CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Millennial travelers have spoken: they want more plants, please. In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial vacationers said the hotel amenity they’d most like to see is more plants in their hotel rooms and the same amount said they are seeking out plant-filled spaces and activities such as botanical gardens and parks on vacation.
That’s why Orbitz, in collaboration with Garfield Park Conservatory (GPC) and The Kimpton Gray in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood, are teaming up to create the first plant pop-up hotel, bookable exclusively on Orbitz.com during National Indoor Plant Week September 16 to 20.
“Millennials are welcoming plants into their homes and now their vacations, too,” said Carey Malloy, Director Brand & Marketing at Orbitz. “Plants intersect a lot of tourism trends—sustainability, design, wellness—and provide real benefits for travelers. Nearly 61 percent of millennials told us plants boost their overall mood and help them feel healthier on the go (56 percent). And nearly half of respondents said they’d be more likely to book a hotel that features photos of plants in rooms. A quarter (24 percent) even said they’d spend $50 to $100 more for a plant-filled room.”
Lodging for Plant Lovers
Ten plant-themed rooms modeled after popular collections and gardens at Garfield Park Conservatory will be available for overnights from October 18 to 20. GPC staff helped conceive and oversee design of the rooms in addition to suggesting which plant species are best suited for each room type based on seasonality, availability, room conditions and aesthetics. Rooms and nightly rates are as follows:
- Chicago Room: The Fern Room—Choose between a king spa or king deluxe room. Features lush ferns native to the verdant, prehistoric landscape of Chicago.
- Palm House—Choose between a king spa or king deluxe room. Includes lush palms and plants native to tropical habitats around the world.
- Sugar from the Sun—King deluxe rooms. Enjoy the sweet scent of fruit bearing plants and trees such as vanilla orchids and more.
- The Desert House—Choose between a king deluxe or queen deluxe room. Incorporates a wide array of cacti and succulents that have adapted to a desert environment around the world.
- Aroid House—Choose between a king deluxe or queen deluxe room. Aroids in the wild grow on the floor of the rainforest, which is why these low light plants also make great houseplants.
Each room features amenities that promote GPC’s mission to inspire, educate and provoke exploration. This includes didactics and labels identifying plant species in each room, popular books on plant care and art modeled after installations at the Conservatory. The rooms also feature green-themed amenities for guests, including aloe facemasks and green juice, and daily care instructions for the new leafy green friends.
“Loving plants is smart! Scientific evidence shows that living with houseplants can do wonders for your health,” said Jennifer Van Valkenburg, president and CEO of Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. “Plants clean the air, create oxygen, decrease blood pressure and help reduce stress. Houseplants are a great way to get your green fix – but you can also visit Garfield Park Conservatory any day of the year to immerse yourself in tropical forest, lush desert or cascading ferns.”
The lucky plant hotel patrons will be treated to special experiences at GPC. This includes tickets to FLEUROTICA, an annual fashion event hosted at Garfield Park Conservatory on October 18 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring runway looks designed by leading landscape and floral artists and fashion designers in Chicago. Tickets and information on the event can be found on the Conservatory’s event page.
All guests staying at the Kimpton Gray during the plant pop-up weekend will be treated to VIP greenery experiences. Visitors can pick a plant to spend the night in their room at check-in or make plans to attend Kimpton’s nightly plant happy hour.
“This pop-up brings so much life into the hotel. It’s a perfect match to Kimpton’s dedication to sustainability and our connections throughout the community,” said Dina Fenili, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Gray.