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Classic Trendsetter - Eco-Friendly Hotels
In the travel industry, green is the new black. Green travel – also known as responsible travel, sustainable travel and eco-tourism – is redefining the industry. The growing demand for environmental responsibility has prompted many hotels to implement green business practices.
Classic Vacations is committed to preserving our planet, by helping raise environmental awareness and by making it easier to be an eco-friendly traveler. Consider an eco-friendly hotel that balances environmental protection and social responsibility—without sacrificing luxury. Classic has hand-selected the following hotels that practice environmental protection and local economic growth so you can maximize your travel experience and minimize your impact.
Scroll down to view a variety of luxurious eco-friendly hotels and resorts..
DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT : ECO FRIENDLY MARTINIQUE :
Though small in size (685 square miles), Martinique boasts a whole world of natural wonders, making it one of the Caribbean’s top eco destinations. So bountiful are the island’s ecotourism offerings, in fact, that Caribbean World Magazine has named Martinique “Best Eco Island of the Year 2006.” Two-thirds of Martinique is designated as protected park land, affording visitors to the island with a wide range of nature-themed vacation adventures from north to south. Read More
- New Zealand
Since its earliest days, Hayman has been linked to scientific exploration of the area’s marine environment. The preservation of the fragile ecosystem and the conservation of terrestrial species underpins many of Hayman’s operational and corporate philosophies. Notably, Hayman has played an integral part in the success of a breeding program involving the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby, a species now thriving on the island. Hayman has also taken the lead by supporting research efforts aimed at protecting the fragile coral ecosystem. Hayman guests are encouraged to donate a nominal amount for each night of their stay to the ZooX Fund, dedicated to raising funds for reef research and helping preserve the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, the resort operates according to internationally accepted standards of Quality, Safety and Environmental Management Systems. Hayman also implements educational initiatives that further reduce environmental impacts, nature trails and interpretative walks inform guests of the island’s biological history.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is Hawaii’s newest resort property, having opened its doors on August 29, 2011. In creating a true Hawaiian cultural experience for the entire family, Aulani incorporated green initiatives both in its construction as well as it operations and guest experiences. From cool roof technology to green roofs over the ‘AMA‘AMA Restaurant and Laniwai Spa to energy efficient air conditioning and elevators and low-flow faucets and fixtures, Aulani has incorporated numerous green initiative practices. Recycling included both construction material as well as operational items like cardboard, aluminum, paper, plastic, batteries and light bulbs. For Aulani guests, control of lights, room temperature, and automatic air conditioning shut offs provide ways to conserve while visiting Aulani. And 34 electric car-charging stations within Aulani’s parking structure along with an onsite car rental offering electric cars, helps reduce our oil dependency and prepares us for the future. Aulani is currently in the LEEDs certification process.
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai stretches along half a mile of sandy beach on Hawaii’s sunny north Kona-Kohala coast. Once the site of an ancient fishing village, the resort embodies its essence in design, culture and traditions. Among the resort’s six pools, King’s Pond is the best illustration of sustainability. Swim and snorkel in this 1.8 million gallon saltwater aquarium-pool carved out of natural lava rock and home to a spotted eagle ray and over 3,000 tropical fish from more than 75 local species. Rooms surrounding King’s Pond have become an “eco-crescent” where guests’ carbon footprint is reduced through in-room enhancements including ceramic carafes and cups replacing disposable water bottles, refillable pump dispensers for bath amenities, reusable rubber spa sandals instead of disposable terrycloth slippers and much more. The resort is a leader in its commitment to better the environment through many different efforts including restoration of natural fishponds and waterbird habitats, sustainable cuisine where 75% of what is served comes from the island, and a unique legacy program designed to reforest the island’s valuable Koa trees. Even the private golf course features an EPA award winning mini-ecosystem with Lake Punawai, featuring a gravel bottom and two floating islands of plants that are part of the phytoremediation system (treatment of environmental problems using plants). Relax and enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer at this truly magical resort.
The award-winning Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is committed to reducing the impact on the environment by conserving natural resources and reducing waste. The resort’s environmental initiatives include installing a solar photovoltaic system that reduces 465,000 kWh per year of clean renewable energy, filtered water dispensers, LED light replacement that reduced lighting kWh by 70%, and sourcing local ingredients for on-property restaurants. Furthermore, this is the only hotel in Hawaii with a Green Car Hawaii program that rents hybrids to its guests. One hundred percent of green waste is utilized for compost and an average of 11 tons of recyclables is diverted from the landfill each month. The environmental initiatives by Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa have been rewarded with multiple awards, including the Green Innovation Award in 2011, the 2008 National Geographic The Stay List, and the 2010 Green Business Award.
At the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, caring for the environment and community are strong values upheld by the all the staff. The hotel implements sustainable practices that minimize the impact and empower staff to be catalysts for change. This includes installing thermostats with occupancy sensors, low-flow shower heads and toilets that lessen water consumption, using eco-friendly compostable to-go cups resort-wide, and recycling over 7,000 gallons of food waste per month to nourish animals at a locally operated farm. The Umalu and Japengo Restaurants at the resort utilize locally sourced foods, as well as recyclable and compostable to-go containers. Subsequently, Hyatt Regency Maui has been able to reduce resort wide energy consumption by 17% since 2006, greenhouse gas emissions by 11%, and water consumption by 5.1% since 2008. Total recycled goods amount to over 57,000 pounds a month! The resort was awarded with the Aipono Award for Excellence in Sustainability by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine and inducted into the Energy Efficiency Hall of Fame by the Maui Electric Company.
With unparalleled vistas, beautifully appointed accommodations, and impressive initiatives to save the environment, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is an easy choice for your next vacation. Long before the 38-acre luxury condominium opened, all sorts of innovative, environmentally friendly design elements and operational strategies were incorporated, including hiring a Director of Sustainability for the resort. Honua Kai is the only resort on Maui to make use of potable recycled water to irrigate its landscaping, which translates to about 180,000 gallons of drinkable water saved each day. The resort is also home to a state-of-the-art, centralized air-conditioning system that monitors every unit in the resort in order to limit overuse, and the heat generated by that system is then reused to heat the water in the property’s pools. Honua Kai’s energy conservation efforts have been so effective that it received the Maui Electric Company’s largest-ever rebate for energy savings.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, a 40-story two-towered resort in scenic Oahu, Hawaii, has 1,230 guestrooms, more than 50 retail shops, a 10,000-square-foot spa, three restaurants, a parking garage, and 19,500 square feet of function space. By focusing on making several energy conservation modifications, the building, has earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance 2 years in a row. With a concern for the environment and a desire to reduce costs, the owners and staff at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa set out in 2007 with a plan to lower the hotel's greenhouse emissions. In just 2 years, the hotel prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 91.5 households for a year. A full recycling program has also been introduced, and after 2 years, employees now recycle cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines, mixed paper glass, plastic aluminum tin, construction waste, and universal e-waste. Because of these efforts, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach was awarded the Green Business Program Award from the State of Hawaii, and is one of the only hotels in Waikiki named an ENERGY STAR labeled building 3 years in a row.
The award-winning Treetops Lodge & Estate, located in the heart of New Zealand, is an elite lodge offering a uniquely New Zealand experience. This eco-friendly lodge (even its brochure is printed on 100% recycled paper), has an elegant, ecology-inspired architectural style derived from the country's pioneering past, with timber and stone finishes echoing the natural beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors. Particular attention was given to the design - high levels of insulation, heat recovery and recycling systems, double-glazing with low heat transmission glass, orientating the building to maximize sun collection. The lodge is totally self-sufficient and exports its surplus energy (approximately 50%) back to the grid due to the building of their own Micro Hydro system in the lodges’ lakes. Fine cuisine that is prepared for guests uses locally-grown produce including sourcing and utilizing native herbs and ingredients found on the property that were traditionally used by Maori.
Suspended between turquoise waters and limitless skies, the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa is nestled in a sacred cove of white sand and majestic lava rock. Like its sister property on Moorea, this Bora Bora luxury resort's bungalows are equipped with 178 solar panels used to heat water. In addition, the resort has 96 solar panels in its public areas. Like Moorea, the Bora Bora resort also has implemented Biorock technology to spearhead coral reef preservation. Hilton Resorts French Polynesia is working with “Espace Bleu” and the Global Coral Reef Alliance to implement a novel new Biorock technology at its resorts on Moorea and Bora Bora, making it the first hotel company in the region to spearhead coral reef preservation.
Set in lush tropical grounds on a white-sand beach along the scenic north coast of Moorea, this resort rests nearby scenic Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay, and has views across the lagoon. The most obvious sign of eco-initiatives at this resort are the 178 solar panels on the rooftops of its overwater bungalows, which were installed in 2009. The panels are used to provide about half of the resort's hot water, filling about 15 percent of the resort's total electrical demand and eliminating 650 tons of carbon per year. Under the water, the resort has also installed a Biorock initiative to encourage the healthy growth of coral. The Hilton French Polynesia hotels have also implemented various on-site conservation programs such as laundry detergent reductions and recyclable amenities, as well as creating strategic alliances with a number of local and international environmental and cultural groups in the region.
InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is nestled between mountains and a lagoon on a stunning French Polynesian island. Awarded the prestigious Silver Green Globe Certification in 2009, the resort continuously strives to raise environmental awareness and employs safe environmental practices. The resort proudly features the Moorea Dolphin Center with a percentage of proceeds from the center donated to marine wildlife research and research grants. The resort is also home to the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center, serving as a hospital to ill and injured turtles from the surrounding islands. Along with the resort’s three sister InterContinental properties in French Polynesia, InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is a member of the international “Reef Check” program, a voluntary-based research organization which observes local marine growth and educates the public for a better understanding of coral biology. The resort also has a “Green Team” — a group of hotel staff members who continuously brainstorm and implement ideas to conserve and protect the environment.
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach & Private Island is located on the island of Bora Bora in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay. The extraordinary surroundings need to be protected and this is why Sofitel Bora Bora decided to develop many projects to ensure a sustainable development. The private island in itself is nestled in lush vegetation with endemic plants and benefits from a well known protected coral garden accessible directly from its shore. The hotel signed for the Earth Check certification which will ensure best practices in terms of “green” behaviours (water and energy savings, environment friendly products, etc.) Furthermore, in association with “Espace Bleu,” the hotel is developing a snorkelling path on the main island side and the private island where guests can discover a coral nursery to protect the lagoon and bring more fish species back in a safe environment.