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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Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel Awarded LEED Gold Certification


SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Shore Hotel announced it has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is USGBC’s rating system for designing, constructing and maintaining the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings and the Shore Hotel, designed by Gensler, is the first property in Santa Monica to receive this distinction. “Shore Hotel is honored to receive LEED Gold certification,” says Steve Farzam, COO of Shore Hotel. “We support ongoing efforts to be responsible and sustainable in every area of our business and through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment and dedication to environmental stewardship.”

Owners of Net Zero Energy Green Leaf Inn Planning Spring 2013 Opening


DELAVAN, WIS.—When the husband-and-wife team of Fritz Kreiss and Catherine McQueen learned that a two-lane highway adjacent to their five-acre property in Delavan, Wis. would be expanded to four lanes they could have tried to sell the land with their cottage on it. Instead, they decided to build perhaps North America’s greenest lodging establishment—the 19-suite Green Leaf Inn that will be a net zero energy property. Net zero energy properties generate more energy than they consume. The Green Leaf Inn is scheduled to open in the spring of next year. It is the owners’ intention for the inn to serve as a net zero energy demonstration model—a living laboratory and catalog of new technology, products, and providers.

Owners of Off-the-Grid Hawaii Island Retreat Offer Low Impact Luxury


KAPAAU, HAWAII—Guests staying at the boutique-style Hawaii Island Retreat on Hawaii Island’s North Kohala coast can choose to stay in one of the Retreat’s nine lavishly appointed guestrooms or “rough” it a little bit and stay in one of the property’s seven well-appointed yurts. No matter what accommodations are chosen, guests have the satisfaction of knowing they are staying in a place that is off the grid—powered by the sun and wind. The Hawaii Island Retreat is nearing its third anniversary. It opened on April 1, 2009. Jacque Waters, associate director at the property, said the owners—Jeanne Sunderland and Robert Watkins—were committed from day one to creating a retreat and Maluhia Spa that were not only off the grid but as eco-friendly in every other way possible as well.

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn Flips Switch on Solar System


BOULDER, COLO.—With a simple flip of a switch, The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn recently became the most solar powered hotel in Boulder County. The newly installed 880-kilowatt system that includes 88 solar panels will save 28,694 kWh of electricity production annually, and provide approximately 25 percent of the hotel’s overall electrical needs. A digital reporting device located at the hotel’s front desk provides real-time and cumulative information on CO2 savings and power production. This and other sustainability tracking initiatives applied throughout the hotel will provide a true look at the hotel’s overall environmental impact. “Our goal is to reduce our guests’ carbon footprint during their stay and to become the most environmentally conscious hotel in the market,” said Steven Wallace, g.m.

Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel Nearing Launch Date for 756-Kilowatt Solar Photovoltaic System


MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.—The Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel is just a few weeks away from going “live” with its 756-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system on 10 carports in the hotel’s parking area. The carports cover 70 percent of the 400-vehicle parking space and were constructed—along with the solar panels—as part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The PPA was signed by the owners of the Wyndham hotel with US Solargy, Inc. US Solargy secured the financing for the system. US Solargy then placed the PPA with SolarMax Technology which financed and developed it. The owners of the hotel incurred no upfront costs; they will purchase electricity from SolarMax at a guaranteed rate for 15 years. The solar installation is expected to provide 50 percent of the electricity needed by the full-service, 245-room hotel.

Atlanta Airport Marriott at Gateway Center Earns LEED Silver


ATLANTA—The Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, adjacent to one of the world’s busiest U.S. airports and home to the Georgia International Convention Center, recently earned Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The eco-savvy, 403-room property is among the greenest hotels in the city and is one of only 41 LEED Silver hotels for new construction in the United States to earn this level of accreditation. “We are proud of this outstanding achievement in being recognized as an environmental leader,” said Robert Woolridge, general manager. “Our contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste, conserving energy and water and using “green power” provided by the city of College Park are paying off and will continue for years to come.”

Mashpi Lodge Readies for April Opening Near Quito, Ecuador


QUITO, ECUADOR—There is a new destination for experiencing natural beauty, biodiversity and eco-adventure in the Ecuadorian Andes: the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve. Located two-and-a-half hours west of historic Quito, this 3,000-acre reserve protects a small slice of the Tumbez-Chocó-Magdalena biodiversity “hotspot,” and will be home to a new retreat called Mashpi Lodge, new on the heels of its sister property Casa Gangotena that opened in Quito Old Town in October. This lodge has been designed as a springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its reserve. A private getaway only accessible to its guests and located on a high plateau, Mashpi Lodge offers views of the forest and valleys at nearly every angle and offers the highest level of service.

Case Study: Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington


BURLINGTON, VERMONT—Increasing recycling, implementing a food waste collection program for composting, and increasing green purchasing have allowed the 309-room Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont to reduce its environmental footprint, save money on disposal, and to be recognized as a Green Hotel through the Green Hotels in the Green Mountain State Program (also known as the Vermont Green Hotels Program). In April 2009, the Sheraton Hotel agreed to work with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), the Vermont Green Hotels Program, and EPA New England to increase its overall recycling, initiate a food waste diversion program, and to increase and document its green purchasing efforts. These efforts further supported the hotel’s environmentally conscious business practices and made it recognized as a Green Hotel in the State of Vermont.

New, LEED Pursuing $43 Million Boston Hostel Expected to Open in April


BOSTON—As early as April 2012, Boston will welcome its new Boston Hostel. Perhaps the most expensive hostel in the world, the $43 million project has been designed to earn LEED Silver certification. The new hostel’s location at 19 Stuart Street is at the intersection of Boston’s midtown cultural district, theater district, and Chinatown, close to the Boston Public Garden and adjacent to public transportation. Set in the renovated six-story, 60,000-square-foot Dill Building, the Boston Hostel will have 468 beds, a common area for guests, a self-serve kitchen, and another kitchen for group functions. The hostel is expected to attract 46,000 guests annually, 30,000 of whom will visit from outside the United States. They are expected to spend $16 million or more in the Boston area. The hostel is being developed by the nonprofits Hostelling International USA and Hostelling International New England.

Syracuse’s Hotel Skyler Now One of Just Three Hotels to Earn LEED Platinum


SYRACUSE, N.Y.—November 17 was a day to celebrate for Syracuse, N.Y.-based Woodbine Group. It was then that the company learned that its Hotel Skyler had earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED Platinum is a rare feat as only two other hotels in the United States—the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., and the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.—have earned the designation. According to Lynee Sauer, business manager for Woodbine Group, the road to LEED Platinum was more than a year and a half long; the company first registered for LEED on March 24, 2009. “It feels really good to have gone through the process,” Sauer says. “We took a piece of Syracuse’s history and reclaimed it,” adds Tom Fernandez, director of marketing and product development for Woodbine Group.

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