Synonymous with sustainability, local engagement and innovative energy concepts, it’s no surprise that Zermatt hotel Cervo Mountain Lodge managed to navigate the year’s obstacles with its signature zeal and readiness. In addition to using the downtime to thoroughly overhaul the expansive resort, the hotel additionally teamed up with other properties in Zermatt to sell surplus produce, with the proceeds going to Lebensraum, a local charity. In redistributing the leftover goods to private individuals in return for a donation to a good cause, the campaign saved 2,000 crates of food and raised 14,500 CHF for organizations committed to the professional and social support of people with disabilities. Further east there was a similar push in Georgia, where the Adjara Group—the force behind Stamba, Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi and Rooms Hotel Kohkta—was the driving engine behind a national charitable initiative. Co-founded by Adjara Group CEO Valeri Chekheria, alongside Georgian Farmers’ Association Chairman Nino Zambakhidze and Sandro Kandelaki of Spark, the 1anoba Fund was created to assist socially and economically vulnerable Georgians impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Raising funds through the organization of concerts with local musicians and the group's #Together platform, which offers services such as personalized tours of Tbilisi, the charity has managed to raise a significant amount of money for hard hit communities.
Over at Inhabit Hotel, Design Hotels’ newest London property, social conscience initiatives have fortuitously overlapped with an unrelenting commitment to sustainability. Working with Globechain, a marketplace focused on the redistribution of goods to social causes, the hotel has diverted a total of 273 items weighing 2934kg from landfill by donating these articles for reuse in the UK and internationally instead. In a similar vein, Cretan Malia Park in Crete has continued to pursue an integral pledge to eco-consciousness, locality, and self-sustainability with the establishment of the The Phāea Farmers program. Led by the hotel’s parent company, Phāea Resorts, this new effort invests in employees’ seasonal agricultural activities during low season, providing support through collaborations with agronomists to train in organic farming methods and sustainable land use. This allows resorts, including Cretan Malia Park, to source the highest quality local produce for use on-site, with aloe, grapes, wine, herbs, honey, fruit, olives and olive oil, seasonal vegetables, and dairy products all procured through existing staff, who refrain from using pesticides and chemicals.
Stateside, Proper Hotels has put an imaginative spin on the newly ubiquitous work-from-home status for many. In collaboration with co-working provider Industrious, the group is bringing home working to Proper Hotels in Austin, San Francisco, and Santa Monica, as well as the brand’s Hotel June and Avalon properties by turning suites into private workspaces for a new perspective on the home office. Combined with access to the various hotels’ pools, dedicated meeting spaces, and dining outlets, this new setup introduces the brand’s signature ‘uncommon luxury’ to the realm of remote working. In a similar concept, Design Hotels came together with NeueHouse—a private workspace and cultural home for creators—and Firmdale, Proper, The Ludlow, Troutbeck, and Twelve Senses hotels to grant NeueHouse members in Los Angeles and New York City exclusive access to spaces, programming and amenities at 10 member hotels in California and New York.
Similarly, Grupo Habita—who recently opened Círculo Mexicano in Mexico City—has forged ahead with cultural programming adapted to newly formed parameters. Working with Museos Uno en Uno, an awareness-raising campaign dedicated to keeping galleries and museums open through solo experiences for visitors, Habita has enabled citizens to continue to reach such outlets during extended periods of confinement. Mexico City’s Frida Kahlo Museum and the Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli Museum were two of the first institutions to join the initiative, which ran through August 2020. It’s just one of many steps taken by Design Hotels’ member properties to be better and support local communities and environments in spite of a turbulent year. Here’s to setting the tone for 2021.