Hotel Éclat Beijing
C T catches up with seasoned hotelier Dany Lützel at the crossing of the new year to find out how things are faring in Beijing and how the uber cool Hotel Eclat Beijing is incorporating sustainability tenets into their mode of operation.
1. What is your management style?
I lead by being a proactive and open-minded example. To take responsibility for both successful outcomes and mistakes is a vital sign of leadership, and I encourage my team to follow this path. However, I do not promote an autocratic or authoritative leadership style unless the situation requires so because by allowing certain freedoms and providing guidance will ultimately lead to success in the long term. I actively encourage my team to listen, encourage and entrust their staff to foster common trust and respect for all.
2. Tell us about the sustainability efforts that have taken root at Hotel Éclat Beijing under your leadership.
Hotel Éclat Beijing is located in Parkview Green, the First Integrated Commercial Complex to be awarded LEED® Platinum Certification in China. Our environmental commitment stretches to every corner of the building, with its own unique microclimate enabled by the triple-layered glass walling and ETFE membrane roofing "environmental shield". This environmental technology is a unique climate-control system that creates a comfortable ambient temperature in all seasons, including Beijing's harsh winters and hot summers. We also adopt highly efficient water usage and utilizes 50% lower energy use than that of other buildings of comparable size.
Hotel Éclat Beijing has installed LED light bulbs along all corridors to save electricity without sacrificing brightness. 960 lightbulbs have been changed from 28w to 7w, resulting in a saving of approximately 20 kW per year. Grey wastewater from baths and showers is collected and used in public area toilets allowing 45% of water to be recycled.
Hotel Éclat Beijing has eliminated toxic cleaning chemicals, which can cause allergies and breathing problems, and even leave harmful residues. Cleaning materials for the hotel include vinegar for descaling the bathrooms and preventing fungus. Meanwhile, bed linen and towels are deliberately off-white to maintain a fresh, clean look without the need for bleach. And natural cotton cloths are made from the old sheets and towels when they are worn out in place of synthetic textiles.
In 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, we entered a pilot project as the first hotel in Mainland China who work with the Swiss company ARVETM on a highly innovative indoor air quality product. With this solution, we can optimise our hotel for people's health and well-being, increase operational efficiency, optimise costs and resources, and finally manage and mitigate health risks caused by air pollution.
4. What is your fondest memory of Beijing out of the hotel?
As a Swiss native, I am, of course, in love with winter and snow. Therefore my eyes started to sparkle when I heard Beijing is preparing itself for the highest standard for the Winter Olympics in 2022. This has enabled my family and I to spend wonderful time on the ski slopes not far away from the city. The infrastructure, hotels and restaurants built over the years in the ski resorts have gradually improved and it feels like almost being home for me to be there.
5. How are you and your team getting ready for the world when China reopens?
We must admit that everything has two sides, and behind the obstacles lies the opportunities. This period is valuable because it gives us time to profoundly rethink our business, observe the details and make better plans. This kind of experience is not very easy to accumulate over days when things were 'business as usual'. The lesson we have learnt is that we should always be prepared for rainy days. As a relatively new and independent boutique hotel that has been operating for only eight years, we have not that much experience coping with this situation. However, we do absorb a lot from this episode, and we are gradually adapting to it. And we are for sure looking forward to receiving foreign guests as soon as possible~
6. Management resolutions for 2022?
It is very critical to adjust the hotel's strategy and plan correspondingly and promptly for 2022. We are now taking action to save and conserve in all aspects. When it comes to material, it is time to cut down daily consumables since there are not many guests in the hotel right now. We transfer some of the savings to spend on the necessity for sterilisation and disinfection. As for financial control, hotel management team members constantly discuss together to rectify the budget plan. Every department is responsible for reducing the expenses in recent months, and these implementations have contributed a lot to saving costs.
From my point of view, the most significant changes for 2022 would be global in nature. During this epidemic, some countries stay together to fight against this epidemic, and they help each other overcome this mutual problems. I see this as a positive development and hopefully, our borders will reopen and the business travellers and tourists will return to normal and lift the entire industry out of this difficult time.