Be Our Guest: World’s Top Ten Green Hotels
Author: Madiha Boolani
Planning a trip around the world? Love traveling but want to stay green? Be sure to make a reservation at one of these world-class green hotels.
1) The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers in Copenhagen, Denmark, is located in the city center and is the first energy efficient hotel in Denmark. A four star hotel, the Crowne Plaza boasts high standards. High environmental and social awareness is reflected in the architecture of the hotel as well as in the interior design with organic decomposing toilet requisites, energy producing gym facilities etc. The hotel combines the largest facade integrated solar Photovoltaics (PV) installation in Denmark and frontline energy-efficient technology, cutting energy consumption by 53% compared to conventional hotels. It receives all of its energy through renewable and sustainable sources. Solar panels and a groundwater-based cooling and heating system helps the Crowne Plaza conserve precious resources. The groundwater based system is the first of its kind in Denmark, and it saves up to 90% of the energy used for climate regulation inside the hotel. Furthermore, guests can get into shape and hop on an exercise bike, generate electricity, and earn points for a free meal in the restaurant.
2) Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa in Queensland, Australia, is located in the oldest rainforest in the world and is housed in just 15 ethnically influenced spatial elements (villas and rooms). Sustainable practices at the lodge include using solar power and low energy LED lights as well as growing their own produce for meals. The hotel is involved in ecotourism to preserve and protect natural properties, including mangroves, river systems, and the rainforest. Daintree also works with the Australian Greenhouse Office and complies with international sustainable tourism standards set up by the World Conservation Union, World Tourism Organization, and the International Ecotourism Association. They even provide cultural lessons on the Australian Aborigines.
3) Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar, Tanzania, was created on the island to showcase environmental protection, including the coral reef ecosystem. Utilizing solar power, rainwater harvesting and even organic soaps, the resort features some exclusively indigenous African art, fabrics and handicrafts. Chumbe Island Coral Park is known for having one of the healthiest reef ecosystems throughout East Africa. The hotel is listed as a Long Run Destination, meaning that it strives for high standards of sustainability through the complete balance of commerce and conservation.
4) Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen, Denmark, is more than one hundred years old but has been revamped to be more sustainable. A completely carbon-neutral structure, the conception has been also awarded the Green Key (an international eco-label tourism facility), with its eco friendly features such as a 100 percent allergy-free floor and an organic breakfast buffet. The hotel also acts as a gallery for classic Danish design furniture and modern art.
5) Adrere Amellal in the Siwa Oasis, Egypt, is located along the foot of the White Mountain and provides insight into the rigors and thrills of desert life. This 39 room hotel does not even have electricity and uses beeswax candles for lighting. All meals are made strictly using organic ingredients with fair market values. There is natural ventilation that uses the dry climate in the desert. This has decreased the cost of energy and maintenance plus completely reduces the carbon footprint to almost zero. They use bio-gas technologies and water comes from a natural spring that is on site. All food waste is composted and most items on site are bio-degradable.
6) Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado, provides high quality accommodation for mountaineers and skiers with a strong essence of eco friendliness. The hotel received the Environmental Protection Agency Award for Responsible Development and Historic Preservation. Located on 5,000 acres of land, the structure only takes up about 8- acres, and the rest of the land is used as a preservation point for exotic wildlife. The buildings at the ranch are heated using geothermal energy hence reducing conventional energy wastage. Dual flush toilets are used to conserve water and florescent light bulbs are utilized. The ranch has a number of recycling initiatives implemented, all cleaning and spa products are biodegradable, natural and organic, all restaurants on site use sustainable, organic, and locally grown produce and meats when they can, and linens are changed every three days to conserve energy and water.
7) Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Port Antonio, Jamaica, has practiced sustainability for over 15 years and has won a number of awards including the Green Globe Certification award and the American Express/CHA prize for most Environmentally Friendly Small Hotel. Some of the things the hotel does includes solar energy, rainwater harvesting, natural air conditioning, anaerobic wastewater treatment, low chlorine pool that runs on renewable energy, no pesticides and insecticides used on the gardens, and utilizing local organic items then they can. The hotel also promotes an active waste avoidance policy – whenever possible, the hotel minimizes, reuses, and recycles waste products.
8) Strattons Hotel in Swaffham, England is an idyllic getaway which provides a breathtaking combination of bird reserves, forest trails and the beautiful North Norfolk coastline. It is also widely recognized for the number of energy efficient measures it has taken. The Strattons Hotel was the first hotel in the United Kingdom to receive the Queen’s Award for “Outstanding Environmental Performance. Locally produced natural and organic products are used to promote the environment and the earth. Furthermore the hotel offers activities such as trekking, jogging and cycling.
9) Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in American Canyon, California is the first Gold LEED certified hotel in the world. All materials that are wood-based are Forest Stewardship Council approved and the carpeting is made using recycled materials. Solatube tubular skylights are used for natural lighting and organic cleaning products are utilized at the hotel.The hotel has been able to reduce water use by 40 percent through the use of a number of techniques, including DDLow flush toilets and the use of recycled water in the koi pond. Other features include energy efficient HVAC systems, low energy transmittable windows, a cool reflective roof, recycling bins in all rooms and throughout the property, and bulk soap dispensers to reduce plastic packaging associated with mini soap and shampoo bottles.
10) Soneva Fushi Resort in Baa Atoll, Republic of Maldives has won a number of awards for the green initiatives it has made, including winner of The President of the Maldives’ Green Resort Award for several years. The sustainability factor includes reduction of greenhouse emissions by 50 percent in 2008, while achieving total carbon neutrality by 2010. Environmental initiatives include increasing energy efficient, reducing resource waste and consumption, preventing the release of harmful toxins throughout the environment, and island preservation. The hotel uses natural ventilation, sources materials locally, has installed energy saving light bulbs, uses filtered seawater for pools, collects rainwater and has a waste management program. And wait there’s more; the interior furniture and furnishing are wholly created from locally available renewable materials.
So which hotel are you staying at?