January 24, 2020  |  Green Lodging News

As ingrained as sustainability has become in our industry’s leading hotel companies, few individual brands have emerged as truly green brands. 1 Hotels comes to mind, of course, but there are few others. As reported on Green Lodging News last month, Lucky Shepherd recently launched its Shepherd Eco sustainable hospitality brand. The first hotel will open in 2022 in Miami. I spoke with Christine Menedis, Lucky Shepherd Co-Founder and CEO last week about her company’s new brand.

Menedis told me the Miami property is one of several Shepherd Eco properties in development. The others will be in other cities. Ground will be broken on the 150-room Miami property this summer. “We are still in the design stage,” Menedis says. The property will include up to 48 private residences, a private outdoor residential amenity deck with a tree house, an iconic floating glass spa and wellness center, locally inspired wellness activities, an art gallery with seasonal exhibitions, an indoor/outdoor event space, a rooftop pool and bar, a street-level speakeasy, and the brand’s signature farm-to-table culinary experience, Shepherd Farms.

“It will be a LEED certified hotel,” Menedis says. “The project stems from the core values that drive this spirit of sustainability—a love of humanity and strong sense of community.  Our goal is to inspire others to carry forth this ethos in their own communities.”

Hydroponic Farming Throughout
Some of the building’s features are still under wrap—the building system that will be used, the specific F&B concept that will support local farmers, etc.—but many of the hotel’s green features have been revealed. Rainwater will be collected in various tanks on the property. Hydroponic farming will take place on the rooftops, fueled by the rainwater collection systems, as well as throughout the interiors of the hotel and residential buildings.

“Clean, locally sourced natural materials will be used,” Menedis says. “All fixtures and appliances will be energy efficient and to the highest standards. For us, though, it’s about going beyond the usual nod to green practices and looking at a truly new way to design and operate a sustainable hotel.”

This “broader view” of sustainability has brought Lucky Shepherd to work with manufacturers to produce custom flex walls that have superior acoustical properties, recycled content, and that can easily be moved to allow a residence to be transformed into a different layout. “We truly believe that sustainable, flex construction is the future,” Menedis says.

Artists from Around the World Represented
Menedis says she wants the Miami hotel to have a local story line. “That story here is art,” she says. “We want it to be a true art hotel, with artists from around the world represented. Much of this art will speak to the Miami locale, but much will speak to the broader brand values.” Lucky Shepherd has engaged gallerist Sundaram Tagore to curate the art collection.

True to their beliefs, the group has left the highest density parcel of its land undeveloped—instead, creating a private garden paseo that runs from one block to another. In addition to yet another immersive visual art experience, it will be used for receptions, fashion shows, concerts and film showings.

For Shepherd Eco guests, companion AI, Zoe, will offer guided in-room meditations and customize scent, temperature, and lighting to provide the ultimate sleep experience. In the morning, “she” will wake guests gently.

In a press release announcing the Miami project, Menedis said, “We can discreetly and seamlessly integrate technology throughout the design of our communities—from the buildings themselves to the customized, ephemeral resident experience. Our companion AI, Zoe, is infused into each of our Shepherd Eco communities.”

Continue to follow Green Lodging News for the latest updates on Shepherd Eco.