1 Hotels: Taking Hospitality to a Natural, New Level

When deciding on a hotel for an upcoming vacation, what factors do you take into consideration? Are you very price-conscious or are you willing to pay more for a high-quality experience? These decision factors vary diversely for consumers with differing demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle characteristics. As a student who studied abroad and travelled Europe last year,  price was my most important decision factor (I was on a tight budget). However, I also used location (convenience) and user reviews to narrow down my options. As we learned in class yesterday, I did not take the social or environmental externality cost into my decision factors when I considered the price charged by each hotel. Perhaps, if you fall into the “LOHAS” or “Naturalities” segments (sustainability-minded and/or concerned about personal health) you might consider staying at hotels that monitor their environmental footprint or offer organic products for a premium. But what about consumers who fall under the “Conventional”, “Drifter” or “Unconcerned” segments, who account for more than 60% of the market? For hotels that hope to add value and target many travellers, each with different attitudes towards sustainability, it is essential to be “Great First, and Green Second.” 


        Lounge area at 1 Hotels South Beach

One hotel that is proving “sustainably and style can coexist” is  1 Hotels, which currently has two locations in Central Park, NY and South Beach, Miami. When you think of an environmentally-concience hotel, you might assume that the materials used will lack durability or be of lower quality. However, 1 Hotels is positioned as as a luxury hotel (it costs $635/night to stay at the Miami  location) that uses the beauty of the environment to “create refreshing experiences.”

lounge area

      Outdoor Patio Bar at 1 Hotels South Beach

Within each LEED certified hotel, you can expect to find: over 24,000 plants; rooms that provide natural lighting, organic towels/bath products and a triple filtered water system; fresh, organic food menu options; and all furniture, floors, doors, and walls made from reclaimed wood (Full List     Here). In addition to adding value for green consumers, 1 Hotels caters to other consumer segments (Drifters or Unconcerned) by choosing ideal locations and offering a high-quality experience  with many amenities (i.e. fully equipped 24 hour gym).

Given that 1 Hotels is following many of the sustainable strategies for product design, such as using recycled content, sourcing organically grown materials, and being water-efficient (Ottoman, 2011), I believe that it is an extremely front-thinking company. On its website, the company states that is constantly evolving, which we have learned is an important component in a sustainable product or service design. In the long-term, 1 Hotel’s goal is to positively impact the environment and “reinvent the industry standard for socially responsible hospitality.” If successful, it is likely we will see more hotels using this model in the future.

Two Bed Room at 1 Hotels Central Park

                        A two-bed room at 1 Hotels Central Park

One thought on “1 Hotels: Taking Hospitality to a Natural, New Level

  1. Hey Ali, it is really nice to see what 1 Hotels is doing. However it looks like it contributes to the idea that green is generally more expensive. I understand 1 Hotels is targeting a segment who is willing to pay more for a great hotel experience, however it feels they are excluding a great segment of people who are environmentally conscious but aren’t part of a high income segment. In addition, to make other hotels follow a sustainable path, the example should really make the cost go down no up. 1 Hotels is putting a luxurious price on sustainability which I don’t feel is the way to go, in order to make sustainability mainstream.

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