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Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Lemon Tree Inn Celebrates New Landscaping with Ladybug Release & Pollination Package


NAPLES, FLA.—Lemon Tree Inn of Naples, Florida celebrated its new landscaping by releasing thousands of ladybugs on January 17. The boutique hotel has also sprouted a new “Pollination Package”, which offers a three-night stay with two tickets to the Naples Botanical Garden and a packet of flower seeds. Lemon Tree Inn, which has a butterfly garden in its courtyard garden, releases ladybugs as needed to rid the plants of pests. The hotel will release another group of ladybugs this June in celebration of National Pollinator Week. “The butterfly garden that Hunter Reno helped us create in 2010 was exquisite,” said Sid Kalmans, owner of Lemon Tree Inn. “All the plants she selected thrived and Lemon Tree Inn’s garden became a desired destination for butterflies as well as our guests. With the new landscaping, we added bamboos, more native plants and further increased the number of plants butterflies love.” Master Gardener Hunter Reno, a mother of two, former travel journalist and supermodel, has built organic vegetable gardens for five-star restaurants and developed edible school gardens for public schools in Miami.

GSTC, Tour Operators’ Initiative Join Forces


MADRID, SPAIN—The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) recently announced their merger, as approved by the boards of directors of each organization.

IHG, Carr City Centers Team Up on New Hotel in Southwest Washington, D.C.


ATLANTA—IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Carr City Centers announce a new InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property in Washington, D.C. The 278-room new build hotel will be part of The Wharf, a world-class, mixed-use waterfront development located on the historic Washington Channel. IHG, Carr and Clark Enterprises partnered together to form a joint venture with Wharf Master Developer Hoffman-Madison Waterfront to develop and own the InterContinental. The Washington D.C. property will apply for LEED Silver certification, contributing to the overall LEED-ND Gold status of The Wharf. The new InterContinental hotel will complement the iconic Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. hotel—also part of the Carr portfolio—in catering to business and leisure travelers seeking a luxury guest experience. Expected to open in Q2 of 2017, the hotel will feature a signature restaurant, spa, rooftop pool and bar, 17,000 square feet of meeting space with water views, and a sky view lounge with views of D.C. and the waterfront.

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Launches Website


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Visitors to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) end-user website, Equipment Finance Advantage, will find new enhancements that make it a more powerful resource than ever for helping businesses take advantage of the benefits of equipment finance. The site has improved navigation for a better user experience and offers a wider range of resources focused on how companies of all types and sizes can use leasing and financing to their strategic advantage to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. ELFA launched the original Equipment Finance Advantage website two years ago.

Marriott Launches ‘Heart of the House,’ A New Social Platform


BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. has launched “Heart of the House.” The new custom-built social platform features real stories, submitted by guests and hotels worldwide, about guest service, community service, innovation, culture and recognition. The launch continues to align with Marriott International’s Global Content Studio global strategy of developing, producing, and distributing content that informs, entertains, and adds value to travel lifestyle consumers. “We constantly hear from guests about hotel staff going above and beyond to make travel experiences unforgettable,” said Debbie Marriott Harrison, Global Officer, Marriott Culture and Business Councils. “We’re excited to finally have a dedicated storytelling channel to recognize and share all the remarkable things our hotels are doing with the rest of the world.” “Heart of the House” is live at and features new entertaining and shareable content every week, including behind-the-scenes photos and videos. The site also includes a Q&A series, “Checking In,” that profiles exceptional employees who came up with new ideas that made a big difference, went above and beyond for guests, or have unique roles that might surprise people.

Napa Valley Marriott Satisfies Cravings with Farm-Fresh Dining


NAPA, CALIF.—Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa treats diners’ taste buds to a true garden-to-table experience year round. It may be winter, but the Napa Valley hotel’s on-site restaurant, VINeleven, is giving travelers a taste of sunny California with farm-fresh flavors. Incorporating vegetables, fruits and herbs that are grown in the gardens on-site, VINeleven provides an authentic Napa dining experience.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Launches Whales, Wonders & Wyland


DANA POINT, CALIF.—The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has joined with marine life artist Wyland for “Whales, Wonders, and Wyland.” The collaboration includes an overnight experience, a display of more than 25 Wyland original paintings, limited editions, and sculptures throughout the resort, as well as an exclusive reception for guests to meet Wyland and enjoy a special multi-media retrospective of Wyland’s Whaling Wall public mural project. Wyland is also the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Festival of Whales, taking place in Dana Point the first two weekends in March. The Wonders of Wyland Reception will be held Friday, March 6, 2015. The evening will include film highlights from Wyland’s 30-year campaign to create 100 life size marine life murals in more than 12 countries around the world. Spanning the sides of skyscrapers, sports arenas, and structures, these landmark public murals have captured the imagination of millions and helped inspire a new generation to become better stewards of the environment. The evening presentation will share the story of Wyland’s epic campaign.

Nominations Sought for Stars of the Industry Awards Program


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is accepting nominations for its Stars of the Industry Awards program. The AH&LA Stars of the Industry awards program was created to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry by employees as well as properties to honor quality of service.

Greener Mattress Options Can Reduce Waste, Provide a More Healthy Sleep Experience


NATIONAL REPORT—In the auto industry the “Big Three” most generally has been Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. In the world of mattress manufacturing there has also been a big three of sorts—Serta, Sealy and Simmons Bedding. These three companies have historically been the primary suppliers of mattresses to the U.S. lodging industry. Green Lodging News contacted each of these companies to participate in this article on mattresses but for different reasons they chose not to participate (they never responded or said the timing was bad). These companies, in varying degrees, have sustainability initiatives in place. Their websites provide some details. Outside of Serta, Sealy and Simmons Bedding, there are many companies that have come along to offer what they say are more sustainable mattress options. Each of these companies has their own take on what is sustainable or not sustainable. This article will take a look at some of these companies and what makes their mattresses uniquely green, or at least greener than what has previously been offered to lodging.

Choice Partners with Steve Harvey to Support Youth Programs


ROCKVILLE, MD.—Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s leading hotel companies and franchisor of 11 hotel brands including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Cambria hotels & suites, Sleep Inn and Quality, has partnered with celebrity entertainer and philanthropist Steve Harvey to help raise funds in support of The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation and its youth initiatives. The dollars raised will go toward the Foundation’s mission of helping young men and women, largely from inner-cities and single parent families, set and achieve their goals through programs like the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp for Young Men.

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