Green Hotel In The Grey Capital Jungle

Updated: Dec 22 2002, 05:30am hrs
Does Delhi need another five-star hotel Some would ask. My answer would be, yes. Especially the one like Uppals Orchid Ecotel, which combines luxury with environmental responsibility to make it simply not an addition, but a value-addition to the number of hotels in the city. Ecotel is an exclusive group of international hotels that symbolise the concept of environmental responsibility in the hospitality industry. All Ecotel hotels must pass a detailed inspection and satisfy stringent criteria set up by experts.

Uppals Orchid Ecotel is spread over 10.5 acres of landand only 10 per cent of it is built up area. The rest is lush green expanse. Strategically located, it is about 200 mt away from the NH 8 and 3 km away from Palam Airport. It has hotels like Centaur and Radisson as its neighbours.

Beams Pushpinder Kumar, the general manager, This hotel has many USPs. It is very close to the airport. The landscaping of the hotel is very different and it has Ecotel certifi- cation. He adds, All this is with luxury, facilities and deluxe angleand a cause, too.

What makes it stand apart from all other hotels is the fact that it is the first Ecotel in Delhi and the second five-star Ecotel in the country. The hotel rates highly in terms of environmental responsibility.

Says Mr Kumar, Ecotel is really an elaborate system with three Rsreuse, recycle and reduce. Reduction of energy cost is the key drive at the hotel with compact fluorescent lamps and fluorescent lighting for external landscaping.

For the interiors, it uses halogens and low voltage chokes, which consume substantially less energy. The mini bar installed in every room also aims at make efficient use of energy. The refrigerator in the bar is equipped with fuzzy logic that senses the load inside and cools accordingly.

The hotel has zero garbage policy, says Mr Kumar. While all the wet garbage gets converted into manure and is used in landscaping, the rainwater is also collected in pits and recycled. It is one hotel which does not use cut flowers or bonsai for beautifying its interiors. It amounts to altering the nature, says Mr Kumar.

While the list is never ending, there are a number of eco-friendly steps that they like to talk about in greater detail. For instance, the hangers in the room are made of recycled wood known as pressed particle board, and the carpets that have been used in the hotel have 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent nylon and natural dyes. Shopping bags provided are made of cloth, newspapers are delivered in cloth bags rather than plastic bags, all stationery used is made from recycled paper.

For instance, over 2,500 trees and 2 lakh shrubs that have been planted within the premises are keeping in mind the diversity of the seasons. Every plant has been planted with some purpose, claims the hotel staff. For instance, camphor has been planted at the pool side and near the fountain since it acts as a mosquito repellent. Youll be surprised how well corporates are taking to it, says Mr Kumar. This is real responsibility towards the environment without compromising on luxury, adds Mr Kumar.

Lest I forget that we are talking about a five-star hotel here, let me hasten to tell you that it offers facilities like a nine-hole putting course, tennis courts, scope for long walks with tracks well laid out and a very well equipped business centre.

For the foodies, there are two specialty restaurantsChef and I, and Bonitos. Chef and I is special as the guests can have interactive experience with the chefs directly as all stewards have been eliminated.

Bonitos on the other hand been designed as a Spanish courtyard, complete with Spanish terracotta tiles and cast iron grills.

Another attraction is Ralphs that serves a wide selection of wines and liqueurs in addition to an extensive range of alcohol.

If all this sounds too good, go and check it out for yourself.