Inclusion in a Hotel: Green City Hotel Vauban

When you look at this hotel on the top – what do you think of? A beautiful architecture? Sure! Looking at the greenery, you may even think of a sustainable focus of the hotel? Yes, also correct! But what you probably do not see: it is an inclusion hotel!

A sustainable hotel at Green Pearls distinguishes itself with more than the efforts to protect the environment and animals, as well as local ingredients in the restaurant. The social aspect plays a huge role for our member hotels as well, such as the preservation of cultural traditions or the support of local communities. And then there is Green City Hotel Vauban: “Think ecology, live inclusion”.

Inclusion and sustainability go hand in hand at Green City Hotel Vauban.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion means that every person, no matter if with or without disability can and is allowed to participate everywhere – whether it is in school, on the job or in leisure time. In an inclusive society, everyone is equal, has the same chances and possibilities. Unfortunately, we are still far away from a full-inclusive society and the process continues. But, there are of course success stories that bolster and show that inclusion can be successful. One of these, is Green City Hotel Vauban.

Behindertengerechtes Zimmer
At Green City Hotel Vauban, there are disability-friendly rooms, in which guests in wheelchairs can stay in without any problems.

Green City Hotel Vauban: inclusion in the hotel business

In the city of Freiburg is the Green City Hotel Vauban: an eco-friendly inclusion hotel that is owned by the charitable association of Freiburg’s social work and Freiburger Stadt GmbH. Their goal: the active support of people with disabilities. In order to give you insights behind the scenes, we have asked hotel manager Johannes Staub a few questions.

Green City Hotel Vauban is an inclusion hotel – half of your employees are people with disabilites. Why is it important that concepts like this develop and are implemented?

So that people with disabilities get a fair chance on the first job market. We and the employees show other business that people with disabilities can perform well on the job market and commend themselves for it.

Green City Hotel Vauban also pays attention to local ties concerning breakfast and for small snacks in between. The food comes from local business, the delicious coffee from Kaffeewerk Zollernalb.

All members are wonderfully included in the hotel operations, despite existing disabilities. How does this work? 

It is important that the employees with disabilities have a regulated surrounding, their environment does not change that rapidly and that the tone is calm. Thereby, the largest challenge is that no matter how busy the hotel gets, we do not transport the own stress and hectic onto the employees with disabilities.

What is the most important thing for you personally, what guests should remember of their stay at Green City Hotel Vauban?

The most important thing is that the guests sees us as an eco-friendly and integrative hotel. That people with disabilities live around us and are not that aware, actually. Guests should recognize that unique hotels with sustainable concepts are good for our environment and that they do not have to make compromises during the hotel stay.

The team of Green City Hotel Vauban – half of the employees are people with disabilities.

Working at Green City Hotel Vauban

10 of 20 employees at Green City Hotel Vauban are people with disabilities. So the questions arises, if working at Green City Hotel Vauban is maybe different, than for other hotels?

“For the large part, I do not realize a difference”, says an employee with disability. Thereby, there are often nice small talks with guests about many different topics, but also conversations that remain present. For example a conversation with another physical handicapped guest: “(…) I had exchanged experiences with him concerning experiences with the contact of people with disabilities, especially concerning mobility. For people with disabilities, who are not working, it is very difficult to get a vehicle.

Without an own vehicle, social life in several areas runs short unfortunately, because people with disabilities cannot take part in events and things like that.

The guest and employee luckily made a different experience, as both had found a job. “Before we both had a job, it was very hard for each of us to get a car”, reports the employee.

Lobby Green City hotel Vauban
Especially in the lobby area, there are interesting conversations with people.

An employee without a disability shares, how they have made overwhelmingly positive experiences: “We have an employee with disability at the reception. Many guests speak very positively about him, he is often praised in online rating forums.”

While there are many recurring guests, who know that Green City Hotel Vauban is an inclusion hotel, there are many new guests, who do not know that or maybe cannot imagine anything like an inclusion hotel. But those are positively surprised, reports the employee. The contact with each other is one highlight:

The daily hotel business is actually not comparable with other hotels. It does get stressful here too from time to time, but the social interaction among us all is always the top priority.

Thank you to Mr. Staub and his employees for these personal insights into Green City Hotel Vauban.