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Is Europe ready to balance itself out?
This week it was announced that Element, the brand that once gave out free rooms to guests who showed up with recyclable plastic bottles, is finally making the move across the pond. Starting with...Frankfurt, Germany. Though from the sound of it, Starwood is just scratching the surface, as it plans to embark on a full-blown European expansion of the eco-conscious brand.
Hope those Germans have a soft spot for smoothie stations and healthy breakfast wraps!
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What goes under water, is piloted by teenagers, and is sitting in our lobby? asks the Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe. And the answer? Why, a 2,000 lb, 14-foot, fully functional submersible, of course.
A photo on the hotel's Facebook page shows the vessel just hanging out in the lobby. But this isn't some misplaced piece of furniture—it's actually on display at the hotel until next month, when it embarks on a series of 60 dives in Lake Tahoe.
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Sustainable hotel initiatives come and go. But one that we hope sticks around for good is the new bee mascot at InterContinental New York Barclay.
The tiny black-and-yellow fellow is being placed in all guest rooms starting this month as a way to help guests communicate how often they require linen changing. Obviously, the hotel is hoping you opt for every other day, so they can cut down on water waste and save the planet. But they can't force you to do anything, so instead they're simply asking you to play with a little bee-shaped cardboard cut-out. How fun!
We recently gave you our top picks for affordable hotels in Flushing, Queens. And it looks like travelers are beginning to catch onto this area as a viable, cheaper, certainly culturally interesting alternative to midtown Manhattan.
So we read with excitement about Hotel de Point, a new boutique hotel opening inside the Shops de Point, a retail complex located about two miles from the Flushing's main strip. No, it's not the most centrally-located hotel in the city, but then again, for an airport hotel, its list of attractions is pretty impressive (an indoor pool, restaurants and karaoke room are just a few on the list).
Oh, and each of the 114 rooms is individually solar-powered. Interested yet?
Hotel Food / Healthy Hotels / Hotel Fitness / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Room Service / Hotel News / → All Tags
We've already seen how much of a go-getter Hyatt can be when it comes to hotel food. Hyatt Place, like we saw in Braintree last week, is a good example of what's available cheap for on-the-go business travelers. And we're already familiar with the wonders of which Andaz kitchens are capable.
Now, Hyatt wants us to pay attention to their new healthy dining initiative: "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served", which is essentially an overhaul of the entire Hyatt F&B program, in order to serve food that is sourced locally, supports the surrounding communities, and benefits the guests who are eating it. Their end goal? "To drive change in our industry...and challenge every to do what's best."
Kind of a massive undertaking. But they're gently wooing guests, one portion-controlled plate of roasted green and white asparagus with sliced wild mushrooms, prosciutto and shallots, at a time.
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As Earth Day approaches, and hoards of organizations attempt to "raise awareness" about the environment by giving away tons of free, useless crap like tshirts, mugs and stickers, the Milennium Hilton New York has made a big step in the right direction by installing a power plant that converts natural gas into electrical and thermal energy.
The combined heat and power plant will consist of two 250 kilowatt cogeneration units inside the actual hotel. Now, if anyone wanted to write in and explain what that actually means, we'd be grateful. But for now, we're content just knowing that Hilton has been proactive about cutting down on its energy consumption.
As far as we know, this won't put any pressure on the hotel to increase rates. Which is good, since a hotel room in lower Manhattan sure is expensive enough without having to worry about subsidizing a power plant too. For upwards of $400/night, you'd at least like to feel that your money has done something good.
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Forgive us if we're way behind on this, but we just learned about a machine called the Pillow-Vac, which looks kind of like a photocopier but instead of toner and ink, it gets filled with down clusters and feathers. Designed to clean and "renovate" old pillows, the Pillow-Vac literally eats up all the dust-filled, germ-ridden, lumpy innards, sifts out the crap, and then spits everything back out into a pristine, fluffy new "ticking" (the technical term for the shell of a pillow). Pretty neat, huh?
We were tipped off to the whole world of pillow rehabilitation by Hilton Concord in San Francisco, who just announced their own multi-million dollar renovation—including brand new sustainable programs, like cold-water dishwashing, food waste reduction, and of course, pillow recycling.
Starting this fall, Club Level guests will have exclusive access to 100% electric smart cars, which will be branded with the hotel's logo (though, better that than Frank Gehry's nearby fish sculpture).
If you've got the need for speed, you'll have extra incentive to stay at the SLS Beverly Hills and The Redbury. The hotels, which are part of SBE Hotel Group, now have speedy new BMWs that are available for guest use.
SBE is partnering with BMW to offer guests the company's latest rides. At SLS Beverly Hills, you can take a seat in an ActiveHybrid 750Li (see above photo), which is considered the world's fastest, street-legal hybrid on the market. So at least you'll be green while speeding down Rodeo Drive to do some shopping. At the Redbury, you can choose from the ActiveHybrid 750Li or the 550i Gran Turismo. Talk about tricked out!
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The Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront wanted to wear its eco-consciousness like a flashy Lady Gaga getup, so it decided to put up a 720-square-foot indoor living green wall—the largest in Chicago—right in its lobby.
Okay, it may not be as much of a spectacle or as carnivorous as Gaga's meat dress, but the giant standalone wall is made of 3,840 plants, including the hardy neon, rabbit foot fern, aboricola and rex begonia.
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When you stay at the InterContinental San Francisco, you can use a Zipcar, from the eco-friendly car-sharing program. But you won't get just any old ride; you can drive the new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which isn't available for purchase till 2012.
The hotel offers eight Prius Plug-In Hybrids in its Zipcar fleet and a smart charging station, which is easily accessible in the porte cochère by the main entrance.
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Move over recycling bins and bulk shampoo dispensers: the hottest new green accessory, at least at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, is an electric vehicle charging station, available to guests free of charge. The LEED-certified hotel unveiled the new gizmo last week in collaboration with local electric car company Li-Ion Motors, which brought out an Inizio roadster to show off.
The property is the first Ritz-Carlton to install a guests-only electric car charging station. The two power ports will fuel up cars that are completely tapped out in 10-12 hours and also top off in under an hour rides that still have some juice. There are plans to add additional, similar charging stations around Charlotte.