. The hotel is Gold level on TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program. And GreenGlobe certified. But why? What do they do specifically to help travelers building a sustainable future?
How to get there?
Moevenpick or Mövenpick Den-Haag/Voorburg is a 4* Mövenpick hotel. Voorburg is a few kilometers away from Den Haag. Easily accessible both by train (station Voorburg, 15min from Den Haag Centraal Station), and by car (10min from Den Haag via S100)
We were particularly curious to discover more about their practices, knowing that it is a GreenGlobe certified hotel and a GreenLeader Platinum on TripAdvisor. Because labels don’t always tell the full story, we asked the hotel if they could give us some time to explain their green practices. Mövenpick hotels were the first to pick up the request and kindly offered us to meet. This was much appreciated. So how did we feel about the hotel?
We met with Jean-Luc, the general manager and Marjolein, the marketing manager for the hotel. We asked them many questions and they were completely transparent to us. We also had the opportunity to stay at the hotel which allowed us to make a full review on their sustainability practices from the bedroom to the outdoor facilities.
The building is from 1993, it used to be an area for used railways until Mövenpick decides to turn this area into a hotel. They restored some of the vegetation around the building. Due to the age of the building, the latest insulation technics are not present. The energy certification of the building is B.
But you can be reassured, all the painting they use is low VOC or water based so you won’t breathe any bad chemicals in their hotels.
Most of their furniture is made out of composite wood and some other furniture are recycled. Of course we would have wished for all the furniture to be recycled or to come from sustainable labels.
Their supplier is located in Netherlands and is called Hanos and they get delivered the food every day as they have too small storage rooms. It’s a lot but the hotel guaranteed that the transporter was never traveling with an empty truck and was also delivering more places around the area and the other two Mövenpick hotels in the Netherlands as they have the same supplier. We checked that supplier Hanos. They do have a range of food and non-food products that are eco-friendly or eco-conscious. The label they use is “Ik kook bewust” or “I cook consciously”. This label is available for all kind of products from diairies to disposables but we haven’t seen any product with this label at the hotel.
We checked the eggs and the batch we saw was not from organic egg production (which corresponds to a number 0 on the egg) but from deep litter indoor housing (number 2 or 3). All -in the food supply is not as green as wished, but they supply mostly locally. So why not try a greener food for 2016?
The fish is certified sustainable fishing or farming and Mövenpick in general is pushing tis suppliers to become greener by getting labels.
Their regular meat supplier, NicetoMeat, is developing a green label called Greenious to guarantee a meat good for the clients and for the planet and respecting the animal welfare. We called them to ask a few question regarding this label. This label is only applied on a few specific products like MRI beef, wieden lamb, wagyu beef, Creekstone USA black Angus and high-end poultry from France.
They also serve vegetarian dishes and on-demand vegan or any other diet-specific dishes. You also have the choice to buy fair trade wines from their wine menus
They use a management tool for their energy saving plan. Combined with the fact that all the bedrooms have card switchers, the hotel is pretty good regarding energy consumption. It has about 20% LED bulbs, and the rest is energy savings bulbs. They have a goal of saving even more energy. Hence of course, saving energy means also saving money but the hotel also uses a green energy supplier which is a bit more expensive than a regular one, so we can really say they make tremendous efforts to save on electricity and lower their CO2 footprint.
In the bedrooms, you will find adjustable thermostats with a maximum temperature of 30°C. But except if you want to turn your bedroom into a sauna, the average indoor temperature is set up on 21°C. The electricity is off once you remove the keycard from the holder except for the TV that remains on because of the programming but it has an auto standby mode.
They use their post-consumer food waste in a heat recovery system. Meaning that your food that you haven’t eaten, will end as heating for the bedrooms. Cool, isn’t it? Unfortunately, legislation in Netherlands doesn’t allow to give away the pre-consumer waste and they don’t have a system to transform the food in anything else but compost. They also recycle everything except for the aluminum for which they don’t have waste collection. But they do not recycle the rooms garbage which is why you won’t find different bins for different kind of trash in the room.
Regarding chemicals, the hotels certified they are using none, no refrigerants for example (A refrigerant is a substance or mixture, usually a fluid, used in a heat pump and refrigeration cycle). Ok it seems a bit tricky as most fridges and coolers do need refrigerants but they apparently use harmless products. They also certified that the pest management was handled by an external agency using environmental-friendly products. And they use only eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products
They offer little disposables and most of them are paper-based which limits the impact.
Shower heads and toilets have a low flow. Toiletries are all eco-friendly and good for your skin as less chemicals.
In the Netherlands, watering your plants in the outdoor facilities is not a big issue; it rains so often! But it is important not to pollute the water. The hotel doesn’t have the possibility yet to use “grey water” which is the collection of dirty water from our showers, flushes and else cleaned thanks to a filtration system and reuse for the toilets or outdoor watering so for now, the water just follows the regular circuit.
The laundry is done by an environmental friendly company that doesn’t use environment harmful chemicals.
They do a lot of work with local communities, hiring locals, helping youth to find themselves a career and even making a movie on “how to integrate professionally”. Voorburg would be very quiet if the hotel was not providing sufficient activity to the whole area.
As a final word we could say this hotel is a true “green hotel”. Some little improvements can still be made, but they are on very good track.
Mövenpick Den Haag – Voorburg; a cosy eco-conscious hotel
- Service: We really enjoyed our stay in the hotel. The staff was welcoming and friendly. Very nice.
- Bedrooms: The bedrooms are spacious and comfortable. The linen is all 100% organic and fair trade cotton; it is so nice to sleep in those sheets!
- Facilities: The facilities are simple, there is no swimming pool or SPA services in the hotel. You have a car and bicycle parking outside the hotel with charging possibilities for electrical cars.
- Location: The hotel is conveniently located 100 meters away from the train station and very close to shops and restaurants. Voorburg is a small town but it really cute and if you are curious to know how a typical small Dutch town looks like, you should pay a visit.
- Food: The dinner was tasty, and the fair trade wine from South Africa was perfect with our meal. We had the 3-course-menu. It was really consistent for us and we were very full at the end. There was a little fish drawn next to the fish dish but the waiter didn’t know what it meant. The breakfast is good, not the most spectacular but complete and diverse – the chef can prepare you eggs on demand.