From upcycled furnishings to low carbon menus, the Room2 has expanded its sustainable micro chain with a new opening in Belfast. Gemma Harris reports
Low-carbon renewable energy, carpets re-purposed from fishing nets and a bar built from recycled glass, the Room2 “hometel” in Belfast (which opened in October 2023) wants to be known for its eco credentials.
Part of the Lamington Group, which hopes to be net zero by 2030, it marks its first Room2 property outside of England (Chiswick, Southampton and Hammersmith).
Centrally located on Belfast’s Queen Street, in the heart of the city, the hometel features 175 rooms over nine floors. Facilities include a café, bar, lounge, tearoom, event spaces and gym.
Innovative features of the Room2 Belfast include mattress menus, rooms with kitchenettes and and separate living spaces, 24-hour stays, a laundry room, co-working areas and pet-friendly rooms – “providing a place to live not just to stay”.There will also be occupancy-enabled rooms, two lab rooms and state-of-the-art solar panels, and a 100% renewable energy tariff, ensuring a minimal carbon footprint.
The core ethos of “people and planet” is showcased in Room2’s efforts to reach net zero, powering the space with electricity from low-carbon renewable sources. This eco-conscious vision has been continued throughout many of the amenities that align with a circular economy model.The reception desk has been designed with soap bottles from Room2 Chiswick, while lampshades have been made from orange waste and mycelium.
Winnie’s Café and Bar has a low carbon footprint menu, using local producers and seasonal ingredients, as well as zero-waste cocktails, including the Irish Negroni and Espresso Martini, made from the hometel’s excess coffee grounds.
At Room2 Belfast, the property has worked with several local suppliers and up-and-coming designers. These include:
Spared: Reimaging waste as beautiful furniture and thought-provoking art
An exciting collaboration that aims to challenge the notion of waste within the hotel industry, Room2 Belfast has partnered with start-up brand Spared to breathe new life into waste materials, including transforming plastic shampoo bottles into a statement reception desk which will be visible from the moment you enter room2 Belfast and tabletops for the café.
Dodds & Shute: A B-Corp committed to the highest sustainable standards
A sustainable, design-led furniture and lighting procurement company where production leftovers are recycled or sent to energy schemes to ensure a zero landfill policy, Dodds & Shute have supplied 90 per cent of the furniture within room2 Belfast including bespoke sofas, headboards and tables.
A registered B-Corp and long-term partner of room2 hometels, Dodds & Shute adhere to the highest environmental, social and governance standards including setting a new standard for responsible materials, low-impact delivery strategies and championing circular economy design, which is in perfect synergy with Room2 Belfast.
Mullan: Locally sourced products inspired by the Irish countryside
A local Northern Irish lighting company, Mullan designs and manufactures custom light fixtures with a focus on premium design and quality products. With a team of craftspeople that make everything by hand in Mullan Village, this local Irish company has supplied 350 organic ceramic wall lights for the guest rooms, all made just 50 miles from room2 Belfast itself. Inspired by the rural surroundings in the Irish countryside, the ceramic designs reflect the company’s organic roots and sustain the centuries-old tradition of Mullan as a village of makers.
Linen Lane: Modernising handmade and eco-friendly fabrics
Designer and sustainability enthusiast Jill Gurney launched Linen Lane, specialising in lamps, shade and homeware, with a vision to bring eco-friendly fabrics to the modern home. Linen Lane has provided beautiful handmade linen lampshades throughout room2 Belfast, made locally in Northern Ireland.Other sustainable designers and artists involved in the opening of room2 Belfast include: Obin Specialist Joinery, Potters Thumb, PLANQ, Kenosis, Merchant and Found, Biohm, Felix Lighting Specialists, Dyke and Dean, Sansho Ltd, Clayworks Ltd, Resillca, Ege, Baux, Mosaic Factory, Mourne Textiles, Camira Fabrics, Kirkby, Yarn Collective and Tibor Fabrics.
These collaborations extend to the wider community too, with many of the employees from the city. The hometel also hosts open-mic nights and art exhibitions celebrating homegrown talent.
“Through working with home-grown talent and suppliers, we aim to support the local economy whilst also inspiring guests and residents to live in an environmentally conscious way,” says Godwin.
Looking ahead, Room 2 has a future vision to open 5,000 rooms by 2030. This Belfast location is now available for stays and bookings, with prices for double rooms starting from £130 per night.