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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SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Idaho’s First LEED Hotel, Opens


COEUR D’ ALENE, IDAHO—The 118-suite SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, opened on August 5. The SpringHill Suites Coeur d’Alene will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by CDB Hospitality, LLC of Spokane, Wash. Located two miles from downtown, 35 miles from Spokane International Airport and five minutes from Lake Coeur d’Alene, the hotel offers guests convenient access to Centennial Trail, the Spokane River, and Silverwood Theme Park. The SpringHill Suites Coeur d’Alene has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste and conserving energy and water.

NYLO Dallas South Side Hotel Earns LEED Gold Certification


DALLAS—NYLO Dallas South Side has achieved LEED Gold certification—one of the highest possible rankings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The hotel, which opened in August 2012, is the first NYLO property to achieve LEED certification, the first historic hotel in Dallas to achieve LEED Gold certification and one of only 69 LEED Gold certified hotels in the United States. “This was NYLO’s first adaptive-reuse project, and it’s in a landmarked historic building to boot—which meant our design team did even more creative problem-solving than usual,” said Michael Mueller, NYLO Hotels’ CEO. “We couldn’t be happier or more proud of the LEED Gold certification and NYLO’s continued leadership in green initiatives at all of the NYLO Hotel properties.” NYLO Dallas South Side is housed in a 102-year-old former factory that sat vacant for more than 10 years.

Grand Hyatt Atlanta Engineer’s Observation Leads to Rainwater Harvesting System Implementation


ATLANTA—About a year ago, not long after starting as director of engineering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, Wes Shirley was overlooking the third floor terrace of the 439-room hotel during a rainstorm. He thought to himself, “What a waste. If only we could somehow harvest and reuse all that water we could really save some money.” With the assistance of a plumber, the Director of Administration and Development at Southern Polytechnic University (who is an engineer), and some students at Southern Polytechnic University, Wes came up with a plan to harvest the rainwater that falls on the 32,000 square feet of third floor rooftop surface. For the students at Southern Polytechnic University, it was part of a class project to help come up with a design and plan for a rainwater harvesting system.

Aloft Brand Completes Second Adaptive Reuse Project


STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that its “Different by Design” Aloft brand has doubled its presence in Tulsa, Okla., with the opening of Aloft Tulsa Downtown. The opening also marks the successful completion of the Aloft brand’s second adaptive reuse project. The former City Hall was transformed into Aloft Tulsa Downtown by owner and developer TOCH, LLC. Managed by Presidian Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Tulsa Downtown offers 180 loft-like rooms and leading-edge technology. “Aloft Tulsa Downtown brings new life to a historic building by infusing it with the energy of the Aloft brand’s urban design and buzzing social atmosphere,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Adaptive reuse projects like this one represent an important growth channel for the Aloft brand.”

Thanks to Solar Thermal Installation, Cliff House Resort & Spa’s First-Year Propane Savings: 20,000 Gallons


OQUNQUIT, MAINE—A year after installing one of Maine’s largest solar thermal projects, The Cliff House Resort & Spa reports saving 20,000 gallons of propane, 82 percent more than originally projected. Owner Kathryn Weare anticipated saving 11,000 gallons of propane based on equipment specifications and is pleased with the nearly double first-year results. Located on a cliff abutting the Atlantic Ocean, the resort’s solar panels productivity benefits from the reflective surface of the water. The installation comprising 2,100 tubes on 70 collectors was initially estimated to provide solar-heated water for the 32 guestrooms in Cliff Spa, the spa building along with the entire spa facility and common area heat. Now the solar collectors heat the spa building as well as the 104 guestrooms and kitchen facilities in the resort’s original Cliffscape building. The energy created from the solar thermal system is equivalent to that required for generating hot water for about 50 households a year.

Ellerman House on Road to Becoming Cape Town’s Greenest Boutique Hotel


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Ellerman House has launched an initiative to become Cape Town’s most eco-friendly boutique hotel. Through newly implemented green projects such as solar panels, LED light bulbs, heat pumps, earthworm farms and recycling systems, the property aims to be Cape Town’s leader in eco-friendly luxury hospitality by September 2013. In order to measure the carbon footprint for the entire property, including the main house, villas, spa, art gallery and all administrative housing and offices, Ellerman House hired an energy efficiency company, BrightBlack, as a consultant and to administer extensive energy testing. The staff at Ellerman House began taking energy-reducing steps immediately, beginning with the installation of energy-efficient and motion-sensor activated LED lights.

Starwood Alliance to Result in 1.3 Megawatt Solar Array at Westin St. John


ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and NRG Energy, Inc. announced a new global alliance to expand the use of renewable energy systems at Starwood properties. The alliance will begin with three properties, including the installation of a 1.3 megawatt (MW) solar array at the Westin St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where NRG will build, own and operate the project. This array will provide clean, efficient power to the resort and help to reduce local air emissions and the impact of shipping on the fragile Caribbean ecosystem by directly reducing demand for diesel fuel imports. NRG will own the solar arrays while Starwood will be the enabling partner.

Hilton Concord Electric Vehicle Charging Station Goes ‘Live’


CONCORD, CALIF.—The newly renovated Hilton Concord has added an expansive electric vehicle charging station to serve hotel guests and the community as part of its ongoing sustainability initiatives. Hilton Concord, located in San Francisco’s East Bay, is owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Hilton Concord has embarked upon a long term and dedicated commitment to becoming an industry leader in sustainability. The addition of an electric vehicle charging station is a milestone along the hotel’s path toward the goal of becoming one of the top sustainable hotels in California. In response to anticipated guest and client demand for car charging, Hilton Concord is providing capacity for up to eight vehicles. Hilton Concord now has the largest EV charging station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Turtle Island Resort Operating on Nearly 100 Percent Solar


TURTLE ISLAND, YASAWAS, FIJI—Turtle Island Resort in Fiji has recently completed a groundbreaking solar installation, making it one of the first ever clean energy resorts in the world. The installation renders the island resort nearly 100 percent self-sufficient using the sun’s clean energy. This project, which entailed a total of 968 solar panels being installed on the island, commenced in early 2012 and is now fully operational. Through its ecologically conscious operations, the resort runs on an average of 85 percent solar power, more than any other island resort in Fiji, and perhaps any luxury resort worldwide. “At Turtle Island we have a long history of sustainability,” said Richard Evanson, owner of Turtle Island. “For over 30 years we’ve tried to impact the environment as little as possible.”

Aqua Resort Adds 2,400-Panel Solar Array


HONOLULU, HAWAII—Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, an Aqua Hospitality property, has completed a series of enhancement projects that are equal parts innovation and renovation. Leading the list of projects is a large solar array built over the parking lot, providing cover and shade for vehicles while greatly reducing the popular beachfront hotel’s carbon footprint. “We are blessed with 25 beautiful acres along the coast, so we had plenty of land to erect our solar array,” said David Sosner, general manager of Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. “Our guests suggested covered parking would be a nice addition to the resort, so we’ve met that need while taking advantage of the abundant Hawaiian sunlight. We’re helping Mother Earth and lowering our energy costs by at least 20 percent. It’s a win for the planet, a win for our guests and a win for our owners.” The solar installation is projected to save almost 100,000 kilowatt hours per month.

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