On this episode of the Our Conscious Journey podcast, we are joined by Veronica Reed, the co-founder and architect behind Carlota hotel in the UNESCO-protected old town of Quito, Ecuador. Set inside the charming house where Veronica’s partner was born, Carlota became Ecuador’s first certified B Corporation hotel in October 2019.
The Carlota hotel is uniquely housed in co-owner Solines’ grandmother’s home, originally built in 1905. Veronica explains the complicated and years-long process of restoration and yet how it has still been more beneficial for sustainability compared to a new build. She discusses the importance of using existing or recycled materials and how this is the future of the construction industry, dissecting the different ways that she and her partner Renato practiced circularity in the construction process. Veronica comments on the shift to a more sustainable approach to travel, explaining that it first starts with awareness, and awareness comes through exposure. “Travel provides you with a sense of a global community,” she says, later saying that it is “our duty to provide travelers with enough information that they can make informed choices. How far are we willing to go for our ecosystem that we love and cherish so much?”
During construction, new pieces of furniture were made with reclaimed wood from other construction sites. No packaged snacks are served, and only glass bottles are used.
In addition to using LED lights and efficient appliances, an onsite solar energy system generates 10% of the total energy use and gives the hotel two hours of autonomy.
Water-conserving fixtures and a waste water treatment system reduce consumption against a standard baseline by up to 40%.
All hotel toiletries and linens are locally sourced. Produce and beverages are also sourced from local, organic producers.
A beacon in the community, Carlota hosts live music, Ecuadorian art cinema nights, cultural presentations and exhibitions, and TEDx talks.
Guests are invited to join walking tours of historic Quito, visit local parks, and engage with local businesses.
As required for B Corporation certification, Carlota follows all principles that shape a quality workspace for staff and suppliers.
In addition to the hotel website, information on their conscious initiatives can be found in each guest room and public space.