This is Not a Hotel Review: @JetwingHotels

Posted by - July 18, 2013 | Category: Hideouts

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.

— Raymond

Jetwing Beach Hotels Negombo, Sri Lanka

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.

Let’s make this right shall we?Pool at Jetwing Beach Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka 036It confounds me when hotels do nothing to take care of the world outside their door. Or the world inside it for that matter.

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.

Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri LankaEver 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.Green Policy -- Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri Lanka 091Jetwing Sea Hotel Green Directory, Negombo, Sri LankaThe 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.Solar vs. grid power, Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri LankaThank you for reusing your towel sign -- Mother NatureJetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri Lanka 031View from room at Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri LankaEach 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.Lobby at Jetwing Beach Hotel Negombo, Sri LankaThe 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

Square sail fishing boat, Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri LankaYou shower rains 10 ft. per minute sticker

Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri Lanka 116Green policy eco-friendly paper at Jetwing Hotels, Negombo, Sri LankaBeach at Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lankaexterior of Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri LankaRoom at Jetwing Blue Hotel Negombo, Sri LankaView of beach from Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka

Lounge at Jetwing Blue hotel, Negombo Sri LankaPool at Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka

Room at Jetwing Sea Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka Pool at Jetwing Sea Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka

Note: I was a guest of Jetwing Hotels while I was in Negombo, but they never asked me what to write.

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23 comments - add one
  1. I completely agree that there’s something about staying at a hotel that shows how they care for the environment. It just gives you a great feeling. One hotel that talks about that and how they give back to the Costa Rican community that came to mind is in Tuetal, Alejuela, Costa Rica, which talks about its care for the environment and its local community in very colorful notebooks in each room. And I have no affiliation with it whatsoever. Regardless of the green messaging, the pics up top are awesome. Rockin’ hotels!

  2. Green is definitely starting to grow, thankfully. That Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown, D.C. I recently reviewed had a bunch of green initiatives. Shortly after I bumped into the Block Olive Inn in Baltimore, and they’re super green/natural as well.

  3. Raymond this is great – nice to see so many green initiatives in play. Regarding the hotel that didn’t want recycle bins in the rooms – perhaps small shredders would be an option but if the bottom line is cost, they won’t go for that either. :-/

  4. Great idea! However, I sincerely hope your readers aren’t going to TripAdvisor for hotel “reviews.” Most of the hotel content there is superficial drivel, bald-faced whining or shameless self-promotion or bashing of the competition. I look forward to more of your focused “quirky takes” instead.

  5. Awesome awesome awesome! I hate hotels that don’t give a damn about the environment. Glad to hear the Jetwing is different — I will definitely be checking them out next time I come across one.

  6. It’s about time for these hotels to start sharing responsibility for the environment. It’s much appreciated and we hope one day it will be an obligatory action.

    Do you stay in these hotels $$$! Interesting :p

  7. I stayed at a hotel in Hong Kong recently that rewarded guests who reused their towels with a free bottle of water. I thought this was great until I realized the plastic bottles were just creating more waste. More hotels are trying, it’s just a long learning curve. Love the atypical hotel review concept, by the way!

  8. Wow, beautiful hotel AND environmentally friendly. ON a press trip one time I stayed at a hotel that was trumpted as friendly and I could list ten things within the first ten minutes that could be improved–from light bulbs to oversized tubs. So are you going to tell on hotels that do not walk the walk, too?

  9. I have been to several tourist places and hotels.I never saw such go green concern in any hotel.I love the fact that now people have come up with such a unique way of conserving environment from waste.But,from now onwards i will certainly insist for such hotel.


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