Staying Green in Napa

When I planned my trip to Napa, I truly wanted a unique experience, from visiting some cool wineries to tasting great wines. However, none prepared me for my eco-friendly stay at the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel. This Gold LEED certified property was the first hotel in the world to receive this designation and it is evident from the minute you walk in the bright and spacious lobby. Behind the registration desk, they feature three monitors which indicate electricity and water usage, and the CO2 that the hotel is generating. Guests can even check to see how much water or electricity the hotel has saved by accessing the user-friendly monitor across from check in.

Ben, the concierge, provides eco-tours of the hotel and it’s truly a must-see to learn all of the unique environmental features of the hotel. Everything in this hotel has been carefully considered from such as the tile in the lobby, plus all the carpets in the hotel and the granite sinks in the guest bathrooms contain 50% post consumer recycled content–including the fiber backing and pad for the carpet. The wood used is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved. All wood used is new growth wood which means less time to grow back. The hotel uses as much natural light as possible from the Solatube tubular skylights that are used in the lobby, hallways and conference centre. To my eye, they first appears as typical lights.

I loved the fact that I could recycle not only newspapers in my room but cans and bottles. In each room, there is also a dispenser for soap, shampoo and conditioner which meant I truly had nothing in my room going to a landfill. To keep guests in a green frame of mind, a copy of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is in all guests room to remind us all of the little things that we can do help our planet. Another neat feature is┬áthe fact of that the hotel purchases “fair trade” coffee for its room and you have a choice of the reading the Holy Bible or the Teachings of Buddha! Speaking of my room, I had the best night sleep in years and I was told by Ken Dickson the manager of the hotel, that he has many requests from guests to purchase the hotel pillows. All bedding is over 400 thread count and after an adventurous day in Napa it is so nice to get in this luxurious bed like this…zzzz.

Waking up the in the morning and seeing the swans was perfect. Truly a great start to the day. The swans, ducks, fish and frogs also play a key role in providing natural insect control which means no nasty pesticides. All plants around the property are indigenous to the area which means less watering and fuss.

With so many people being environmentally conscious these days, your stay at the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel will truly be an experience to remember and this particular hotel has certainly led the way to a “greener” future for all of us.

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