Behind the Scenes: The renewable hotel room
The renewable hotel room – a name that raises questions! How can a room be renewable? In our blog, we have already introduced the far unique concept at Creativhotel Luise in Erlangen, Germany. However, as we find the topic very interesting, we wanted to learn more about the idea behind the renewable room. So we met with manager Ben Förtsch to have a look behind the scenes:
How did you come up with the idea for the renewable hotel room?
Concept and Realisation of the renewable hotel room was a team effort between the architect and myself. The goal of the project planning was to create something that has not been there before. I wanted to not only look at things only from one side, but perceive it holistically. First, “the renewable hotel room” was only the working title. With recyclable materials (e.g. with the carpets) we have managed to create a 100 percent cycle.
What makes the renewable hotel room so special?
The renewable room shows another approach of making the topic of sustainability appealing to the guest. It is so special, as we have primarily created the room in the most sustainable way possible, but at least put as much energy, time and development into the outstanding design and comfort. Expensively implemented sustainable elements make the room remarkable – we installed the water saving astronaut showers as the first hotel in Germany. Guests should be primarily delighted by the design and sleeping comfort, the sustainability of the room is the icing on the cake.
Who did you collaborate with for the realisation of the room concept?
For the implementation of the concept, we almost exclusively worked with the young, but renowned architect Alexander Fehre – an architect, who thinks sustainably, but is not a typical sustainability architect and had never performed a similar hotel project before. I appreciated his different view and perspective on the topic. I think we wouldn’t have gotten the design as it is today with a hotel or sustainability architect.
What are your visions regarding the development and future of the hotel?
The next logical step would be the renewable hotel. But we are still far from this idealistic goal. So far, the concept of the renewable hotel room was a test run executed in only a few rooms. However, it was designed for all rooms at Creativhotel Luise, so that we can approach the dream of a renewable hotel. In the future, we would like to take a leading role when it comes to sustainable hotels in Germany. I think, in the business segment we have already achieved this goal. I hope that the hotel and its concept also attracts and convinces more tourism guests in the future.
What is your philosophy when it comes to sustainability?
For me, sustainability plays the most important role in my life, but should always be the second thought.
I furthermore see sustainability as the new luxury. Nowadays, a luxury hotel that is not sustainable is no luxury hotel. For me, that does not fit together, because modern luxury is inevitably connected with sustainability. However, not many can offer the luxury to essentially be able to do what you want without burdening the environment yet.
What sustainable topics fascinate you most?
Since I am a visual person, I find eco design exciting. Here one can notice a clear change. Few years ago, the optics of sustainable brands were little convincing, but today there are more products that are brilliantly designed and look great – then it works.
Also in the area of fashion, I increasingly pay attention to sustainability – both private and at the hotel. When we renewed the uniforms of some employees, we ordered them sustainably in a small local store in Erlangen. I pay a little more but can support and encourage eco-friendly fashion in the region. Now my employees wear t-shirts that I have purchased regionally and sustainably, which is a great pleasure for me – a win-win situation!
What are your wishes from colleagues of the hotel industry?
From my colleagues, I wish the courage to take a risk in the direction of sustainability. But also that they can manage to take a step back from day-to-day business, but to work out a perspective for the future. I personally try to do as little daily business as possible, to remain objective and keep fresh ideas.
A lot more than from my colleagues of the hotel branch, I wish for a change in thinking of the guests and business travellers. As soon as the demand for green initiatives increases and the choice of hotels is more and more made according to sustainable aspects, the incentive for hotel operators to address the problem grows. This could develop a dynamic that really forwards the sustainable hotel business.