Make Your Next Vacation Green with LEED Hotels and Destinations

A guest blog post by Cliff Barre:

Travelers who like to travel the world in style sometimes find that it is hard to find hotels and tourist sites that prioritize energy efficiency and reducing waste. If you consider yourself a ” green traveler” who also likes the comfort and aesthetics of luxury hotels, then  you know what a challenge it can be to marry these two ideas. Sometimes, however, all you need is a little information. This quick guide of tips will lead you to LEED buildings. Known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is a rating administered by the U.S. Green Building Council who honors buildings and homes throughout the United States, that make green building and energy efficiency a priority.

Before Destiny USA underwent a major green renovation and changed its name from Carousel Center in 2012, it was known as an environmental eyesore. Today, Destiny USA boasts major energy efficiency for a shopping mall of its size.  Destiny USA is built on what was formerly known as ” Oil City,” a Brownfield or environmentally damaged site, consisting of massive, unsightly oil drums that caused pollution to the land. Additional contamination on this site stemmed from the Marley Scrap Yard adjacent to the oil drums. Destiny USA is now a LEED Gold Certified building as a result of this cleanup as well as many other green initiatives taking place on site.

If New York City is in your travel itinerary, then make a stop at the LEED-certified Empire State Building. This towering skyscraper of more than 100 floors will give you citywide views up top and a breath of fresh air.  One of the few National Landmarks recognized as LEED certified, the Empire State Building has reduced its energy consumption by 38% and will reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years!  Be sure to take a ride up to the observation deck and see the city!

If you are planning to be in Las Vegas, then make sure to book a night or two at the Vdara Hotel and Spa. This hotel has lead the way in Las Vegas for buildings going green.  They have gone as far as having a fleet of limos that run exclusively by the clean burning compressed natural gas.  Furthermore, they upgraded many of the utilities in order to increase energy efficiency and decrease its energy usage by 30%.  This LEED-certified hotel is known for its luxurious accommodations and full-service spa. Relax and rejuvenate in the midst of the craziness of Las Vegas!

Take in gorgeous San Francisco Bay views at the Inn at Presido.  The building features modern, energy-efficient heating, plumbing and electrical systems and appliances, and was designed to maximize natural ventilation and lighting. ” Green” materials have been used throughout the building, from the carpets and rugs, to the paint on the walls to the insulation inside them””which is made from repurposed cotton denim. The most advanced architectural and construction techniques and materials were used as historic Pershing Hall underwent an environmentally sensitive rehabilitation that transformed the stately brick building into the park”™s first lodge. You also will get a charmed, personal experience because this charming inn has a little over 20 rooms. Relax and sleep well, and wake up to the calmness of the cool bay.

As far as places I would like to visit in the future, Costa Rica is on top of the list.   I have heard nothing but good things and it falls right in line with the eco-friendly lifestyle I lead.   As I began to research the trip and figure out where to stay, many of the reviews I have read lead me to Cayuga Collection Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges.   They specialize in the ecological, conservational, and sustainable aspects of hotels that I seek out to stay at when I travel.   I really look forward to my visit there, I just need to figure out when that will be!

Start planning your green getaway right now! By using our easy-to-use guide, you can begin planning quickly and efficiently. Do not miss these LEED-certified buildings in the city where you choose to stay!

A leader in ecotourism, Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality manages luxury and boutique hotels in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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