Designing for Veganism: Inside the World’s First Vegan Hotel Suite

The rising popularity of veganism has influenced many industries, and now it is having an impact on hotel design. We take a look at the “world’s first” vegan guest suite to find out what material choices were made by designers Bompas & Parr

Located in the Hilton London Bankside, the recently launched Vegan Suite is claimed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Designed by Bompas & Parr, with consultations from The Vegan Society, every aspect of the suite is designed to be completely vegan, reflecting the wider lifestyle aspects of a movement often considered to be all about food.

And although there is certainly an distinct whiff of a PR stunt about the project, it does reflect the fact that ethically conscious travel remains a strong part of the wider industry, and veganism is an increasingly important aspect to this.

For hotel design, this suggests more clients will look to make their suites and wider hotel facilities vegan-friendly, making this an intriguing case study for the movement.

“Veganism is not just a dining trend, it has become a lifestyle choice for many and in turn, we want to be the first hotel to be able to offer those who follow the plant-based lifestyle, the chance to fully immerse themselves within it from the moment they walk into the hotel,” commented James B Clarke, general manager of Hilton London Bankside.

Images courtesy of Bombas and Parr

Piñatex: Using the pineapple as an alternative to leather

The hotel in question is designed to appeal to the luxury traveller, meaning the design needed to create a high-end appeal.

To achieve this, Bompas & Parr turned to a rather unexpected source: the pineapple, and in particular the pineapple as it was seen in the 17th century when it was brought to London by botanist John Tradescant. 

This design seeks to evoke that sense of luxury, reflecting the fruit’s aesthetics in the deep greens and mid-tone woods used throughout the room.

However, the fruit also provides a staple for the room’s materials, in the form of Piñatex, a leather-alternative made from cellulose fibres found in pineapple leaves.

This was used throughout the scheme, in the seating, cushions and headboard, and offering a luxury look that is devoid of materials made from animal skins. 

Making flooring sustainable

While luxury hotels often turn to wool to provide carpeting that meets the appropriate standards, this suit instead features carpets made out of cotton.

However, in a nod to veganism’s wider sustainability goals, this is eco-cotton, which provides improved environmental credentials over other options. 

This approach also extended to the wooden flooring used in the suite. Made with Moso Bamboo, Hilton claims it is 100% renewable, making it a more environmental choice than traditional hardwood choices.

Across the rest of the room, all materials have been chosen with both veganism and wider sustainability in mind.

For example, guests are given the option of pillows made from shredded bamboo, recycled cluster polyester, buckwheat, millet or kapok. 
The wider food, drink and toiletries offered to guests continue the vegan theme, drawing praise from The Vegan Society.

“The hotel has carefully selected different plant-based features with exceptional attention to detail and we’re pleased to see that those who live the vegan lifestyle are now able to expand their plant-based options with the opportunity to enjoy vegan travel,” said Danielle Saunders, a spokesperson for The Vegan Society.

“We are excited to be able to direct our followers and supporters to a hotel which incorporates the whole lifestyle experience from checking in, to sleeping in plant-based linen and furniture.”