Atypical Takes on Typical Accommodations
This is Not a Hotel Review is something I’ve been mulling over for some time now. I stay in a lot of hotels. Just over a year ago I calculated that I spent over two years of my life in hotels. That makes for a lot of blog fodder.
Or does it?
The thing is, unless it’s a treehouse or a yurt or a repurposed leper colony, most of the hotels I stay at don’t fit in with the theme of Man On The Lam — they’re not unique, they’re not quirky, they’re…<shudders>…mainstream. They’re just (usually) really nice hotels.
So I thought I would try something different. From time to time I will feature a hotel review that’s not really a hotel review (and honestly, won’t folks go to TripAdvisor if they want reviews anyway?)
What I’ll look for is the one thing that’s unique or different — the thing that ultimately sets it apart. That’s where the “Atypical Takes on Typical Accommodations” bit comes in. Here’s my first. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.
Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Some time ago, I wrote about my greatest hotel pet peeves in 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Hotels and 7 (More) Habits of Highly Ineffective Hotels. What I didn’t include in either one of those was lack of a concern for the environment.
And that was a mistake.
A friend of mine works for a major hotel chain. When he suggested adding recycle bins to each room so guests weren’t just tossing the mountain of newspapers they received during their stay, he was met with this:
“They may put private documents in there. We value the guest’s privacy more.”
Which I guess is a roundabout way of saying:
“We’re cheap, and we don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment.”
At least that’s what I heard.
Ever since, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for green initiatives at hotels. That’s the reason I even noticed the Green Directory – something that Jetwing Hotels has in each of its rooms across all of its locations in Sri Lanka.The Green Directory documents all that Jetwing Hotels does to promote a cleaner, greener environment – everything from installing shower heads that use less water, to putting light sensors in the car park and public toilets, and asking hotel suppliers to use less packaging.
They even let you know when you’re using solar power.Each of the hotels in the chain has its own Green Directory detailing what that specific location does to reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can view a copy of the directories here: Jetwing Hotels Green Directory.The family-owned chain also funds and runs the Jetwing Eternal Earth Programme (JEEP) – a responsible tourism initiative to benefit the communities in which Jetwing employees work and live, and to foster a greater awareness of each individual’s impact on the environment. Split into four sectors — Community Outreach Initiatives, Sustainability, Eco Projects and Humanitarian Programmes – JEEP has been responsible for the creation of a water purification and bottling plant for Negombo (where all area hotels use glass bottles, saving an average of 460 plastic bottles a day) as well as an awareness campaign called on “The Human Elephant Conflict” educating children and elders on elephant conservation.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know stuff like this about a hotel than how pretty the rooms are (they were beautiful in case you’re wondering.)
But you can be the judge of that for yourself. Have a look at the photos and let me know what you think in the comments section at the bottom. Images are a mix of Jetwing Blue, Jetwing Sea, and Jetwing Beach hotels in Negombo, Sri Lanka
Note: I was a guest of Jetwing Hotels while I was in Negombo, but they never asked me what to write.