By Jason Frye
These LEED certified, AAA Four Diamond accommodations are proof you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for an environmentally-friendly getaway.
There was a time when travelers with a taste for luxury and the desire to go green had only a handful of options. Today a quartet of hotels and resorts in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia have changed that, seamlessly blending the grandeur of a AAA Four Diamond rating with the prestige and eco-sensitivity of LEED certification.
LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certification is no small feat for hotels. Under the certification process are certain building and operational standards covering everything — the materials used in the property, efficient energy and water usage and the indoor environmental quality. To obtain any level of LEED certification means committing to a better environment for guests and the world.
In going green, these four properties haven’t forgotten the guest experience. You won’t need to sacrifice your environmental morals or your thirst for the good life.
Proximity Hotel Greensboro, NC
Unabashedly modern, Greensboro’s Proximity Hotel is the first LEED Platinum green hotel. As a standard setter for sustainability and environmental practices, their list of sustainable practices is more than 70 items long. Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment and the elevators capture energy through their brakes that helps power their own operation, natural light floods rooms and public spaces. And that’s just some of what they do. Top it off with the exceptional Print Works Bistro and rooms you’ll want to move into and you’re in for a luxe, sensitive stay.
The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina Mount Pleasant, SC
The first LEED certified luxury hotel in Charleston, the 92-room Beach Club at Charleston Harbor implemented water saving, energy efficient systems and used sustainable materials in the construction to achieve their LEED status. The Lowcountry aesthetic fills the space with the charm you expect from Charleston, and whether it’s the oversized balcony overlooking the water, a massage at The Estuary Spa, or a meal made from the fresh catch and some inspired cocktails, you’ll find nothing but luxury here.
The Westin Jekyll Island Jekyll Island, GA
Sitting beachfront on Georgia’s Jekyll Island, The Westin Jekyll Island brings ocean views and exceptional dining — on local seafood, of course — to a space designed for minimal impact on the barrier island’s sensitive environment. Sustainable and renewable building materials used throughout helped the property reach LEED Silver certification. But that’s not all, The Westin Jekyll Island hosts Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, a weekend-long celebration of food and drink held each February that benefits the Jekyll Island Foundation’s conservation efforts, further proving their commitment to the environment.
Salamander Resort & Spa Middleburg, VA
With 200 acres of the resort property in a conservation easement, the planting of nearly 2,000 trees, and the building of a state-of-the-art water and wastewater treatment plant, the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa hits all the right notes on the environment. At the same time, the equestrian center, restaurants (supplied by on-property gardens), and 23,000-square-foot spa guarantee guests have a relaxing stay. Top it off with hikes — on the 200-acre conservancy — cooking classes and country air and this resort offers a luxe escape from nearby Washington D.C.
Member Savings: AAA Members save on their stay at these Four Diamond gems. Call 800-398-0379 to book today!
(Go Magazine May/June 2019)