Being vegan is the way of life for an increasing number of people. Luxury Abu Dhabi hotel, Emirates Palace, ensures you don’t change your choices even when away from home. To cater to vegan guests and mark its rebrand as a Mandarin Oriental, Emirates Palace is launching dedicated vegan rooms. The stunning West wing of the property will be the address of six new vegan units. To make the experience whole, the animal-free atmosphere is not limited to only food choices for guests but is applicable everywhere, from food to furniture. The six rooms have been designed keeping the rules of a vegan lifestyle in mind. Wool carpets are replaced with wooden floors; the room is dotted with faux leather furniture and feather-free duvets.
The bathrooms are stocked with plant-based amenities, while the room boasts a vegan in-room dining menu and minibars packed with almond milk, oat milk, and kombuchas. The impeccable hospitality delves deep into details, ensuring even the laundry detergent used to wash the sheets of vegan rooms is cruelty-free. Plastic key cards have no room in the vegan world, where rooms are accessed via wooden key cards. The rooms smell fresh and welcoming owing to vibrant flowers rather than synthetic air fresheners.
Now comes the part where Emirates Palace truly wins your heart. Despite the additional costs to furnish and maintain the specialist materials and amenities, the vegan rooms will cost the same as the hotel’s conventional suites. “The rooms will cost the same as an equivalent room of the same category,” shared Koth. “So there’s no mark-up or surcharge on it. Yes, the cost of producing a vegan room is tangibly higher, because the sourcing is in low quantities and there is the whole onward process to operate them — we can’t just chuck the linen in a 50kg washing machine and wash it with everything else. So the entire value chain processes that follow also incur more operational expense.”
To make the stay thoroughly enjoyable vegan options extend beyond the luxury rooms. Emirates Palace has also ensured vegan options can be enjoyed in its renowned spa by guests without compromising on their ethics. “That spurred us, when we came in as Mandarin Oriental three years ago, to say, this would be a differentiator. And it took us as a whole to get where we are today,” says Micheal Koth, general manager of Emirates Palace.
Emirates Palace is the first hotel in the region to offer vegan rooms. “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,” stated Koth.