Tag: Green HotelsView All Tags
The concept of green energy and its conservation isn't exactly groundbreaking. Hotels have been discussing and touting ideas for years, specifically in the realm of behavior modification. Examples can still be seen in almost every hotel room in the form of cards placed on the bed and in the bathroom. "Are you sure you want to change your sheets? Didn't you only use your towel once? "
While the effort was admirable, a part of us felt a little off-put by the double standard we saw in place at many properties. You've got the television playing advertisements as we walk in the room, but you want to cut off our hands for using two towels?
Today, we are finally beginning to see hotels shoulder their fair share of the responsibility. Many properties have installed key-activated in-room energy systems to help reduce waste, and now hotel operators are beginning to go to work on their buildings as a whole. Starwood announced that it will install solar panels at three of its properties and expand its renewable energy systems through a partnership with NRG energy. Given that Starwood has over 1,100 properties worldwide, three is sort of an eye-rolling number, but still - we'll take it. Starwood says this move is part of its global commitment to energy savings.
Meanwhile, in October, a second Renaissance opened in Barcelona, the 357-room Renaissance Barcelona Fira, with a great deal more pizazz.
Why do we use the word pizazz? Because of an extremely original design by French architect Jean Nouvel. The hotel's two towers are connected by a lush, 27-story vertical garden, filled with over 300 palm trees, running up the center of the building. Now, there are 'green hotels,' and then there's this. We like!
Hotel Openings / Vermont Hotels / Green Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Burlington Hotels / → All Tags
Burlington, Vermont – the state’s largest city – is getting its first boutique hotel sometime this spring in the form of the Hotel Vermont.
The 125-room hotel is billing itself as providing “an authentic Vermont experience” so we’re picturing something woodsy, homey, and surrounded by mountains and greenery. In fact, we’re not far off because the hotel will have furniture made from indigenous white oak, reclaimed red oak floors and a wood-burning hearth in the lobby. As far as greenery goes, there’s 2,000 square feet of green space on the roof along with the 7,500-square-foot Harbor Terrace. Throw in the smell of the apple cider that’s offered to guests in the lobby, and they’ve got all of the bases covered.
As long as we’re talking about authentic Vermont experiences, Burlington is located on Lake Champlain and, from the hotel’s outdoor terrace, you can see both the lake and the Adirondack Mountains. That's a pretty sweet backdrop. If you’re a ski fiend, the city’s only about 25 minutes away from Bolton Valley and 50 minutes away from Stowe, but Burlington itself has a neat little arts scene going on with local performers, crafts people and artists that presents no real reason to leave. There's also some sporty pursuits in the area such as bass fishing, if you're so inclined.
As hotel guests, there are plenty of ways for us to reduce our carbon footprint without granola getting stuck in our ass. We can reuse towels and sheets, adjust the thermostat and lights, and be easy when we run water in our rooms. That's simple, yes?
Hotels have tried to get us on the bandwagon, leaving us little signs in the rooms to remind us to think twice before requesting new towels and daily housekeeping (a win/win for them, both in becoming "green" as well as in cutting costs). But some have gone a step further, such as installing light and energy systems requiring a room key to activate. Good on 'em.
Now, with the time of year for giving now upon us, let's take a look at some kickass examples of Do Good Hotels and what it means for you during your next stay:
Element Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Westin Hotels / Green Hotels / Free WiFi / Hotel Bicycles / → All Tags
We have made no attempts to disguise our love for Element Hotels here at HC HQ. We just wish there were more of them.
We toured the property back in 2010 when it first opened, and recently had the chance to stay at the hotel while in NYC for a super-quick jaunt. Between the location near Times Square and Port Authority, the killer views from the little but somehow-still-secret rooftop, and all the thoughtful ways the hotel caters to guests of the 21st century, we were won over again, two years later.
Looks like the old and new worlds are getting along just fine in India where ITC, India’s second-largest hotel chain, has just launched the Grand Chola in Chennai. This new hotel was designed and inspired by the architecture and traditions of the Chola dynasty, Southern India’s greatest maritime power of all time (interesting considering the hotel isn't on the water).
Towering columns and stairways, granite carvings and vast spaces are meant to make visitors feel like they’re in the presence of something bigger than themselves. It's a place that embraces the cultural traditions of the region’s past and sets out to transport guests back to a time where size and grandeur was a direct indication of wealth and power. The dramatic staircase at the entrance seems to scream "cash money millionaires", no?
The in-room mini bar and work desk at Ivy Hotel Chicago, or the web of wires
Remember when The Ivy Hotel opened and we were told this would be the ultimate in Chicago boutique luxury? Ivy was aiming high but we were down with that program; who wouldn’t want to see something more beautiful and posh than the likes of Chicago’s Waldorf Astoria?
To quote that first conversation, the hotel’s managing director, James Cazares, said this of the then-forthcoming Ivy: “There is no one else in the city who will be so small and so luxurious.” Even the hotel website starts with this: “Welcome to The Best Of Boutique Hotels in Chicago.”
Sigh. We recently stopped by the hotel after its opening last month and are sad to report it doesn’t quite reach that pinnacle of luxury. Though the boutique hotel has definitely made good on its promise to build a green property, another kind of green vibe is showing up and reflects a newbie hotel that may need some time to pull it together.
Sydney Hotels / Australia / Hotels / Hotel News / Swissotels / Green Hotels / → All Tags
A unique green initiative has hit the shores of Australia and we hope that other hoteliers pick up on the trend. Sydney's Swissotel now offers free valet service for guests who rock up in a hybrid vehicle. This offer is a first for any hotel across the city and, to our knowledge, across the country.
Sydney can be considered, Australia's most congested city, with as many as 700,000 cars clogging up the thoroughfares everyday. The environmental consideration prompts visitors to rethink their choices for cars when at the rental agency. In all, this is not only good for the planet, but good for your credit card since valet parking will set you back $55AUD per night.
Hotel Cars / Four Seasons Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Green Hotels / US Open Golf Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
San Francisco's a pretty green town but when the U.S. Open golf tournament comes to town on June 11, the place will get even greener. And if you happen to be staying at the Four Seasons San Francisco, you just might be the greenest of them all thanks to the Nissan Leaf that's available for you to rent.
Booking the hotel's new Nissan LEAF package will get you a room at the hotel, two tickets to the California Academy of Arts and Sciences, breakfast for two at the Seasons restaurants and complimentary rental of the Nissan LEAF. If you're not familiar with the LEAF, it's a completely electric vehicle which uses no gasoline and can go about a 100 miles on a single charge. And thanks to the LEAF, The Four Seasons is now the city's first and only hotel to have an electric vehicle rental program as well as charging station.
Hotel News / Green Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Fitness / Eco-Hotels / Green Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Gyms / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
It feels like ever since Even Hotels announced their new brand of health-conscious, fitness-oriented hotels, we've been seeing similar amenities start to pop up in other places. Now, Element Hotels, known for healthy breakfast wraps, 24-hour fitness centers, rentable bikes and en suite kitchens, are installing bike charging stationsUnlike Even Hotels and Tryp's fitness rooms, these stationary bikes will be placed in the actual fitness centers, not next to your bed. Because, really, plugging your laptop into the wall is much less exciting when you're doing it in your room.
Hotel Openings / Hotels with iPads / Chicacgo Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Green Hotels / Hotel iPads / → All Tags
The rumor is true: a new boutique hotel is indeed opening this Spring in Chicago, whose burgeoning new hotel scene is really starting to gather some serious momentum.
Just over a block from Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, the new Ivy Hotel has staked its claim on a 15-story, vacant office building set to open in April as the only true boutique luxury hotel in the city.
“There is no one else in the city who will be so small and so luxurious,” said the hotel’s Managing Director and family rep, James Cazares. A big claim, but we're ready to play along; especially the way they’re selling it. Picture a modern high-rise spanning 15 stories with only five rooms per floor—the majority of which will be suites (52 out of 63, to be exact)—plus espresso machines, mirror TVs, and sea salt soaking tubs.