Hotels Are Greening Up
No, we’re not talking about soaring atriums filled with palm trees and rotating displays of seasonal flowers ala the Bellagio (as nice as those certainly are). Upscale hotels are responding to their guests who want to know about sustainability initiatives and energy-conservation practices. Here’s how some luxury hotels are going green.
A number of hotels are offering perks to guests who decline housekeeping. Bar and food credits, discounted upgrades, and Starbucks gift cards are among the incentives to forgo the daily visit from the maid. Hotels consume a tremendous amount of energy and water in laundering sheets and towels daily—a service many guests don’t need or want. The Shade Hotel group in California takes this trend a step further and will plant a tree for each guest who declines daily housekeeping.
The W hotel group, arguably one of the world’s hippest brands, has contracted with entrepreneur and Black-Eyed Peas front man will.i.am and his partner Coca Cola to deploy their signature Ekocycle sheets in every W hotel in the U.S. The sheets are made from recycled plastic water bottles and are said to be amazingly comfortable. The W group projects that this initiative will keep 268,000 plastic bottles from the landfill annually.
Element hotels, a division of Starwood, have been designed from the ground up to meet every possible kind of green building standard, from carpets with up to 100% recycled content to art on the walls mounted on bases made from recycled tires. Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints improve indoor air quality for guests and staff. Guest rooms use dispensers for bath amenities instead of wasteful plastic mini-bottles and have recycling bins for paper, plastic, and glass.
The Inn at Dos Brisas, recognized by Relais & Châteaux in 2016 for its efforts in environmental advocacy, is a nine-room luxury guest ranch outside Houston that shelters a a 42-acre, USDA-certified organic farm. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a part of the inn’s Forbes five-star restaurant offerings. While staying at the peaceful retreat, guests can learn about organic gardening and how to start their own vegetable patch.
Full-service resorts are at the vanguard of the eco-friendly transformation. Six Senses has a stable of stunning resorts in far-flung destinations throughout the world, each following a model of local stewardship, respect for the environment, and celebrating the flora and fauna of their surroundings. Their Viet Nam property, Six Sense Con Dao, is located on the shores of a pristine marine park and invites guests to learn about their programs for protecting the bay ecology and turtle population.
- Sustainable Living