Pineapples lie at the heart of the new all-vegan suite at Hilton London Bankside hotel. Pinatex, a "leather" crafted from the tropical fruit's cellulose fibres, was used in everything from the upholstered seating and botanical-themed artwork to key cards, cushions and headboards, which were then painstakingly hand-embroidered by local artist Emily Potter.
In placing the pineapple front and centre, the design is a celebration of London's botanical heritage – the fruit was first brought to the capital in the 17th century by botanist John Tradescant, and representations of it appear on architectural structures across the city, from Lambeth Bridge to the filials of St Paul's Cathedral.
All the materials, fibres and surfaces in the Vegan Suite are natural and plant-based, from the furniture and fittings all the way down to the ink in the pens. There is no real leather, feathers or wool in sight.
Pillows are stuffed with a choice of antibacterial, non-allergenic and environmentally sourced materials, such as organic buckwheat or millet hulls, kapok or bamboo fibres. The solid stone-grey flooring is made with 100 per cent renewable and sustainable Moso bamboo, while carpets are crafted from cotton, rather than wool.
The suite was designed by Bompas & Parr, in consultation with 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," says Danielle Saunders, a spokesperson from The Vegan Society.
"We are excited to be able direct our followers and supporters to a hotel that incorporates the whole lifestyle experience, from checking in to sleeping in plant-based linen and furniture."
The mini bar is stocked with locally sourced vegan treats, including Graze protein powder, Naked snacks, and Deliciously Ella energy balls, while the in-room dining menu features vegan breakfast options such as fruit juices, muesli, hummus and vegetables, potato hash, grilled Portobello mushroom, avocado and scrambled Quorn and quinoa. Lunch and dinner options include cucumber salad, cauliflower steak and five-bean dhal.
Even the hotel’s housekeeping trolleys have been stocked with eco-friendly, non-toxic and non animal-tested cleaning products, and all linen is washed with environmentally friendly detergent.
“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,” says James Clarke, general manager of Hilton London Bankside.