Westin, Marriott Target Energy Efficiency, Water Savings

by | Oct 6, 2009

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WestinRiverfrontResortWhat’s on the mind of most hotels no matter their size? Energy efficiency and environmental improvements. Hotels, running the gamut from the family-owned Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada to hotel chains such as Colorado’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa and the Marriott Courtyard Portland City Center, are all claiming big savings from their environmental efforts.

Five years after being shut down by Hurricane Ivan, the Spice Island Beach Resort, on the island of Grenada, is back in business with several environmental improvements, reports Green Lodging News. The 64-suite property was the first hotel on the island to install a reverse osmosis desalinization system, which converts 15,000 gallons per day of salt water to fresh water and is used primarily during the island’s dry season when the local government has a difficult time providing water, according to the article.

The resort heats all of its water with a solar thermal heating system, cleans its pool without chemicals, and takes numerous other steps to reduce energy and water consumption and waste, reports Green Lodging News. Another energy saver is the resort’s double-insulated UV glass windows and doors.

The resort also features a solar rooftop hot water heating system to supply all of the property’s hot water needs, although it has a backup system for the rare occasion when there are consecutive cloudy days, according to Green Lodging News.

In the U.S., Colorado’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa has been awarded Silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, reports Hotel Interactive.

The Westin Riverfront is the first hotel in Colorado to achieve this green award and only the ninth hotel in the country to earn Silver LEED status, according to Hotel Interactive. The Beaver Creek resort, which opened a year ago, is also the first Silver LEED Certified hotel in the Westin brand, which includes more than 160 hotels around the world, reports the Web site.

To achieve LEED certification, the hotel implemented numerous environmental building strategies and operational practices. These include low and non-emitting paints, adhesives and carpets used throughout the resort to help ensure healthy indoor air quality, and a building control system that allows front desk associates to adjust the temperature in individual rooms upon guest arrival/departure so that unoccupied rooms are not unnecessarily heated or cooled, reports Hotel Interactive.

The resort also gets 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including wind power.

The hotel also touts Colorado’s first dedicated green spa, Spa Anjali, which uses only environmentally-friendly products and organic spa linens. Restaurant Avondale, which purchases local ingredients whenever possible, uses a unique in-house water purifying and bottling system to help reduce emissions from water bottling plants and transportation, according to the article.

During construction, 40 percent of the total building materials and products were sourced within 500 miles of the project and 10 percent of building materials were made of post consumer/industrial recycled content, such as the roof tiles made from recycled automobile tires, according to the article.

Another green winner is the Marriott-owned Courtyard Portland City Center, one of the city’s newest hotels, which has earned LEED Gold certification, reports Portland Business Journal.

The hotel’s green features include energy- and water-saving designs, a green cleaning program, bicycle storage and shower facilities for employees, a kitchen composting plan and low-emission building materials, according to the article.

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