5 Hotels with a Serious Green Vibe

My goddaughter Maggie assumes the mantle of tree hugger - licker? Whatever, we're proud.
My goddaughter Maggie assumes the mantle of tree hugger – licker? Whatever. We’re proud.

As the child of a self-proclaimed “tree hugger”, I was raised to make a conscious effort to leave the world a little bit better than when I entered it.

So I do my part when it comes to protecting our environment. I turn off the lights when I leave a room, I sort my recycling, and I only use the water I need.

As a traveler, I appreciate finding hotels that share the same level of awareness. A sign asking you to reuse your towels or a recycling bin in the room … even the smallest actions help to minimize the negative impact on the environment. If you’re like me and are looking for a hotel that goes a step above in the name of the environment, these TripAdvisor GreenLeaders should fit the bill.

1. The Lenox Hotel, Boston MA

The Lenox Front Entrance, Boston, MA

The Lenox Hotel has been pioneering the way for ecotourism since the eighties, before eco-friendly became the buzzword it is today. Recognized as one of Condé Nast’s Greenest Luxury Hotels in America, the Green Team at the hotel is consistently working to evolve their practices and initiatives – from hypo-allergenic rooms to filtered water stations on each floor – all to further their commitment to the environment.


Fun fact: The Lenox Hotel started the nation’s first linen re-use program.

2. Viana Hotel & Spa, Westbury NY


From the inside out, the Viana Hotel & Spa is a truly innovative green hotel. Focused on leaving as small of a carbon footprint as possible, the structure of the hotel is built from all recycled materials, and the rooftop is fully equipped with a 10 kilowatt solar panel system. In addition to the LEED-certified building techniques, Viana also provides guests with numerous eco-friendly amenities – like a paperless check-in process.


Fun fact: The entire interior of the hotel was designed with Feng Shui principles in mind.

3. Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, Leavenworth WAsleeping-lady-mountain-resort-summer_hpg_1

As the only resort in Washington state to receive the B Corporation certification, Sleeping Lady is a leader in its commitment to social sustainability and environmental performance standards. Long known as an area for ecologically-minded folk, Sleeping Lady sits on the land that was once home to the Civilian Conservation Corps. After the purchase of the land in 1991, conservationist Harriet Bullitt ensured that the original buildings were brought up to current energy codes, and that the new buildings achieved environmental sustainability.


Fun fact: The certified Organic Garden is tended to by an expert staff that uses only environmentally-friendly gardening practices.

4. Hotel Felix, Chicago IL


Located on the Magnificent Mile, Hotel Felix is the first eco-friendly hotel in Chicago to receive Gold LEED-certification. From a recycling room where staff can sort plastics from papers, to motion sensor heating and AC, to eco-friendly cleaning supplies, Hotel Felix is an entirely green hotel. And if that wasn’t enough – the eco-friendly mindset continues with the sustainable artwork found throughout the hotel.


Fun fact: Your morning cup o’ joe is certified free trade.

5. Honey Creek Resort State Park, Moravia IA


Known as Iowa’s greenest resort, Honey Creek Resort State Park is committed to being an evangelist of environmental awareness and eco-friendly practices. Not only was the building designed with energy efficiency in mind, the landscaping was as well. Native Iowa prairie grasses, a computerized watering system, and rain water collected from the on-site rain barrels all assist with the natural irrigation of the 18-hole championship golf course.


Fun fact: In celebration of World Car Free Day on September 22, ditch the four wheels and take advantage of Honey Creek’s bike or boat rentals.


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