Tag: Green HotelsView All Tags
Even though common sense tells us that"green initiatives," such as not washing towels and sheets every day, should make things cheaper in the long run, we haven't exactly been seeing hotel rates drop just because a property puts a card on our pillow and a key-activated power switch on the wall.
Sometimes it seems like hotels regard these features as things they might even be able to charge more for, as if they were some must-have amenity that directly enhances our stay.
And we guess part of that makes sense, since big projects, such as installing wind turbines on the roof, are the equivalent of a renovation for hotels and come with an upfront cost. We'd be silly to think part of that cost wouldn't be passed on to the consumer.
GAÏA Riverlodge, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of Belize, has long been a top eco-conscious resort (it was formerly the Five Sisters Lodge) but thanks to a new hydropower energy system and a few other environmentally-friendly upgrades, the resort and its jungle cabanas have pretty much topped all other green resorts out there.
Using the nearby Five Sisters waterfalls as their energy source, the GAÏA Riverlodge is now run entirely by hyrdopower energy, eliminating the need for electricity. But don't worry, the hotel does have a back-up system, an eco-friendly one too that's battery-powered. The GAÏA Riverlodge is also cultivating an on-site vegetable garden which will bring fresh, or "hyper-local" as they call it, produce to the lodge's restaurants. Awesome.
Hotel Restaurants / Boutique Hotels / Green Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Vancouver Hotels / British Columbia Hotels / Canada Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Celebrity Scoop / Sean Parker / Hotel Drama / Hotel Weddings / Lodge Hotels / Green Hotels / Big Sur Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
We love to watch celebs drop huge amounts of money on their weddings, especially when they're at lavish resort hotels and feature star-studded guest lists and more decimal points than any one of us can imagine. The recent nuptials of Facebook co-founder, Sean Parker was no different to any other cashed-up internet mogul.
The details are like this: he paid $10 million to reserve the entire Ventana Inn. The Big Sur luxury eco-lodge played host to his "I dos" deep in the woods of their campground section that was reclaimed back to nature in 2007. Parker's wedding planner moved in building walls, water effects and fake ruins on the old campground to create the ultimate forest-themed wedding that would go down in The Parker Family history as a fairytale day.
Sounds all magical and beautiful, right? No doubt that the massive check he signed over to get a little privacy during their day created a truly memorable experience. One problem: the folks over at Ventana broke some rules correction: laws by allowing the guest to transform the redwood forest into a wedding site all without the compulsory permits.
Whether you travel frequently or once a year, you've no doubt seen this sign in your hotel room. It was one of the first initiatives put forth by hotels in an attempt to
save money conserve resources, giving guests a guilt trip when it comes to whether or not they reuse their towels.
Given the growing green movement and the passionate people behind it, this is typically a tough one to talk about over happy hour. But we have a confession: Sometimes, we like to use our towel just once, throw it on the ground, and ask for new towels in the morning.
Before you throw stones, hear us out - it's really not that absurd.
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.