In the Green Pearls® newsletters, we write about hotels and destinations and their green initiatives.
With a great deal of personal commitment, Green Pearls® hoteliers work day in and day out for more sustainability in tourism and don’t let the ongoing pandemic get them down.
One family, two sisters, the best Okelmann’s team
For the last 130 years, the Okelmann family has been running a small hotel in a building dating back to 1879 for 130 years in the community of Warpe in Lower Saxony. Today, Okelmann’s is known far beyond the borders of the small town. Travelers appreciate the warm, down-to-earth hospitality, the regional ties, and the family atmosphere. It is run by the 5th generation of sisters, Kristin and Maren. Both bring a wealth of experience with them which they gained in their stations in a variety of other hotels and can now be adapted and implement in their parents’ business. It’s all about visions, creativity, and enjoyment.
“Okelmann’s has already been putting people and the earth at the heart of their business for five generations. The commitment remains firmly centered around social and ecological responsibility. Our passion is to bring people and nature together. Not only in the house and kitchen.”
In 2021, the sisters realized their dream of having their own café, where Grandma Martha’s beloved traditional recipes could be brought back to life with a lot of love: “For us, ‘Heimatliebe’ (love of one’s home) is a feeling that you can feel everywhere. The smell of freshly brewed coffee, candlelight, and coziness. Add to that Maren’s home-baked cakes and good conversations – that’s all it takes for a little happiness.”
We talked to Kirsten Okelmann about what drives her.
Was the sustainable focus always there or did you work with your sister to develop it – and why?
We have had a farm since the 19th century, and we still do some forestry today. So there has always been a strong connection to nature.
My sister and I had an intrinsic interest in organic food, natural cosmetics, and alternative healing methods since our teenage years.
When we opened our hotel and café in 2012, we already very much incorporated our love for fair products and a sustainable lifestyle.
From the beginning, the focus was on beneficial products such as Grander Water, the use of natural materials, sustainable construction, and organic products (such as organic and fair-trade coffee).
What about the broader topic of sustainability is particularly important to you?
It doesn’t always have to be organic – and especially does not need to come from the other side of the world. We keep ourselves informed about new products from the region and get to know our suppliers and their organic methods personally.
It’s amazing what variety of amazing products you sometimes have right on your doorstep.
In addition, one should always question the consequences of one’s own actions and purchasing decisions – we think this also applies to the decision to go on holiday.
Nobody leads a perfect climate-neutral and 100% sustainable life, but there are so many possibilities along the way.
We are very happy to see that this topic is coming more and more into focus and is encouraging people to behave differently or act more consciously.
What makes you so special as a sustainable hotel and hoteliers?
What makes us special is that we are different in a good sense. Our family, our way of being hosts – simply offering our guests a home.
Down-to-earth and yet stylish. Authentic and with a love of detail.
We have created a special gem here that corresponds 100% to our ideas of the most beautiful holiday; where you feel welcome, cared for, and completely comfortable.
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