Green Hotel Focus

In Green Hotel Focus, Green Lodging News features those properties that deserve just a little bit more attention than your typical green hotel—those properties that have invested in green building design and technologies, energy and water conservation, indoor air quality, and much more. Would you like to nominate a property for coverage? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Starwood Opens First New Jersey-based Element Property


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of its first Element hotel in New Jersey and the seventh Element hotel globally, Element Ewing-Hopewell in Ewing, N.J. The hotel is owned through a joint venture between American Properties Realty, Inc. and Hersha Hospitality Management, L.P., which is also the manager of the hotel. Element made history when it launched as the only major hotel brand to mandate that its properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for high-performance buildings.

ITC’s Hotel Royal Gardenia Becomes LEED Platinum Hotel


KOLKATA, INDIA—ITC’s new luxury hotel in Bengaluru, the ITC Hotel Royal Gardenia, was conferred the highest rating for green buildings in the world—the LEED India Platinum Rating. This recognition makes it the world’s largest platinum rated hotel and is another manifestation of ITC’s leadership in sustainability practices. ITC is the only company in the world to be carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive. The LEED Platinum rating for the ITC Hotel is one more green milestone for ITC. It is close on the heels of the ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon—one of the world’s largest green buildings.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas Achieves LEED Gold Certification


LAS VEGAS—Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, a hotel located at the new CityCenter, has achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first hotel in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to receive a LEED rating, and marks the sixth LEED Gold certification for CityCenter, which is one of the world’s largest sustainable developments. “Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is known for demonstrating its leadership in the hotel industry,” said Rajesh Jhingon, general manager of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. “We are honored to have the Group’s first LEED Gold certified hotel.” The hotel's exterior was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Texas' Holiday Inn Northwest/Sea World Swimming in Savings


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS—With its recent $1 billion in renovations, the Holiday Inn brand has earned well-deserved publicity. Perhaps the Holiday Inn property deserving of the most buzz this year, however, is the brand new Holiday Inn Northwest/Sea World in San Antonio. The 194-room hotel is on track to be the first LEED certified hotel in Texas and the first LEED certified property within the 3,300-property Holiday Inn brand. The hotel is owned by a group of investors out of Lubbock, Texas, and managed by Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. Green highlights of the property include cisterns to collect water runoff.

Sheraton Suites Tampa Incorporates ‘Make a Green Choice’ Program


TAMPA, FLA.—The Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport Westshore is completing a multimillion-dollar renovation project for which it has devoted significant resources to improving environmental efficiencies across the board. As part of its eco-initiative, hotel management has launched the “Make a Green Choice” (MAGC) program. Through this project, the Sheraton aims to improve housekeeping sustainability and productivity. Participating guests can decline housekeeping service for a day, and in exchange for helping the Sheraton conserve natural resources, they receive a $5 gift card.

Hilton New York Receives ‘Green Street’ Award for Fuel Cell System


NEW YORK—The 1,980-room Hilton New York has been awarded the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program “Green Street” Award by the Avenue of the Americas Association. The award was presented at a gala reception held recently at the hotel’s Trianon Ballroom. The Hilton New York received the award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell, which sits atop the building’s fifth floor roof. The Green Street Award was created to recognize members of the Association and other owners and tenants along the Avenue of the Americas.

Retail District at CityCenter Achieves LEED Gold Certification


LAS VEGAS—Crystals, the retail and entertainment district at CityCenter, has achieved LEED Gold Core & Shell certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the world’s largest retail district to receive this level of recognition. Opening in December, CityCenter was created with a vision to introduce a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. Crystals’ achievement marks the fourth LEED Gold certification for CityCenter; previous recipients included 1. ARIA Resort’s hotel tower, 2. ARIA’s convention center and theater, and 3. Vdara Hotel & Spa.

Westin Riverfront Resort Awarded LEED Silver Certification


AVON, COLO.—Colorado’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa announced that it has been awarded Silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Westin Riverfront is the first hotel in Colorado to achieve this coveted green accolade and only the ninth hotel in the country to earn Silver LEED status. The Beaver Creek resort, which opened a year ago this week, is also the first Silver LEED Certified hotel in the Westin brand, which includes more than 160 hotels around the world. The Westin Riverfront features 210 guest residences.

First LEED-Built Ritz-Carlton Opens in Charlotte, N.C.


CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte has opened, becoming the first LEED-built hotel for Ritz-Carlton and the first for greater Charlotte. The contemporary 146-room hotel features a 13,000-square-foot Wellness Center, 12,000 square feet of meeting and conference space featuring recycled aluminum conference tables and green meetings as a standard, and a slate of innovations for frequent travelers. The Ritz-Carlton is located in Charlotte’s thriving Uptown, within walking distance of the city’s most popular sports, entertainment and business destinations.

Westin Bonaventure Gets Green Seal, Eyes $1 Million in Savings


LOS ANGELES—Last week, officials at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles announced that the property had received the city’s first Green Seal Silver Certification. In a press release announcing the honor, it was stated that the hotel expects to save approximately $225,000 a year because of its energy-saving and waste reduction initiatives. However, according to Steve Silva, chief engineer at the 1,354-room hotel, the Green Team has “just scratched the surface” of what can be saved and he expects the $225,000 number to eventually grow to $1 million a year.

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