Which hotels are going green and where.
Green hotels? We've got you covered. Hotel restaurants? We like those, too. But now we can put both together, thanks to the Zero Carbon Footprint dinner coming up Jill's Restaurant at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa.
The swanky Boulder hotel (known for its pricey drinks) has put together a five-course tasting menu featuring ingredients drawn from within 100 miles of the hotel. (Promotions like this are the reason "locavore" is the word of the year.) The special dinner will be served on March 20, which is International Earth Day.
On the menu are Hoppin' John with local mushrooms, flatiron steaks and a brulee banana split. Benziger wines, matched to each course, are from California, but are made without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. If you need to sleep off this Earth-friendly meal, the hotel has a package for two, including dinner, going for $325.
HotelChatter tipster Ray Burger recently gave us the tip that the Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica is worthy of being included in a list of top green hotels in the US. We've already mentioned the reasonable prices at the Ambrose, along with its big bathrooms, so the fact that it's also not doing badly in the environmental department is a bonus.
The Ambrose is proud to be green, and the "Green Initiatives" button hits you pretty loud and clear from their website. Their goal is to offer their guests "truly holistic hospitality" and there are a number of ways they try to achieve this, including using ecologically-responsible cleaning products, recycling and composting.
In fact, staff at the Ambrose have put together a really long list of all the eco-friendly activities at the hotel, covering areas such as energy and water conservation, waste reduction, alternative transportation and staff and guest awareness. On top of that, they've also won a few prizes for being green, like Santa Monica's Sustainable Quality Award Grand Prize, among others. Seems like the Ambrose is extremely serious about being green, so it's a worthy addition to your list if you want to take an eco-friendly vacation.
· Once Upon A Time in LaLa Land [HotelChatter]
· Best Green Hotels in the US [HotelChatter]
On our never ending hunt for the greenest hotels of 'em all, we've been checking out a list of the Top 10 green hotels put out by Travel + Leisure. Along with a bunch of "middle of nowhere in the southern hemisphere" eco-hotels (where we suspect the no electricity thing is more a matter of economics than environment), there were a few interesting hotels on the list, including the Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colorado.
The Devil's Thumb consists of 16 timber cabins plus a lodge that's due to open this winter, all placed on a 5,000 acre ranch. One eco-friendly side of the ranch is that just one per cent of the area has been developed, and the rest is a sanctuary for local wildlife to live happily ever after, including elk, moose, bears and beavers.
We'll have to wait (at least) a year or so for it, but Bill Marriott and co. reckon they are bringing Baltimore its very first officially certified green hotel.
The hotel will be part of the Marriott chain's Fairfield Inn and Suites and will have 154-rooms when it opens in Spring 2009. Based on the energy-efficient equipment and processes used the hotel will be eligible for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, a first for Baltimore and just the second time a Marriott Hotel will gain the big green light. Their first LEED-certified building is the Inn & Conference Center at the University of Maryland.
We were saddened to hear that this green hotel would be part of the Fairfield Inns brand (boring) but the history of the property is kinda cool. The site of the hotel will be the old Baltimore Brewing Co. spot in downtown Baltimore. Aside from being green in construction and operation, the hotel will also incorporate aspects of the brewery building from the site.
For example, beer storage tanks from the brewery will be used to collect rainwater for the hotel's use, and they're even keeping the original Baltimore Brewery sign to incorporate into the design, as well as using some of the original bricks.
Perhaps that's handy for a bit of cost-saving as well as adding to the green tag. And we do hope this trend of building green hotels in big cities continues in the future. Afterall, we can't travel to the jungle every year for an eco-hotel experience.
We've mentioned the Lenox before and complained about the slow elevators but now we've got a reasonable excuse for them. You see, the Lenox Hotel, says Peter Greenberg, was one of the first places to offset the air pollution and carbon emissions of 100 percent of its electricity. We figure that it might be trying to use a little less electricity to reduce the emissions and they've set the elevators to the slowest setting. It's still faster than using the stairs, but they're an alternative.
The Lenox is also green for another reason: "Waterless urinals annually save 180,000 gallons of water." We're not keen on thinking too hard about how the waterless urinals operate but hey, it's only the guys who have to worry about that really. Gals, you can do your bit by remembering to turn off any lights you're not using.
· Peter Greenberg Says Rancho La Puerta's Definitely Green [HotelChatter]
· Hot Tip: Slow Elevators are Deal Killers [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in Boston [HotelChatter]
A recent Peter Greenberg spot on the Today Show website said something loud and clear that a lot of us probably already think: all those hotels who crow about being environmentally friendly because they don't wash our towels every day aren't really green, they're just saving money.
Greenberg's attack on hotels that pretend to be green goes on, but then he names a few that he really believes are doing a good eco-friendly job. A stand-out is the Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. This Baja California destination is found on 3,000 acres in a valley just an hour's drive from San Diego, and it gets plenty of thumbs up for being particularly green.
Peter Greenberg has a whole list of environmentally friendly aspects of the Rancho La Puerta, and some of the highlights include
3.5 acres are actively cultivated to provide herbs, fruits and vegetables for Rancho La Puerta's dining hall ... An on-site waste treatment facility provides gray water for the drip irrigation system ...Tubular skylights provide high-quality natural lighting in guest rooms, gyms and spa facilities ... Guest-room showers and non-composting toilets use "low-flow" water conservation technology ... Rechargeable batteries are used throughout the Ranch.
And the list goes on and on. As Greenberg says, some hotels preach environmentalism and others simply get out there and practise it, like the Rancho La Puerta seems to do. Thumbs up from us, too.
· Hotels and the Green Bandwagon [MSNBC]
· Green Hotels Coverage [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in Mexico [HotelChatter]
The Today Show is doing a week long series on "the Ends of the Earth" and managed to remind us of a cool eco-hotel, the Red Mangrove Inn in the Galapagos, this morning.
We have talked about this hotel before, but now it is time to add it to our Best Green Hotels map. Claudio Dominguez, who owns the inn, built the place in an environmentally conscious way to protect the wild mangrove trees surrounding the property. The inn is near Puerto Ayora, and the 12 rooms have built-in platform beds plus bathrooms that are almost carved into the indigenous rock.
While the hotel is not 5 star earth killing comfort, this place is far from roughing it. There is a sushi bar on-site, 4x4 trips are offered, surfing, scuba diving, and boat trips are also available via the hotel -- all with perfectly acceptable carbon footprints, of course.
Following up our Best Green Hotels in the U.S. list from yesterday, we've created a green hotels map. Even better, this map is digital, thus saving some paper, right?
But like we said yesterday, this list is just beginning. So whenever you stay at someplace green that you think we should know about, or if you hear of a hotel "going green" that sounds cool, let us know and we will map it.
Note: The map is a little fussy in some browsers. If the information is popping up outside the bubble, just click the X button and reopen again. It should then appear centered.