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The Green Life: Hotels Expand Their Green Services

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April 11, 2011

Hotels Expand Their Green Services

Electric-vehicle charging station at hotels A recent TripAdvisor survey tells us that 47% of people consider eco-factors when making travel plans. Hotels seem to be lending an ear; they're responding with more services tailored to the green traveler. Giving guests the option to decline the housekeeping is an example of a little thing that can add up over time to make a big difference. Here's the latest from a few hotels that we think deserve five stars for their eco-efforts:

Electric-vehicle charging stations: Recharging takes on new meaning at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's got a new power station for electric vehicles, with two ports for simultaneous use. Charging a car from empty takes 10 to 12 hours for Level 1 (120 volt) or 6 hours for Level II (240 volt), but only 30 to 45 minutes for the more typical "top-off" (240 volt). This service, in addition to parking for hybrid and electric vehicles, is complimentary to hotel guests.

Clean indoor air: Anyone with allergies or asthma will find it a bit easier inside at the Hilton and Hyatt hotels that have installed clean indoor-air devices. Fitted into new or existing air-conditioning and heating systems, the devices remove dust particles, kill mold and viruses, and break down odor-producing chemicals. Considering that 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, an allergy-proof room is a welcome hotel perk for many.

Dark for Earth Hour: The new motto might well be, "We'll leave the light off for you." All 64 Fairmont Hotels & Resorts went lights out during Earth Hour on March 26. The annual event began four years ago when the World Wildlife Fund wanted to bring awareness to climate change. The hotels turned off principal lights and hosted candlelit dinners, but certain hotels added a twist to the day: At the Abu Dhabi property, hotel staff, guests, dignitaries, and the community hopped on stationary bikes to generate renewable energy for 24 hours.

--Alison Brick


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