Developing a sustainable hotel in a world increasingly concerned about environmental preservation is a great idea. Sustainable hotels have become an attractive option for travelers conscious of their ecological footprint. These establishments not only offer a place of rest, but also strive to provide unique experiences that respect the natural environment and the local community.
In this article, we will explore the essence of sustainable hotels and what aspects to consider when developing one.
SUSTAINABLE HOTELS AND THEIR ABILITY TO GENERATE EXPERIENCES
Sustainable hotels are establishments that, regardless of their classification, category, location or type of operation, have economic, environmental, social and cultural principles as the basis of their design and management. Its main mission is to satisfy the needs of diverse clients, respecting both the natural environment and its biodiversity. And all this within a framework of constant ethics.
These hotels strive to contribute to sustainable human development. And they do so by seeking to improve the social capital and quality of life of the present and future community.
Sustainable hotels are also considered those accommodations that, although they were not initially conceived with this purpose, are taking appropriate measures to comply with the requirements of sustainability.
On the other hand, an experiential hotel is one that offers customers accommodation to spend the night during their vacation. But not only that, but also an experience; an experience that is normally linked to the environment of the destination. In this sense, a sustainable hotel in current market trends would be classified as an experience hotel. This type of establishment seeks to ensure that the stay at the hotel is not simply a means to rest, but rather the ultimate goal of the client during their vacation.
THE MAIN MATERIALS TO DEVELOP A SUSTAINABLE HOTEL
Cement with light capacity
This cement absorbs and emits light energy, significantly reducing energy consumption. In addition, its production process is less polluting compared to other types of cement, such as Portland.
This wall material contains hydrogel bubbles that allow natural cooling of the walls on hot days. This is because it reduces the temperature of the space by up to 6 degrees and increases ambient humidity. Therefore, the need to use air conditioning decreases.
Cork is a natural and 100% sustainable material that offers exceptional waterproof and insulating properties, both thermal and acoustic.
Bamboo, an organic and naturally occurring material, is known for its flexibility and resistance. This makes it suitable for various construction applications, from columns and beams to auxiliary elements.
Wood has been a sustainable building material throughout history, as long as it comes from sustainably managed forests. The low environmental impact and insulating capacity make wood a sustainable choice for construction.
PRACTICES TO DEVELOP A SUSTAINABLE HOTEL
With the aim of reducing both operating costs and environmental impact, the following measures are proposed:
- Use of LED technology. Implement LED technology in rooms, facades and common areas, which allows a 50% saving in electrical consumption per light point and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
- Use of recycled materials such as paper and glass in hotel operations.
- Use double-glazed windows throughout the establishment; since they have better thermal insulation. Well, they reduce heat loss in winter and heat input in summer, thus reducing energy consumption.
- Plastic reduction. Reducing plastics is vital to developing a sustainable hotel. That is why it is advisable to minimize the presence of plastic materials, objects or elements in the hotel as much as possible.
- Program the HVAC system to run only when necessary, which can reduce operating hours by more than 50%.
- Integrate hotel applications or apps so that clients monitor their energy consumption. Then apply incentives for the most responsible clients.
- Responsible washing of clothes and towels. Implement a responsible washing system, where washing is carried out every three days and reuse is promoted.
- Implement a complete recycling system for all waste and garbage generated in the hotel.
- Water saving elements. Saving water is essential if you want to develop a sustainable hotel. To do this, devices such as Aquareturn and perlizers can be installed on taps to reduce water consumption.
- Energy saving elements. Incorporate presence detectors in hallways so that the lights turn on only when people are present. Install solar panels to take advantage of abundant sunlight and transform it into energy.
SOME IMPORTANT SERVICES TO DEVELOP A SUSTAINABLE HOTEL
For many travelers the presence of a swimming pool in the hotel is an essential factor. For others it is an additional benefit. This indicates that everyone values her.
Currently, swimming pools are the most attractive and requested. The characteristic that makes them even more attractive is their ecological approach due to the multiple benefits they offer. An example of these are infinity pools. They do not harm the ecosystem, since they closely resemble a natural pool.
In addition, they are respectful of the environment and bathers, since they do not require the use of chemicals for maintenance. Likewise, they are cheaper to maintain, since they only need plants, which purify the water naturally.
The incorporation of a sustainable gym can be an innovative proposal when developing a sustainable hotel. Gyms with equipment that generates energy for self-sufficiency are a good option.
To encourage its use and take advantage of this energy feature, discounts can be offered to users who reach certain levels of energy production.
The inclusion of a gym in the facilities of a sustainable hotel responds to the growing importance for many travelers of the possibility of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly, even while on vacation.
The “realfooding” movement has gained relevance in today’s cuisine by promoting the consumption of “real” foods. That is, fresh or minimally processed products whose production process has not compromised their healthy properties. In addition, it promotes sustainable food and support for the local economy, as well as respect for the ecosystem and fauna.
Therefore, to develop a sustainable hotel you can implement a restaurant with local cuisine. Additionally, following the season of each product, as part of the customer experience.
The natural and landscape characteristics of the environment where the sustainable hotel is to be developed can provide exciting opportunities. Well, you can do adventure sports and activities.
To meet this demand, the hotel must be equipped with adequate materials and equipment to offer these services. For example, if the destination is located next to the beach, it is essential to have equipment such as kayaks, snorkeling equipment, among others. In this way we can provide guests with unforgettable adventure experiences in nature.
Sustainable hotels are a refuge for travelers, but also a declaration of commitment to a more sustainable future.
As economic, environmental, social and cultural principles are intertwined in the design and management of hotels. These become inspiring examples of how the hospitality industry can play a vital role in preserving the planet.
By choosing to stay in these places, travelers not only enjoy memorable moments, but also contribute to a more sustainable and conscious world.
Therefore, if you have thought about developing a sustainable hotel, we encourage you to go ahead. And if you need professional help, at IHCS we can help you with confidence. Don’t hesitate to contact us, our first consultation is free.