“U14”, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, is the first new hotel building to be designed safe from bed bugs after the Valpas member hotel standard. Not only does the hotel reduce infestations to zero compared to other modern hotels, but it also ensures people travel and return home safe without carrying bed bugs along – an absolute “must” for today’s conscious travelers.
In collaboration with a Finnish startup Valpas, Hotel U14 opens its doors to the public as the first hotel designed safe from bed bugs. The hotel is located in the bustling Helsinki city center, the innovative design capital of the Nordics lately being recognized for its exceptional architecture rethinking the use of public space .
To reach the standard of a hotel safe from bed bugs, simple design choices have been made. The team behind “U14” installed a new in-room technology that keeps all of its 117 rooms preventively safe from bed bugs. The technology stops incoming bed bugs before they cause damage to the hotel building and guests. It consists of smart bed legs that capture bed bugs upon arrival. The hotel’s beds have been chosen to accommodate the special legs. The technology is designed to respond to bed bugs’ natural behavior, and integrated with the latest IoT (Internet of Things) technology. This means the smart bed legs keep rooms safe automatically and notify the hotel staff of prevented incidents.
A broader impact
Bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites that tag along luggage and are carried into
homes and hotels. Hotels with their high turnover are at the center of the rising problem as bed bugs spread from one guest to another. “U14” wants to advance more sustainable travel without material waste and toxic pesticides and contribute to stopping the spreading of bed bugs.
“U14 is a carefully crafted experiential boutique hotel with a strong focus on
sustainability”, says Founder Roni Saari and continues “ecology is woven into many
elements and is reflected for instance in the use of renewable energy, hybrid vehicles and in all used textiles from employees’ workwear to traceable cotton covers. With Valpas, harmful pesticide use and unnecessary furniture waste is avoided – both at the hotel as well as in guests’ homes.”
The hotel opens in March 2020.
Valpas ’ story started in 2013 when their CEO Martim Gois got bed bugs in Indonesia. He didn’t like the idea of using pesticides and wasting good furniture after a suspicion of an infestation. After going through the nightmare of travelers he gathered a team of engineers to find a way to solve this problem. It took five years of development and in 2018 the team launched Valpas’ technology, that holds 4 patents – both in technology and design, and started to introduce travelers to hotels safe from bed bugs.
For two years, Valpas has collaborated with Europe’s most unique hotels. Valpas
kick-started its hotel network in 2018 in the Nordics with award-winning hotels from Finland and Sweden, like Tripadvisor #1 hotels “Hotel F6” for Finland and “Hotel Royal” for Gothenburg and the best boutique hotel “Duxiana” in Malmö.
In 2019 the network expanded to 12 European cities in 8 countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland. In 2019 Valpas also started collaborating with small chains like Esprit de France and Hotels en Ville in Paris.
Today Valpas works with over 50 hotels including the Design Hotel “Le Pigalle” in Paris and Hotel “Helmhaus” from Swiss Quality Hotels in Zurich.
Their solution is designed travelers in mind: list of all the hotels on their website and ”Valpas member” branding in member hotels’ online and offline touchpoints enable travelers to find and recognize the safe hotels easily.
Valpas is funded by venture capitals Maki.vc, Icebreaker.vc and Reaktor Ventures. They have also received European Union funding for research and innovation.