8 Eco-Friendly Domestic Hotels on VAX

Travel insights from VAX VacationAccess

Options for eco travel (or sustainable travel, ecotourism, responsible travel…) aren’t only available deep in the jungle in far-off destinations. They’re widely available right here in the good old U.S. and bookable right here on VAX.

This type of travel supports the management of resources so that economic, social and aesthetic needs are fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. More simply, it’s choosing suppliers and destinations with environmentally-focused practices.

Almost 50% of respondents to a recent poll of VAX’s travel agent users said that their clients are either frequently or sometimes asking for sustainable or eco-friendly travel options. And who best to understand the market from than the travelers themselves?

You don’t have to specialize in sustainable travel in order to sell it. Use this list to get an idea of the environmentally-friendly options available in the U.S. They’re closer than you think!

Fairmont Kea Lani - Maui, HI
This beautiful Hawaiian resort created a Sustainability Team in 2001, dedicated to proactively "greening" operations and cultivating an enduring connection to the land and community. To date, the team has launched over 50 environmental initiatives at the resort, including the installation of 1,528 solar panels, reef and beach cleanups, the adoption and patrol of the endangered hawksbill sea turtle and a partnership with Clean the World foundation to convert 2,400 pounds of waste to create 4,200 bars of soap and 3,200 hygiene kits for third world countries.

Andaz Maui at Wailea - Maui, HI
Andaz Mai at Wailea earned a LEED Silver certification when it opened in 2014, meaning the resort is enhanced with eco-friendly, green-minded amenities. It reused 93% of the existing hotel’s structural walls, floors and roof in its design as well as utilizing low-emitting materials and energy-cost saving systems. Other sustainable features include LED lighting, low-flow plumbing and glassware made from recycled wine bottles. No gas equipment is used for landscaping and green waste is recycled into mulch to help hold moisture for less irrigation. Even the spa is eco-friendly – the whole fruits used to infuse body oils are used in the bar to make fresh juice and handmade cocktails.

Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, A Nobel House Resort - Jackson Hole, WY
Luxury and environmental responsibility come together at Hotel Terra Jackson Hole. This LEED-Silver certified resort uses solar, wind and hydro power and heating and cooling systems are controlled by an advanced computer system. The resort’s structure is made of recycled material, all windows are Energy Star rated and the roof is made of 100% recycled Eco Shake shingles. The rooms have 100% natural and organic Terra Beds mattresses; organic towels, bath mats and bathrobes; recycled glass countertops and soap dishes; and low-flow bathroom fixtures. Their Chill Spa uses organic products, making this resort eco-friendly from head to toe.

Hyatt at Olive 8 - Seattle, WA
Seattle’s and Hyatt's first LEED-certified Green hotel features guest rooms with contemporary style, green housekeeping programs and energy-efficient fixtures. All rooms are equipped with Watt Stopper master power controls for lighting to conserve electricity. Elaia, the eco-friendly adult spa, offers organic treatments. Urbane, the onsite restaurant, is a farm-to-table concept, using fresh, organic ingredients obtained from local farmers dedicated to sustainable growing techniques.

ARIA Resort & Casino - Las Vegas, NV
The U.S. Green Building Council awarded ARIA Resort & Casino its LEED Gold certification, the highest LEED achievement of any hotel, retail district or residential development in Las Vegas. Part of the eco-friendly City Center complex, the property has high energy efficiency programs including low-flow fixtures and a fleet of 26 limousines that operates on clean-burning compressed natural gas. It’s one of MGM Resorts’ 15 properties that have been certified through Green Key Global's Eco-Rating Program. ARIA has a 5 Keys rating, an elite certification granted to less than 2% of Green Key's 2,500 participating properties. It’s also earned TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders Platinum certification, denoting the highest level of environmental responsibility, an achievement earned by less than 7% of participants.

Vdara Hotel & Spa - Las Vegas, NV
Low-wattage lighting in all rooms, public spaces and garages; use of wood products from responsibly managed forests; native and drought-tolerant plant species used in the grounds; and a comprehensive recycling program are just some of the things that make Vdara Hotel & Spa eco-friendly. Like ARIA, Vdara earned a 5 Keys rating from Green Keys and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Platinum designation.

Palomar Philly, a Kimpton Hotel - Philadelphia, PA
Palomar Philly is a LEED Gold-certified luxury hotel housed in a landmark building in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. It’s a testament to superior eco-friendly hotel design, personalized service and genuinely warm hospitality. All of Kimpton Hotels’ locations are part of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ program, making it the first major hotel brand to have 100 percent portfolio-wide participation in the program. Nontoxic cleaning supplies, extensive recycling, minimizing of water consumption and recycled glass tile in the bathrooms all contribute to this hotel’s eco-friendly vision.

Hyatt Place Chicago River North - Chicago, IL
This conveniently-located Hyatt hotel uses green housekeeping practices in the LEED silver-certified building. Overall, Hyatt has more than 30 hotels in the U.S. that are either LEED-certified or that have earned another type of environmentally-friendly recognition. Hyatt’s 2020 Vision focuses on reducing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in their hotels worldwide. They regularly report the status on their goals, positioning the company as a leader in sustainability in the hospitality industry.

Want more eco-friendly travel options? Check out this list of international hotels and resorts on VAX that put the environment first.