Design Hotels Ecolgocial Approach
When nature calls, it's time to answer. If tourism was compared to the emissions of countries, it would be the fifth largest polluter worldwide as it accounts for approximately 5% of global carbon emissions. Hotels in the 21st century are no longer the only ones concerned with environmental and social awareness, there is also a shift towards responsible tourism by a new breed of traveler. To encourage and inspire people to be part of this movement, these three Design Hotels™ member properties have taken a green step and proved that mindful integration between great design, destination and awareness is all it takes.
Mainport stands out as a role model in Rotterdam: being ready to receive the gold sustainability certification from the eco-auditing body Green Key, it's setting a high benchmark for future hotels in the city. Guests at Cassago Brianza in Italy can indulge in C-Hotel and Spa's homemade coffee, chocolates, pastries and wine guilt-free, as the resort focuses on the optimum and rational use of resources to reduce its carbon footprint. Those looking for a pollutant-free holiday can escape to South Tyrol's vigilius mountain resort to experience its -no roads, no traffic, no noise' mantra. The hotel uses natural materials from renewable resources to give the building a character of its own and was awarded the -ClimateHotel' certificate by the South Tyrolean CasaClima agency.
With a harborside location overlooking Rotterdam's skyline, Mainport exceeds all Green Key Gold regulations, and the hotel is ready to receive the official certification later this year. The sleek black building housing 215 rooms and suites pays homage to Rotterdam with touches of international modernism: a spa with Finnish sauna and Turkish hamam, quayside Down Under Restaurant, and interior design with nuances of east meets west. Designed by Feran Thomassen, its rooms and suites feature waterfront spa rooms, impressive fireplaces and designer LED lighting. The hotel's Green Team is the driving force behind the gold sustainability certification; the property is being awarded for its innovative, holistic and ecologically sound design. To reduce its carbon footprint, Mainport works with local producers and reuses Rotterdam's industrial heat through a direct connection with the city's central heating system. The hotel provides all natural Malin+Goetz bathroom amenities and also advocates the use of alternative transportation such as the metro, water taxis and rental bikes. To optimize consumption of energy, the hotel integrated smart systems in their rooms, public spaces and even kitchens. For example, exhaust hoods are automatically turned down in the kitchen when stoves are not in use and air conditioning has an automated switch-off when guests are not inroom.
C-Hotel & Spa, Cassago Brianza
Twenty kilometers from Lake Como, C-Hotel & Spa, created by entrepreneur and self-taught architect Andrea Colzani, is a timeless space operated with a focus on social, environmental and ecological awareness. With special attention paid to sustainable construction favoring renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly materials, the result is an 18-room forward-thinking minimalist retreat in the hills with cost-saving efficiencies. Without pollutants in the structure and furniture, the hotel is built according to the principles of bio-architecture and pays respect to the health of the environment and humans. Spaces within the property provide efficient thermal insulation significantly reducing carbon emissions. The property is kept at balanced temperatures and adjusted throughout the seasons to optimize guests' health and comfort. Besides using natural materials in the rooms, the 30 square meter mini-lofts come with soundproofed, moveable walls and climate and ultra-precise air quality control systems. In addition, the hotel practices fairtrade principles and sources organic and seasonal produce locally for their Italian bar and enoteca, a favorite among the locals.
vigilius mountain resort, South Tyrol
Perched 1,500 metres above sea-level on Vigiljoch Mountain with a spectacular view of the Dolomites, vigilius mountain resort is an exclusive refuge accessible only by cable car. Star architect Matteo Thun, renowned for his ecotecture beliefs, has created the ideal mountain hideaway through a perfect symbiosis of design, nature and landscape. The property, with 41 rooms and suites, makes the most of local traditions and new technologies to create aesthetic sustainable solutions from nature-based construction methods to optimum use of local resources. At the heart of the resort's 'organic architecture" concept, the ecological approach is manifested in a triple-glazed glass façade, grass-covered roof and untreated silver quartz, clay and larch wood as its main building materials. Sustainability is achieved through a passive-energy concept: wood burned for the biomass heating system rather than oil and gas contributes to forest management and provides an additional source of income for mountain workers. The radiant heating system in free-standing walls and under floors ensures good air quality and ideal temperatures throughout the year.