Five Hotels (and One Distillery) Paving the Way to a Greener Future

Eco-conscious travelers are opting for planet-first options and looking to brands for sustainable choices.

Eco-conscious travelers opt for planet-first options and look to brands for sustainable choices. Hotels worldwide are adapting to these preferences, challenged with shifting the traditional hotel stay to be more conservative while still maintaining an abundance of luxury that achieves high standards of guest service. 

Here are five hotels helping reshape the hospitality landscape for a more sustainable future, implementing new initiatives such as on-property farming, constructing with recycled materials, providing EV chargers, and more. 

Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii

As one of Hawaii’s sustainable resorts, Turtle Bay Resort embodies the spirit of its North Shore legacy, the culture of respect and responsibility established by the ancient Hawaiians. Their Kuilima Farm spans over 469 lush acres of agricultural land, promoting stable and sustainable food production on the island.  Fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs are grown right on-site and are used throughout menus, dishes, drinks, and even in spa massages and scrubs. Guests are encouraged to come see the farm for themselves to learn about native crops such as Maiʻa (banana), Kalo (taro), ‘Awapuhi (ginger), ‘Uala (sweet potato), ‘Uhi (yams), ‘Ulu (breadfruit), and Niu (coconut).

In addition to sustainable farm practices, Turtle Bay was the first Oahu resort to install a solar roof, reducing the amount of fossil fuel usage equivalent to 4.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next ten years. Additionally, Turtle Bay has partnered with NOAA for our Welcome the Whales initiative. This program allows volunteers the opportunity to monitor and record humpback whale behaviors off the coast of Turtle Bay Resort.

The Lobby Lounge & RawBar at Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, Canada 

The Lobby Lounge & RawBar at Fairmont Pacific Rim is a haven for live music enthusiasts, cocktail connoisseurs, and seafood lovers, offering Vancouver’s first 100 percent Ocean Wise sushi destination. Ocean Wise is Vancouver Aquarium’s conservation program that has grown into a global environmental charity that addresses overfishing, ocean pollution, and climate change by evaluating each species based upon three critical factors – the specific variety of seafood, harvest method, and location of harvest. If the seafood in a dish meets the criteria, an Ocean Wise stamp appears next to it on the menu to denote the organization’s recommendation. 

Sustainably sourced menu items include the Sablefish, served in a kabayaki glaze with sautéed local vegetables, and the BC Salmon Toro Carpaccio, with sockeye salmon, steelhead salmon, ginger dressing, yellow beets, microgreens, and lime, among others. Determined to make only responsible and sustainable food choices, Lobby Lounge & RawBar creatively source only the best of Ocean Wise-recommended seafood (including more than 20 different kinds of fish) found locally and sourced responsibly around the Pacific Rim.

Eastwind Hotel & Bar in Windham, New York

Opened on June 1, 2018, Eastwind Hotel & Bar is located in Windham, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. The boutique hotel’s design draws upon the property’s history as a bunkhouse for hunters, fly fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts dating back to the 1920s, fused with Scandinavian inspiration for an upscale outdoor experience. Eastwind Hotel & Bar features Lushna Cabins and Suites made with sustainable construction and natural materials. These also include an electric car charger and Zenology bath products that use cruelty-free and natural ingredients and 100% PCR-packaging with added biodegradable additive EcoPure ®.

Hotel Barriere Le Majestic in Cannes, France 

Located on the Croisette, facing the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, and next to the old port, Le Majestic offers a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Bars Director Emanuele Balestra not only oversees the four bars on the property but two herb gardens that feature many varieties of different plants from all over the world: geranium from Congo, basil from Thailand, citruses like bergamot and lemon, fennel, aloe vera, and sage. Balestra creates unique bitters, infusions, extracts, and jellies with the 70+ herbs grown. In addition, edible plants are pampered with an eco-responsible house full of insects and beehives that stimulate growth and create a healthy, symbiotic relationship between the plants and insects.

Banyan Tree in Koh Samui, Thailand

Overlooking the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Banyan Tree Samui is nestled amid the lush jungle of a private bay in Lamai. Thepsuda Loyjiw (Pueng) serves as the Sustainability Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, holding a Master of Marine Biology from the Department of Marine Science at Chulalongkorn University. Moreover, she gained specialized knowledge regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation while serving as the Project Assistance and Communication Officer for the Development and Implementation of the Thai Climate Change Policy, a core project under the Thai-German Climate Protection Program.

At the resort, she ensures that all conservation and research activities are conducted following the law and company procedures and monitors and maintains relevant data collection. Furthermore, she works closely with the local schools on the island to empower youth via mentorship and scholarship through the brand-wide Seedlings program. Additionally, in her role as Sustainability Manager, Loyjiw, conducts complimentary guest activities. These range from a Sense of Nature Walk that explores the wildlife and plant life found throughout the resort’s habitat and a House Reef Snorkelling Class to educate guests on the marine ecosystem found amid the house reef of the resort’s private bay.

Barr Hill Distillery in Montpelier, Vermont

Throwing in a distillery for good measure, Barr Hill, the award-winning, super-premium spirits brand made with raw honey, uses pioneering sustainability practices and initiatives at its state-of-the-art, solar-powered distillery in Montpelier, Vermont.

As distilleries and breweries produce large quantities of excess heat, which has historically been a challenge to manage from an environmental standpoint, Barr Hill has built a thermal banking system that stores the excess heat from spirits production. This stored heat is then transferred to heat a battery of water that can is used multipurpose, such as heating the distillery’s outdoor back patio and the kitchen’s dishwasher.

In addition, Barr Hill created and has celebrated their annual Bee’s Knees Week initiative every September since 2016. The 10-day celebration honors the Bee’s Knees Cocktail, shines a light on the importance of pollinators, and creates a community of cocktail lovers working together to save the bees. During Bee’s Knees Week, individuals are invited to order a Bee’s Knees Cocktail at their favorite bar and share the photo on social media. For every photo posted using the hashtag #beeskneesweek, Barr Hill partners with one of several non-profit organizations located throughout the U.S. to plant 10 square feet of pollinator habitat to save the endangered bees and pollinators. Last year generated worldwide participation, and Barr Hill planted 200,000 square feet of pollinator habitat, an increase of 2.5 times the previous year’s impact.