Article contents of Environment and Nature in Ambiance

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips – but what does that mean for Hotel Ambiance and for our guests? Stephanie asked around and did some research – and found out that the topic has been part of the Ambiance DNA for a long time.

Where and how does sustainability actually begin? With this question in mind, I started to take a closer look at the Ambiance in January 2021. I belong to Generation Y and we are known for questioning everything from previous generations. So I googled the word “sustainability” and the following explanation came up:

“Sustainability is a principle of action for the use of resources, in which a lasting satisfaction of needs is to be ensured by preserving the natural regenerative capacity of the systems involved.”

Thanks Wikipedia! But what does that mean for the Ambiance? I took part in a training on “Slow Travel” and got to know “Swisstainable”, the sustainability programme of Switzerland Tourism. And I quickly realised that sustainability is not just a concept – it’s the deeds that count! So I walked through the hotel. I realised: the Köslichs had already started with sustainability before I joined the Ambiance Team. There are many small pieces in the mosaic, but they form a big whole that moves a lot:

In the rooms: Our guests help out when it comes to sustainability – especially when it comes to towelling. If they are lying on the floor, they should be replaced with fresh ones. If they are hung up, the guest continues to use them. In the bathrooms, disposable plastic bottles with shampoo and the like have been banned since 2014.  Since summer 2021, every room no longer has its own minibar – instead, we opened the Honesty Bar with a wide range of drinks. Guests are allowed to prepare their own drink around the clock and, of course, take it to their room. This saves energy, as fewer refrigerators are needed.

In the laundry room: Is there an ecologically based detergent that also removes traces of make-up, is that even possible without chemicals? Yes, it works, Hannelore had found one for it early on, which is used to wash our laundry.

Our breakfast – food waste. A big topic, but the beginning starts with us. All the small packaging has been banned from the buffet. Wherever possible, we try to buy local products from our high alpine region, such as cheese, yoghurt, various meat products and fruit and vegetables from the Valais, which reduces emissions caused by transport. Home-made jams are a matter of course for us.

Tableware: As no glasses are allowed at the whirlpool (because of the risk of breakage), we didn’t want to go the usual route and simply rely on disposable plastic cups. Reusable plastic glasses were needed. The research went on for a long time, as they had to be nice glasses. I found wine glasses made from recycled marine plastic, which is fished out of the oceans, melted down and poured fresh. This company got a double order from me: wine glasses for the whirlpool and water glasses for the hotel rooms. A few had casting errors – who is perfect? What counts: The world’s oceans will continue to be freed from plastic and this will be reused.

We have such wonderful tap water here in Zermatt. The thought of the world trip came up again and the hand tapped against the head. Of course! Drinking bottles. Thousands of possibilities. Thermos or rather a lighter version? Well, my own experience with thermos: warm drinks stay warm and cold drinks stay cold longer. Win-win, except maybe for your back. Searched further. Found a middle ground: Aluminium bottles with Thermos effect. Because let’s be honest: who needs a Thermos that stays warm for 12 hours? Who walks around in the mountains for that long without taking a sip? I can already hear Alain reminding me of his 3-day hikes. Yes, but it will be refilled in the hut. Decision made, drinking bottles ordered and now waiting in the shop for our sustainable guests.

The garage produced a treasure chest for me. Old crockery from André’s parents. Sustainability = upcycling = reusing old items. I filled the old soup cups and ice cream cups with succulents and tea lights and now they serve as decoration material. The box is not even empty yet, we’ll see what else I come up with it.

At the whirlpool: An upgrade that packs a punch. The facility: so big that our storage room in the garage had to make way for it. Water that is reprocessed in the facility and the end product: drinking water quality in the whirlpool, silky soft skin – my sustainable heart is thrilled!

Last but not least: The old slates from the roof of the Hotel Abendruh, which were left over after the extension of the hotel in 1989. We have now used them for the new Matterhorn terrace next to the whirlpool.

Our philosophy: Alain wished for a sustainable gift for his 30th birthday. A tree planted right next to the silver fir that Hannelore received as a gift from a Abendruh regular for her 30th birthday. Everything that grows inside thrives and we can even watch it. Simply wonderful.

I am far from finished with the Ambiance. Be curious and keep your eyes open. The next project is sure to come!

See you soon at Ambiance
Your Stephanie