Green has taken on a new meaning: these luxury eco-resorts and environmentally sustainable hotels have elevated “being green” past a five-star rating. While most hotels have implemented little green initiatives, like not changing towels and linens daily unless requested, some of these places put them to ecological shame with renewable energy, onsite organic gardens and even recycled building materials.
The Most Stunning Sustainable Hotels in America
Retreat Into a (Sustainable) Tropical Paradise
The Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho’omaluhia takes green initiative to the next level as part of the International Ecotourism Society. Not just low flush toilet and recycling systems-although those can be found here too — but solar panels and windmills for heating and salt purification for the pool. The spa also utilizes many products from their 50 acre organic farm including papaya, avocado, goat’s milk, aloe vera and coffee. You can also learn about gardening and cooking from the experts themselves! The whole resort was designed for the cool Kohala breezes to cross ventilate, eliminating the need for air conditioning. Stay on a piece of truly green bliss in Hawaiian paradise!
A Napa Valley Green Champion
Experience “responsible luxury” at the Calistoga Ranch Napa Resort. Not only will you enjoy the Napa Valley culture of delicious wine and food, you’ll know you’re preserving and contributing positively to the beautiful surrounding landscape. The Ranch was designed to preserve water and energy as well as minimize waste to the highest degree. With carefully planned environmental initiatives by the existing Green Committee, the Ranch utilizes non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products, all natural bath and body amenities in guest rooms and the spa, as well as being a pilot member of the Napa Valley Waste Management Composting program. You’ll also enjoy organic food from the beautiful onsite gardens at the Lakehouse restaurant. Your stay at the Calistoga Ranch will help detoxify both your spirit and your body.
Ecological Preservation with a View
Located near the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point Lodge focuses its environmental and social efforts on restoration, stewardship and preservation. With their LEED Gold certification, use of historic and recycled building materials as well as landscape restoration with native plants, they’ve certainly put in a tidy effort. They work with suppliers whose green efforts match their own, whether for landscaping, food or contracting. You’ll be able to enjoy windows that open to provide natural cooling, sensors and timers for energy efficient fixtures and appliances, and minimal use of disposable items. Savor the delicious local product heavy and seasonally-infused cuisine at one of two onsite restaurants. Planning on bringing your family dogs? They’ll also enjoy the organic treatment!
Salvaged Walnut Trees and Platinum LEED Certification
Designed and constructed to the highest level of LEED certification, the Proximity Hotel is still finding ways to augment their green standards. This sustainable hotel offers guests bicycles to reduce the need for your car in the lovely city of Greensboro as well as Green Tours for guests and members of the local community introducing them to their sustainable practices. Take a nice hot shower in comfort knowing that the water you use was heated by the rooftop solar panels. If you’re snacking at the Print Works bistro, take note of the bar made entirely of salvaged from either storm-downed or sick solid walnut trees.
Dreamy Organic Beds and Never Wear-Out Glass
The Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole lets you appreciate the beauty of its great outdoors in fantastic comfort. All Terra beds are 100% organic and free of all pesticides and insecticides meaning your sleep will feel like its truly on a cloud. If you feel like you’re breathing in fresh air inside — its because you are! By circulating large amounts of outdoor air into all the guest rooms, the indoor air, which is usually three times more polluted than outdoor air according to EPA feels fresher than the daisies growing on the mountains. The Terra hotel uses glass, which never wears out quite prominently in their interior design. The sustainable hotel also offers aluminum water bottles and water stations to encourage you to ditch the plastic bottles. What a refreshing way to enjoy the mountain air!
940 Solar Panels Keeping You Toasty
The Bardessono Hotel puts the environment first. This LEED platinum certified property doesn’t let their high environmental standards affect the design aesthetic, including all the beautiful wood used which was milled from salvaged trees. Their underground geothermal system keeps the rooms both warm and cold as well as heating the domestic hot water supply including the fabulous pool. Virtually next to no offsite energy is used; instead Bardessono uses 940 solar panels. The products in the restaurant and the onsite spa are mostly local organic, including many coming from the property’s gardens. What a place to rest, relax and rejuvenate!
Sustainability in the Windy City
Sustainable hotels don’t just live out in the boonies, surrounded by nature. The Hotel Felix Chicago does an incredible job bringing green to the big city. The LEED platinum certified hotel was built to take full advantage of the radiant southern exposure to the sun which helps with heating during the cold winter months. They are also huge on recycling — everything from the carpets to the exterior sculpture are made of recycled materials. All their cleaning products follow strict Green Seal certification and the coffee and chocolates you’ll be snacking on? Those are free-trade organic as well.
Ladybugs Keeping Things Tidy
Habitat Suites wasn’t built with any ecological thoughts in mind when it first opened. Since then they have come leaps and bounds, becoming charter members of the Green Hotels Association in 1991, long before green became the color to wear. They’ve minimized their impact on the earth by using alternative energy such as Solar panels, cooling shade trees and employing the local ladybug population as natural pesticides for their lush property and organic gardens. Feeling like you can breath easy inside? It’s probably because of the live potted plants in every suite as opposed to the silly plastic ones. The Habitat Suites also use energy efficient appliances heating, lighting and conserving water in any way possible.
Sustainable Seafood and Partnering Up
The Hotel Monaco in Seattle is one of 60+ sustainable hotels where Kimpton has implemented over 100 practices to help preserve and sustain the Earth. They’ve made great efforts to use non-toxic cleaning supplies reuse, reduce and recycle. The onsite restaurant, Sazerac also practices some incredible green initiatives. Chef Jason McClure prefers using almost all local and sustainable products whenever possible including sustainable seafood. He also recycles his cooking oil by turning it into fuel used for cooking. If you’re picking up a meal to go from Sazerac, take note of the utensils which are made of corn and not the traditional takeout plastic. Kimpton also partners with the Trust For Public Land and the Nature Conservancy, donating a portion of the daily room rates to both initiatives helping keep America green.
The Biggest and Brightest Windows
Element Times Square in New York is committed to spreading some greenery to the Big Apple past Central Park. Each room is outfitted with recycling bins to help you sort your waste, filtered water to reduce the need for bottled water and dispensers for their green bath products. The hotel is stylish and modern with carpets made from recycled content, low VOC paint and tons of natural light gliding in through the large windows. The hotel is kept sparkling clean with green cleaning products and hotel guests are encouraged to participate in the towel reuse program. After all, imagine the amount of water it takes to clean a towel that’s been barely used!