Discover the sustainable Dutch hotel that's blowing away the competition
With a zero-waste ambition, wind power and recycled materials, the QO Amsterdam tells us why it might be the next step in sustainable luxury
At first glass, the 21-storey high-rise of the QO Amsterdam Hotel blends in perfectly with the Dutch capital's cutting edge Amstelkwartier district, but this luxury hotel has lofty ambitions when it comes to sustainable travel. This spring QO Amsterdam opened its doors to a building designed to reduce environmental impact like few other city venues.
The unique 'living building' is the first hotel of its kind to be fully powered by Dutch wind, and is kitted out with 1638 thermal aluminium panels on the exterior that respond to climate both outside and in. Inside, the unique 'circularity' layout and floor to ceiling windows encourage heat and light to pour into the building – meaning 80% of the building's lighting is natural. Carpets are made of 100% recycling fishing net, and an innovative 'grey water system' has reduced water usage by 42%.
"With all of the incredible innovations available to us now, it was extremely important for us to approach every aspect of this new venue in a nature-friendly way, and to reduce the environmental impact of the hotel at every turn," QO general manager Inge van Weert told Tempus. "For us it was the only logical choice to build and start this new venue with sustainability being the core. We would like to challenge the status quo and shift the paradigm to reduce the environmental impact of the hotel. >>
It's an ambition that has seen the hotel set itself a zero waste-goal, reducing plastic bottles and water wastage, and even setting aside 10 electric car charging ports in the 130-spot car park. But most impressive is the almost fully self-sufficient and self-regulating rooftop greenhouse, where many of the herbs, vegetables, fruit and even fish are sourced for the hotel's two restaurants – Juniper & Kin kitchen garden & bar, which has panoramic views of the city, and the ground floor Persjin, offering Dutch cuisine.
"Creating an environmentally-friendly hotel is not just a case of using sustainable materials during development, it is about establishing an eco-conscious ethos to continually find a use for waste produce, and carrying this through every process within the business," said van Weert.
"As a result, sustainability is seen throughout every aspect of the hotel, even through our supplier relations, whereby we provide suppliers with wooden crates or ask to receive products without packaging. The QO tries to view waste as a commodity, with its own intrinsic value, therefore it is important for us to try and work with others to close the gap between wastage and sustainability. >>
"We’ve seen that small changes are already having a bigger impact in the business propositions of our partners," he added. "For the hotel to consistently function with a minimal carbon footprint, it is my responsibility to fully educate hotel staff about the circular nature of the QO and the hotel's unique features, such as the reusable grey water system and self-sufficient greenhouse, to ensure that the day-to-day procedures are approached with sustainability at front of mind.
But no eco-friendly proposition would be complete without a focus on its guests' wellness. QO offers a holistic wellbeing studio, Embody, offering a wide range of group classes, personal training, nutrition advice and mindfulness.
"What we’ve managed to do with the QO is create a unique space that seamlessly blends style and sustainability, promoting luxury with a conscience," said van Weert.