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The Green Life: Hotel Extravagance Going Green

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June 22, 2010

Hotel Extravagance Going Green

Green hotel luxury Just when you think luxury hotels can’t get ritzier, they’re going green in ever-exclusive ways. High-class lodgings are emphasizing green gestures over greenbacks, and several, including Hyatt, have well-developed sustainability policies.

Guests of all U.S. Ritz-Carlton hotels will soon drink an estimated 5 million bottles of water annually from biodegradable, 16-ounce containers made of plant materials instead of the hotel's signature plastic version, which is being phased out of its 40 domestic and Caribbean locations.

San Francisco’s upscale Fairmont became the lavish chain’s most recent location to be equipped with bee colonies. The four hives will eventually house 50,000 bees, which will pollinate the opulent property’s culinary garden, provide honey for restaurant dishes, and, most importantly, help sustain bee populations, which have declined by 3 million colonies since 2006 in the U.S. alone.

Also on the food front, a number of Four Seasons hotels, including ones in Chicago and Philadelphia, maintain rooftop gardens, where fresh (and local, of course) produce is grown for use in the hotels’ fine-dining restaurants. But the Washington, D.C., Four Seasons takes the prize for the coolest swanky green initiative – it’s testing out a high-tech driveway that generates electricity by capturing the kinetic energy produced by the fancy cars driven atop it.

--Sarah A. Henderson

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