Pictured: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
Sustainability in the hotel industry is on the rise as guests increasingly demand sustainable hospitality during their holidays, according to the John Hardy Group, a hotel consultancy firm.
The firm pinpointed some trends in the hospitality industry based on the entries it received for its Radical Innovation Awards program. Many of the entries proposed radical ideas that “threw out the rulebook” of hospitality design, the firm says. A common theme was that of sustainability, both in an environmentally friendly sense, but also in a cultural sense, where local culture and art is celebrated and promoted. This also points to recent trends in hospitality where local experiences are being sought by guests wishing to engage more with the place and people they are visiting.
Sustainable Hospitality Trends
Green or garden hotels have become a popular feature. Canadian firm Arno Matis Architecture proposed a project entitled the Vertical Micro-Climate Hotel, whose concept is to make the outdoor areas of hotels located in the harsh climates of North America habitable all year round. One of the features of this hotel was the use of heliostat technology, a mirroring system which reflects sun back into certain parts of the building as required so as to make them habitable even in colder weather conditions. Another submission involved suspending hotel facilities from a treetop by using a system of cables to hold rooms in tent-form above a trampoline-like platform, giving the hotel a very small footprint above the forest floor and re-orientating the guest’s field of vision to that from the tree canopy.
The culturally sustainable aspect came in the form of the currently-operational Play Design Hotel in Taiwan, which champions local artists and designers by installing their creations into hotel rooms and encouraging guest to interact with them. The idea came about after the developer noticed a lot of his artist friends were having to go abroad to showcase their designs, and he thought that it would be better to not only exhibit the work locally in hotels so that international guests could see them, but also to cultivate an environment of design engagement within the hotels themselves. “I want people to experience the culture of this country. played a lot with the idea of using the hotel as a portal for people who want to learn about Taiwanese design, a space that is furnished with all of these local designers’ work. So, their work is not only shown but so it’s experienced. Design isn’t something you only put in a museum or gallery. It should be used. It’s for your everyday use,” says hotelier Ting-Han Chen.
“Sustainable hospitality […] could well be the future of the industry,” according to the John Hardy Group.
Caesars Entertainment is one resort that has long had a focus on sustainability. The company recently completed the first phase of an enterprise-wide T8 retrofit project, converting all of its linear fluorescent T8 lamps to LED technology. “The strategy is itself is pretty straight-forward, but managing it at scale with over half-a-million lamps replaced was a bit challenging. This is an easy efficiency upgrade that every company should make,” Eric Dominguez, VP, Facilities, Engineering & Sustainability for Caesars Entertainment, recently told Environmental Leader.
Hilton Worldwide is another. The hotel group created a proprietary corporate responsibility performance measurement platform. It was developed to calculate and analyze the environmental and societal impact of every Hilton Worldwide branded hotel in their communities. The platform measures energy use, water use, waste output, and carbon output at every Hilton Worldwide hotel around the globe. Each Hilton hotel is required to track and complete improvement projects throughout the year. The LightStay environmental and energy management system simplifies energy, water, and waste performance into simple scores, and also provides information on trending and benchmarking. The tool allows hotels to track their goals and progress against those goals. LightStay recently won an Environmental Leader Top Product of the Year Award.*