Industry insight: Sustainability in luxury hotel bathrooms

    GROHE bathroom room shot featuring infra-red touchless taps
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Industry insight: Sustainability in luxury hotel bathrooms

    With sustainability running through the core of the leading bathroom brand’s DNA, GROHE is arguably most qualified to discuss conscious bathroom design. Karl Lennon, Leader for A&D Projects, LIXIL EMENA at GROHE, therefor, is here to explore how luxury brands can go a step further to create a premium, sustainable and impressionable experience for its guests…

    GROHE bathroom room shot featuring infra-red touchless taps

    The hospitality industry is wholeheartedly embracing the transition towards a more sustainable future, with many groups and independents alike implementing their own targets and policies to drive more responsible, environmentally conscious hospitality and tourism worldwide.

    While the motive around improving sustainable practices focuses on doing more to use less, hotels in the luxury sector face the task of doing more and going further in order to uphold their reputation and retain the trust and assurance from their esteemed clientele. This needs to be balanced in equal parts with solutions that produce tangible results with positive implications for the environment without taking away from the luxury experience for guests.

    It goes without saying that when guests visit a luxury hotel property, they expect every fine detail to be considered. The aesthetic, the ambience, the service, the sourcing of goods: each single element must be well-measured and thought-out. Over recent years, as we have all become increasingly more informed and aware of the need to prioritise sustainable habits in our everyday lives, discerning guests have become more scrupulous with their hotel choices when travelling. Sustainability therefore needs to be treated as an integral part of the overall guest experience – approached holistically – with every design choice and fitting having purpose, meaning and environmentally friendly credibility.
    When working with clients on premium projects, we advise that sustainability not only be an add-on or after thought but a narrative and journey that is seamlessly incorporated into every element of the customer experience, carried through all touchpoints from arrival to check-out. In designing the luxury sustainable hotel experience, it is not only investing in the elements the guests can see but those that can’t be touched or seen too. In these instances, communication and reputation play an enormous role in helping to convey these more hidden features and their benefits to prospective guests.

    At GROHE, we have recently taken the next step in our sustainability journey as a brand by achieving Gold level Cradle-to-Cradle certification in four of our best-selling taps and shower products. By specifying Cradle-to-Cradle certified fittings, hotels can begin to incorporate more circular practises into their business. The Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) design concept is a model that contrasts the take-make-waste system and enables manufacturers to drastically reduce the use of new resources. A product is designed and manufactured with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products.

    Image caption: A visual of GROHE's Cradle to Cradle

    Image caption: A visual of GROHE’s Cradle to Cradle products

    Cradle-to-Cradle products consider the material health of each of the components in their creation as well as how these components can then be repurposed at the end of their life, to prevent unnecessary wastage.
    Whilst the sustainable impact of Cradle-to-Cradle products may not always be overtly apparent to the guest, they offer viable sustainably sourced solutions that highlight a carefully considered approach to the interior design of a hotel washroom or bathroom suite.

    Similarly, the use of 3D metal printing can be particularly resource-efficient, pushing and defying the boundaries of design to create fittings that use less material and equally, create visual spectacles that are well-suited for premium projects. Through GROHE’s own exploration of this manufacturing method with its Icon 3D-printed series of basin mixers, it has been found that energy used for producing a 3D metal-printed tap is about 20% lower compared to the production energy used for a brass cast tap body.

    In addition to creating a sustainable storyline that forms an integral part of the luxury customer experience, implementing features that puts the control in the guest’s hands is another approach hotels can implement to inspire and empower its visitors. Giving guests the option to switch their shower to eco mode for example or use LED temperature displays to encourage them to reduce the temperature of their water, is a powerful way of enabling them to make sustainably minded decisions, and feel good about these choices, as part of their hotel experience. Empowering guests in this way can help to form an alliance between hotel and guest and build a customer’s trust and loyalty in a brand they know truly values sustainability.

    Spa and wellness zones are synonymous with luxury hotel settings but outdated designs and fittings can result in unnecessary over-consumption of precious resources such as water and energy. We are seeing the shift for more spas and wellness zones to move into the privacy of the guest’s suite rather than a communal space, and this presents lots of opportunities for hoteliers to make smart specification choices that optimise customer personalisation and experience whilst using resource conservatively and considerately. In the future, new sustainably-focused solutions and technologies from brands will enable luxury hotels to offer a more enhanced and personal spa experience in the comfort of the guest suite.

    Design innovation is playing an enormous role in providing solutions that can help hotels achieve their sustainability targets whilst still providing their guests with unique, luxurious visits. The introduction of these technologies and capabilities is still relatively new but offer lots of potential in really helping to progress the status quo for luxury sustainable tourism and hospitality.

    GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Hamish Kilburn / 05.07.2021


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