The hotel that lives

Shaped by nature; driven by ingenuity.

The QO was born of the need to stop the wasteful, one-use approach to hospitality. Instead, we want to prove that embracing a sustainable, circular approach is the only way to create a genuinely positive impact – for both people and planet.

It’s not difficult to enjoy life while taking care of the world around you. And by treating life well we make the world a better place to stay in. This concept means more to us than just ticking a few eco-friendly boxes: it runs throughout our building and operations, driving the choices we make. Sometimes it will be clear to see and other times you won’t notice at all. Instead, what you will experience is the energy that comes from a place truly committed to the planet and the people who live on it.


The natural world works in cycles, but humans have been slow to adopt this approach to our own relationship with the planet. It’s now crucial that we move away from our linear, ‘take, make and dispose’ approaches and adopt circular ones to ensure we live within our means.

There are four key ways in which we’ve moved away from one-use and into circularity. Firstly, we use natural and existing resources as much as possible. We then source materials and consumables that are both well-produced and created nearby.

We make a point of using long-lasting instead of throwaway items. And finally, we reuse, repurpose or recycle before we even consider discarding something. We’re proud to put this into practice throughout the QO. It’s the force behind our greenhouse – the core of our living building – where you can see the concept brought to life. Read more about our innovative greenhouse here.


The exterior of the QO is one of the most visible elements of circularity that shape our living building. Made up of a series of fully responsive thermal panels, it adapts and reacts to the climate outside the hotel, working as one or individually to control the temperature inside. Whether that’s creating extra insulation on cooler days, or letting the sunshine flood in to warm us, we keep our energy footprint low by only using what we need. When you’re not in your bedroom the façade will respond to the conditions outside, but when you are there; you’re in control. The building breathes in tune with the seasons, and with you, to conserve energy: giving what’s needed and saving what’s not every hour of every day.


The materials used in both construction and interior design have been chosen for their circularity credentials, provenance and relevance to the QO’s story and vision. Our commitment to this literally runs throughout the hotel; almost a third of the concrete used in the construction of the QO came from Amsterdam’s iconic old Shell building. Integrating this landmark into our new building has allowed us to imbue it with Amsterdam heritage, while the Netherlands’ history with the sea lives on in our carpets, which are made from 100% recycled yarn previously used in fishing nets. Finally, we want the QO to be as free of materials with toxic emissions as possible so have checked elements from the wood to the wallpaper against this marker.


Buried 70m below the ground is our underground energy storage system; a thermal aquifer typical of the way energy is used in the Netherlands. Put simply, this means taking heated water from the hotel in the summer when we don’t need it and storing it underground until we do. We then increase the heat once more by pumping it back out of the ground and into the hotel. Keeping the QO, and you, at just the right temperature.


One of the key ways we’ve introduced circularity into our operations is with our use and reuse of water. It’s one of the highest-volume resources in a hotel, and as such it shouldn’t only be one-use. So we’ve created a grey water system to significantly limit the wastewater. This means all water that comes from the showers and sinks is then used again to flush the toilets. So feel free to relax in our spacious showers: they’re designed for good.