Emma O’Neil interview – La Chambre Verte

In this exclusive interview we talk to Emma O’Neil, Founder of La Rue Verte, about spearheading ‘La Chambre Verte’, the immersive hotel room spa-experience centred around the principles of CBD rituals and biophilic design on which Benholm were delighted to collaborate by adding our very own lush planting.

Tell us about La Rue Verte and your philosophy.

La Rue Verte is a CBD skincare brand launched in February 2020 by my company Hashtag Organics Ltd. We are the industry leader, specialising in the development of CBD based products as the result of many years of dedicated CBD research, cutting-edge science and increased demand by the public who see CBD as a potential answer to achieve an optimum state of health.

At La Rue Verte, we craft luxury skincare products using safe, active ingredients from the Cannabis Sativa plant that stimulate the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, providing optimum management of qualities such as sleep, inflammation, mood, appetite and much more – for the body to thrive.

La Rue Verte’s journey with CBD (cannabidiol) started with an immense passion for a natural alternative for making humans feel well. La Rue Verte explore these natural practices and their relative products, celebrating the source plant of CBD – Hemp. We then extend the ethos of living a more “Green Life’’ to elevate how your body and mind responds to the environment around you.

How did the idea for a biophilic hotel room begin?

The idea of creating a biophilic room actually began in my own home during the first lockdown. Like most of us, I was suddenly forced to work full-time from home, running a business whilst simultaneously home-schooling my children and dealing with the daily pressures that come with that. I have always been a huge advocate of having plants around me – knowing their natural benefits for creating cleaner air – and I decided to clear out one room in my own home that was just for me to retreat into for meditation, breathing and mindfulness.

There is an undeniable connection with humans and nature and, like with the science of CBD and how it biologically works, which I understand very well, I began to further explore ‘Biophilia’ and just how strong that connection can be.

I initially thought that La Rue Verte would be a natural fit for the spa industry. There were no CBD spas in the UK at that point, and I knew the concept had worked successfully in the USA. The World Health Organisation published a report green-lighting CBD and interest and confidence began to grow in the UK.

I immediately saw a gap in the market but wanted to take it a step further by incorporating our CBD skincare rituals with spa therapies and introducing carefully selected plants, sounds and fragrances to create the first biophilic spa experience. I approached IHG Hotels & Resorts with the idea and yourselves at Benholm Group – with whom I had a previous knowledge of your expertise in using plants for biophilic design.

How did La Chambre Verte evolve?

IHG Hotels & Resorts absolutely loved my concept, but due to restrictions caused by Covid-19 upon re-opening after lockdown, we decided that a more suitable idea would be to create an immersive, multisensory, luxury hotel room experiment – how to curate the perfect night’s sleep! Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow was chosen as the perfect location.

We decided to design a fully biophilic bedroom filled with lush plants with health giving benefits, CBD rituals including La Rue Verte skincare, CBD infused cocktails, an audio soundtrack for meditations designed by DJ Brian D’Souza and natural Hemp based bathing garments – using nature’s beauty to feel stress levels reduced, happiness increased, and a better night’s sleep.

We invited specially chosen guests to stay one night in a standard hotel room and the second night in ‘La Chambre Verte’ (The Green Room) then to give us their feedback on both experiences to test if biophilic design had helped them have a more restful night’s sleep. We will soon know the results!

What was Benholm’s involvements in La Chambre Verte?

I had previously connected with Benholm Marketing Director, Adrian Byne via LinkedIn, and whilst undertaking my research into biophilic design, remembered Benholm Group and their expertise in using plants as part of biophilic designed spaces. Adrian has been incredible – he and his team created stunning designs that overcame many obstacles inside the hotel room such as not damaging the expensive wall coverings, and they have maintained the plants beautifully ready for every guest.

What’s next?

I really want to take the concept of ‘La Chambre Verte’ to the wider hospitality and spa sectors. The CBD market is growing at a substantial rate in the UK and biophilic design is more relevant now than ever before – as people emerge from lockdown, they are craving nature and greenery – both indoors and outdoors, and recognise the need to take better care of their mind and bodies.

My mind is constantly coming up with new ideas on how to share the many benefits of CBD with the world and I hope Benholm Group will come on the journey with us!





Biophilic, planted paradise in La Chambre Verte

We are delighted to share with you Benholm’s recent collaboration in creating ‘La Chambre Verte’ a unique, immersive hotel room experience filled with lush planting and host of other delights.

For over 25 years, Benholm Group have pioneered the use of plants for interiors, not only as an eye-catching focal point, but also to promote the natural health benefits that being surrounded by plants can bring.

Known as ‘Biophilic Design’, the use of plants in providing cleaner air and connecting us with nature, when coupled with natural light, certain colours, acoustics, and fragrances has long been proven to have a positive effect on both mental and physical wellbeing. And after this year of lockdown, the importance of green spaces in improving our mental health has never been more pertinent.

This concept has now been brought to the forefront of luxury hotel design with our collaboration with Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, Luxury Skincare brand La Rue Verte and award-winning DJ Brian D’Souza. Each expert in their field has combined to create a multi-sensory, luxury bedroom spa experience incorporating biophilic plant design, CBD rituals, meditation and sound therapy.

Echoing the practice of forest-bathing, an ancient Japanese process of relaxation, La Chambre Verte encourages guests to unwind in the green space of their hotel room, while observing nature’s beauty; to feel stress levels reduced happiness increased, and importantly, have a better night’s sleep.

Our experienced design consultants were chosen to bring the room to life with lush greenery, to ensure that all plant species would thrive in the climactic conditions of the room and contribute to guests achieving the perfect night’s sleep.

As part of the design process, we worked closely with the hotel to ensure that the room felt spacious and light, with plenty of floor space for ease of movement around the room. Overcoming certain challenges was a key part of this process, such as ensuring the room was always fully functional, being careful that plant installations did not damage the expensive wall coverings and furnishings, even down to the maintaining good sightlines to the TV!

Our experienced design consultants carefully identified plants that have been proven to improve air quality effectively and combined these into an attractive jungle-like display that is both pleasing to the eye and creates a healthy, relaxing environment. Many of the plants have a useful information tag attached detailing its attributes in providing cleaner air – guests can even scan a QR code to order the plant for their own home or office.

Inside the room, trailing Ivy cascades down from a living wall panel above the bed, Monstera leaves and Palm fronds frame every view, and lush clusters of hanging, exotic plants purify the air and boost the immune system. Plus, our specialist maintenance technicians are all part of the scheduled housekeeping inside the room to ensure plants are kept healthy and vibrant.

Our very own Adrian Byne has had the pleasure of working closely on the project and says:

“At Benholm Group we have long understood the value plants can bring to every environment. To have the opportunity to work on a project which is designed to highlight the benefits of biophilia for mental as well as physical well-being has been a real joy, and we look forward to helping others in realising the potential of plants in their own spaces”.

Why not get in touch and find out how Benholm can incorporate our vibrant variety of plants into your interior space – from offices to restaurants to luxury hotel rooms, being surrounded by plants will delight and revitalise. Be sure to keep updated on our social channels and sign up to our monthly newsletter filled with inspiration, tips and upcoming trends. If you have an idea brewing, we’re ready to bring it to life.