The Lido Motel in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., has your values at heart

Combine travelling with your desire to lower your ecological footprint at this “green” motel

Owners Gabriele and Frank Lorenz are standing in front of the Lido Motel in Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

Owners Gabriele and Frank Lorenz have been running the Lido Motel in Radium Hot Springs as a green option for travellers for many years and are now thinking about retirement. — Photo courtesy Gabriele Lorenz

Wanted: Green travellers. Must have a desire to stay in a gorgeous setting in the Rocky Mountains and sleep in a quaint 10-room motel.

“We do like to attract people who think like us when it comes to saving or helping the environment,” said Gabriele Lorenz. She and her husband, Frank, are owners of the Lido Motel in Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

The German couple moved here 18 years ago, bought the motel and set to work remodelling and updating it.

“We put a lot of work into the Lido,” said Gabriele. “We left the outside the way it is because we had feedback from a lot of people who like it just because of its quaint looks.”

Where’s the green?

In Germany, the couple recycled as much as they could. “Then coming here, we were often disappointed to see so many things in the garbage that could be recycled,” said Gabriele.

The Lorenzes started by putting recycling baskets in the rooms and a big recycling bin in the backyard. Guests responded by using them.

Here are other environmentally friendly features in the Lido Motel:

Cleaning and drying: Sheets and duvet covers are hung to dry on a big clothesline, weather permitting. “Guests love the smell of the fresh mountain air (on the sheets) and it saves so much energy too,” said Gabriele. In addition, the duo uses environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

White sheets are hanging on a clothesline at the Lido Motel.

Using solar energy to dry sheets and bedding is part of the Lido Motel's commitment to be green. — Photo courtesy Gabriele Lorenz

Smart energy: The couple had a five-kilowatt photovoltaic unit installed as well as a high-efficiency heat pump/air conditioner system. Over 95 per cent of the motel’s lights are LED.

Landscaping and gardens: No pesticides are used on the lawns and rainwater is collected for watering. “There's a little garden in the back of the motel where we grow pollinator-friendly flowers and have bird baths and birdhouses,” said Gabriele. 

“A few years ago I attended a workshop for the right way to compost, and we added two compost bins since. When we have people staying longer with us, we ask them if they would help us to compost, and most are happy to do it.”

Meals: The Lido doesn’t offer breakfast and Gabriele explained why. “Rather than offering breakfast at the motel (which produces a lot of garbage in our opinion), Lido Motel is happy to have a great partner in the Big Horn Cafe in town, a very nice coffee shop on Main Street close to the motel. We offer our guests coupons for breakfast there.”

Why are the Lorenzes so devoted to a green lifestyle? “We only have one planet,” Gabriele said, “and we think we should try to reduce our environmental footprints wherever we can to leave our children a better future.”

If your heart beats faster at the idea of a green motel, drive on over to Radium Hot Springs for a stay or even consider buying the motel. The couple is planning for retirement and are ready to sell.

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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