Long gone are the days when eco-love was associated with communes, patchouli and dreadlocks. These days, being green means combining style and substance. As if you needed any proof, here are some impossibly chic, impossibly gorgeous hotels for you to book for your next stateside trip. Think organic beds, chemical-free cleaning, recycled materials you’ve got to see to believe and major energy-saving systems — all in locales from coast to coast that provide beautiful scenery.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Proximity Hotel is the first LEED-certified platinum hotel in the country and is the highest-rated green hotel in the U.S. What’s LEED? It stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and is run by the U.S. Green Building Council. It measures eco-friendly building, site design, energy usage and other important factors for sustainability. Proximity has them in spades, and is completely gorgeous, too. You won’t believe that much of the luxe-looking decor you see is made from recycled materials.
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Inn by the Sea is as romantic-looking as its name suggests. Its classic design looks like something the Kennedys would’ve vacationed in by the sea. Rooms are maintained with green products, the seafood served is local and sustainably-sourced and the butterflies are flying around in abundance due to the gorgeous gardens that have been sanctioned by the National Wildlife Federation. Walk on recycled cork and rubber floors inside the hotel and use your recycled, compostable keycard to get into your room.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Hotel Terra is self-described as a celebration of the Wild West with an elegant twist, which we love. If you’ve yet to see the wide open skies of Wyoming, the rolling plains or the Rocky Mountains, you should consider staying here. After a day soaking in so much natural beauty, you can rest incredibly easy knowing your bed is 100 percent organic. The building itself is silver LEED-certified, only two little steps down from Proximity’s platinum certification. You won’t see any plastic water bottles, either. Guests are offered sustainable, aluminum versions instead. Enjoy the spa, ski or get a ride on the range.
Where’s Kimpton? It happens to be a hotel company that owns 50 boutique hotels in 27 cities across the country, which means you can pretty much take your pick. And lucky for us, Kimpton is all about eco-friendliness. It’s won the Condé Nast World Savers Award and the National Geo Tourism Award. Not only does the company strive to serve sustainably, Kimpton also gives back, donating $10 of your daily rate to The Trust for Public Land.
Proving that caring for the environment is sexy, the Lenox Hotel in Boston is a vacation destination in and of itself. Its 100-year-old history boasts legendary guests like Judy Garland. For many of us, that’s reason enough to check it out. But of course, that isn’t why it made our list. The hotel has won far too many eco awards to list in this article, but you can see them all here.
The Allison Inn & Spa is one way to see the stunning beauty of the West Coast while staying active in your sustainable lifestyle. This is a gold LEED-certified joint. And you know when LEED certifies, it’s serious. From water-efficient sinks to opening windows instead of wasting energy running the A/C, this stunning place has its bases covered.