Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monterey Bay Hotel Boasts LEED Silver

In California, the Portola Hotel and Spa, from a bird's eye view, consists of a several buildings tidily arranged alongside Monterey Bay. What it doesn't look like, on first glance, is a stuffy resort touting green initiatives with a nose in the air. It appears modest, affordable and authentic. These are all really good things, especially for a traveler who's in town on business or visiting family.

The hotel and spa, which recently announced LEED Silver certification for an existing building, is one very few independent hotels to take such great strides without the backing of a larger, corporate brand. That's an impressive feat, because as any hotel management will tell you, LEED certification is a thorough - and often pricey - investment that takes a while to pay for itself in energy savings.

What I like most about Portola are some of the softer eco touches they've applied here, including "Green from Natura" bath amenities in biodegradable packaging, earth-friendly mattresses from local Monterey Mattress Co., and a cleaning process that uses H203 ionized water to go above and beyond the effectiveness of bleach - minus the harsh chemicals. And those efforts extend beyond the hotel walls, too. Portola takes part in community eco initiatives like the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, and for 17 years in a row has been honored by local waste management for its innovative and proactive recycling initiatives, which work toward diverting 70 percent of all waste from landfills.

The hotel offers guests the opportunity to negate their stay with the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits, and they've walked the walk by already offsetting two year's worth of their own carbon emissions. (That level of emissions equates to driving roughly 9 million miles in a car... um, yeah. That's a lot.)

So, why stay at Portola? A quick hike from Cannery Row and the aquarium (check out the a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e newly hatched penguin chick), Portola is near Fisherman's Wharf and the Marina, and a short drive from popular Carmel and Pebble Beaches. Really, need I say more?

If you're a foodie at heart, visit some of these stellar farmer's markets during your stay in Monterey.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Something else that's

related to green initiatives is this video I saw on

YouTube from the GreenopolisTV channel. Check it out

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