Small Luxury Hotels of the World: International Women’s Day 2022 is calling for, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. While research shows that women are more likely to be negatively impacted by climate change, they are also our best advocates to mitigate the causes and adapt to its effects on the ground. Lees hier het interview met Valerie.
In a windswept corner of the Wadden Islands, Valerie Jongeneel met chef Joram Timmerman while collecting oysters on the mudflats of Texel – a wildly beautiful place not far from where their converted farmhouse and seaweed barn now stands. Valerie offers guests a down-to-earth luxury experience in her Dutch gastrofarm, Op Oost, where the sounds of the Wadden Sea can be heard from the twelve spacious garden suites and lodges. Valerie has put great thought into every eco-conscious detail which supports the hotel’s Green Key Gold certification – from the COCO MAT mattresses to the homemade in-room vegan cosmetics and dried reusable flower arrangements.
Together with Joram, who guides guests on private oyster picking tours and wild foraging sessions along the shoreline, the couple champions a strong ‘served by nature’ ethos and ensures that everything is foraged, farmed, and fermented within 150 metres of Op Oost.
What makes you feel empowered?
" Every day we have the opportunity to do things differently – to make better choices. This freedom makes me feel empowered. In our hotel, for example, we have decided that breakfast is always going to be vegetarian. We save 600 metres squared of farmland, 20 animals, 259kg of CO2, and 550,000 litres of water per month by not serving meat at breakfast. If that doesn’t empower your circle of influence and encourage more…what else?"
How do you connect with nature?
"You are nature, nature is you. Just as the moon controls the ebb and flow of the tide, it also affects you. If you are aware of this and open to it, and allow this flow to enter your work, you will find that everything flows much more naturally."
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