I got invited to Green Haven to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
If you visit Germany, Hamburg will probably be on top the list. It’s the second biggest metropolis (after the capital Berlin) in the north with its beautiful harbour, maritime flair, the glorious FC St. Pauli and the seducing and infamous red light district that attracts thousands of tourist every weekend from all over the world and seemingly is the playground for countless hen and stag nights (whether you like it or not). And unlike Berlin you can even sleep in Hamburg in a 100% vegan bed & breakfast: Green Haven.
When I arrived at about 5pm Christiane and her two year old son welcomed me with a smile. She actually beamed the whole time when she showed me around and explained this and that, obviously (and rightly so!) proud of what she and her partner achieved within 4 years it’s been since they opened Green Haven in December 2014. „But it was running well from the very beginning“, she pointed out, despite the competition of several hotels and B&Bs nearby. But none of those are vegan, which clearly is a unique selling point.
Its location in Wandsbek is a big plus since it only takes 15 minutes to get to Green Haven by S-Bahn (S1) from the airport. You have several supermarkets and small shops just around the corner and it’s only another 8 minutes in the same line to the actual city center.
Being Hamburg’s first and only vegan guesthouse, I strongly advice you to book ahead, especially as the number of rooms is limited. You can either stay in one of their three tidy rooms, („Koje“, „Kajüte“ and „Captain’s Suite“), each with an individual flair and handmade decorations. In case you need more space and privacy you might wanna go for the bigger holiday home „Oberdeck“.
During the summer months, there is another very special option: you can spend a night in „Jolle„, a site trailer in the backyard. How romantic is that?!
Oh, by the way: By definition Green Haven is not a hotel as such as the bathrooms are shared and there is a common area and kitchen that can be used by all the guests.
The kitchen really is a big plus and it’s well equipped (even a dishwasher, whoop whoop!) so you can actually do it like me and fix your own food here if you don’t want to eat out. There’s a bio supermarket (Alnatura) only a five minute walk from here. You can even thumb through a few vegan cooking books in case you need inspiration. Another lovely idea is the food sharing corner, where you can help yourself and/or leave items you no longer need at the end of your travels. Christiane is very passionate about that and highly recommends the foodsharing website to get more information.
In the mornings, you can prepare your own breaky or simply order three different sorts of breakfast, all 100% plant based of course. Perhaps you already guessed that all the tea and coffee is organic, fair trade and delicious!
The common area has a huuuuge and comfy sofa, perfect for just hanging about and spending some quality time reading (your own book or one of the many vegan magazines you’ll find here). Or you socialize with your fellow vegan travelers…and talk about stuff for a change! It has deliberately been chosen not to put a TV or a PS3 here…
You can tell that Christiane is seriously into upcycling and has been roaming on flee markets a lot: all over in Green Haven you’ll discover curtains made from coffee bags, wall decorations and other things that were given a second chance to find a new purpose….
I liked the individual and unique interior, where you won’t find two chairs of the same sort and no IKEA mass production (but probably granny’s old lamp!). It’s highly probable that you’ll even eat from different plates, use different cutlery and cups than the other guests. This is sustainability as its best!
Actually, the only new things in Green Haven are the bio, vegan and fair trade mattresses, bedding and towels in the rooms. Even the wallpainting is without casein (milk protein). In fact, all the cleaning materials are vegan as well and there are no feathers or other animal products in pillows or blankets. Knowing all this (and after a hearty meal) I slept like a log in cozy „Kajüte“…
And the clean and comfortable bathroom (with a tub!) is also packed with useful goodies you can purchase here, like eco friendly toothbrushes or handmade soap. But similar to the kitchen you’ll also find free stuff that people left behind.
Green Haven has solar panels on the roof that provide clean energy if the weather in Hamburg allows it. If not, they use eco friendly energy of Elektrizitätswerke Schönau. The garbage is separated of course. Also, you don’t necessarily need a car as you can use the public transport. Or Christiane will happily rent a bike for 10€/day to explore the area as well.
Considering all this, it’s easy to understand how determined Christiane is concerning sustainability. Even more so when learning that it was actually her (with 3 others) who opened Stückgut in 2017, the first packaging-free shop in Hamburg!
I have no doubt that if a vegan and ecological context is what you are after when booking an accommodation, you won’t be disappointed here. Christiane is super nice, it was interesting to talk with her and exchange thoughts and ideas concerning a greener environment and sustainability. She has put a lot of love and passion into her Green Haven.
She`ll make you feel home.
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You run a vegan or vegetarian hotel and want me to check it out? Don’t hesitate to contact me!