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The eco friendly hotel of tomorrow

Even before COVID-19 turned things upside down, many hoteliers were determined to reduce their carbon print by introducing new energy saving technology, sustainable strategies and so on. Thankfully, the recent advances in technology make it achievable for hotels to put into practice an eco friendly strategy that not only took care of the environment but also helped minimise costs in maintaining their properties.


Green travellers are eco- friendly people/guests and cherish certain values when staying in a green hotel/s.  They are quick to take cognisance of the genuine efforts taken by the hotel to stay truly eco-friendly and will not be loathe to spend their money for that unforgettable experience in a green, yet comfortable surroundings. Nowadays, an increasing number of travellers support sustainability actions, such as reducing waste, recycling, reduction of water and energy consumption, conservation of natural resources etc.


To make a hotel eco friendly and welcoming, interior and exterior designing of a hotel is imperative. This can improve the guest experience enormously, enhance customer loyalty and strengthen the brand of that hotel significantly. And even those guests who are not so inclined towards going eco or green would not fail to recognise and even appreciate the fact  that that the hotel has taken the  route towards  embracing  a carbon print of sustainability - as a value added service.


Remember, the demand for a sustainable and eco friendly practice in the hospitality industry is as strong as it was yesterday – even more so today. Therefore, when introducing a green carbon print in your property do it right. Some key points for designing and operating an eco friendly hotel would be to consider :-


  • Using repurposed furniture.
  • Energy efficient appliances and eco-mode temperatures.
  • Sensor lights automatically dim and brighten at different times of the day
  • Guest friendly services using electronic check-in/out via mobile as a keyless entry thus cutting down on plastic keys
  • Single-use key cards made of paper/board.
  • Sensors on doors that light up when opened thus brightening the interior of the room
  • Low flow toilets and shower heads, and faucet aerators
  • Signs of re-usage of towels and Installation of additional towel racks for guests to do so
  • Requesting guests in turning off lights and AC when not in room
  • Stocks of reusable coffee/ tea mugs and water glasses for guests to use in the room
  • Natural and organic soaps and shampoos in biodegradable packaging from certified green manufacturers
  • Adding a water bottle filling area/station in the lobby or open area.
  • Bicycles & electric bikes rentals with helmets disinfected for guests use.
  • Group shuttles using hybrid and electric options for transportation of guests to and from the hotel.
  • Natural architectural techniques of making maximum use of daylight.
  • Recycled and natural materials for indoor and outdoor structures and designing
  • Organic and local building materials
  • Solar powered installations
  • Installing recycling bins with options and clear signs in which items go into the designated bin thus encouraging civic consciousness.
  • Rainwater harvesting systems and water efficient landscaping e.g.; a rain garden and water detention ponds. You can use the collected water wisely by diverting small irrigation systems to cut unnecessary usage with timed watering
  • Planting of drought resistant native plants too reduces water consumption overall
  • Supporting the farmers by purchasing goods from nearby growers and food producers
  • Involvement of staff in every department to formulate a green team and encouraging them to come up with ideas on how to move forward in creating their ‘green dream’ of a green hotel carbon print.
  • Having eco-friendly programs and ideas of improvement
  • Introducing convenient reusable or compostable bags in place of plastic bags that can be dropped off at the desk or drop boxes.
  • Cutting down the use of plastic bottles
  • Composting and vegetable gardening


Keep in mind that the central aspects of a hotel’s appearance are the interior design and the functionality of the property, not just the aesthetic concealment of the interior design itself. For hotels located in large areas of nature’s landscape, the overall architectural design must align with the environment and the outdoors and activities must harmonise – not be disruptive and blend with the nature, like birds for example and their habitat.


The bottom line is not only driving up the profitability but coming up with smart and innovative ideas of interior design improves the operations of your hotel also by giving that guest experience beyond aesthetics.


Mehroon Wahab is currently Director Sales & Administration for Hospitality Sri Lanka. She was a former media representative for Spa Asia, and it was during her tenure that the Singapore based magazine published a 14-page feature on Sri Lankan Spas.



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