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1 Hotels: Design hotels inspired by nature

We love working with hotels that embrace the concept of sustainable travel and strive to minimise their impact on the environment. To give credit where it’s due, 1 Hotels excels in this area. From the moment you step foot in a 1 Hotel – they’re open at 1 Hotel South Beach and 1 Hotel Central Park, New York (with another on its way in Brooklyn), you get a sense of what they are trying to achieve. The 1 Hotels mission is to give the deepest consideration to the environment in every operational aspect, help guests enjoy a meaningful stay and to reconnect with nature while inspiring beautiful design.

As CEO and chairman of 1 Hotels, Barry Sternlicht explained: ‘I wanted to capture the beauty of nature in a hotel and, in doing so, commit to safeguarding it as best I can – a responsibility I believe we all share.’ A force to be reckoned with in the luxury-hotel world, Sternlicht was behind the creation of Starwood’s W Hotel brand and the Baccarat Hotel in New York.

Not only does 1 Hotels strive to embrace green living without compromising on luxury but it also lets guests know all about it as a key part of its philosophy. Interior design is guided by materials rescued from the outdoors, including, for example, beetle kill pine used in the halls at 1 Hotel South Beach and reclaimed redwood from old water towers used at 1 Hotel Central Park. A striking feature of both hotels is the use of plants as ‘living art’ throughout the guest areas, from the huge wall arrangement in the lobby to the terrariums in each guest room at 1 Hotel South Beach.

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All the finer guest room details have been thoughtfully considered too, from the hemp-blend Keetsa mattresses and 100% cotton fabrics, to the soya-based toiletries, all of which are sustainable. But it’s the quirky little touches that really drive home what the brand is aiming to achieve: room keys made from recycled wood, coat hangers fashioned out of recycled cardboard and, in an effort to minimise paper waste, there are reclaimed chalkboards to jot down any notes you may wish to make. You can even rest assured that luxuries such as the Vers in-room Bluetooth speaker have admirable green credentials as, for each one that is crafted, a new tree is planted.

Some of the biggest challenges of environmental responsibility for the luxury-hotel industry include reducing water consumption. To address this, 1 Hotels employs a rain catch-and-reuse water system, while in-room water dispensers featuring triple-filtered water and drinking glasses are reducing the need for plastic bottles. In the bathrooms there are low-flow fixtures and the showers even come with a timing system, which may come in handy if you really did only mean to nip in for a quick freshen up!


Wherever possible, the interior design makes use of as much natural light as possible through the use of retractable walls, as well as well-placed windows and doors, which reduces the need for constant lighting. Otherwise, low-energy bulbs and LEDs are the norm, while ‘dim some’ night, held each month, sees the lighting turned down to set the scene for a candlelit evening. It’s a nod to preserving electricity and also to raising awareness of global brightening. And when it comes to getting around outside, you will be encouraged to use bikes, or take advantage of a complimentary ride in a Tesla premium electric vehicle.

Naturally, menus in the restaurants emphasise fresh, farm-to-plate produce. To reduce the carbon footprint, local suppliers are used, including the community-run Little River Cooperative in Miami, where everything is grown organically. And if you’re feeling peckish between meals, both hotels have a farm stand in the lobby where you can grab a piece of fruit for a vitamin-packed snack to keep you going.


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