On the surface room2 Chiswick, located in West London, appears like any other design-led hotel with its bespoke handcrafted furniture, William Morris prints and modern facilities.
However, there are two key aspects that distinguish it from other hotels, as it strives to differentiate itself from the soulless luxury accommodation suites that abound.
The first is the hometel concept, which combines the freedoms you’d have at home with an Airbnb meets hotel experience with all the services you’d anticipate when staying away. With mattress menus, in-room kitchens and flexibility around the length of your stay and whom you decide to bring – furry friends are catered to – Lamington Group’s UK-based hometels offer a unique proposition that accommodates a variety of needs while providing its guests with the feeling of living there as opposed to staying for a night.
Achieving whole life net zero
Across its ever-expanding portfolio is a commitment to only develop and operate whole-life net-zero carbon hotels, which takes into account the entire carbon footprint and impact on the environment that a building has across its operations, construction, maintenance and eventual demolition. It’s the first hotel company in the world to set a ‘whole life’ building standard and consider its entire carbon footprint.
“Whole life net zero means we have taken into full account our emissions and are not contributing further to climate change,” Godwin explains.
However, like any pioneering move, Chiswick’s opening in December marks a significant milestone that has not been without its challenges.
“As you would imagine, creating the world’s first fully net-zero hometel was no mean feat,” Godwin confesses. “A building that includes a 200-metre-deep ground source heat pump, solar panels, runs on 100 per cent renewable energy and uses electricity only (no fossil fuels) doesn’t come without its challenges.”
As a result, guests can expect all the luxuries they would normally encounter in a serviced apartment, but will depart leaving a zero-carbon footprint trail behind them.
“As a millennial, I am one of many who have grown up with a greater respect and appreciation for our planet, and so I have chosen not to contradict my values while growing this business, in order to look back and know I did my bit.” – Robert Godwin
“It took a team effort to achieve BREEAM Excellent certification and operate at 89 per cent more energy-efficient than the average UK hotel. Having purchased the site in 2014, it has taken multiple rounds of planning and pushback from locals to get to where we are today, but it’s all been worthwhile.”
For the Co-Founder, it was a family holiday to South Africa, where he witnessed the impacts of climate change on wildlife and nature and people and communities, that put him on the path towards taking decisive action.
“I started to immediately explore more around climate change and how our business could make a positive impact,” Godwin says. “There was no-one in our sector globally to look up to, who was fully accounting for their greenhouse emissions, and I remain surprised about this. So we set about creating and publishing a detailed road map for our group of companies …….