Below, we chat to Robert Godwin, Managing Director at Lamington Group and Founder of room2 Hometels, about his dream dinner companions, his career highlights and how hotels can be more sustainable
Highlight of your career so far?
Opening the world’s first fully net zero hotel, room2 Chiswick. Although a long time in the making, I’m so proud that we as a business are at the forefront of innovation and building and operating in a sustainable way for the climate and the planet. We hope we encourage many others in the hospitality industry to follow in our footsteps.
Who are your three dream dinner guests?
Sir Ben Ainslie, Sir David Attenborough and Barack Obama.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Like Captain Planet, I’d have the power to reduce pollution down to zero to stave off the disastrous effects of climate change!
What’s the one eco-swap every hotel should be doing?
Not every hotel can retrofit installations such as ground source heat pumps and solar panels, but they can change their operational carbon impact. Eco swaps could include sending zero waste to landfill, buying renewable energy, and only using sustainable suppliers.
Last hotel you stayed at?
The Limewood in Hampshire.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never give up.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
After I finally make it out of bed, I never miss my cold shower.
Which other company (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?
From the hotel industry I love Hoxton hotels as they really challenged the conventional hotel model, with a lot of brands taking little bits from their innovations. Allplants is another real disruptor in the food delivery industry with high quality frozen meals, which offers tremendous convenience and nutrition.
What was the first job you ever had?
It was for my dad, helping his chippies [joiners] on a building site.
What’s the one thing people don’t tell you about opening a hotel?
Just how many moving parts there are to consider.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
With a portfolio of room2 hometels throughout the UK well on our way to reaching 5,000 keys by 2030, and starting to expand abroad.
What’s your dream job?
Exactly what I’m doing, but maybe with less stress, although that keeps me fired up.
If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be doing?
I’d be working in real estate investment and development.
Robert Godwin: In one word…
Favourite food? Japanese
Favourite UK city? London
Go to karaoke song? You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – Righteous Brothers
Favourite drink? Old Fashioned
Favourite holiday destination? South Africa
Favourite film? Top Gun
Favourite gadget? My Apple AirPods
Favourite thing you own? Also my AirPods!