Luxury Abu Dhabi hotel Emirates Palace is now catering to vegan guests with six rooms free of animal products and materials.
Whilst in the process of developing new food options for those following special diets, the hotel’s management realised that they did not have any guest rooms suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle. They decided to rectify this by offering rooms with leather-free furniture, wooden floors instead of wool carpets, cruelty-free bathroom amenities, and sustainable bedding.
Guests can also enjoy a vegan minibar and in-room dining menu, along with a selection of fruit. The laundry detergent used to wash the sheets is cruelty-free, and key cards are wooden instead of plastic for increased sustainability. Flowers are used to keep the rooms smelling fresh, rather than synthetic air fresheners.
The rooms will be priced the same as the hotel’s conventional suites, despite costing more to furnish and maintain due to the specialist materials used.
A report in 2021 found that veganism was increasingly influencing the travel sector, with vegan-friendly tours, excursions, and travel apps trending. Airlines are attempting to cater to this by introducing more plant-based options, and even animal-free leather for plane seats. Hotels are also offering more vegan meals.
However, fully vegan accommodation is still uncommon. Emirates Palace is currently the only hotel in the region to offer vegan rooms, but the company hopes that this will change.
“I can assure you, we don’t want to have the claim to fame of doing something unique,” Micheal Koth, general manager of Emirates Palace, told The National News. “We wish to stimulate a wave of hospitality providers to continue doing what we do. That is the challenge to come. When veganism is helped by us to become more mainstream, and not tucked away into a small niche, that is the real deal for us.”