Carmen’s favorite sustainable hotel options for 2018.
1 Hotel Central Park, New York
Being aware of our impacts on nature is an issue that is increasingly present in discussions and debates, also architectural. For several years, many thought that luxury could not be synonymous with ecological. But little by little, this idea has changed and the Americans of SH Group decided to demonstrate it with the launch of 1 Hotels, a brand focused on designing sustainable hotels inspired by nature with the highest level of comfort. The adventure began in March 2015 with the 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami.
1 Hotel Central Park, is built in an 18-story building located in New York. The vertical garden that adorns the facade – and whose elements such as the structure and the irrigation system are recyclable – pays homage to the famous park where all New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple usually walk to recharge batteries and get away from the bustle of the city .
The original industrial architecture of the building served as a reference and was highlighted when possible, as in the concrete roofs and steel beams that were preserved. In many places, the brutalist beauty of design and the imperfection of materials stand out.
From the entrance, guests are welcomed in an eco-friendly atmosphere, thanks to the 16,000 twigs placed by the landscaper Damien Harrison. The AvroKO studio conceived the spaces of the hotel and the restaurant in such a way that the exterior seems to sneak inside. This feeling was achieved through the use of natural and organic materials such as cotton and linen in the 229 rooms and suites, as well as marble, wood and brick in the bathrooms. In the rooms, cozy atmosphere, natural light is abundant and the panorama of the city is exceptional. The Park Suite offers views of Central Park and the Greenhouse Suite -whose surface reaches more than 110 square meters- faces the Manhattan skyline. The pieces of furniture were made by local artisans and the neutral color palette offers warmth with touches of blue and cream.
This natural sanctuary in the heart of New York has the Jams bar-restaurant, which can welcome 100 diners and whose open kitchen creates an atmosphere full of energy. Chef Jonathan Waxman prepares dishes with fresh, organic, local and seasonal ingredients in a space where brick and exposed pipes recall the building’s old industrial look. In the bar, stone and recycled wood were privileged.
Thanks to the use of energy-efficient systems, with ecological cleaning products, and recycled materials, among others, the hotel is LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Among the numerous services offered by the hotel, it is worth mentioning that guests have at their disposal a Tesla electric car to discover the city. On the other hand, several activities related to nature are organized frequently. For example, local producers usually sell their merchandise in the hotel lobby. In addition, customers can contribute to the preservation of the environment through simple actions such as planting a tree, in the framework of activities coordinated by local organizations. There is no doubt: living in an ecological way is chic.
The Brando, a scientific luxury eco-hotel in French Polynesia
Located in the incredible Tetiaroa Atalón combines the maximum exclusivity with a scientific laboratory and the beauty of one of the most impressive environments on the planet.
The Brando is the hotel that will make the dream of the iconic actor Marlon Brandon a reality: preserve the natural environment and the culture of paradise that made him fall in love during the filming of the movie “Rebellion on board”.
A project that only has to do with the exclusive resort that has risen in the area in what refers to the strict ecological criteria under which it has been built, respecting Brando’s wishes to safeguard the environment. In this way, The Brando has air conditioning systems that work with seawater, desalinators to convert it into drinking water, solar panels to cover energy needs and a generator set that works with coconut oil. To this adds the maximum exclusivity: each of its 35 villas has a pool and a terrace with an outdoor bathtub with unparalleled views, in its restaurant you can savor the dishes of chef Guy Martin (awarded three Michelin stars for his restaurant Le Grand Véfour de Paris), its spa allows you to receive traditional treatments of the area, and its offer of adventure leisure is the most complete with options ranging from cycling, diving and kite surfing to canoeing and kayaking. With this description, everything points to the fact that it will become the main reference for active sustainable luxury tourism.
However, its greatest value is the scenario. Located 55 kilometers north of Tahiti, the Atalón de Tetiaroa is composed of 13 islands in the shape of a circle of intense jungle vegetation and wide beaches of white sand, located around an impressive turquoise blue lagoon, as well as an extensive Coral barrier. Therefore, it is not surprising that its opening is one of the most expected this year.
In addition to delighting in the wonderful surroundings, guests can access innovative on-site scientific knowledge. And, fulfilling the wishes of the actor, has created a research laboratory, composed of members of the University of California at Berkeley, which will be responsible for investigating the ecosystem and ensure the conservation of the rich fauna and flora of the atoll. Thus, visitors can interact freely with them and discover the secrets of this natural paradise, where it is possible to observe closely shark lemon, a pond of sea horses, sea turtles, whales, or a multitude of exotic fish and birds . Undoubtedly, a unique experience.