December 22, 2008

Green Hotels get my Green. The Eco Nomad wants: Bikes, Eco Cleaning, Organic breakfast, Complimentary Wireless. [Hotel, Motels, B&B)

You’d be amazed how many hotels are stuck in the…90s. I just stayed in the lovely, posh, decadent, superhip supercentral Viceroy in Santa Monica…and the towels smelled like bleach, wireless internet was an extra $10 a day, the food was far worse quality (though lovingly prepared) than what I could get a block or two away at Urth Cafe…and they didn’t offer bicycles for guests, meaning I either had to get a cab everywhere, even a 10 minute walk away, or walk everywhere, which is tough when you’re traveling and have a big bag with you half the time (I walked, needed the exercise with all the traveling). Just to be clear: the place was posh, perfect…make a few changes, you’ll get my business every time I’m in town. For now, I’ll check into the eco-boutique hotel Ambrose (which offers Urth in the morning) next time I go.

So here’s my vow—will you join me? I’m going to support only those motels and hotels and B&Bs that offer bicycles (with gears is a plus) for guests, at least some organic food, coffee, and sheets and towels, offer included wireless in rooms or lobbies, and use eco detergents. Here’s a few that come close:


St. Julien Hotel offers Electra cruisers for guests.

The Gansevoort South in Miami Beach offers glow-in-the-dark Puma bikes.

The Bowery Hotel in Manhattan offers red Jamis “Earth Cruisers.”

The James Chicago offers Paul Frank cruisers.

Element in Lexington Mass (and elsewhere, I think).

Hotel Triton in San Francisco.

Lenox Hotel in Boston is, according to the NY Times, “one of the first hotels to offer climate-neutral rooms and offset carbon emissions for electricity by 100 percent.”

Greenhouse 26, which may or may not exist: NYTimes sayz: “Steve Ancona, the project manager on what is being billed as New York City’s first green hotel, Greenhouse 26, scheduled to open next year, readily acknowledged that “being green is also about being profitable.” Mr. Ancona predicted energy savings of around 30 percent thanks to a geothermal system that will heat and cool the 27-room hotel. In addition, the elevator will generate energy through its braking system, though a lack of space (a problem for urban hotels) restricts them from putting in a gray-water system.”

Where else?


Excerpt via USA Today:

Element, the new eco-conscious extended-stay brand from Starwood Hotels, stocks Trek hybrid mountain/city bikes and offers priority bike parking in a rack near the entrance of its first property in Lexington, Mass.

It’s not only a “green” way to cruise, but guests “love it. They can renew and refresh, get in touch with nature, and get to know the history of Lexington (up close),” says Element general manager Christopher Hartzell. And “we actually had a couple of corporate clients ride their bikes to meetings.”


Excerpt via yesterday’s NY Times:

Free bicycles are now available at hotels like the Bowery in New York City (www.theboweryhotel.com), which has red Jamis Earth Cruisers; the Gansevoort South in Miami (www.gansevoortsouth.com), which has glow-in-the-dark Puma bikes; the James Chicago (www.jameshotels.com), which offers Paul Frank cruisers; and the Element hotel, in Lexington, Mass. (www.elementhotels.com), which offers Trek hybrid bikes (it recently had to order nine more bikes because of their popularity).

All future Element hotels, a new green brand of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, will also offer free bicycles.

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