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6 hotels where guests can really go green

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These days, plenty of hotels across the globe are going green, incorporating features like energy-efficient windows and low-flow toilets and instituting regular eco-friendly practices like collecting rainwater and using all-natural cleaning products. But it's Earth Day, so I thought I'd highlight a few of the hotels I've found that are going the extra mile and rewarding guests for also getting in on the act. Beyond just the basics like asking guests not to insist on fresh towels every day, these hotels are helping them get involved in efforts and activities that put the environment front and center.

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

As part of this Costa Rica hotel’s Red Macaw Project, which strives to preserve the natural habitat surrounding the property, guests can take part in the complimentary Reforest the Rainforest initiative. Through the program, interested guests can take native almond tree saplings that have been donated by the nearby Carara National Park and plant them in a specified area along the golf course, with the goal of boosting the surrounding 1,100-acre rainforest that is home to more than 150 species of animals, including the endangered Red Macaw.                                                                                                                        Herradura, Costa Rica. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjols-los-suenos-marriott-ocean-and-golf-resort

 

InterContinental San Francisco
InterContinental San Francisco InterContinental San Francisco

InterContinental San Francisco

This City by the Bay hotel’s LEED by Example program not only celebrates and informs guests about its own green achievements, but encourages them to go green during their stay. For instance, they can save up to 10 percent off the rate of their room if they take part in any of the following: reusing towels and linens; showing a used public transportation stub; walking 10,000 steps per day, as measured by a complimentary pedometer provided by the hotel; or using the ecoMODE button on their in-room thermostat throughout their stay. The InterContinental San Francisco is also the first LEED Gold certified hotel to partner with Zipcar in offering their guests Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid cars to tool around town in. Guests must sign up to be a Zipcar member first, but in celebration of the partnership, they can join for just $50 (instead of the usual $85) by using the promotion code “intercon50” when registering. San Francisco, California. www.intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort Marriott Hotels

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort

These sister Mexico resorts situated side-by-side on a stretch of beach not far from the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza participate in the Sea Turtle Protection Plan that saves, on average, 3,000 endangered baby sea turtles each year. During nesting season (June through September), hotel guests can volunteer to work alongside staffers in making sure the newly hatched baby turtles make it across the sand to their forever home. Cancun, Mexico. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cunjw-jw-marriott-cancun-resort-and-spa, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/cunmx-casamagna-marriott-cancun-resort

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts

This idyllic Aruba complex featuring the Bucuti Wing and the Tara Beach Suites is owned and managed by Ewald Biemans, who has long been lauded by the hospitality industry for his many environmental efforts. As you can imagine, Bucuti’s sustainability initiatives are many, and guests are invited to get involved, too, by purchasing renewable energy credits to help offset their carbon footprint, judging one of the resort’s recycled crafts contests, joining hotel staffers for the monthly beach cleanup, or even, for guests living outside the European Union, adopting one of the stray dogs or cats that roam the island. Visitors to Bucuti are also given a canteen to refill throughout their stay to help cut down on the number of plastic water bottles used. Eagle Beach, Aruba. www.bucuti.com

Shore Hotel
Shore Hotel Shore Hotel

Shore Hotel

Beyond its innovative green design—think recycled material construction, a solar-heated pool, drought-resistant plants—this chic Santa Monica, California, boutique property supports sustainability through guest-centric initiatives like the Green Clean program, which allows a $10 discount on the room rate to anyone who opts out of the daily towel and bed service. The Shore even employs its own Green Concierge, who can instruct guests on where to buy eco-friendly clothes, grab a shot of fair-trade espresso, or reserve a hybrid taxi. For those who book the hotel’s Car-Free Package, aimed at reducing auto traffic and emissions, they receive a bike tour of Santa Monica, along with a dining certificate to a Santa Monica Pier restaurant. And from now through Mother's Day, you can also take advantage of the Mother Earth promotion, which rewards any guests who opt in to the Green Clean program with a complimentary breakfast in bed for mom, along with a recyclable shopping tote. Santa Monica, California. www.shorehotel.com

Westin St. John Resort
Westin St. John Resort Westin St. John Resort

Westin St. John Resort

This 47-acre retreat is located just 10 minutes from beautiful Virgin Islands National Park, where, through the hotel’s Spring Into Giving Back program, charitable guests can volunteer part of their day in the sun to not only learn about the park, but help preserve it for years to come by maintaining trails and runs, removing debris along the coastline, and other efforts. As a reward, they are presented with a $100 resort credit that can be used back at the hotel towards everything from meals to spa treatments. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. www.westinresortstjohn.com

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