Bill Bensley, the world-renowned designer of luxury hotels, has launched a white paper that sets out suggestions on how the global hotel industry can contribute more to efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment.
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Bensley launched the Sensible Sustainability Solutions guide during the Thailand Tourism Forum 2020 held in Bangkok on Jan 20. The piece of work incorporates over three decades of his experience designing over 200 hotels around the world.
Among the most well-known creations of Bensley’s imaginative mind are the multi-award winning Shinta Mani Hotels in Cambodia (Shinta Mani Wild and Shinta Mani Angkor), which he co-owns with Sokoun Chanpreda. In addition to the Shinta Mani Hotels, the Harvard-schooled architect also designed many of the top luxury hotels in Southeast Asia, including Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in Thailand, Capella Ubud in Indonesia, Rosewood Luang Prabang in Laos and JW Marriott Phu Quoc in Vietnam.
“By issuing my standards to all hotel companies, I am sharing an unbranded, open-source archive of lessons which we have learnt about hotel design, purposes, and sustainability.
Bensley said that he is hoping his ideas will be considered by a rapidly growing industry.
“In the next five years, over 15,000 new hotels will be built in Bangkok alone. For each of those, every hotel operations company will have a set of standards that they issue to architects like me, explaining how they want their hotel to stand apart from the rest. Surprisingly few of these standards specify concrete statements or changes regarding sustainability.”
“It is my hope that Sensible Sustainability Solutions will give hoteliers ideas to create, hand in hand with hotel operators, eco-friendly hotels – not just greenwashed – using ideas which align with owners’ rigorous standards,” he added.
Bensley said that in the face of the current climate crisis, both hotels and the wider hospitality industry have a responsibility to think more about the environment and sustainability.
“I have long believed that hotel design should take advantage of the human interest they receive by way of teaching and setting examples of sustainability. Through these ideas, we can save money, improve communities and better our environment. We really must understand, now, in the 11th hour of life on earth that our world requires some serious rethinking.