Sustainability, slowing down, concentrating on the essentials – in short, back to nature. This trend is currently informing all areas of our life and is also one of the themes at Ambiente 2015. Frankfurt’s first and only eco-hotel shows how this trend has been realised in the hotel industry. Let’s visit Villa Orange.
Here in the popular Nordend (North End) district of Frankfurt you’ll still find traditional neighbourhood kiosks, charming cafés and owner-run shops – as well as Villa Orange. It’s a perfect location for Frankfurt’s first and only eco-hotel, a neo-classical building dating back to 1914. It is firmly committed to sustainability and sets benchmarks for the European environmental tourism sector. Quite a feat for a business hotel situated in this financial and conference metropolis on the River Main, also known as “Mainhattan“! A counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of city life? Not according to owner Christiane Hütte: “Frankfurt and its residents are much “greener“ than would appear at first glance. This is also true of our business guests. Most of them want to maintain their personal lifestyles and values during their working lives as well. This is simply part of a modern harmonious work-life balance.”
Responsible use of resources is naturally one of the hotel’s key environmental commitments: “We regularly examine our operation in terms of water and energy consumption as well as our waste generation. We purchase “green“ electricity, use recycled paper and strive to use regional products,” explains Christiane Hütte. The hotel’s environmental credentials are independently checked and confirmed by the “ehc“ (eco hotels certified) environmental seal.
Naturally, the same also applies when it comes to food, as the owner emphasises: “Our meat, vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices and beverages all come from certified organic producers and meet at least the standards of the EU Regulation on Organic Farming. Wherever possible, we use regional foodstuffs from the Bioland, Demeter and Naturland organic farming associations in preference to EU organic products.”
When it comes to beauty products, too, it’s all organic at Villa Orange: “In the rooms we use exclusively certified natural cosmetics with no synthetic fragrances, colourings or preservatives. Our bed linen and hand towels are made from organic cotton.” Guests also sleep in perfectly natural materials, according to Christiane Hütte: “With our beds and mattresses we normally go for extremely high-quality, hypoallergenic products.”
The interior design at Villa Orange also demonstrates that natural products can be extremely stylish: “With the furnishings and interior design we have as far as possible avoided the use of harmful paints and varnishes,” states Christiane Hütte. “The house is characterised by a clear, modern furnishing style with lots of natural wood furniture and warm materials. In the rooms we combine superior beech and bamboo furniture with extravagant wallpapers, warm brown and orange tones and fresh blue. Some rooms have parquet floors, four-poster beds and free-standing traditional bathtubs.”
Form and functionality in harmony with nature – this theme is becoming more and more significant in the world of consumer goods. Customers pay increasing attention to where and what they buy. They want products made from environmentally produced materials, fairly traded goods and socially and environmentally responsible production processes. And manufacturers are responding to this development, as you can discover at Ambiente 2015. Sustainability criteria play an important role across all product groups – including table, kitchen and household products, gift items, jewellery, wellness and fashion products, decorative items, interior design concepts and furnishing accessories. The modern consumer is looking for a “good karma“ lifestyle. The theme of sustainability is also well represented in the programme of ancillary events at Ambiente with its diverse range of award ceremonies, forums and initiatives to promote young talented professionals. It is becoming clear that the sensible use of resources and responsible dealings with people and nature are much more than just a trend.