The future looks green

The future looks green

Your replies to my recent HOTELS blog about a technically well-equipped “hotel room of the future” suggest to me that high-tech, as interesting as it is, may only be admired by some of the property’s guests — which makes me wonder what sort of design the rest of you might prefer during your future hotel stays.

One of the most overhyped buzzwords at the moment is sustainable or “green” design, which often seems to be more about marketing gimmickry than true environmental stewardship. And yet, more and more hotel companies around the globe are discovering their green conscience, arguing that operating buildings less harmful to the environment will soon become a business mandate.

To prove their commitment, many hotels pursue one of the various certifications available, while others simply try to adopt eco-friendly practices — such as recycling, food waste reduction or energy-saving measures — into their operations. This hands-on approach is generally well accepted as a step towards sustainability, bearing in mind that going completely green can add as much as 30% to the cost of designing a guestroom. 

However, the challenge for luxury hotels tends to be that while their clientele supports eco-friendly practices, these travelers also appreciate a certain standard of pampering. Low-flow showerheads, for example, should still offer a satisfying spray, and the hotel’s guests must never feel guilty about using water or energy.

But here is the big question that, so far, no one has answered sufficiently: What do guests generally have in mind when it comes to green design? What would they like to see? Should it be “glorified camping” to spark one’s inner adventure-seeker, perhaps in the form of a tube as dasparkhotel suggests …

… or something that gives you the feeling of being “one with nature,” as in the prefab Birds Nest Hotel in Sweden …

… or maybe it should be less radical and not look any different than an ordinary hotel room, as seen with the recently opened eco-hotel, the Premier Inn in Cornwall?

You are the paying audience. Your opinion counts, and I’m looking forward to your feedback!