“Make sure it’s authentic”

Interior designer Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk from Joi Design is familiar with the latest branch trends – including urban farming. Here’s her explanation of what’s behind the trend and advice to hotels on how to take advantage of it.

The urban farming trend is a reflection of our age according to interior designer Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk from Joi Design.

“Globalisation, digitalisation and global connectivity have triggered a desire for the exact opposite – locality – and not just for environment and climate protection reasons. We’re holidaying in the country again, looking forward to local produce, regional foods and appreciating the values that our parents and grandparents once shared.

What are the implications for the hotel industry? “We don’t recommend simply jumping on the bandwagon,” said Corinna. An honest appraisal of what’s a good fit for the business concept and therefore will appear authentic to the outside world is the better approach. Hotels that have recognised this and developed concepts that reflect their philosophy have the most credibility, according to the expert. The whole idea is then transferred to all other areas surrounding the brand, delivering a positive experience to guests and encouraging them to recommend the hotel to others.

Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk has seen several smart approaches to urban farming. One of them can be found at the Lindley Lindenberg Hotel in Frankfurt. It is committed to the concept of community – offering guests the opportunity to get involved in cake baking, for example. The hotel has a vegetarian restaurant that grows most of the ingredients itself. An example of a successful urban farming concept in a non-city location is La Granja on Ibiza – a farm hotel employing more than 60 farmers in addition to the hotel personnel who grow the fruit and vegetables that the guests eat. The new Amanyangyun near Shanghai has also created quite a stir. It has a 'farm to table’ concept, which means the vegetables that are grown on the grounds of the luxury resort are used to make gourmet dinners for guests.