Eco chic at the peech

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Eco chic at the peech

I just returned to the Netherlands after an incredible adventure travelling around South Africa. Whilst there, I stayed in some very special, Strawberry style, places: first up, eco and design luxury at The Peech Hotel, Johannesburg. Carrying a huge rucksack isn't a particularly stylish way to arrive at a chic venue, but nevertheless I received a very warm welcome! My room ('small apartment' would be a more accurate description given it was 90m2!) was beautifully designed, stylishly decorated and cosy. But this was only half the story of The Peech… I had a chat with James Peech (the owner) to find out just how environmentally friendly his hotel was and I was mightily impressed. He decided to go green because he thought it was simply the logical way forward:
“I don't believe that we can go on consuming the way we do. If you can do it differently and even save money in the process, the greener option is a no-brainer!" Here's an impressive list of 'no-brainer' eco (and social) solutions that James has implemented in his hotel:


- solar energy with panels on the roofs of each building
- the hotel filters and bottles its own tap water instead of using plastic bottled spring water
- water from all hotel bathrooms is filtered and used to water the gardens
- foodwaste is collected and composted using “bokashi" meaning that the hotel saves money it would otherwise pay to the City of Johannesburg in waste disposal charges
- local and organic products from the surrounding villages are used as much as possible in the kitchen
- the hotel supports a nearby children's home for disabled children called “Little Eden" by: inviting all guests to donate five rand for each night of their stay and doubling the final amount, and donating other goodies which are surplus to requirements at the hotel. James explained that, with 40% unemployment in South Africa, caring about the environment is not a priority for many South Africans. But he is hopeful about the future and sees more and more green initiatives throughout the country. In fact, he's contemplating starting his own consultancy for people involved in South Africa's hospitality and hotel industry, and turning his colleagues green is high on his agenda! The Peech is certainly on the pricey side for a backpacker but it does deliver on all it promises: environmentally friendly, fair, beautifully designed, great service and delicious food. Without doubt a Strawberry thumbs up!