WORLD’S FIRST ‘VEGAN SUITE’
It had to happen, the world’s first vegan hotel suite! And Hilton’s London Bankside hotel which consulted with The Vegan Society on which vegan-friendly materials to use is blazing a trail which other hotels and venues are keenly watching. The idea all started whilst General Manager James Clarke was in the States and met a vegan business traveller. On his return, James in-conjunction with multi-sensory design experts Bompas & Parr set about creating a unique vegan business travel experience. Instead of leather, the furniture is upholstered with Piñatex, a natural alternative extracted from the cellulose fibres of pineapple leaves. All the cleaning products used by the housekeepers are non-animal tested. There’s even a Vegan Mini-bar. meetingsclub had to find out more!
“Veganism is not just a dining trend, it has become a lifestyle choice for many and in turn we wanted to be the first hotel to be able to offer those who follow the plant-based lifestyle the chance to fully immerse themselves within it from the moment they walk into the hotel.” General Manager of Hilton London Bankside, James B. Clarke
And Clarke’s team have created the environment to do just that. The vegan experience starts as soon as guests are greeted at reception with a specially designed plant-based check-in desk, upholstered Piñatex seating and botanical artwork. Then there’s the distinctive red keycard also made from Piñatex which is not only smart but a clever sign for all Hilton staff.
Make your way up to Suite 149 and everything from the carpets to the pillow options has been redesigned to produce a boutique, welcoming experience for the ethically-conscious traveller. The calming suite interior draws inspiration from the simple pineapple, which symbolises luxury and hospitality, having been brought to South London by botanist John Tradescant in the 17th Century. Guests experience a range of specially designed features that embrace a plant-based lifestyle with all aspects carefully thought through:
Pillow options include anti-bacterial, non-allergenic and environmentally sourced material to replace feather down. Buckwheat pillows use 100% organic hulls, Kapok Pillows are made from natural kapok and there’s even a clever Orthopedic memory foam pillow made with bamboo shredded fibre or 100% recycled cluster polyester.
Flooring and Eco-Cotton Carpeting
Guests enjoy a stylish solid stone-grey flooring with distressed finish made with 100% renewable and sustainable Moso Bamboo. The suite also includes responsibly sourced organic cotton carpets for guests to sink their feet into, offering a soft and eco-friendly alternative.
Seating and Stationery
The desk chair and pouffes that feature in the suite have been stylishly created using Piñatex leather, with scattered Piñatex cushions to keep a chic feel to the space. Meanwhile the suite’s desk comes kitted out with stationery from notepads, pens and pencils which are all vegan-friendly with no animal traces in the paper or ink.
The mini bar offers a variety of locally-sourced, vegan treats including Graze protein powder, Naked fruit & nut snacks and Deliciously Ella energy balls in different flavours.
The culinary team at Hilton London Bankside has redesigned the in-room menu which now includes various vegan breakfast options (e.g. fruit juices, muesli, hummus and vegetables, potato hash, grilled Portobello mushroom, avocado and scrambled Quorn and quinoa), as well as lunch and dinner (e.g. cucumber salad, cauliflower steak and five-bean dhal). Plus, you can pick your own herbs – see the video below.
The suite provides PRIJA ginseng, earthly hotel toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner and essentials such as a shower cap, vanity and nail kit (made with recycled packaging).
The hotel’s housekeeping trolleys have been refreshed with eco-friendly products including Method’s range of nature inspired, non-toxic and non–animal tested cleaning products, with all linen being washed with environmentally friendly detergent.
Well the suite is certainly a talking point, but at this stage it is just one of 24 and depending on take up it will be interesting to see if more rooms are converted. But credit where credit’s due. This is an impressive inspirational idea that has been delivered. The Vegan Society’s, Danielle Saunders comments: “Having been involved with the planning of Hilton London Bankside’s Vegan Suite since the early stages in 2018, we’re thrilled to see the concept come to life. We’re pleased to see that those who live the vegan lifestyle are now able to expand their plant-based options with the opportunity to enjoy vegan travel in a hotel which incorporates the whole experience from check in to sleeping in plant-based linen.” Take a look for yourself:
Event Organisers are now placing huge importance on the ever increasing dietary needs of delegates, a massive current interest is in Vegan cuisine and flexitarian menus, to find out more, meetingsclub caught up with Barry Nichols, Executive Chef of Graysons Restaurants to understand more about pioneering flexitarian dishes for conference delegates and event guests.