Tag: Eco-Friendly Hotels

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Inside the 1 Eco-Conscious Sensation That is 1 Hotel South Beach

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  Site Where: 2341 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 3, 2015 at 6:02 PM | by | ()

The opening of 1 Hotel South Beach has been a very long time coming.

The luxury 1 Hotels brand, with its eco-friendly focus, was first announced in 2006 by Starwood Capital Group, led by Barry Sternlicht, the man largely credited with bringing boutique hotel experiences to the masses with W Hotels.

But 1 Hotels was quickly put on hold once the economic crisis hit in 2008. (As evidenced by this hole in the ground.)

Then nearly two years ago, word came that 1 Hotels would be resurrected, with their first property opening in South Beach, inside the old Gansevoort South Beach which was formerly the Roney Palace, an apartment building (many apartments still remain, although they are separate from the hotel.)

Today, after extensive, estimated $270 million renovation (not including the $230 million spent to buy the property), 1 Hotel South Beach is officially up and running, with the second 1 Hotel-- 1 Hotel Central Park--not that far behind (It's expected opening date is now mid-June.)

We were able to tour 1 Hotel South Beach, and we were wowed by the transformation from the affected Gansevoort days. 1 Hotels has filled all the empty and wasted space throughout the building with meaningful design. For instance, the guest rooms feature not just a bed, a desk and a chair, but rather a bed upon a raised platform, along with a cozy seating nook facing out the balcony, and a long (reclaimed) wood desk that runs the length of the room. The bathroom is a good-size, with a generous shower. Yes, it's peek-a-boo but there is a curtain to close in case you're shy.

You'll also notice these "filled in" spaces in the lobby where comfy white couches and armchairs take up much of the front area.

Yet while the luxury element of 1 Hotels is easy to distinguish thanks to their $700 a night room rate, there are more than a few eco-friendly initiatives you may not realize during a stay or even a visit. (This too is by design as the hotel wants to be sustainable without being preachy.)

We were seriously astounded by some of these practices, which go beyond just being LEED certified. You may have heard of small independent hotels doing some of them, but not in a beachfront hotel with 426 guest rooms, four pools, five F&B outlets, a rooftop pool and a spa and fitness center.

Allow us to list the ways.

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1 Hotels Are Giving Us a Peek of Their Style on Instagram

February 27, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | ()

Creating seed bombs. Little takeaway reminders to make beautiful things grow.

A photo posted by 1 Hotels (@1hotels) on

We're only a few weeks away from the opening of the very first 1 Hotels and the eco-luxury hotel brand is starting to reveal a bit about themselves on Instagram. Check out this little takeaway "seed bag" the 1 Hotel South Beach is planning on giving to guests.

As we told you a few months ago, the hotel give guests a "goodie bag" on arrival filled with healthy snacks. So perhaps the seed bomb is the takeaway gift. Either way, we approve. It's always the little freebies, er, touches that keep us coming back.

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This Was The Most Eco-Intense Thing We Found at an Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica

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  Site Where: Costa Rica
July 31, 2014 at 5:26 PM | by | ()

Yesterday, we gave you an inside look at what eco-lodges look like in Costa Rica, highlighting the offerings and operations of several properties throughout the country. One of those, La Quinta de Sarapiqui, has achieved a five-leaf sustainability rating for its efforts.

It was not hard to see why during our visit. Located in an extremely rural area and tucked into the edge of the rainforest, it was easy to drive right by without realizing (which we did). Once inside, it doesn't take long to see how dedicated the property is to the environment. The hotel has a butterfly garden and caiman pond on site, organizes visits to local schools, runs chocolate and pineapple farm tours, and offers cooking classes and tree planting excursions.

But the most intense thing on the property - one that shows just how far eco-activities go in Costa Rica - was the presence of an ant farm, or ant colony. The name is completely deceiving, especially for those who are picturing a small fish tank with some tunnels to view. What the property has facilitated is actually an exterior ant farm, one that brings the ants outside their nest and allows visitors to view their hard-working lifestyle.

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This is What Eco-Lodges Look Like in Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
July 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM | by | ()

La Quinta Sarapiqui has 5-leaf rating on its Certification of Sustainable Tourism

We hit you yesterday with a very factual and proper rundown of what it means to be a sustainable hotel in Costa Rica, and now, let's go back down to earth and take a look at how these concepts translate into their design and everyday operations.

I was about four hours into my stay at Finca Rosa Blanca in the Costa Rican foothills outside of San Jose when the light bulb clicked on, when I noticed there was something incredibly awesome happening at the hotel. I don't say that theoretically. I mean it very literally. At dusk, as I was walking through the lobby, I saw the lamp overhead flick on, and realized that it was the first time all day I had seen a light on at the property.

This foyer at Finca Rosa Blanca is lit entirely by natural light during the day

When I met with Teri and Glenn, the owners of Finca Rosa Blanca, and explained to them my revelation regarding the incredible use of natural light around their property, they brought over a cup of coffee, which was grown and roasted on site. They offered me some breakfast. An egg, one that their hens had laid that morning. It was through these incidents that I learned how deep sustainability really goes in Costa Rica.

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Inside and All Around The Andaz Maui in Wailea

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  Site Where: 3550 Wailea Alanui Drive [map], Wailea, HI, United States, 96753
July 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM | by | ()

Maui Week continues! On Monday, we gave you the Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're going inside one of them--The Andaz. Mahalo!

It’s no secret that HotelChatter loves the Andaz brand so when we rolled up to the Andaz Maui in Wailea we were not surprised at how much we wished we were actually staying there, instead of just visiting.

Fortunately, there are so many ways to enjoy the Andaz Maui without actually being a guest. So whether you’re staying in a different resort or renting a villa, here’s what you should pop in and try:

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Welcome to the Jungle: Best Western Opens a Malaysian Eco-Resort

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  Site Where: 41396 Persiaran Lembah Perpaduan, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, 31150
May 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM | by | ()

Yes, you read correctly. Best Western has upped their game and opened up their first eco-resort in Malaysia, as part of the Best Western Premier Collection. It's a luxury resort that is both environmentally-friendly and the perfectly tropical for the ultimate in relaxation. And with a name like The Haven, it can't go wrong.

The 100-room resort north of Kuala Lumpur is in the middle of geological formations dating back 280 million years, surrounded by limestone hills, the Bintang and Kledang Mountains and the rivers of Perka and Kinta. As a sustainable resort, The Haven uses 100 percent renewable energy by harnessing the power of the wind and sun; one of the first hotels in Malaysia to do so.

Guests will be able to soak up a little slice of paradise at the four-level, lagoon-style pool and the private tropical gardens. This isn't your parents' Best Western since each room will serve up panoramic views of the lake while still staying tech savvy with flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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Kale Is Cool At Vancouver’s Forage Restaurant at The Listel Hotel

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  Site Where: 1300 Robson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6E 1C5
July 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM | by | ()

OK – so every city has its share of restaurants that serve local, sustainable cuisine, but believe us when we tell you that forage restaurant takes this concept to the nth degree.

Forage is located in one of Vancouver’s most eco-conscious hotels, The Listel. This hotel goes out of its way to be a good citizen in, arguably, one of the greenest cities on the planet (did you know that if a corporation wants to build a structure in Vancouver, they need to give something back to the community, like public green space or art?). The hotel has a zero waste policy, solar panels and a heat capture system. And in the late fall of last year, forage opened and continues that tradition of sustainability.

Chef Chris Whittaker attacks this philosophy with a vigor that is quite astounding. He grows his own vegetables, catches his own fish, make his own preserves, composts all of his food waste, hunts for the purpose of feeding his family, and forages to connect himself with nature and remind himself where our food comes from. Pretty impressive, right? The man evens keeps mason bees to pollinate his crops.

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The James Hotel's New Eco-Friendly Beauty Box Will Make Guests Squeaky Clean

June 12, 2013 at 2:13 PM | by | ()

Here's a new reason to forego the standard guest rooms and book a suite at one of the James Hotels's three properties in New York, Chicago and Miami.

The hotel brand has teamed up with GlossyBox, a luxury beauty product line, to make a limited edition goodie bag box full of environmentally-friendly, unisex—and, yes, travel-size—beauty products. The entire kit retails for $35 on the GlossyBox website, but to make things easier for guests, it will also be available for purchase in select suites at the hotels.

Read on to find out what's inside!

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Detroit May Get Boutique Hotel Made From Old Cargo Containers

April 30, 2013 at 5:47 PM | by | ()

Earth Day has come and gone, and we've seen our fair share of odd hotels, so this one shouldn't really ring our bell that much. But we kind of love it because its innovative in a city that is close to our heart--Detroit. And anything that we see that's about bringing positive light to the city, we're 'bout it.

The latest venture (besides the firehouse-turned hotel) comes from a company called Collision Works. In partnership with an organization called Kickstarter, they raised over $43K to build a 36-room boutique hotel made from cargo containers.

Yeah, that was the part that threw us off, too.

But these recycled vessels are apparently made of sturdy stock and perfect for what is being called "Cargotecture". Collision Works plans to open the First Container on May 18, to coincide with Eastern Market’s Flower Day, when 200,000 visitors are expected to pass through the prototype space and showroom, located near Shed 5 at the corner of Russell and Wilkins Streets.

"Now is a great time to collaborate with the community to create quality programming and creative experiences around storytelling. What we learn here we will take with us to the hotel, ” said Shel Kimen, Founder and CEO of Collision Works, in a statement.

Collision Works is working with the City of Detroit to buy the lot at 1923 Division along the Dequindre Cut, where they hope the hotel will find its home.

No word yet on how much a cargo-container room will cost, but he certainly hope it errs on the affordable side. We'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.

[Photo: Collision Works]

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Is Recycling Leftover Hotel Soap a Good Idea?

April 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM | by | ()

Ever wonder where that leftover bar of soap goes when you check out of a hotel? Many housekeepers simply throw them away. Not so at the Stonewall Resort in Weston, West Virginia. They're pairing up with the local Weston WalMart and having their leftover soap recycled to make them good as new.

The hotel will take the used soap from guest rooms and ship it to the Global Soap Project, a nonprofit processing center in Norcross, Georgia. There, the soap is disinfected and transformed into new bars. They'll then be distributed to those in need across the world like Malawi and Sierra Leone. The Weston WalMart will cover the shipping costs.

It's estimated that this year, Stonewall could potentially supply more than 600 pounds of soap to the project. Other hotels across the U.S. are participating as well (around 1,000) particularly the Hampton Inn, Hilton, and Embassy Suites brands and even upscale hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, NYC's Crosby Street and The Mark hotels, and the Palihouse in West Hollywood.

According to the Global Soap Project, more than 2 million bars of soap are tossed each day by hotels, but 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year with simple hand washing.

What do you think? A good initiative? Slightly unsavory? Let us know in the comments below!

[Photo: Global Soap Project]

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Earth Day Two Ways: Bahamian Bling and St. Croix Casual

April 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

In honor of Earth Day we highlight two very different properties doing their part to maintain planet Earth. One place is what we’d call seriously granola, the other is able to administer their green efforts and still boast luxury level accommodations.

But, the best thing about both is each place is doing its part to create a sustainable living environment for their communities.

Ridge to Reef, St. Croix, USVI
Totally off-the-grid in St. Croix’s rainforest region, this self-sufficient CSA farm’s goal is to feed 1% of the whole island. Good news is they’re on their way to success with 120 acres of land filled with 100% organic vegetable and herb gardens as well as a gaggle of fruit trees. From tomatoes to kale, they've got it all.

Even more of a surprise? You can stay overnight at the farm for a true immersive experience. Seven hostel-style cabanas are located uphill from the main house. These rustic rooms, which run on solar power, have bunks that sleep up to four people.

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Killer Morning View: Lapa Rios Ecolodge

February 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM | by | ()

Our morning cuppa Joe overlooking the rainforest and Osa Peninsula, at Costa Rica's Lapa Rios Ecolodge (Lapa means "macaw").

Flocks of the lodge's namesake, rainbow-colored parrots greeted us every morning as we sipped our caffeinated bevvies on the porch of our open-air bungalow nestled in the treetops… along with fluttering blue Morpho butterflies, wily coatis, spider monkeys, and enormous lizards. It's a wildlife-lover's paradise. GO.

High season (Jan-April) rates from $380 per person, double occupancy. Includes lodging in a private bungalow, meals, round-trip transfers to local airport, and guided nature tours. (Plus, the morning coffee delivery is complimentary!).

[Photo: Suzanne Steinert for HotelChatter/ Twitter]