Although any hotel can be made more eco-friendly if guests don’t expect clean sheets or towels every day during a multiple night stay, some hotels take eco-friendly to a higher level. At Hotel Scoop, we’ve been lucky to experience a few of them. The scope ranges from luxury beach resorts to quiet comfort in the woods and an historic lodge.
At Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona, Florida, guests are treated to spectacular views of the Atlantic or Intracoastal Waterway. Diana found the resort family-friendly but also perfect for romance, particularly if you treat yourself to the full-service spa. Environmentalism is part of Shores Resort and Spa’s best practices. As a partnering hotel with “Clean the World,” a national organization that recycles and distributes unused and partially used soap products to people in countries where good hygiene is hard to come by, Shores Resorts and Spa puts the friendly in eco-friendly. Another friendly practice is the resort’s Green Team. Twice a month employees volunteer to clean up a one-mile section of the beach.
Also, the resort has eliminated Styrofoam and 80% of the incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with high efficiency ones. Guest rooms include a bin for recycling trash as well as environmentally-safe reusable tubes for soaps and shampoos.
At the Listel in Vancouver, Carolyn found eco-friendly paired with art. Along with being Vancouver’s “art-full” hotel where original contemporary art is a prominent feature of the decor, the Listel is a “zero waste facility.” This means all waste is recycled one way or another. Nothing ends up in a landfill. The hotel also added rooftop solar panels and a heat recovering system in 2008 as a cutting edge move to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint.
Nancy headed to the 4-star resort Baía da Barca on Pico Island in Portugal for her eco-friendly stay. Started as a resort to educate people about living in harmony with nature and to promote eco-tourism, Baía da Barca has several eco- friendly features such as rainwater tanks, heat pumps, and solar panels that provide hot water by utilizing ambient air and the sun. All of the resort’s lighting is low energy and the pool’s water comes directly from the ocean.
Energy efficiency does come with magnificent views of the Atlantic and opportunities to explore including hiking and whale watching (when in season).
Rustic sustainability is the key at Glen Oaks in Big Sur, California. Katie’s eco-friendly stay gave her an opportunity to relax in the quiet beauty of the woods. Whether you stay in one of Glen Oaks’ cabins or cottages, or a room in the adobe lodge, you’ll find similar features that harken a feeling of back-to-nature simplicity mixed in with tasteful elegance. Furniture is eco-friendly and often made of recycled wood. Recycled stone is also used in the bathrooms.
Poco A Poca Hotel and Spa in Monteverde, Costa Rica gave Kristen an environmentally-friendly honeymoon with sustainability and luxury as ingredients. The hotel has its own water treatment plant which ensures that water is recycled once it’s treated. Some of the water is used in the gardens where 75% of the plants are native to Monteverde.
Guests are also encouraged to recycle their garbage and all cleaning products are biodegradable. Poco A Poca Hotel and Spa’s eco-friendly efforts have earned it the 4-Leaf Award given by Costa Rica’s Sustainable Tourism Certification Program.
My favorite stay with an eco-friendly spin is the 100 year old Glacier Park Lodge at Glacier National Park in Montana. Here, energy efficient lighting is used in all guest rooms, common rooms, and the employees’ quarters. Guests are encouraged to recycle and are treated to The BeeKind™ environmentally-friendly amenity collection of Gilchrist & Soames. Use of these products help to fund bee research.
Also, without TVs in rooms, guests are more likely to play environmentally friendly putt putt golf, shuffle board or board games, or hang out on the porch strumming a guitar.
Post by Jamie Rhein. Except where noted, photos courtesy of the hotels.