Top Ten Green Hotels in the United States, 2013

With the growing interest in adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, new businesses are popping up to meet the needs of those "going green." The sustainable tourism industry is one example, satisfying the high demand for eco-friendly hotels. GAYOT.com compiled this list of hotels committed to environmentalism. Many of these hotels boast LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) credentials, which is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using environmentally sound strategies.

  1. Bardessono
    Yountville, Calif.
    Salvaged stone and reclaimed wood were used in the construction of this leader in sustainable practices, which also boasts an underground geothermal system for heat and energy. One of the few LEED-certified platinum hotels in the world, Bardessono furthers that distinction by offering a truly luxurious experience in the heart of Napa Valley.

  2. Stowe Mountain Resort
    Stowe, Vt.
    Stowe Mountain Lodge does the usual green thing—using eco-friendly products and power offsets—and so much more, including its own environmental charter and a 110-million-gallon manmade Peregrine Lake, designed to help conserve water and maintain the health of local streams and rivers. The first mountain resort to win Audubon International's Sustainable Community award, Stowe Mountain Resort is a year-round lodge was built in 2008 from locally quarried stone and resembles a classic ski retreat.

  3. Inn by the Sea
    Cape Elizabeth, Me
    This beach front inn has just 61 guest rooms, suites and cottages and every aspect is about preservation. The LEED-certified spa is made out of recycled sheet rock. The pool is heated by solar panels, while the inn runs on bio-fuel. The chef at Sea Glass, the restaurant on-site, works with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to use sustainable seafood on the menu. The National Wildlife Federation has certified the Inn for creating a safe habitat for local wildlife. In fact, the Inn provides a natural habitat for the endangered North American cottontail.

  4. Hotel Felix
    Chicago, Ill
    Located on Huron Street in downtown Chicago, this boutique hotel is the first in the Windy City to earn Silver LEED certification. Filled with sustainable art, the hotel also uses recycled products even in its 225 guest rooms. Guests are treated with free trade coffees, chocolates and natural Aveda products in the on-site spa. Hybrid car drivers receive free parking. Felix means happy in Latin, and happy is what guests will be with the theater district, Magnificent Mile, and sightseeing all within walking distance.

  5. Zion Lodge
    Zion National Park, Utah
    The only "in park" lodge in Zion National Park, Zion Lodge is a model of environmental sustainability. Efforts here to save the planet range from composting to serving organic cuisine to offering beer on tap rather than from bottles. The lodge's electricity use is from 100% wind power, and along with motel-style rooms and historic cabins, there are six "green suites" with bamboo floors and recycled carpet content. As well, accommodations feature biodegradable soaps, filtered drinking water, organic linens and compact fluorescent lighting. Not only does this lodge aim for minimal environmental impact, it even strives to improve its surroundings with a program to restore native grasslands.

  6. El Monte Sagrado
    Taos, N.M.
    Surrounded by mountains and high desert country, El Monte Sagrado takes water conservation seriously, collecting rain water to reuse for watering the lawn and recycling waste water through a filtration system that does not use chlorine. Additionally, some 60 percent of this eco-resort is geo-thermally heated and cooled.

  7. Element New York Times Square West
    New York City, N.Y.
    From environmentally friendly "do not disturb" magnets to wall art mounted on bases made from recycled tires, this budget chain's signature ecologically minded attributes can be found at its New York outpost. Right in Times Square, the hotel invites guests to think green while partaking in all the Big Apple has to offer. Carpets are crafted from 100% recycled materials, faucets are water efficient, paints are earth-friendly and the open-plan guest rooms feature full kitchens with Energy Star appliances.

  8. Hyatt at Olive 8
    Seattle, Wash.
    The Hyatt at Olive 8 is the first LEED-certified hotel in the eco-conscious city of Seattle. The property features 346 guest rooms and is known for their green elements throughout. The on-site spa only uses the highest quality products made with organic and natural ingredients. Aside from the spa, there is a fitness center that allows guests to take part in any of the yoga or Pilates classes that are offered daily, as well as a restaurant that only works with farmers across Washington and the Pacific Northwest dedicated to sustainable growing techniques.

  9. The Fairmont
    Washington, D.C.
    Did you know that if you park your hybrid car at this hotel in Washington's fashionable West End, you'll receive a free dessert? In addition to sweets, this hotel has a green procurement program, including the reduction of pre-packaging, ensuring that supplies, equipment, fixtures and furniture are environmentally sensitive. The hotel also donates soaps, amenities and food from buffet lines to shelters and soup kitchens.

  10. Hotel Terra
    Jackson Hole, Wyo.
    The first in a collection of green hotels launched by the Terra Resort Group, Hotel Terra is on course to receive LEED certification. Furnishings include natural latex mattresses encased in unbleached cotton, and the beds have recycled steel springs. All room amenities including the desktops, wastebaskets and hangers are made with renewable bamboo, and there are organic bathroom products in refillable, recycled-glass containers.
Source: GAYOT.com, 2013. Web: www.gayot.com .

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