The story behind Conscious Hotels
What’s the story behind this hotel?
It all started…
Founding fathers are Marco Lemmers and Sam Cohen. It started when Marco's wife had their daughter Giulia. Marco got worried about their baby's future. The planet was in pretty bad shape and business had to change. So Sam and Marco started looking for positive alternatives for the business they both knew inside out - hotels. They dreamed a little. They thought a lot. The two of them wanted fully sustainable hotels. They wanted stylish contemporary interiors. They wanted total comfort. They wanted healthy food choices. They wanted playful touches. They wanted Holland to win the World Cup but that didn't happen. They wanted a lot, frankly. Lots of other stuff went on that we don't have time to go into here but, eventually, Conscious was born.
How is green defined in your hotel?
What makes us Conscious?
Conscious Hotels strive to be as green, sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. But they're more hip than hippy. And by hip we don't mean our staff are too cool to answer the phone. You might not even notice some of our 'green' sustainable decisions because we just quietly get on with being kind to the planet in the background. We think you're okay about that. We offer you a few choices that might even make saving the planet fun (yes, fun, imagine that). And keep you healthy. All this together with great design make us Conscious.
10 things about Conscious:
1. Eco-friendly but not Eco-fundamentalist.
2. We are not a "wrestle you to the ground and force feed you lentils if you use an aerosol to spray mousse on your hair" kind of place.
3. We don't even have a single picture of a mystical dolphin or a sad-looking panda on our walls.
4. But, yes, all our energy comes from renewable sources.
5. Our Apple juice comes from apples without air miles and our beer is locally brewed (we can even show you the brewery if you can still see straight).
6. We do have a Eco roof with a hive for wild bees (that's wild as in 'natural' not 'angry').
7. And yes that is a scent of strawberries you can smell and we do have tables made from recycled yoghurt pots.
8. And those notices around the hotel are funny even if we do say so ourselves.
9. And the beds will give you the best night's sleep of your life.
10. Because we say doing good can be done while looking good too
Can you define the ‘green experience’ for a guest?
We are Conscious. We are stunning Eco-Design Hotels in Amsterdam. We are big, friendly welcomes. We are all this plus we are kind to the planet.
Conscious Hotels is an eco-friendly hotel chain in the heart of Amsterdam consisting of 2 hotels: Conscious Hotel Museum Square & Conscious Hotel Vondelpark. We will be expanding with more hotels in the upcoming years, of which one will open in the beginning of 2017 and one at the end of 2017. Our first hotel is located just around the corner from the Museum Square, Conscious Hotel Vondelpark is right beside Vondelpark, 47,000 m2 of parkland equally suitable for energetic in-line skating and relaxing strolls beneath the trees. (very green J)
Guests have the reassurance of knowing that the hotel is run on environmentally-sound principles and is Green Key Gold Certified. For example: the furniture comes from sustainable sources and cleaning is carried out using an ‘Ionator’ which does not use chemicals.
Need more? Here’s more: Basically, everything you can touch is either certified, recycled or cradle to cradle. Chairs are made out of FSC certified wood, the pillows on our couch are made from recycled embroidery, the carpet is cradle to cradle. All the food and drinks we serve are 100% organic, even the spirits in our bar. Also the things you can’t touch, like energy and light, are conscious. We run on wind energy (and WIFI is just as quick), we use only LED or energy saving lights, we separate all our waste and our housekeeping doesn’t use chemicals with their cleaning. We have a 400 m2 green rooftop that helps a lot with isolating our building and attracts nature (bees, butterflies and other insects). We would always advise our guests to use bikes or public transport, or Taxi Electric, and our laundry is done by the most sustainable laundry service in the Netherlands. These are just a few examples, but feel free to come by and have a look!
What is your ‘green’ ambition?
We’re not only environmentally conscious in everything we do, we also value our community. At the moment we are setting up a Conscious Foundation where we will donate and sponsor money to projects and initiatives that suit our vision. That means in a nutshell; projects in our neighborhood as we care for our community, projects that help saving the planet, and projects that empower education and innovation.
Furthermore, we would like to proceed the way we are doing, eco-friendlier every day. We’d love to expand to other cities in the Netherlands, as well as abroad we hope to expand to Scandinavia.
Do you have green-eco tips for a guest for exploring Amsterdam?
· De Ceuvel
· Restaurant DeKas
· Westergasterrein with a lot of sustainable companies
About this interview:
This interview is featured via Booking Cares project. Booking Cares is the CSR program of Booking.com where the employees get one day a year from Booking.com to do volunteer work. They can work on something that matters to the local community and at the same time can have a real impact on making tourism in our destinations sustainable. Booking Cares collaborated with Holland.com to highlight green and sustainable activities for the destination Holland by personal stories.