I was in Portland Maine recently …cute little town…progressive…still lots of mom and pop establishments surviving and very few chains downtown. That strong-willed spirit carried over to the nearby resort where I stayed: Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.
I was impressed by the care the hotel went to in it’s recent renovation to be eco-friendly.
Perhaps it is the beautiful environment that motivated the green growth…. it is set right near the water, walking distance from a cute private beach.
But here are some of the advancements made by the hotel:
Solar panels, recycled sheet rock walls, recycled cork floors, recycled rubber floors, dual flush toilets, heating with bio fuels, preferred hybrid parking, sheet and towel reuse programs & purchasing renewable electricity are just a few of the green initiatives and design features which helped the Inn by the Sea achieve a SILVER LEED® and Maine’s Green Lodging certifications.
And I loved the fact that when I ate in the beautiful dining room or on the deck, I knew the seafood on my plate was locally caught…the produce was from local farms..and even some cheese I tasted at an event in the lobby was made by a local farm. You could tell – it was all fresh and delicious, and sustainable.
I am starting to see a lot of hotels offering linen re-use options, local and organic cooking, green lighting and construction. The one EASY thing I don’t see often is in-room recycling, But the hotels below go above the bare minimum to be green:
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyoming – Average Nightly Rate: $371
Eco-friendly elements abound in the Hotel Terra, literally from floor (environmentally-friendly carpets) to ceiling (recycled roof shingles). And the design is still fantastic.
Organic linens, low-flow toilets and solar-powered faucets can also be found in guest rooms, and even relaxation is green here, with organic spa products, and 100 percent natural mattresses made from recycled and organic materials.
Green doesn’t have to mean roughing it – this is an example of eco-luxury.
The Ambrose Hotel, Santa Monica, California – Average Nightly Rate: $242
The first hotel in the U.S. to receive the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification, the Ambrose Hotel has put green practices in place all over the property, including composting, cleaning guest rooms with eco-friendly products, and recycling.
Alaska’s Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, Homer, Alaska – Average Nightly Rate: $300
If you go to Alaska, try to stay in a wilderness lodge – cruises aren’t the only way to see the splendors of the Last Frontier. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge is only accessible by boat, floatplane, or helicopter. It is built from local and reused materials. Water to the lodge comes from a mountain stream, and along with the usual recycling and energy-efficient lighting, the lodge gets cute and creative by planting a tree for each guest to offset carbon emissions.
Trust me when I say you will be up close and personal with the Alaska wilderness here.
Hotel Monaco Seattle – a Kimpton Hotel, Seattle, Washington – Average Nightly Rate: $344
The Hotel Monaco brings green to an urban setting with a variety of eco-friendly programs, such as donating unused toiletry bottles to local charities rather than throwing them away, and using recycled paper at the hotel. In your guest room you will find recycling bins,which is refreshing – that is so easy to do – why don’t more hotels do it?? There are also low-flow toilets, faucets and showers, and organic coffee and snacks.
Like most Kimpton hotels, there are special touches – Great design …and travelers can feel closer to nature with a pet goldfish available for free from the hotel for the duration of their stay.