Nature-inspired 1 Hotels to open in Mayfair

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

SH Hotels & Resorts manages the 1 Hotels brand, as well as Baccarat Hotels, Treehouse Hotels and SH Collection. 1 Hotels is its sustainable offering and the Mayfair property is described as a nine-story “sustainable sanctuary” overlooking Green Park. 

Barry Sternlicht, 1 Hotels founder and chairman of SH Hotels & Resorts said: “We are delighted to bring nature and our mission of sustainable luxury to Mayfair, the very heart of London, one of the most important travel markets in the world. We are thrilled to bring our unique fusion of fresh comfort, conscious sustainability, exceptional bespoke service, understated elegance, wellness and nutrition to London.”

Opting for reconstruction over new construction, the hotel has been built to BREEAM Excellent standards, and has utilised 80 per cent of the existing structure.

All of 1 Hotels US operated properties are 100 per cent certified carbon neutral since 2018, and the brand has offset 19,171 tons of C02 (the equivalent of 49,145,794 miles driven by an average diesel car).

SH Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer Raul Leal said: “We’ve reimagined the traditional luxury hotel experience for Mayfair by infusing our love for nature with effortless sophistication. With this opening we celebrate our distinctive brand’s entry into Europe and the dynamic and culturally rich city of London.”

All 181 rooms, including 44 suites of the Mayfair hotel, has walls lined with native British moss and there are more than 200 local and regional plant species throughout the property. Living green-trellised exterior walls transform former hard surfaces into natural vertical landscapes. 

The restaurant, Dovetale, from two Michelin starred chef Tom Sellers will feature seasonal, organic, locally sourced ingredients. 

For the full list of locations of the 1 Hotels brand as well as hotels coming to Europe and the US soon, click here.

Image: 1 Hotels, Mayfair

Highgate publishes first ESG report

WORLDWIDE: Real estate investment and hospitality management company Highgate has outlined a series of sustainability goals in its first ESG report. Mark Caswell reports.

WORLDWIDE: Real estate investment and hospitality management company Highgate has outlined a series of sustainability goals in its first ESG report. Mark Caswell reports.

The group’s portfolio comprises over 80,000 rooms across more than 500 owned and/or managed hotels in the US, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, with nearly half of its properties falling under the Marriott family of brands.

The ESG report highlights that more than 200 of Highgate’s hotels are now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, through investment in Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs). Green-e focuses on clean energy and carbon offset certification, helping businesses (and individuals) to purchase verified clean energy.

Other areas of focus for the group’s sustainability programme include requiring its hotels to install smart thermostats in guest rooms, and 100 per cent LED lighting, as well as reducing food and landfill waste, eliminating single use plastics and supporting biodiversity projects.

Highgate is also performing an analysis of onsite solar and battery storage opportunities across its portfolio, and by the end of this year all full-service properties will offer parking areas with electric vehicle charging stations.

Highgate said that it had cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 21.8 per cent and energy use by more than 170,000 megawatt hours (MWh) when comparing 2021 with 2019. To put that into perspective, one megawatt hour (MWh) is the same as 1,000 kilowatts of electricity generated per hour. Over the next two years the group will be collecting environmental data from its suppliers, including greenhouse gas emissions metrics.

Individual properties, which have been highlighted in the report include the Alohilani Resort, which recently became the first hotel in Hawaii to commit to the internationally recognised PAS 2060 Standard for Carbon Neutrality. PAS 2060 was developed by the British Standards Institution in 2009 to create a common definition and method to achieve carbon neutral status. Alohilani Resort has partnered with the Hawaii Legacy Reforestation Initiative to reforest more than 1,200 acres of trees, and has installed water bottle refill stations throughout the property. 

Other hotels of note are, The Graduate Roosevelt Island, which was awarded LEED Silver certification for new construction, and the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA, which completed a property renovation using 60 per cent of products made from recycled, sustainably harvested or rapidly renewable materials. Check out our Glossary of Sustainable Hotel terms for more information on some of these phrases.

As well as Highgate’s sustainable practices the ESG report highlights the group’s work on diversity, equality and inclusion, including its ‘Opening Doors Together culture’ which aims to “support a culture where all associates are accepted, valued and encouraged to fully engage with each other and the Company”.

The company has also launched a self-paced learning “designed to expand learners’ understanding of various types of bias and microaggressions”, with the training including during the on-boarding of new employees.

Commenting on the report, Highgate’s CEO Arash Azarbarzin, said: “We all share an urgent responsibility to reduce our impact on climate change, and this is especially true for the hospitality industry. Highgate is very proud to be a leader on this front by presenting this analysis that can serve as a roadmap to help drive hospitality management toward a net-zero future without compromising the guest experience.”

The full ESG document can be read here.

Report by contributing editor, Mark Caswell.

Image: Reception Alohilani Resort – Courtesy of Alohilani Resort Gallery

Sustainability and disability in the hospitality sector

EUROPE: The European Network for Accessible Tourism and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance have joined forces to support disability inclusion in the hospitality sector 

EUROPE: The European Network for Accessible Tourism and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance have joined forces to support disability inclusion in the hospitality sector 

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance is partnering with the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) to increase disability inclusion and promote universal access in the hospitality industry. 

The partnership will see both organisations working together to make the world’s hospitality industry accessible to all. 

ENAT aims to be the front runner in the study, promotion and practice of accessible tourism and by partnering with the Alliance, it will have the opportunity to engage 50,000 properties globally. 

The partnership combines the Alliance’s expertise and global network with ENAT’s experience improving the accessibility of tourist information, transport, infrastructure, design and service for visitors with all kinds of access needs, providing models of excellence in accessible tourism for the whole of the tourism industry. 

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, said: “Here at the Alliance we are delighted to welcome the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) as a partner.  ENAT’s work striving for greater inclusion for people with disabilities, will greatly support the work the Alliance is doing in opening up the sector.  This partnership is an opportunity for both organisations to share best practice, align on research and produce tangible solutions to make the hospitality industry more inclusive for people with disabilities.” 

ENAT President, Anna Grazia Laura said: “We, at ENAT see the agreement signed with Sustainable Hospitality Alliance as an important step forward to increase the possibility for tourists with specific access requirements to have a wider opportunity to be welcomed in facilities that will respond to their requirements in terms of comfort and quality. We are delighted to engage with the Alliance to offer our expertise and resources in training and planning according to Universal Design principles, strengthening the accessible offers provided by the members with the ultimate common goal of achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction.”

Sustainability and hotels is not all about carbon emissions and plastic-free toiletries. The UN’s 17 SDGs cover environmental aspects, but there are many more SDGS which focus on the social side of sustainability, including the support of disability inclusion. Hotels and those looking at updating their ESG policies should take into account the UN’s SDGs, which focus on inclusion, and work out what that means for their inclusivity policies and sustainable practices.

Sustainable Development Goal 9 “Industry Innovation and infrastructure” to build resilient infrastructure, to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Sustainable Development Goal 10 “Reduced inequalities” to reduce inequality in and among countries

Sustainable Development Goal 11 “Sustainable cities and communities” to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Image: Pexels Free Photos

Centara West Bay Hotel & Residences Doha gets Green Key certification

QATAR:Centara West Bay Hotel & Residences Doha has been certified by Green Key Qatar

QATAR: Centara West Bay Hotel & Residences Doha has been certified by Green Key Qatar

The Green Key certification recognises a commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices by evaluating a hotel’s environmental management, energy conservation, waste management, water conservation.

Part of the Centara Hotel Group, which follows GSTC criteria, this is the first time the hotel has applied for the certification.

Martin Baeuerle, country manager, Green Key Qatar said: ‘‘For a first-year applicant, we have been very impressed of how thorough the application documents have been prepared, which made it an ease to review beforehand and during the audit. We furthermore like to highlight that we truly had the feeling that sustainability is lived throughout the property and that the Green Key ecolabel is not just a tick-box exercise. Especially the idea with the herb garden, in the middle of the West Bay area, has been a highlight.’’ 

The hotel uses energy-efficient lighting, recycling programmes and environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as sourcing herbs and vegetables from its organic garden.  

Sean Spinks, general manager said: “We are delighted to receive the Green Key Qatar certification for the first time. It is a significant achievement and a testament to our commitment to sustainable tourism. I would like to congratulate and thank the entire Green Key Committee for their dedication and support to achieve Green Key Ecolable for the first year. We take pride in our environmental efforts and will continue our efforts to reduce our environmental impact and provide our guests with an eco-friendly and sustainable stay experience.”

Centara Hotels & Resorts is also one of the first Asian hospitality groups to formally incorporate the Global Sustainable Tourism Council GSTC criteria into its internal sustainability standard known as Centara EarthCare.

Centara EarthCare is fully recognised by GSTC and the standards are based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria, which include the following principles: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management. To improve its sustainability progress the group is tracked, measured and benchmarked by a third-party sustainability management system called Greenview Portal, (a GSTC-Recognised system.)

The group has committed to meeting climate-related targets with a 10 year target, which includes a 20 per cent reduction in energy and water consumption, Greenhouse gas emissions and waste. 

It’s pathway includes the following:

By 2025:

  • 100 per cent of its properties certified to an international sustainability standard
  • Eliminate single-use plastic items in the entire guest journey which includes plastic straws and replaced by plant-based straws, plastic laundry bags replaced by reusable material, room amenities replaced by the bulk-size dispensers 

By 2030:

  • Reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent kWh per gross built floor area (sqm.)
  • Reduce Greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent Kilogram Co2-e per gross built floor area (sqm.)
  • Reduce water consumption by 20 per cent Litre per gross built floor area (sqm.)
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 20 per cent Kilogram per occupied room

Green Key is recognised worldwide but the certification process for sustainable hotels has often been brought into question by industry bodies.

Image: Google Pexels Free images – Doha skyline

Rove Hotels joins the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

UAE: Lifestyle hotel brand Rove Hotels has become the latest chain to join the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

UAE: Lifestyle hotel brand Rove Hotels has become the latest chain to join the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Founded in Dubai in 2016 and known for its fun and quirky identity Rove Hotels has more than 7,000 rooms and residences open or under development across the Middle East. 

The brand has been focusing on reducing plastic waste, as well as water, paper and electricity consumption, managing to obtain the Green Key certificate across all its properties. This certification has only been granted to 2,900 hotels worldwide, and recognises excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry.

Rove Hotels also manages Rove Expo 2020, this LEED Gold certified property is the only on-site hotel at Expo City Dubai, the sustainable city that hosted the recent Expo 2020 Dubai event and that will be home to the upcoming COP28, the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference.  

Rove Hotels has joined the Alliance to help address key challenges impacting the planet and its people, local destinations and communities. 

The Alliance, which recently launched its Pathway to New Positive Hospitality programme, sets targets and guides its hospitality members towards a transformed more sustainable sector. 

Paul Bridger, chief operating officer of Rove Hotels said:“Being environmentally responsible is close to our hearts at Rove, and we know it’s important for our Rovers (guests) too. Because of that, we are thrilled to become part of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and join forces with hoteliers from across the world in the journey towards net positive hospitality.” 

Glenn Mandziuk, chief executive officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “It was fantastic meeting Rove Hotels at the Arabian Travel Market trade show earlier this month as we marked their first few weeks as members of the Alliance. Sustainability is at the heart of their brand and we look forward to supporting them and working collaboratively to deliver Net Positive Hospitality across Dubai and the middle east in the near future.”

Image: Rove Hotels