London. A city of such great commerce, and yet it’s hard not to allow our mental images of this captivating city to be clouded with thoughts of pollution. And with a name like “the big smoke”, it hardly does itself any favours. Whilst incentives such as Boris’ new bicycle scheme look to help reduce London’s carbon footprint, it appears the tourism industry too is trying to “green up”.
I’m sure you probably wouldn’t initially class the words eco, and hotel in the same sentence, but increasingly more and more cities are offering the option of top-notch accommodation with an environmentally low price tag.
Base2stay is an eco-friendly hotel based in Kensington, which offers a 4* hotel environment for its guests, not only at affordable prices, but also with consideration being given to the environment.
On arrival at the hotel, which was set in the beautiful confines of Courtfield Garden’s, it was hard to initially see what was so green about it. However on checking in and being shown to our room, I was able to take the opportunity to ask Amie Conway the Operations Manager, a few questions about the eco credentials of this hotel.
Q. How does base2stay ensure that it minimises the impact that its operations have on the environment?
The base2stay concept has at its core the concept of sustainability. Our green hotel policies and procedures includes things such as using energy saving light bulbs throughout the hotel, and fitting all rooms with an electronic key operated power switch to reduce energy usage when rooms are empty. All staff are trained in environmentally friendly initiatives such as switching lights off in rooms not in use and avoiding using water in a wasteful manner, and where possible environmentally friendly cleaning products are used. We even ensure our tea and coffee on offer in the rooms is Fairtrade.
Q. I notice that there is no restaurant or bar at the hotel, why is this?
As mentioned, base2stay values the concept of sustainability, and we opt not to have a restaurant or bar at our hotel in order to be socially sustainable, and encourage hotel guests to use local business, facilities and service providers. We provide guests with a ‘base directory and guide’, which highlights all the local businesses in the area. Again, by not replicating or creating under-utilised facilities that are better provided locally, we are able to offer economic value to its guests.
Q. So in a way, as well as being environmentally friendly yourselves, you’re encouraging your guests to be too?
That’s right, but not only in terms of being socially sustainable. We encourage guests to participate in our green policies by re-using their towels, if they wish to do so, having sheets changed less often, and to not use water in a wasteful manner.
On our website and in our directory which can be found in each room, we offer a number of tips on how guests can play a big part in promoting good environmental practices. This includes things like conserving energy by switching off lights, heating, or air conditioning when not in use, avoiding using cars where possible – many of London’s attractions are within a short walk of the hotel, and by being water wise.
On my stay, I noticed that there was a mini kitchenette in the room, comprising of a microwave, kettle, and kitchen utensils. On enquiry, I was impressed to find that this was present in all rooms, and was in fact another way of promoting good environmental practice within the hotel. Guests then have the option of eating at one of the local businesses, or making an adequate meal with the use of the microwave. I had prepared a pasta dish the night before my stay, so after a quick three minutes in the microwave, we had a dish fit for a king.
I was also curious to find out what the hotel did in terms of recycling, and found that the hotel recycles a staggering 80% of its waste. With all these initiatives in place, it is little wonder that base2stay is one of two hotels in London to have received the prestigious Gold Award under the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Base2stay is also an accredited member of Hospitable Climes, an energy efficiency agreement between the Institute of Hospitality and the Government. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, base2stay is an official member of the Considerate Hoteliers Association and iStayGreen.
If you would like more information on base2stay, or to book an eco room, please visit www.base2stay.com or call 020 7244 2255. Rooms start at £91 and come equipped with mini-kitchen, power shower rooms with complimentary Keji aromatherapy toiletries, 20″ lcd flat screen TV, free regular internet access, air conditioning and hair dyer.