With an increasing demand in the pursuit of natural and pristine sights, more travelers now desire to reduce on carbon footprints while seeking for an authentic experience. As the global interest in sustainable travel rapidly grows, WorldHotels gathers the latest updates in environmentally-friendly travel. This year, we are seeing more eco-friendly practices that support sustainability and connecting guests to local cultures at the same time. Take a look at some of these hot trends that hotels are adopting.
In hotels all over the world, beekeeping experiences a new bloom. Today, bees seem to be more comfortable in cities as the higher temperature in cities ensures a longer flowering period than in countrysides. This helps to lengthen the foraging period and increasing the honey production per bee. Furthermore, bees often find a more varied food supply in cities than in rural areas where monocultures such as corn are spreading extensively. The idea of bringing nature to the city, combined with the independent production of natural products, appeals to a lot of hoteliers and guests alike.
Atrium Hotel Mainz, Germany owns two colonies of the “Dark Bee”, thus contributing to species conservation. The hotel uses its own honey, while the surrounding farmers are pleased with the bees aiding in the pollination of their fruit trees. Nordic Hotel Forum, Tallinn, Estonia owns six bee hives with over 60.000 bees on its roof. There is even an installed webcam for guests to observe the honey-gathering process. Le Plaza Brussels, Belgium has installed three hives on its terrace. Their first harvest of the hotel weighed in at 20kg and was offered to their VIP customers and to the hotel team. Hotel Daniel Vienna, Austria also owns beehives on the seventh floor.
As the demand for fresh local produce increases, more hotels are either using gardens, small farms or even their own roofs to grow herbs and vegetables. As an effective way to reduce carbon footprints, farm-to-table dining is also becoming more popular among hoteliers. Atrium Hotel Mainz employs a cook who is a partner of Green Chefs, a group dedicated to the respectful use of food and the avoidance of waste. These chefs also stand up for environmental awareness, low energy consumption, low CO2 emissions and fair working conditions.
Eco-Friendly Materials and Design
While the world makes its strides in technology advancements, the longing for untouched nature continues to grow – hotel designers are increasingly blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. Panoramic views, indoor waterfalls, walled gardens and daylighting techniques are a few examples to help guests connect with nature from the comfort of an indoor-outdoor space. Dorsett Shanghai, China is a certified Green Hotel situated right opposite the Century Park, with over 60% of its rooms overlooking the largest park in Shanghai. Numerous plants are exhibited in the hotel to bring nature into its interior spaces. Eco-consciousness is also on the priority list as The Anam, Nha Trang, Vietnam was constructed out of timber from sustainably cultivated forests. Carlton City Hotel Singapore features many green walls imbedded within its architecture, which resonates with Singapore as a garden city.
SMART Hotels and Energy Reduction
Technology is a way to improve guest experiences and drive lower energy consumption. However, a green hotel does not have to always install the latest technologies; a simple upgrade on existing technologies is sufficient. Environmentally friendly hotels track their energy consumption and strive to save energy by using energy-efficient chillers, boilers and lighting. Leopold Hotel Antwerp, The Netherlands uses LED and energy-saving lamps, and only switches its exterior lights at dusk. The hotel uses ecological cleaning products and the back-office uses printing paper with an eco-label. Furthermore, the hotel works with Nanogrid, an energy management system for multi-site companies, to closely monitor energy consumption at various parts of the hotel to decrease both its costs and environmental impact. Caravelle Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is the first and only hotel in in the country which has been recycling treated wastewater for cooling towers and toilet flushes since 2010. The hotel has also upgraded the lifts with high efficiency and energy saving motors, installed energy saving LED light bulbs and digital thermostats for all rooms. Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport, Australia uses solar power units on the hotel roof, LED and motion-sensor lighting in the hotel’s public areas, back-of-house and in the car park. The hotel has replaced its cooling unit refrigerants to more energy-efficient and less environmentally damaging materials, and upgraded old air conditioning units to more energy-saving units.
Sustainable luxury has been long regarded as an oxymoron until the recent changes in the hospitality industry made green travel from a niche to a necessity. The current trend now is to recycle, reuse and save on disposables. The Anam curbs the use of plastic as much as possible by discontinuing single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, drinking bottles and straws.
“With plastic pollution seriously threatening the environment worldwide, particularly with fishes eating small pieces of plastic that enter our food chain, reducing the use of plastic at our resort is regarded as a top priority,” shared The Anam’s general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler. “We cannot stress how important plastic reduction is for all of us. We emphasize to our staff that this is important not just in the workplace but also in their private lives as we must act for our children and grandchildren. In addition to educating our staff, we are also active in instructing our suppliers to reduce waste as well as communicating with other resorts in the area about the need to protect the environment,” he added. Caravelle Saigon also exchanged all plastic straws with metal and bamboo ones.
Do good and talk about it: More hotels have been informing their guests about their sustainability efforts. At Carlton City Hotel Singapore, hospitality and eco-consciousness go hand-in-hand. The hotel encourages its guests to reduce their ecological footprint, and to be part of their environmental-friendly practices, such as reusing their linens and towels, maintaining a recommended room temperature and minimizing waste. At the Marmara Hotels, Turkey guests are informed about the hotels’ environmental policies to minimize the use of electricity. The hotels provide a power outage by using an automation system in unused areas and rooms, and hot water is also produced by using solar energy.
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