Luxury has always been an essential requirement in the hospitality industry. One of the main allures of staying in a hotel is due to the unparalleled amount of timeless grace and elegance they offer. From bonafide and top-class services to excellent rooms, hotels in the 21st century need to be luxurious in nature and in line with the trends. At the same time, it is crucial to recognize the fact that luxury is a subjective term. Personal opinions have a lot of importance when it comes to defining luxury. Every individual has a specific perspective of luxury where a 3-star property can cater to the luxury needs of someone, and for some other person, 5-star is their luxury definition. This subjectiveness helps mold the aesthetic of any given hotel, making “luxury” a challenging and broad concept to define. The notion for us at Designers Group is to outline the right ambiance for a larger audience. It is also important to distinguish between luxury and extravagance, as the former can also be subtle in nature depending upon an individual’s personal choice. Many people are converting to a more modest and understated form of luxury, wherein they are opting for sustainable options. For us at Designer’s Group, this is the entire essence of “positive luxury,” wherein sustainability meets luxury to arrive at gorgeous interiors for hotels coupled with superior quality of services.
Sustainability is basically a holistic concept that has been used by environmentalists for more than three decades. This term has been nothing but a buzzword used in articles of the heyday, without offering any relevant information. Today, sustainability is being adopted as a lifestyle by many. It centers around the mindful use of resources to meet present needs while ensuring that future generations can still have access to non-renewable resources. It allows the planet to heal and recover for the first time since the industrial revolution. One of the most significant contributors to ecological degradation, which, at the same time, uses up numerous resources, is the tourism industry. For instance, in 2018, the Thai government was forced to shut down one of its most popular beaches – the Maya Bay, after the daily visits of 5,000 tourists ruined the coral reefs.
In order to do the right thing, designers and architects need to be on the same page with ecological scientists and environmentalists. Change starts at the most fundamental and elementary level, and in order to pioneer the ideals of positive luxury, one needs to experiment a lot with different materials and design strategies. At the same time, architects and designers must also find a new playground to implement the ideals of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle. A singular philosophy needs to drive the changes in the hospitality industry. From the crystal clear beaches of the Caribbean to the art museums in Paris, owing to their popularity, these destinations will invariably be marred and distorted by human traffic. It would be remiss if it remained unsaid – companies and travellers are moving beyond the scope of sustainable practices. Sustainable practices are an essential step taken to ensure that nature heals. Still, at the same time, proactive and regenerative measures need to be supplemented with sustainable practices to really hone in the impact of environmental recovery. Regenerative architecture and designs are taking over the hospitality industry to support more planet-friendly practices.
At a global level, tourism is responsible for 5-8% of the carbon emissions. These numbers might seem insignificant, but these numbers need to be minimized so that the water level can remain stable and the ozone hole can have a chance to be repaired. In every hotel, there are amenities that are integral to the hospitality industry. From providing bottles of grooming products to having plates made of bone china, they also leave a large carbon footprint. In order to reduce this carbon footprint, organic and recyclable amenities must be the first preference of hoteliers. From a design standpoint, the use of recycled materials can also make a massive impact on the hotel’s carbon footprint. Reclaimed wood and recycled shards of glass are frequently used in the projects undertaken by Designers Group. This has a two-pronged effect where it not only helps the planet but also utilizes what is already available to cut down on the emissions associated with using new materials. Such practices are favored by many industry stalwarts as well. Industry insiders know that electricity consumption needs to be reduced in order for a hotel to be truly environmentally friendly. Designers Group put their best effort in outlining energy-efficient properties through the apt incorporation of mood lighting and ambient lighting. Therefore, elements of automatic conservation are also a popular method that helps conserve energy. Some common design elements of automatic conservation are sensor lights and thermostats. It also includes the shift to cardless entry to rooms which really helped cut down on the use of plastic. A tactic that Designers Group uses in all the hospitality projects they design is installing solar panels to make the best use of India’s tropical climate.
The architects and designers can also have a say in the sheets used in the rooms. Ethically sourced linens made of natural fibers help contribute to the reduction of the carbon level associated with a hotel. Next, not taking care of the excess water from storms and rain showers that do not get absorbed by the ground or evaporate is one of the most common mistakes that can be made during the design process. In a country like India, rainwater harvesting techniques are also very beneficial. Not only will these systems collect and purify rainwater, but they can also cut down on the use of governmental water supply to a substantial extent. If done correctly, rainwater can supply the bathwater in the rooms and can be used to water the gardens as well. The gardens need to be designed in such a way that they allow the percolation of rainwater in the ground. Measures need to be added to convert the commonly used asphalt in the hotel’s parking grounds into a more eco-friendly material. Planting a rain garden or using permeable pavement in order to make the parking area are some ideas that can make a hotel more sustainable. Automating water and energy conservation is also a sustainable practice that has been used by hotels. Using aerators in bathroom sinks lowers the amount of water used, and dual flush toilets also reduce the amount of water needed to flush. Water recovery and recycling systems are also firmly placed in the ethos of modern hospitality design. We at Designers Group ensure the correct use of STP water in flushing, landscaping, and other relevant activities.
As mindsets are changing – 83% of the global travellers think that sustainable travel is of utmost importance. It is high time that luxurious elements and sustainable practices are merged together in real-life design applications. This heralds a new era of positive luxury, a surefire way to connect communities and revive practices across the global hospitality market.