Ovolo Hotel Group launches global ‘Plant’d’ initiative

Independent and dynamic designer hotel collection, Ovolo Hotels announces its latest move in an ongoing pledge to ethical eating, conscious cuisine and cutting-edge veg, becoming the first hotel brand globally to commit to a vegetarian-led offering, Plant’d across its hotel restaurants, globally.

The announcement signifies a further progressive shift for the designer hotel collection ongoing, following the success of its ‘Year of the Veg’ campaign which launched in October 2020, where venues transitioned to a vegetarian only offering for an initial 365 days, serving up vibrant vegetarian and plant-based cuisine.

“Meat is being removed for a second year in a row at Ovolo Hotels. With a number of our Ovolo venues already serving plant-based cuisine, we have decided to go the full 100%. It’s been a strategic move, but Ovolo prides itself on being an industry leader. We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve – we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining,” said Ovolo Group’s Founder and CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala.

Jhunjhnuwala continued, “There has also been a lot of learnings along the way, and we want to share those insights with others in the industry and outside the industry considering making the switch to vegetarian-led offerings or integrating it into their existing offering. That’s why we have created our ‘Veg Pledge Playbook 2022’, which will be publicly available for all to access”.

Ovolo’s Group Creative Culinary Partner, Ian Curley has worked with the hotel’s restaurants to take the Plant’d veg pledge, including ZA ZA TA at Ovolo The Valley in Brisbane; Monster Kitchen & Bar at Ovolo Nishi in Canberra; Lona Misa at Ovolo South Yarra in Melbourne and Veda at Ovolo Central in Hong Kong; as well as Australia and New Zealand’s first vegan hotel restaurant, Alibi Bar & Kitchen at Ovolo Woolloomooloo (recently awarded Best Hotel Bar at the 2022 Australian Hotels Association Awards). All venues will launch with new menus from launch day.

Inspired by an increasing consumer interest in the many benefits of a plant-based diet, this change reflects Ovolo’s commitment to delivering on its customers’ desires, while promoting an ‘eating good to feel good’ mentality. Guests will continue to enjoy the quality food and beverage offering they have come to expect from Ovolo restaurants, while nourishing their bodies and feeding their souls through menus which reflect a renewed commitment to sustainability and wellbeing.

Of transitioning to a vegetarian-led offering, Ian Curley says, “Our move to vegetarian dining has been even more successful than we anticipated, and we now find ourselves part of a new wave of plant-based pioneers. The one big lesson we have learned from our bold experiment: never underestimate your guests. A key focus for us has been ensuring we are creating something that still appeals to everyone – from vegans to flexitarians, and those who are simply keen on expanding their palette. We are lucky enough to be working with some incredible suppliers across the rollout who share our passion for offering nutritious, delicious and sustainable food solutions. Companies such as V2 are really expanding people’s minds in terms of what is possible with plant-based cuisine and make it an easy entry point for those curious about trying some vegan spins on classic dishes”.

Further demonstrating the hotel’s trailblazing efforts, the new vegetarian offering will extend to in-room dining menus, which have been carefully curated by Ian Curley to ensure an approachable veg-led offering across the group.

Ovolo’s newly appointed Creative Beverage Director, Andrea Gualdi (ex-Maybe Sammy), will lead the drinks offering. The menu will feature seasonal cocktails and wines sourced from some of Australia’s most progressive producers, alongside a strong non-alcoholic offering as part of its new health-conscious direction.

Of spearheading the new drinks offering, Andrea Gualdi says, “Coming up with healthier, vegetarian-led beverage options has been a creative challenge that our team has really enjoyed. We have access to some incredibly progressive Australian producers, both in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories, and we’re proud to represent more of those producers across our new menus, with a strong focus on seasonality and local producers”.

The Ovolo team have created a ‘Veg Pledge Playbook’ which includes information on the reasons Ovolo has made the switch with their food and beverage offering; what to know before you go veg; tips on defining food and beverage menus; and learns along the way. The white paper is publicly available via Ovolo’s Plant’d webpage on ovolohotels.com in support of those companies looking to move to a vegetarian-led philosophy and encouraging industry collaboration.

Committed to continuously finding ways to further reduce their environmental footprint, this launch comes off the back of several eco-friendly initiatives already implemented by the hotel collection in the past year. These include switching to free-range eggs, opting for a more a natural-led wine list, providing refillable water containers, using more planet-friendly paper on the menus and takeaway containers working with suppliers and Ovolo being an early adopter of removing plastic straws to eliminate plastic.

This also includes the bold move away from single use bathroom amenity plastics, all OMG Amenities being designed in a sustainable manner, and making use of re-fillable, tamper-free pump bottles which are HDPE recyclable. In addition to this, introducing reusable woven bags for slippers, and the use of biodegradable materials in laundry bags and packaging.

Ovolo’s Veg Pledge Playbook 2022 can be downloaded here.

**Plant’d does not include Conferencing & Events across Ovolo Hotels to give guests freedom for their unique celebrations with fresh, seasonal menus designed with Ovolo’s signature flair be it vegetarian, Vegan or NOT. By Ovolo Collective hotels are also not included as they are distinctive, individual concepts. By Ovolo Collective Hotels will feature a strong vegetarian offering, with a commitment to integrate vegetarian options across its bars and restaurants**

About Ovolo Hotel Restaurants

Lona Misa

Melbourne’s recently opened Lona Misa is a mostly vegan Latin-American experience and a rebellious renaissance from root to stem. The menus created by renowned Melbourne chefs Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters and Ovolo’s Group Creative Culinary Partner, Ian Curley showcase sustainably crafted and shareable vegan and vegetarian options.

Bookings available at lonamisa.com.au.

Monster Kitchen & Bar

Monster Kitchen & Bar’s Executive Chef, Matthew Bentley, has incorporated his previous experiences and techniques to showcase vegetables through a refined menu offering. Fermenting and pickling will feature prominently across the menu, as well as fresh product from the kitchen garden.

Bookings available at monsterkitchen.com.au.

ZA ZA TA

Israeli born Creative Culinary Consultant, Roy Ner and Executive Chef Michael Jackson has evolved his menu at ZA ZA TA to further reference and celebrate the food of Tel Aviv, fondly known as the vegan capital of the world. Guests will be taken on a journey of the Middle East, experiencing all the spices, vegetables, and textures of the Levantine melting pot.

Bookings available at zazata.com.au.

Alibi Bar & Kitchen

In 2018, Alibi Bar & Kitchen was the country’s first 100% plant-based venue to open, showcasing only plant-based cuisine in collaboration with US based celebrity chef and plant-based pioneer, Matthew Kenney. Alibi brings Kenney’s distinct food philosophy and style to the plate. A combination of classical and innovative cooking techniques gives locally sourced plant-based ingredients a creative makeover, with smoking, fermentation, and molecular techniques all featured. Alibi has recently taken out the award for Best Hotel Bar at the 2022 Australian Hotels Association Awards.

Bookings available at alibibar.com.au.

About Ovolo Hotels

The Ovolo Group was founded by entrepreneur Girish Jhunjhnuwala and first entered the real estate market in 2002; then further expanded into the hotel industry in 2010. Ovolo Hotels quickly became one of Hong Kong and Australia’s most dynamic independent owner operated hospitality firms by providing guests with the best in effortless living across hotels and food and beverage outlets.

The Ovolo Group is a collection of contemporary hotels that keep you connected to the little luxuries you love, all effortlessly included. The company prides itself on being in touch with the modern traveler through award-winning interior designs, detail-driven comforts, complimentary value-added services like the mini bar and breakfast, with cutting-edge technology. Ovolo Hotels have been acknowledged for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, receiving the accolade “Hotel Brand of the Year”, at the 2019 and 2020 HM Awards.

A proud Hong Kong brand, Ovolo Group remains a family-owned and privately-operated business operating four hotels and three restaurants in Hong Kong, and eight hotels and seven restaurants across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Ovolo also has the By Ovolo Collective within its portfolio of hotels, a distinctive collection of four hotels each one unique, each one special, the more guests explore, the more they’ll find. These include Nishi Apartments in Canberra Australia, The Sheung Wan by Ovolo and The Aberdeen Harbor in Hong Kong, and Mamaka Kuta Beach in Bali Indonesia.

As of March 2021, Dash Living collaborated with Ovolo Hotels to launch two new generation of serviced rental solutions in Hong Kong. A total of 135 rooms and suites that form part of a new generation of serviced rental solutions for hyper-mobile millennials will be available for booking. The Aberdeen by Dash Living, soon-to-be converted from Mojo Nomad By Ovolo, offers 79 rooms ranging from studios to executive suites. The 56-room The Sheung Wan By Ovolo, only remaining under Ovolo’s management for stays under 7 days, will offer units from studio, one bedroom, to family room options.

Ovolo acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we are located. We recognize their continuing connection to land, waters and culture, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Visit www.ovolohotels.com.

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