Top Ten Green Hotels in the United States, 2012
With the growing interest in adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, new businesses are popping up to meet the needs of those "going green." The sustainable tourism industry is one example, satisfying the high demand for eco-friendly hotels. GAYOT.com compiled this list of hotels committed to environmentalism. Many of these hotels boast LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) credentials, which is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using environmentally sound strategies.
Salvaged stone and reclaimed wood were used in the construction of this leader in sustainable practices, which also boasts an underground geothermal system for heat and energy. One of the few LEED-certified platinum hotels in the world, Bardessono furthers that distinction by offering a truly luxurious experience in the heart of Napa Valley.
- Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Lodge does the usual green thing—using eco-friendly products and power offsets—and so much more, including its own environmental charter and a 110-million-gallon manmade Peregrine Lake, designed to help conserve water and maintain the health of local streams and rivers. The first mountain resort to win Audubon International's Sustainable Community award, Stowe Mountain Resort is a year-round lodge was built in 2008 from locally quarried stone and resembles a classic ski retreat.
- Hotel Allegro
Hotel Allegro is part of Kimpton's EarthCare program, promoting a sustainable planet. This downtown Chicago hotel features towel reuse, water recycling and non-toxic cleaning agents. All materials are printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper, and energy-efficient light bulbs are used. Indulge in a complimentary cup of organic, fair trade coffee in the lobby before heading out to the Chicago theatre scene or the shopping on the Magnificent Mile.
- Hotel Green
Celebrated shoe designer and hotelier Vanessa Noel's Hotel Green is Nantucket Island's first environmentally conscious organic luxury hotel. It boasts nine individually decorated rooms and one two-bedroom suite incorporating high-end environmentally friendly and sustainable products. Frank-Gehry-designed recycled cardboard chairs and coffee tables sit on Gaiam hemp area rugs, which are complemented by natural bamboo window shades. You'll also find hemp bathrobes and towels in your room as well as a selection of organic beverages and snacks.
- Zion Lodge
Zion National Park, Utah
The only "in park" lodge in Zion National Park, Zion Lodge is a model of environmental sustainability. Efforts here to save the planet range from composting to serving organic cuisine to offering beer on tap rather than from bottles. The lodge's electricity use is from 100% wind power, and along with motel-style rooms and historic cabins, there are six "green suites" with bamboo floors and recycled carpet content. As well, accommodations feature biodegradable soaps, filtered drinking water, organic linens and compact fluorescent lighting. Not only does this lodge aim for minimal environmental impact, it even strives to improve its surroundings with a program to restore native grasslands.
- El Monte Sagrado
Surrounded by mountains and high desert country, El Monte Sagrado takes water conservation seriously, collecting rain water to reuse for watering the lawn and recycling waste water through a filtration system that does not use chlorine. Additionally, some 60 percent of this eco-resort is geo-thermally heated and cooled.
- Element New York Times Square West
New York City, N.Y.
From environmentally friendly "do not disturb" magnets to wall art mounted on bases made from recycled tires, this budget chain's signature ecologically minded attributes can be found at its New York outpost. Right in Times Square, the hotel invites guests to think green while partaking in all the Big Apple has to offer. Carpets are crafted from 100% recycled materials, faucets are water efficient, paints are earth-friendly and the open-plan guest rooms feature full kitchens with Energy Star appliances.
- Hyatt at Olive 8
The Hyatt at Olive 8 is the first LEED-certified hotel in the eco-conscious city of Seattle. The property features 346 guest rooms and is known for their green elements throughout. The on-site spa only uses the highest quality products made with organic and natural ingredients. Aside from the spa, there is a fitness center that allows guests to take part in any of the yoga or Pilates classes that are offered daily, as well as a restaurant that only works with farmers across Washington and the Pacific Northwest dedicated to sustainable growing techniques.
- The Fairmont
Did you know that if you park your hybrid car at this hotel in Washington's fashionable West End, you'll receive a free dessert? In addition to sweets, this hotel has a green procurement program, including the reduction of pre-packaging, ensuring that supplies, equipment, fixtures and furniture are environmentally sensitive. The hotel also donates soaps, amenities and food from buffet lines to shelters and soup kitchens.
- Hotel Terra
Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The first in a collection of green hotels launched by the Terra Resort Group, Hotel Terra is on course to receive LEED certification. Furnishings include natural latex mattresses encased in unbleached cotton, and the beds have recycled steel springs. All room amenities including the desktops, wastebaskets and hangers are made with renewable bamboo, and there are organic bathroom products in refillable, recycled-glass containers.
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