At Zighy Bay, one of de Lasteyrie’s main focuses is on environmentally-friendly solutions. He says that while these methods “require extra consideration”, “the key is to perpetually consider and reduce our pyramid of conservation — waste, water and energy consumption”.
Instead of vacuuming dust and sand, he mops the floors with water mineralised on site and infused with lemongrass from its organic garden. After mopping, the water is then used for irrigation.
Sreedhar Suresh, director of housekeeping at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah in Oman, agrees that being environmentally friendly is becoming one of the biggest factors in his job.
His hotel is ISO 14000 certified, and has changed suppliers recently due to their lack of onus on green issues and initiatives. However, de Lasteyrie explains that many hotels that give guests the option for daily linen changes are simply “greenwashing”, and at Zighy Bay, the standard is to only wash bath towels and bed linen every three days unless asked.
“After we explain ourselves most guests understand and accept our methods,” but “most guests are already sustainably-minded”.
Tatjana Ahmed, executive housekeeper at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, adds that while the hotel does so much to try to increase environmental sustainability, such as using new product Toucan Eco, which allows the hotel to produce its own disinfectant by mixing water, salt and electricity, guests largely undo their efforts.
“It is very sad to see that many efforts of the hotel are in vain, as our guests seem to enjoy beds which are made daily with fresh linens. As far as I know, this practice works very well in Europe but has still not taken off in the Middle East. In this part of the world it is still perceived as if something is being taken away from their comfort.”
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