Five Eco-Chic Resorts
For eco-minded travelers whose passion for travel is matched by a passion for the planet, there is good news—you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Reduce the impact your trip has on the environment by staying at a hotel that is as concerned with the environment as you are. These five hotels are doing a stellar job of implementing “green initiatives” and avoiding excessive water and energy use.
“Green” hotels typically share some or all of the following characteristics:
- Use of renewal energy sources, solar panels, low-impact light bulbs, and air conditioning units that automatically shut off when the windows are opened.
- Healthy indoor air environments with adequate ventilation and use of materials that minimize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, wallpaper, and floor coverings.
- Sustainable building materials and resources.
- Kitchens that compost and recycle.
- Use of fruits and vegetables grown on the property.
- Efficient use of water via:
- Low-flush toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Guests given the option to avoid having linens washed every day
- Landscaping that requires less water usage than the norm.
These five hotels are industry leaders in the green hotel movement:
Grand Solmar: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Set alongside the soothing backdrop of the white-sand Playa Solmar beach, the Grand Solmar Resort is just a 10-minute walk from the excitement of downtown Cabo San Lucas. The luxurious resort, which is run by General Manager Jean Louis Magron, considers itself to be a pioneer in the “Greener Cabo” trend. This means choosing eco-friendly appliances such as the air-conditioning system, which automatically turns off when windows are open. Grand Solmar also employs energy-saving smart-keys, which only allow the lights to be turned on when the guest is in the room.
Chef Hector Lucas uses organic and natural products when possible, and the resort recycles and composts waste. Grand Solmar uses desalinized “sweet water” that it produces itself in an effort to reduce fresh water consumption. Other efforts, like the use of organic linens and environmentally safe cleaning products and a landscape that requires half the irrigation of similar resorts set the Grand Solmar apart as a leader in eco-friendly luxury.
AV. Solmar No. 1- A Col. Centro
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur 23450
Toll Free: 1-800-344-3349
Marquis: Cabos San Lucas, Mexico
The Marquis Los Cabos is a member of the renowned Leading Hotels of the World organization, and has received awards for everything from its kitchen to its spa to its technological innovations.
The Marquis has its own desalinization plant, which turns seawater into sweet water that’s supplied to the guest rooms. It also has a plant that treats water for irrigation. The resort switched to organic laundry detergent made of a Mexican cactus called nopal, and reduced water usage by 60 percent. In-room electricity works only when the key is in its slot, and the air conditioning turns off automatically when the windows are open. They also compost, recycle, and make a point to reduce and reuse when possible.
There is another reason that environmental protection is important at the Marquis – the beach where it’s located is protected to allow sea turtles to lay their eggs. The Marquis takes pride in this special event, and plays an active role in protecting the eggs until it’s time for them to hatch.
Marquis Los Cabos
Carr Transpeninsular Km 21.5
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico 23400
Toll Free Mexico: 800-690-0102
Toll Free US & Canada: 877-238-9399
information @ hotelesmarquis.com
El Monte Sagrado: Taos, New Mexico
From its multicultural themed rooms to its international art gallery to its Spanish name, which means “sacred mountain,” El Monte Sagrado exudes a respect for the earth and the different cultures and creatures which inhabit it.
At the heart of El Monte Sagrado lies the Sacred Circle. Located on what was rumored to be an ancient Native American dancing ground, the Circle features waterfalls, stone sculptures, and a trout-filled pond. What could easily be mistaken for pure ornamentation is actually part of an intricate wastewater treatment system, which begins in El Monte Sagrado’s “biolarium.” The biolarium is home to snails, fish, and plants, which filter and purify the water through hydroponic reactors.
Combining the functional with the stylish is a theme at El Monte Sagrado—a metal tree statue is also the base of a number of 10-watt photovoltaic solar panels. The adobe roofs also serve as rainwater catchers, diverting storm runoff to underground cisterns. The pool is chlorine-free and instead is cleaned with a natural chemical which is easy on the environment and your skin. That’s something any diva can get excited about.
El Monte Sagrado
317 Kit Carson Rd
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Toll-free Reservations: 888-213-4419
info @ elmontesagrado.com
Whitepod: Les Cerniers, Switzerland
There are no roads leading to Whitepod, which is seated in the Alps above 5,500 feet. Guests ski or snowshoe to the secluded, one-of-a-kind resort. Once there, guests have incredible access to downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, paragliding, dogsledding, hiking with a mountain guide, and an unparalleled view of the stars. There are more than four miles of private ski lifts, which are open for day and night skiing.
Guests stay in low-eco-impact pods, or dome-shaped tents, which sit on wooden platforms to insulate guests from the cold ground beneath them. The 15 pods consume little energy, but they aren’t lacking in luxury. Each pod is stocked with sheepskin throws, quality organic linens, and a fireplace that burns sustainably harvested wood.
At the center of the pods is an early 1800s chalet where guests meet for meals, drinks, the spa, or just to sit by the fire. The resort’s Restaurant de l’Alpage offers traditional cuisine made with local ingredients and a terrace with a magnificent view of the Alps.
1871 Les Giettes
Tel: +41 (0)24 471 38 38
reservations @ whitepod.com
Post Ranch Inn: Big Sur, California
The Post Ranch Inn has made a name for itself over the years as a place of luxurious seclusion. Its 40 guest rooms are spread over 100 acres of lush forest. With views of the Pacific Ocean to one side and the mountains to the other, it’s an ideal place to come to reconnect with nature.
Evidence of Post Ranch’s commitment to environmental stewardship is abundant. Guests are chauffeured in Lexus hybrids, plastic containers are noticeably absent from the property, and the buildings are constructed from recycled and reused materials. The Inn is home to a 990-panel solar installation, making it the largest hotel solar project in California and one of the largest in the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that this system reduces carbon emissions by approximately 611,000 pounds a year. That’s the equivalent of taking 50 cars off the road, or eliminating the energy needs of 39 households.
The Post Ranch Inn also recycles, uses biodegradable cleaning products, low- and zero-VOC paints, and low-voltage lighting and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs, CVUs and LEDs) wherever possible. The landscaping is comprised of native, drought-resistant plants and an organic garden. Executive Chef Craig von Foerster creates his meals using organic, seasonal, local, and garden ingredients to ensure that guests are as healthy as the environment they’re staying in.
Post Ranch Inn
Toll-free: 888-524-4787 (888-5-BIGSUR)
Email: reservations @ postranchinn.com
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday
The only thing that makes jetsetting sexier is being responsible. The world is our playground. When you enjoy it in a way that’s as conscious as it is stylish, you can make sure that our playground is as fabulous as you are.
For more information on green hotels, visit Green Hotels Association.