Resorts in remote locations may provide relaxing escapes, but such hotels can by costly for the environment and deplete water, land, and local resources, according to the Global Development Research Center.
A new hotel concept, however, aims to combine luxury and sustainability. Called the Vertical Micro-climate Resort, the hotel is designed to run solely on hydro-power and maximise natural sunlight.
The design by Vancouver-based Arno Matis Architecture is a finalist for this year’s Radical Innovation Award, a competition for imaginative hotel designs. In June, a jury of seven hotel investors, developers, and architects selected the Micro-climate Resort as the one of three finalists out of over 65 submissions from 24 countries.
Located on a mountaintop in Victoria, British Columbia, t
he 840,000-square-foot site would feature four high-rise towers ranging from 15 to 18 stories, which could hold a total of 500 rooms. The concave shape of the towers would help minimise energy use by optimising the amount of natural sunlight on the resort grounds, and balconies would feature angled mirrors to redirect additional natural light towards the rooms. The ledges would also hold plants, Jacuzzis, and small saunas.
“Marketed towards Canadians seeking warmer climates, the Vertical Micro-climate Resort uses natural thermal and solar technology to warm and brighten resort grounds, providing a brighter, warmer, year-round indoor and outdoor resort living experience within temperate northern climates,” the firm’s principal, Arno Matis, told Business Insider.
If guests wanted room service, they could hail a drone, which would deliver food and drinks to them.
There are no plans to build the Vertical Micro-climate Resort as of now, so the firm has not estimated the cost per night. Matis did say, however, that construction would be possible with current technology.
A number of other hotels have already transitioned rely partially or completely on solar, wind, and hydro-power — the Star Island Resort in the Bahamas and the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort in Queensland, Australia are two eco-friendly examples. As The Guardian notes, moving toward renewable energy sources could prove lucrative for the hotel industry — a 2013 report by McGraw-Hill Construction found that, on average, hotel owners see a 14% higher ROI when their establishments invest in green infrastructure.
This means that, compared to traditional hotels, green hotels could be both financially viable and better for the environment.