This month, the "puttin' on the Ritz" croon took on a whole new meaning when Ritz-Carlton announced its first LEED certified property at Lake Tahoe. The mid-mountain ski resort, which opened up just one year ago, was built with LEED accreditation in mind. A staggering 88 percent of construction waste during the build was recycled or re-used, nearly one-third of the materials used were manufactured locally (nearly two-thirds were sourced locally), and existing on-site perks like boulders were worked into plans.
Inside, many traditional green processes can be found (green cleaning program, ability to recycle, yada, yada), but left me yearning for a bit more innovative investment. What I can say is that the space is striking. I can also add that I've never stepped into a Ritz-Carlton hotel and not been in awe... so, if you're looking for an environmentally friendly option without having to go rugged, you're in the right place.
If skiing isn't your passion, there's no need to protest. The hotel's restaurant, Manzanita, serves up seasonal "French-inspired California" cuisine, while the Highlands Spa soothes and pampers (check out "The Organics" package), and access to golf courses abounds.
And now, I can't get Fred Astaire out of my head. Why don't you indulge in his rendition of the song that pays tribute to the ever fashionable Ritz? I smiled through the entire five minute clip...