Perfecting Green Luxury at the Post Ranch Inn
The Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur has been a world leader in five-star service for years and is known for its ultra-luxurious accommodations, breathtaking views, and super-secluded location. It is a magical place that has only 40 guest rooms hidden on 100 acres of lush hillsides shrouded in oak trees and giant redwoods.
Guests can gaze at the endless view of the Pacific Ocean, soak in private tubs, enjoy infinity pools, hike the many trails, or dine in the award-winning restaurant Sierra Mar. However, the Post Ranch Inn’s commitment to creating a truly carbon-neutral, green-centric resort is even more impressive than its amazing location or luxury service.
While the hospitality industry struggles with its global carbon footprint, the Post Ranch Inn has been implementing eco-friendly programs for decades, including a 990-panel solar installation, the largest hotel solar project in California and one of the largest in the nation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the system reduces carbon emissions by approximately 611,000 pounds annually. That is the equivalent of removing more 50 vehicles from the road or serving nearly 39 U.S. households’ electricity needs.
To see the exact impact of the solar installation, the Post Ranch Inn has installed a Solar Energy Monitor that shows current and historic performance data; up-to-date environmental savings statistics; live weather data from Big Sur; and general project information and photos.
In addition to harnessing the power of the sun, Post Ranch Inn carefully manages its water use. The Post Ranch Inn captures water from the underground rivers deep below the property by way of the many wells scattered around the resort. This includes drinking water as well as the water supplied to the rooms, spa and restaurant, and the hot tubs and infinity pools. The water from the wells is filtered, cleaned, and treated with ozone. Instead of offering guests plastic water bottles, Post Ranch supplies recyclable glass bottles. Also, guests are given a steel water bottle for hikes and as a souvenir to take home.
The Inn was the first in California to implement a commercial gray-water system. The clean water that is used to wash bed linens (in organic detergent) is then filtered, cleaned and considered “gray water,” which is then used to water the plants throughout the property and the organic vegetable garden.
Each room is a beautiful expression of rustic elegance complemented by luxurious amenities that include an organic king-size bed overlooking a wood-burning fireplace, an indoor spa tub, a private terrace, and massage table. All the steel hot tubs (made from recycled steel) on the property are heated by solar panels—many located on the roofs of the rooms. The water used in rooms with solar panels is heated by the sun. For an extra touch of comfort, the floors in the rooms are warmed by radiant heat, also supplied from the sun.
Mike Freed, a managing partner and the key visionary of the Post Ranch Inn’s eco-friendly endeavors, has led the resort’s green movement. Many of his ingenious ideas could easily be implemented by other hotels and resorts.
Some of his innovations include:
• Low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint.
• Light fixtures in the rooms made from recycled plumbing parts (made by a local artist).
• Redwood used in 10 new rooms is from recycled wine barrels.
• Low-voltage lighting and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs, CVUs and LEDs) used wherever possible, especially in guest rooms.
• The Inn provides housing on the property for 90 employees in 40 studio apartments to help reduce traffic and energy emissions.
• Sheets and towels are made from 100-percent certified organic cotton, with no artificial dyes.
• All guest-room items are reusable, such a wooden hangers and metal guest-room keys.
• Flower-based guest soaps are hand-made in nearby Santa Cruz; other in-room guest amenities are earth-friendly. Purchase and promotion of these specialty products also supports small, regional businesses and cottage industries.
• There are recycle bins in the rooms and throughout the property.
• No plastic containers are used at the resort.
• Acclaimed Executive Chef Craig von Foerster uses seasonal, local and garden ingredients to craft four-course, prix fixe menus that change daily. All meats and seafood are certified organic.
The management at the Post Ranch Inn is dedicated to supporting Mother Nature and doing all they can to create a safe, ecological ethos where guests can connect to something bigger, grander, and more important than “just a visit to a pretty resort.” Their powerful connection with nature and relentless commitment to green technology is one that can and should be implemented by others who want to excel in the hospitality industry.
CONTACT AND RESERVATIONS
Post Ranch Inn
Toll-free: 1-888-524-4787 (888-5-BIGSUR)
reservations @ postranchinn.com
8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday
Holiday hours vary.