Use Your Travel Rewards To Book At These Sustainable Hotels
Traveling allows you to explore new worlds, experience different environments, and see the wonder of the planet up-close and personal. But travel in general– and hotel stays in particular — are not easy on the environment. Think about the hotel you’re staying in: How many towels are washed and dried daily? How many barely-used bars of soap are thrown in the trash? And how many plastic containers holding everything from drinking water to shampoo to hand soap are discarded even though they’re still half-full?
Today, many hotel chains are rethinking the way they do business and how they can best serve their guests without putting undue strain on the environment. The following five hotels are committed to protecting the environment, which is rewarding in and of itself, but an added bonus is that you can use travel rewards to book your room.
1. Great Wolf Lodge
Best known for indoor water parks, the resort keeps kids entertained with slides, poolside attractions, and even a surfing simulator. What you don’t see: the fact that the entire park uses the same amount of water as one Olympic-sized pool. How? A sophisticated recirculation and filtration system along with precision control of the temperature and humidity to prevent water loss through evaporation. Also on tap: low-flow showerheads and toilets.
2. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Protecting the unique environment of the Hawaiian islands is no small task, but the Ritz Carlton Kapalua has demonstrated its commitment to the environment and to guests in ways big and small. The dining facilities use fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in its organic gardens. Expert naturalists guide children and adults in outdoor activities such as snorkeling, hiking, and whale watching. And guests can’t help but note coffee tables fashioned from shredded U.S. currency, reef-safe sunscreen, and coreless tissue paper rolls.
3. Vdara Hotel and Spa, Las Vegas
At this hotel, sustainability is key. The Vdara, an MGM resort, has received the highest 5 Keys rating from Green Keys and the Platinum designation through TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program. The hotel is part of the CityCenter complex, which MGM recognizes as “the largest sustainable development in the world.” Because of its highly efficient design, the amount of energy saved at CityCenter is equal to the average annual power use of 8,800 homes. Further driving home its commitment to earth-friendly tourism: The complex boasts a fleet of alternative-fuel Cadillac Escalades and limousines.
4. The Gardens Hotel, Key West
Little wonder that this cottage-style property grows on you: 20 guest suites are nestled throughout its historic estate, which also includes an abundance of orchids and a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A cistern collects rainwater to irrigate the tropical gardens, and guests can participate in the hotel’s composting program by contributing organic waste in the in-room containers.
5. Kimpton Hotel Palomar, Philadelphia
Yes, eco-friendly can live side-by-side with luxury, as evidenced by the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. The hotel and its restaurant, Square 1682, are Philadelphia’s first LEED Gold certified hotel and eatery. In addition to being located inside a refurbished Art Deco building built in 1929, the hotel boasts many eco-friendly features, including in-room recycling bins, a staircase built from reused materials, and energy-efficient appliances.