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Wednesday, November 14, 2012



The days when being eco-friendly meant little more than a token nod to hybrid cars or occasionally buying organic groceries are long gone. With consumers becoming more and more aware of their ecological impact, they are beginning to seek sustainable alternatives. Without sacrificing any of the classic creature comforts, these three Design Hotels™ members provide guests with a truly remarkable experience, while still going above and beyond basic sustainable intitiatives.

The design teams of each of these hotels developed a holistic approach that has targeted all aspects, from reducing the environmental impact of construction to green housekeeping and hotel operations. In the heart of New York's vibrant Soho, Crosby Street Hotel stands out as one of the most environmentally responsible hotels in the United States. In Cornwall, The Scarlet is a prime model for environmental initiatives, with the goal to work with, rather than against, the natural beauty of the Cornish coast. Hotel Topazz is the first green upscale hotel in Vienna, combining iconic architecture with a resource-saving philosophy that starts with low-energy usage and carries through to locally sourced food.

Sustainable in Soho

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As part of the London-based Firmdale Hotels group, Crosby Street Hotel is husband and wife team Tim and Kit Kemp's first endeavor across the Atlantic. Kit Kemp's signature style is reflected throughout the 86 bedrooms and suites over 11 floors, with a great emphasis on color and texture. The hotel was awarded Gold Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the first hotel in New York to do so. During construction, hazardous site material was disposed of and all demolished material was recycled. In addition to energy efficient lighting, green power and water use reduction, the hotel has an array of integrated green features, from an urban vegetable patch on the rooftop supplying the hotel with seasonal produce, to a woodland meadow with 50 varieties of native plants. Inside, the furniture, fabrics and finishes are largely American-made, sourced regionally from homebred designers like Philadelphian artisans Galbraith & Paul.

Eco-Conscious Cornwall

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The Scarlet was built with a vision to create a unique and sustainable building that merges with and enhances the local environment. The result is a stunning, cliff-top hotel, whose spaces, lines and spectacular views have the power to both impress and soothe. The hotel is a role-model for environmental responsibility, from recyclable packaging, waste management in the kitchen and even onsite water treatment facilities to reduce waste. Two outdoor log-fired hot tubs and a natural, reed-filtered swimming pool offer guests relaxing bathing experiences. Even the water is heated by solar-power, and nearly the entire structure is made of recycled and eco-friendly materials. The interiors have been outfitted with sustainably attained woods, British wool and recyclable carpets and UK-made furniture. The Building CO2 Emission Rate is currently calculated at 73% less than a building of the same size and design. Guests can also enjoy spa treatments without concern for their carbon footprint, with a custom-made range of natural products, organic textiles and flip flops made from recycled vehicle tires.

Green-Glam in Vienna

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In Vienna's historic 1st district, Hotel Topazz is a prime example of eco-friendly hospitality. Surrounded by the city's most acclaimed attractions, the hotel pays tribute to Vienna's artistic heritage. The remarkable façade is inspired by a cylindrical silver vase embellished with oval amber stones by artist Koloman Moser. The interiors also pay homage to iconic Austrian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The combination of design and low-energy initiatives is unique for a hotel in the center of the Imperial City, yet the hotel makes no compromises. Heating and cooling is secured by a groundwater well and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, and LED technology provides a near-natural light spectrum throughout the hotel. The green approach is manifested in daily hotel operations: the Topazz Salon serves organic products from Austrian producers, including their own range of eco-friendly award-winning wine.

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