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Monday, June 24, 2024

Luxe Lavs

 

BY ANGELA FAIRHURST

 

Bathrooms play a central role in home design, offering a private space where splendor meets functionality. Luxury resorts take this concept to new heights, providing guests with opulent bathroom experiences that inspire and rejuvenate. What’s even more impressive is when these resorts prioritize eco-friendly practices, seamlessly blending indulgence with sustainability. Here is a unique selection of such eco-conscious resorts that take luxury to a new level where lavatories are concerned.

CHABLÉ YUCATÁN: RE-ENVISIONED AGAVE FACTORY

Across 750 acres of the Mayan jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, architects and designers reimagined,

restored, and honored the ruins of a 19th century hacienda and former agave factory, transforming it into a five-star wellness resort of eco-chic indulgence. Chablé Yucatan banned single-use plastics in addition to installing 1,848 solar panel modules that generate 60% of the resort’s current energy use. This effort has offset approximately 812 tons of CO2 — the equivalent of planting 4,318 trees.

Sustainability permeates every aspect of Chablé’s bathrooms, from surfaces crafted from local tropical hardwoods with naturally soft and rich waxed finishes, to one-piece quarried monoliths for the sinks, showcasing a dedication to environmental preservation without compromising luxury. These monoliths not only exude elegance but also contribute to sustainability by minimizing material waste and promoting durability. Carved limestone bathtubs, hewn from nearby Dzitás, offer a luxurious retreat, with some tubs in the Royal and Presidential Suites weighing an impressive 1,100 pounds each — also carved from a single quarry monolith.

Each villa’s bathroom is a sanctuary of sustainable opulence with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and indoor- outdoor showers which invite the lush surrounding nature to become part of the bathing experience.

The architects’ goal was to create an open space that connects the guest visually to the exterior surroundings, while ensuring privacy within the natural landscape that envelops each casita and villa. https://yucatan.chablehotels.com Nature rooms at Hotel Klosterbräu. With sustainability in mind, these luxurious spaces feature freestanding bathtubs offering panoramic views of the breathtaking Tyrolean landscape. Chic and modern, the cabinetry is made from locally sourced materials and blends rustic charm with contemporary elegance. Guests can unwind in private

saunas crafted from regional and sustainable woods, indulging in the ultimate relaxation amidst the tranquil Alpine surroundings. Showers, manufactured with water-saving technology, provide a spa-like experience while ensuring eco-consciousness without compromising on luxury. www.klosterbraeu.com/en

 

HOTEL CHRISTOPHER: ECO-FRIENDLY EXCELLENCE

For its third consecutive year, The Hotel Christopher retains its Green Globe Certification, reaffirming its dedication to nature-centric tourism and eco-conscious practices. As the sole hotel on the Caribbean island of Saint-Barthélemy to hold this certification, The Christopher stands at the forefront of sustainable hospitality. This year’s accolade acknowledges the hotel’s groundbreaking efforts in

 

HOTEL KLOSTERBRÄU: NATURE ROOMS

The Green Pearls® Hotel Klosterbräu in Seefeld, Tyrol, stands as a symbol of sustainable luxury and an example of how a new building can be constructed almost entirely from regional materials and still have all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. Its 28 new rooms and suites boast up to 95% locally sourced materials. Recognizing the escalating temperatures in the Alpine region during summer, the Seyrling family, the hotel’s owners, ingeniously integrated natural cooling methods. Clay walls, sourced from the family’s personal forest and expertly affixed to wooden slats, provide an eco-friendly solution to regulate room temperatures. With insulating clay wool and an A+ emission rating, the hotel minimizes reliance on traditional air conditioning and heating systems, further reducing its carbon footprint.

The bathrooms are serene sanctuaries of indulgence. Crafted water management, achieved through a fully self- sustaining system incorporating water treatment and desalination. This pioneering initiative includes the establishment of a unique drinking water station on the island, made possible through a collaboration with AQUAchiara, a renowned French expert in water purification. By bottling and purifying water in-house, The Christopher significantly reduces CO2 emissions and eliminates the environmental footprint associated with outsourced bottled water, aligning with Green Globe’s mission to operate at the highest echelon of sustainability.

The hotel’s design, crafted by the renowned French architectural firm De Yavorsky, boasts 48 rooms and suites, including three four-bedroom villas, each offering captivating views of the sea and adjacent bay. Envisioned as a sprawling residence with sleek, timeless lines, its Creole architecture seamlessly intertwines with contemporary design and vibrant hues, exuding charm and sophistication. Within the guest bathrooms, long single-slab sinks in warm, earthy tones add to the ambiance. Enhanced by energy-efficient LED lighting, the reflections dance across the shower tiles, creating a mesmerizing visual display as water cascades from the tropical showers. Relaxing in the spacious granite bathtub, guests are treated to panoramic views of the sea, enveloped in a sense of serenity and solitude amidst the vastness of the ocean. www.hotelchristopher.com

 

CREATIVHOTEL LUISE: RENEWABLE HOTEL ROOMS

Creativhotel Luise in Erlangen, Germany, is a pioneer in sustainable hospitality. Since its inception in 1956, the hotel has adhered to eco-friendly practices, evolving with each generation. Today, under the guidance of manager Ben Förtsch, the hotel continues to innovate, embracing measures for efficiency, sustainability, and climate neutrality with a new Cradle-to-Cradle room concept, made from recyclable materials that are and remain 100% biodegradable or 100% recyclable. These “renewable rooms” — a phrase coined by the hotel itself — are constructed with structural panels made from untreated straw and recycled materials, and the ceilings crafted from Oriented Structural Straw Boards (OSSBs). Straw is an abundant and renewable resource, often considered a waste product in agriculture.

Using it for construction helps reduce waste and provides an eco-friendly alternative to wood-based products, and OSSBs have good insulating properties. Therefore, these materials reduce CO2 emissions, support local farmers, and provide an environmentally friendly and socially responsible choice. The renewable rooms feature metal-free timber construction, using plug connections and eco-friendly glue to minimize environmental impact. Non-toxic silicate paint on the walls regulates humidity and enhances air quality. Coco-Mat mattresses offer comfort with natural materials like natural rubber, coconut fibers, and seaweed. Real plants purify the air, while nature-inspired artworks add aesthetic appeal. The bathrooms at Creativhotel Luise are the highlight of the sustainable design. Guests can experience showering like an astronaut with Orbital Systems’ patented water recycling technology, originally developed for NASA’s Mars missions. This technology saves over 90% of water and up to 80% of energy compared to conventional showers. Compare this to an average shower with an economy showerhead which uses 30 liters in five minutes, and a regular shower head using 60 liters! Additionally, intelligent heating systems save around 33% of heating energy. Renewable hotel room. Photo courtesy of Hotel Luise by adjusting room temperature based on weather and occupancy. Efficient heat recovery units in the bathroom and LED lighting systems further support energy conservation, making the bathrooms a perfect blend of luxury and sustainability. www.hotel-luise.de

 

THE PALMS HOTEL & SPA: GREEN GLAMOUR

Along the coastline of South Beach, The Palms Hotel & Spa offers a tranquil retreat where genuine hospitality and environmental consciousness intersect seamlessly. This privately owned and managed resort embodies laid-back sophistication and oceanfront

They also utilize bio-additives in some plastics, making them 100% biodegradable should they wind up in landfills. www.staybeyondgreen.com/hotels/ united-states/palms-hotel-spa

 

COULIBRI RIDGE: SOLAR-POWERED SERENITY

Coulibri Ridge is a 14-suite off-grid discreet luxury resort located on a mountain ridge in southern Dominica, just minutes from the picturesque Soufrière Bay, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Designed as a long-term research project, Coulibri Ridge exemplifies how modern eco- resorts can thrive while respecting the environment and supporting local traditions. With a commitment to self-sufficiency, solar panels fuel all the resort’s power needs, and water is generated entirely by filtered rainwater, ensuring a sustainable water supply while preserving the natural beauty of the surroundings. Even the construction materials are sourced locally, with the resort’s hurricane-resistant exterior crafted by skilled artisans using hand-chiseled rock from the property itself. Coulibri Ridge is a member of Beyond Green, a global portfolio of planet Earth’s most sustainable hotels.

The design of each suite’s sustainability is woven into the fabric of the guest experience. Rainwater harvested from the surrounding landscape flows through low- flow showerheads, while solar heater tanks provide hot water using renewable energy. Recycled materials are incorporated into the suite furnishings, and organic, locally sourced amenities enhance the guest experience while minimizing environmental impact. Smaller- capacity toilet tanks are used, reducing the amount of water consumed per flush. The bathroom vanity top is finished with reclaimed granite, and custom-made vanity furniture is made from certified recycled teak. www.coulibriridge.com

External shower at the villa. Photo courtesy of Coulibiri Ridge Inn by the Sea bathroom Cove and Beach Suites. Photo courtesy of The Palms Hotel serenity. The Palms holds prestigious certifications such as Green Globe and Florida Green Lodging Three Palm designation, underscoring its unwavering commitment to sustainable practices. Efforts to eliminate single-use plastics are underway, with initiatives like Proud Source locally bottled spring water in aluminum bottles, and FSC certified wooden keys replacing plastic cards. The Palms’ dedication to sustainability extends to its design and amenities, with eco-friendly practices evident in every detail. They use recycled materials in furnishings, energy-efficient Mode Green Guest LED light, and A/C climate control systems. The low flow showerheads and faucets throughout the hotel only consume 1.5 gallons per minute, while eco-friendly toilets use hand wash water to flush in one third of its guest rooms. Guests can also indulge in a little bit of personal luxury from BeeKind by Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, whose bottles, cartons, and labels are made from the most readily available recyclable materials.

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