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From dated furniture to a sleek, brand-new interior: Inntel Hotels goes circular

13/01/2020

A handsome, modern hotel room with customised furniture from 100% circular material? Dutch hotel chain Inntel Hotels and interior designer Feran Thomassen have proved that it’s possible. For the makeover of Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre, Thomassen designed furniture made from decorative panels from Unilin Panels. And there’s a good chance that the wood in the new cabinets, desks and beds in the hotel rooms originates from.... Inntel’s old furniture!


Inntel Hotels currently has six hotels in and close to Netherlands’ major cities. Two further hotels will be opened in 2021. What’s Inntel’s biggest advantage? Central locations and a modern, luxurious and warm environment. Inntel hotels are also “surprisingly sustainable”, with the management investing heavily in sustainability, ranging from environmentally-friendly toiletries to LED lighting, solar panels and heat recovery. When Joram Buitenhuis, project manager at Inntel, discovered Unilin Panels’ circular approach, he saw the opportunity to work with even greater sustainability.

Inntel Hotels gaat voor een circulaire make-over
Inntel Hotels opts for a circular makeover

Design, quality and sustainability

“Before joining Inntel Hotels, I worked for more than 25 years in interior construction,” explains Joram. “So I have pretty good knowledge of materials. A combination of design, quality and sustainability is crucial to a nice interior, and all at a reasonable price. When Job at Unilin Panels shared a post on LinkedIn about Unilin Panels’ circular approach at the start of 2019, it really stirred my interest. We had plans to carry out a makeover of our 150 hotel rooms in Rotterdam, so it was a good time to have a chat with Unilin Panels.”

Zowel Inntel Hotels als de designer waren enthousiast over de hoogwaardige, circulaire materialen van Unilin Panels
Both Inntel Hotels and the designer were enthusiastic about the high-quality, circular materials from Unilin Panels.

Collecting and recycling old furniture

Job Kramer, project consultant at Unilin Panels, explained that the panels from Unilin Panels were 100% circular, comprising mainly waste wood from the wood industry or wood supplied from demolition yards and container parks. “Joram was immediately enthusiastic about it all,” he recalls. “Even Feran Thomassen, a renowned designer and for many years Inntel Hotels” go-to designer, saw the potential in our high-quality, sustainable products. We sealed the deal by promising to collect the old furniture from the Rotterdam hotel and process it into new products.’

Het bestaande meubilair werd gesloopt
The old furniture was scrapped and prepared for sorting and recycling.
We sealed the deal by promising to collect the old furniture from the Rotterdam hotel and process it into new products”

Wood gets a new lease of life

“Unilin has been a pioneer in the circular economy for decades,” explains Kristof Van Hoye, category manager for the circular economy and waste at Unilin Panels. “Over the past few years, we’ve worked hard on our integrated sustainability approach and have taken some big steps. Today, we give more than a million tonnes of wood a second lease of life every year, instead of sending it for incineration.”

Om zuivere materiaalsoorten te verzekeren, werd het oude materiaal zorgvuldig gesorteerd.
The old material is carefully sorted to ensure that materials streams are not contaminated by the wrong materials.


“Until recently, we obtained our raw materials from the wood industry, demolition yards and container parks,” he continues. “But in 2019 we began to complete the circle ourselves by collecting old wood from our clients for recycling. Inntel is one of the first clients we’ve done this with. To ensure uncontaminated materials streams, we impose strict sorting rules on our waste partners. For instance, for the Inntel project, all of the wood was carefully sorted and prepared in Rotterdam before making its way to our production site. After thorough reprocessing in our installations, we processed the waste wood to form new panels, which have since been used by designers like Feran Thomassen in the designs.”
Today, we give more than a million tonnes of wood a second lease of life every year, instead of sending it for incineration.”

Surprisingly sustainable

Inntel Rotterdam is the first hotel in the Netherlands to have its old furniture recovered and processed into new panels right away. “Inntel Hotels are often just that little bit different, slightly more interesting than other hotels. And Feran Thomassen and Unilin Panels have helped to preserve that difference in Rotterdam,” concludes Joram Buitenhuis. “We’re currently working on new hotels in Scheveningen and Amsterdam, where we are also looking at a tie-up with Unilin Panels to make Inntel even more “surprisingly sustainable”.”

“Blue jeans” (F984 CST) uit de UNILIN Evola collectie

“Blue jeans” (F984 CST) uit de UNILIN Evola collectie
Feran Thomassen chose designs including “Blue jeans” (F984 CST) from the UNILIN Evola collection.

Inntel Hotels Rotterdam Centre is the first hotel in the Netherlands to have its old furniture recovered and processed into new panels right away.”

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