March 2, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
We love this cool hotel concept: The Allotment, a hotel whose culinary focus makes growing and cooking food the fundamental ingredient of the guest experience.
This was the grand prize winner of the Tablet Hotels competition, Rethink Hotels, which called for a “social hotel concept of the future” for New York City–an environment that would bring together hotel guests and city residents unpredictably, unexpectedly, and serendipitously. Using Jovoto, the Berlin-based creative crowd sourcing platform, a jury of architects, designers and hoteliers reviewed submissions from hundreds of architects and designers.
A “grow, teach, eat, and share” idea that links the necessary hotel functions of sourcing, food production, cooking, and serving, the Allotment is composed of four distinct elements–a market, restaurant, rooftop urban farm, and an off-site experience where guests explore the city’s culinary offerings with the hotel’s chefs.
1. The Allotment Market
This is where local producers and retailers would sell food grown and made in and around New York City. The market would draw food-minded visitors, while also functioning as a source of fresh local produce for the hotel’s restaurant.
2. The Allotment Restaurant
The Allotment Restaurant would be a highly interactive and participatory culinary experience. Guests would have access to an open kitchen where they’d collaborate with the chefs, also having the option of bringing some of their own ingredients to supplement and experiment with the restaurant’s basic recipes.
3. The Allotment Rooftop Edible Garden
The hotel’s roof would be home to a large urban community garden subdivided into individual-sized plots. Local residents and guests would be invited to farm or could drop in to learn gardening techniques, and guests would be encouraged to bring their own local seeds. There might be a rooftop bar serving garden-to-glass cocktails where people would come together for a communal urban agro experience.
4. The New York Good Food Tours
Along side the hotel’s chefs, locals and guests would be invited to explore the New York food scene. This might be a short walk to a local food or farmer’s market or or a city-wide tour of rooftop farms or hothouse producers.
Submitted by Dean Moran, Allotment would encourage re-use by capturing rainwater for the garden and using restaurant kitchen waste for compost.
In an age where the brand conversation is not about the product or service but about the experience, the hospitality industry is one that really focuses on lifestyle and the complete guest experience. We certainly wish that someone with a big enough pocket would consider making this concept a reality. Who knows, we may one day see an Allotment on 34th Street.