Some of the world’s most fantastic and extravagant destinations are doing their part to ensure their carbon footprint is reduced by using various sustainability techniques, such as photovoltaic roofs (solar panels), wind power, LED lighting and impressive recycling programs – all the while, these destinations are maintaining and exceeding the most posh luxury amenities for the traveler or owner .
Here is a list of the 10 greenest—and most lavish—places to live, stay and play:
Beaver Creek Ski Resort—Vail, Colorado
Providing environmental education to all guests, employees and community members regarding individual “green” responsibilities, water and wildlife preservation and a “reduce, reuse and recycle” motto, Beaver Creek is among the most prestigious and opulent eco-conscious ski resorts.
Award-winning snow grooming, food and wine festivals (typically held in January), ski school and private lessons, the Haymaker Tubing Hill for adventurous skiers, an ice skating rink, world-class shopping, a farmer’s market, access to Broadway shows and a glowing “ski-down” the hill with simultaneous fireworks set for New Years Eve. Additionally, the Ritz-Carlton Resort as a part of Beaver Creek offers the Bachelor Gulch Spa, featuring a rock grotto and a lazy river hot tub.
The Canyons—Park City, Utah
Already known as a hotspot for celebs, thanks largely to Sundance Film Festival, travelers who stay at the Canyons Ski Resort celebrate their locally bought cuisine and investment in wind power for a sustainable future. The resort participates in the Rocky Mountain Blue Sky Program, a non-profit program that allows participants such as The Canyons to contribute 5% of its utility bill funds toward creating a market for sustainable wind power in the area.
The Grand Summit Hotel is one of the only five-star resorts in Utah. The hotel boasts balconies, fireplaces, whirlpool bathtubs, DVD rentals, a full service health spa, a local farmer’s market and kitchen and seating service for eight people in select suites.
Star Island is a private island with homes and hotels alike. The island is completely carbon neutral, using a mixture of solar, bio, hydro and wind power. The exclusive island also employs a rainwater-harvesting program to provide filtered water straight from the tap and implement a comprehensive recycling program.
This private island oasis presents various gourmet restaurants, a spa, and a marketplace of locally grown, organic offerings and fair-trade coffees. The bungalows include access to a private plunge pool and a seaside terrace while the hotels afford earth-friendly furniture and an infinity edge pool.
Arenas Del Mar—Costa Rica
Voted 2012 Traveler’s Choice Winner, Arenas Del Mar employs solar panels to power heat and water, energy efficient lighting and is part of the Rainforest Alliance, which aims to conserve rain forests.
A hiking excursion into the rainforest, beach massages, sustainability tours, tortilla making and a view of swinging monkeys while you dine on authentic Costa Rican cuisine are just a few of the features at this phenomenal resort.
Liberty Luxe/Liberty Green—New York City, New York
These sister apartments use solar panels to produce energy, a storm water retention system for filtration out-of-the-tap and energy efficient glass and insulation.
These lush digs impart not only extravagance and a stunning view of the city, but they also offer catering service for events, a billiards room, a fully landscaped roof deck, 75-foot lap pools, certified personal trainers, indoor basketball and soccer areas, and of course, full access to world-class New York City events, dining, and shopping.
Emerald Green—New York City, New York
Emerald Green is doing their part to preserve the ecosystem with green roofing, a water recapturing system for irrigation and filtering for guests, energy efficient appliances and it is built up to the latest LEED standards for sustainability.
Emerald Green is a horse of a different color, providing access to an on-site garage, 50-foot lap pool, sundeck, hardwood floors, marble and porcelain tubs, a screening room, lounge, well-stocked library and all of the most luxurious attractions inherent to ‘The City That Never Sleeps.’
New York Palace—New York City, New York
New York Palace proves that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. The Palace boasts 100% renewable energy, LED lighting, donates to Clean the World (an organization that accepts, sterilizes and repackages excess soap products to those in need around the world) and offers organic, regionally grown cuisine which not only supports local business, but reduces the amount of packaging waste and fuel emissions in shipping.
Butler service, car drop-off service for up to twenty blocks, complimentary weekday shuttle service to Wall Street and the Theatre District, as well as complimentary robes and slippers, accompanied by a spectacular view of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and downtown Manhattan, are just a few of the features found at this hotel. Furthermore, guests can book the “Cinderella Musical Package,” which includes a two-night stay, a “special glass slipper amenity” upon check-in, officially-licensed Cinderella merchandise, a Cinderella brunch, a dedicated concierge and discounted Broadway tickets to see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA in honor of its Broadway debut in 2013.
Hotel Wilshire—Los Angeles, California
As a part of Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Wilshire subscribes to the EarthCare policies, which includes using locally grown, organic cuisine, a comprehensive recycling, waste management and paper reduction program and LED and motion sensor lights to reduce waste of electricity.
Complementary coffee and tea, an evening wine hour on the rooftop terrace, complementary bike rentals and access to the nearby LA Fitness, and pet-friendly accommodations such as a VIP treat upon check-in, dog leashes, pet-sitting, walking, grooming, massage and yes, even acupuncture.
The Caruth Blvd. Residence—Dallas, Texas
A photovoltaic roof generates power for this magnificent residence. This house was also made in part from recycled materials.
An outdoor pool, outdoor relaxation area, built-in grill and fireplace, wooden walls, a wooden ceiling and marble bathtub – all of which compliment the naturalistic vibe of the residence.
Vicino House—Santa Monica, California
Vicino House utilizes recycled tile and countertops, photovoltaic roofing to provide 70% of hot water needs, LED lighting and is tightly insulated to ensure maximum efficiency. Additionally, over 75% of construction waste was recycled and therefore diverted from nearby landfills.
In-floor radiant heating, extensive deck and balcony living space, skylights to maximize natural light and natural ventilation add to the allure of this stunning residence.