Hotels & Resorts


Fontainebleau Creates First 'Paperless' Hotel Room

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Fontainebleau-Miami Fontainebleau  is using Apple technology to create the first ‘paperless’ hotels room in its Miami resort. Well, maybe not completely paperless, the room will still include toilet paper. This new technology will allow Fontainebleau’s guests to experience a new hotel standard.

More specifically, these new innovations will allow simple and intuitive options for booking and pre-planning at, as well as interactive programming available throughout the resort. The highlight, however, is a personal iMac in every guest room assisting guests in customizing their vacation; inspiring them to share memories; encouraging personal expression and creating immediate guest feedback. The result, the potential to cut back on more than half a million newspapers each year, totaling more than one million pounds of saved newspapers alone!


Green Fun: Theme Parks With Environmental Initiatives

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Themepark Disneyland Resort, California: This wonderful resort has won the 2009 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California's highest and most prestigious environmental honor. By "recycling" large amounts of water rather than draining it into the ocean, powering steam trains with kitchen grease, and opening a bakery that's complete eco-paradise, Disneyland Resort is furthering Walt Disney's environmental legacy.

Nickelodeon Family Suites, Florida: This family-friendly hotel in Orlando was recognized with a Green Lodging Certification. Nick achieved its green lodging status by using reusable dining items, encouraging the reuse of bath towels and linens, establishing a volunteer green committee, reimbursing employees for public bus passes and installing energy-efficient lighting throughout the property.

Six Flags, North America: If the world's largest regional themepark is realizing they need to take aggressive steps to preserve and protect the environment for future generations, the "fun" industry must be changing face. Resulting from a partnership with Coca-Cola's Recycling branch, 3,000 recycling bins have been placed in each of the 20 Six Flags theme parks. At four parks, all vehicles and trains that operate on diesel fuel will instead be powered by used vegetable oil generated in Six Flags kitchens.

(Sources: Disneyland Resort, Nick Hotel, Six Flags)

For more eco-friendly travel advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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Five Things Hotels Can and Should Do to Go Green

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Hotel room If you haven't noticed, green hotels are springing up all over the place and even mainstream chains are refining their practices. Here's what they're doing and what to look for in a responsible stay.

1. Redecorating or building with more sustainable materials: Bamboo flooring, straw bale walls, and solar panel roofing? We like.

2. Making partnerships with green programs: Hotels can partner with green tourism companies like Save Your World to become greener with guidance.

3. Using high-tech thermostats: You’re on vacation; do you really want to sit in the hotel room the entire time? While travelers are out and about, some hotels use climate control sensors to lower usage of A/C or heating.

4. Partaking in the Global Soap Project: Hotels replace every bar of soap in every room, every day, no matter if it’s even been touched. Some hotels (about 40) aren’t throwing theirs away, but donating them to non-profit group The Global Soap Project. Bars of soap are collected, sterilized, reshaped, and redistributed to Ugandan refugee camps.

5. Stocking organic wines: Pesticide-free anything is on the right track to more sustainable consumption. Keep the luxury, lose the chemicals.

For more information about green hotels, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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The Most Eco-Friendly International Hostels

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038Hostels are such an exquisitely wonderful concept for tourists, especially minimalist or environmentalist ones. Staying somewhere that gets the job done – i.e., gives you a place to sleep - for cheap, is ideal when you’ve got better things to see and do than enjoy a luxury hotel room. These ones are so charming and inspirationally green that they are an ideal place to sleep regardless of what your wallet can afford.

Rural Serenity

Omagh Hostel: Omagh, Northern Ireland - A small, remote, family-run hostel that offers visitors the greenest of accommodations, evidenced when they received the prestigious EU Flower Ecolabel in the tourist accommodation category. Their recycling, composting and green purchasing policy and eco-friendly reed beds makes this hostel as green as the country it is part of! Dorm beds from £12.50, Private Room from £30.00

Reykjavik City Hostel: Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland is a country steeped in tremendous icecaps, explosive geysers, steaming solfataras (volcanic areas that give off sulfurous gases and steam) and magnificent waterfalls. Reykjavik City Hostel, located next to one of the great geothermal swimming holes in the city, promotes energy monitoring, erosion control and extensive recycling services. Room rates, in ISK, cover single bed rooms to 6+private rooms.

Urban Bustle

Hostelling International: Washington DC, USA - Just eight blocks from the White House, HI is the greenest place to stay in the city. The carpets are made from recycled materials, there are no disposable products in the kitchen, and it promotes its commitment to being a positive force on environmental issues by showing environmental documentaries once a month. The sociable atmosphere makes this hostel stand out – the rooms range from classic dorms to luxury private rooms, there’s a delicious free breakfast, lively events calendar, bike rental and TV room with a library of DVDs to watch. Dorm-style rooms are $35-$45 per person, per night, plus a $3 HI membership.

High Street Hostel: Edinburgh, Scotland- Edinburgh may be a bustling city, but in High Street Hostel it boasts something very special in environmental terms. The hostel, you see, claims to be 100% carbon neutral. That’s right – a fun, vibrant hostel in a city that leaves no carbon footprint whatsoever. And it’s a claim that High Street Hostel backs up. Not only does it source its electricity from renewable and non-nuclear supplies, but it also owns and maintains 75 hectare woodland that absorbs more than the hostel’s total CO2 emissions.

Rooms start at £13 a night.

Stay tuned for the best tropical eco-hostels!

Visit RTM's environmentally-themed travel section,
Earth Tones.


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Three Beautiful & Remote Eco-Lodges in the Americas

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Ecotourism isn't just about being environmentally friendly while travelling - it's also about travelling to see the environment. In fact, it's defined as environmentally responsible travel to relatively undisturbed natural areas in order to enjoy, study and appreciate nature. That's why these three remote lodges - seemingly far-flung but in reality impossibly close to the city - divulge eco-tourism at its best.


Verana: near Porto Vallarta, Mexico, Verana is embraced by mountains and surrounded by VERANA enchanting nature, providing a naturally luxurious once in a lifetime experience. Each of its 8 vibrant guesthouses were designed with their own character and blend with the landscape and environment. The houses have their own gardens and terraces for privacy, but are still close enough so you don’t feel all alone in the jungle. Its spa services and extensive list of outdoor experiences and activities make it the perfect exotic getaway – you’ll never be cooped up inside!


Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel: near the city of Manaus, Brazil, the Ariau is an architectural AIRU wonder – the only hotel complex at tree top level in the Amazon Rainforest, its towers are linked together by 4 miles of sturdy wooden catwalks, leaving the fragile ecosystem below undisturbed. Ariau’s dolphin excursions offer the chance to see the flesh-colored dolphins that are sacred in some cultures. Imagine making the trek from your treetop hotel room to a treetop restaurant – not for those who are afraid of heights!


Magic Mountain Resort: near Valdivia, Chile, Magic Mountain is a forest resort in a fairytale MAGIC MOUNTAIN mountain, settled naturally in the Hulio Hulio nature reserve. The cone-shaped building, with nary a right angle, has a waterfall flowing down the sides and is surrounded by natural forms of entertainment – like hottubs carved out of the trunks of huge trees. It is truly the setting, however, that makes this resort so special. Waterfalls, a volcano, a fully functioning food chain of wildlife, lakes and hot springs make the perfect grounds for outdoor activities.


For more eco-adventure ideas, visit RTM's Earth Tones Section.


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European Hilton Hotels Care About Going Green

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Menu_bg What started as a plan to cut escalating energy costs within Hilton's European and African hotels became an environmental cultural initiative called Hilton We Care. At the program's launch, a "Green Box" was sent to all hotels within the two continents, containing all of the program's information, materials, and training resources. Their environmental policy focuses on energy efficiency, waste reduction, water efficiency, and eco-friendly chemicals, four big environmental factors for any company.

The program inspires employees to take concrete action around the hotel, helping to reduce energy waste, identifying areas of improvement, focusing more on environmental related issues - becoming more proactive instead of relying solely on the hotel engineer for such initiatives. It also sets goals in percentages to reduce consumption of water and energy.

If you're planning on doing some European travel, but want to stick with a name you know, any Hilton is a good option for supporting eco-friendliness in accomodations. The Hilton website even provides guests with tips for "taking home" the green lifestyle.

For more about eco-friendly travel, go to RTM's Earth Tones Section.


Country Inns & Suites Makes Conservational Changes

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Since more than a third of travelers are keenly concerned with green travel, many suite hotels are making measures to accomodate guests' forward thinking. So when Carlson Hotels conducted it's guest survey and discovered that 56% of guests actively seek environmentally friendly products and services, with 52% saying they would participate in programs to help reduce or offset the hotel’s carbon emissions, they decided it was time to make big changes.

Carlson country inns and suites With the introduction of their comprehensive "Green Guide", entitled "Practical Guide to Greening Your Hotel", all 5 of Carlson's five hotel and suite brands will focus on specific issues that can have immediate impact on the environment and surrounding communities. Reducing, recycling and reusing solid waste, reducing the use of harmful chemicals, conserving energy and water and improving indoor air quality are major components of the hotel brand's new educational tool. The book has been distributed to all Carlson hotels, including Country Inns & Suites, which are an enonomical option for family travel at a wide range of fun destinations.

For more info about eco-friendly resorts and green travel, check out RTM's Earth Tones Section.


Experience Healthy Eco-Chic Living at Element Hotels

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High-tech, eco-chic, comfortable and guilt-free; these are a few words to describe Starwood brand hotels' newest chain of resorts. Element hotels were created based on the concept of eco-friendliness without losing sight of guest satisfaction. So while food served is sustainable and water fixtures are low-flow, the pantry comes stocked with organic gourmet goodness and bathrooms are spacious and spa-inspired. The hotel's green ideal is part of its commitment to guest satisfaction, because green-minded guests are likely to lax on their "eco-etiquette" while vacationing.

"I don't think anyone is intentionally wasteful on the road, but it can be hard to stay on the straight and narrow when your routine is disrupted by travel. We know our guests want to be eco-conscious; it is our job to make it easy for them," said Element housekeeping manager Randal Savage.


Element hotels are open in five U.S. cities so far, and room rates are astonishingly average.


Read about more green resorts in RTM's Green & Healthy Hotel Guide.


Baymont Suites: An Affordable & Progressive Chain

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Baymont Baymont Suites, an affordable and family-friendly component of Wyndham hotel brand, is definitely on our list of sustainable chains to stop at during a family road trip. They are rolling out new eco-friendly standards and requirements - this evolving green strategy of theirs takes measures to reduce energy and water use, and to strongly encourage recycling.

Baymont unifrom What’s truly unique about this effort is that the entire Wyndham brand staff will become walking beacons of sustainability this fall, with the launch of an ecologically-friendly uniform line that uses recycled polyester fibers spun from plastic beverage bottles. These trendy, comfortable, mix-and-match garments reflect the three Wyndham brand-defining pillars of innovation, personalization and flexibility, according to Faith Taylor, Wyndham Worldwide Vice President of Sustainability.

In addition, Baymont Suites are requiring:

1) Implementation of Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs in all guestrooms and bathrooms.

2) Biodegradable In-Room Beverage Cups which are an environmentally conscious alternative to foam and plastic cups. These new cups are made from paper with wood and bamboo, and are 15% post-consumer recycled material, 85% biodegradable.

3) EarthSmart® Linen & Towel Re-Use program to encourage guests to participate in this “green” initiative.


Each location’s phase of eco-friendliness is a little different. For example, the Baymont in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is placing recycling bins in all its guestrooms this summer, and they offer CFC bulbs, cardboard recycling and water conservation whereas the Baymont in Springfield, Montana offers full recycling, white paper recycling, H2O conservation, and CFC bulbs.


(Source: Wyndham Hotel Group)


For more family travel tips, click here.


Vacation Eco-Friendly at Utah’s Wind Powered Hotel

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1049680_42_b The Treasure Mountain Inn has taken hotel sustainability to a new level. Located on historic Main Street in Park City, Utah, this green hotel is an ideal lodging spot due to it’s proximity to Salt Lake City. The beautiful mountainous surroundings inspired Treasure Mountain Inn to embrace their role as stewards for the environment.

As of March, Treasure Mountain Inn has been 100 percent wind powered. This means that the hotel has purchased 781,200 KWH of wind power, the same as planting 41,025 trees or not driving 81 cars.

Featuring a plethora of other green amenities such as a lobby recycling center, the Treasure Mountain Inn is Utah’s only 100 percent carbon neutral hotel as well as EPA certified and a member of the Green Hotels Association. The inn also donates a minimum of 1 percent of its annual sales to fund organizations working to conserve and protect natural resources.  Looks like Treasure Mountain Inn has set the bar high in the sustainable hotel industry.

Learn More about the Treasure Mountain Inn.

More eco-friendly hotel guides can be found on Earth Tones.