Building a responsible business from the ground up
When Hidden Lake Hotel opens its doors it will be living proof of the difference responsible business practices can make. Any business can make the decision to operate responsibly and make it work. But you need a lot of motivation to make it succeed.
Consider every choice
Glenda’s hospitality knowledge and experience, her unending research and dedication to making it happen motivated everyone and really kept us focused on the next task and the one after that. Responsible operations involve additional decision making, particularly in the preliminary stages. We chose to operate responsibly in a way that added to the guest or group experience. This sometimes meant stepping outside the status quo into what felt like unchartered territory. However, once we committed to the concept of an earth conscious hotel, we had a core set of guiding principles. Any issues were referred to the three pivotal guidelines of those principles:
- Is it responsible?
- Is it sustainable?
- Is it achievable?
Make it official
Making a commitment to responsible practice was an easy decision for us. Having grown up in the region we felt a huge responsibility to care for it. In order to achieve this we looked for quality markers that we could strive for and be judged by.
QUALMARK provides evidence that your business has been independently validated as a quality tourism business. Responsible practice is a large part of that rating system. We were on board with Qualmark’s requirements very early on and formulated a plan to be a field leader. Many of our goals relate to meeting and exceeding Qualmark’s definitions.
Look for likeminded suppliers
What about suppliers? Shouldn’t they be responsible operators too?
The decision to try different ways of doing things was challenging but important to our strategic goals. Sometimes it meant additional work. In the case of no bin liners and reusable glass bottles, extra cleaning is required however, ‘no plastic no paper’ reduces waste and costs.
Cloth napkins instead of paper, fewer food miles, more laundry options, renewable energy sources before the grid, paperless check in, less waste less landfill, supporting local sustainable businesses, emissions offset by donations to Lake Te Koutu water quality solutions and education sessions for local businesses on the power and the future of sustainability. Choices like these have brought us to the cutting edge of contemporary hospitality.
Supporting and encouraging responsible business practice has added to the Hidden Lake Hotel and Waikato story in ways we could never have imagined.
Be an inspiration to others
With the obvious examples of sustainable thinking and actions there for anyone to see, Hidden Lake Hotel will join the rush of sustainable operators inspiring a new age of responsible decision making very much in keeping with hotel trends for 2019.
Glenda Hamilton and Christopher Turner are the owners and operators of Hidden Lake Hotel Cambridge, New Zealand. Look for the Hidden Lake Hotel exhibition at EXplore and TRENZ Rotorua 13-16 May.
Have a question about the Hidden Lake Hotel? Want to make a booking enquiry? Contact us