Green Travel: Green Resorts and Hotels: Houston

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/Green-Traveler-Green-Resorts-and-Hotels-Houston.aspx

At the request of Olivia Blanco, marketing coordinator for Ogden Publications and former Natural Home intern, I researched a few green hotels in Houston, Texas. I’ve been to Houston just twice, and let’s just say it’s not my favorite city. When I think of Houston I conjure up images of a massive urban sprawl and rainstorms in 100-degree heat. However, the hotels I discovered are making me consider giving Houston a second chance. 

The Houstonian 

In this green hotel you can escape the chaos and commotion of the city while remaining in the city. Settled on an 18-acre wooded oasis in the heart of Houston, this hotel offers a luxury spa, first-class fitness center, spectacular views—and more green features than I imagined it would. 

Houstonian
With a luxury spa and 18 acres of woods, the Houstonian is a good place to relax for a weekend while still staying green. Photo Courtesy The Houstonian.

Here are some of the green features that impressed me:

• low-VOC paint and high-efficiency lighting

• rain-sensing irrigation system that prohibits watering during rain storms

• hydrocarbon filters for run-off water from the loading docks and construction areas

• laundry plant with water reclamation services

• 42-inch LCD Energy-Star televisions in all guestrooms

• eco-friendly retail products and clothing at the spa

• occupancy sensors in guestrooms, which communicate to an energy management system to reduce energy consumption in unoccupied rooms

Along with the green features, I was enchanted by some of the services and perks of this hotel, including:

• floor-to-ceiling windows in every guest room that showcase the woods surrounding the hotel

• the Houstonian Club, one of the top fitness centers in the nation. The fitness center is available to all hotel guests and features three resort-like pools, rock climbing wall, boxing ring, eight tennis courts, full-court gymnasium and more than 100 group exercise classes each week.

• the Trellis Spa, which features an indoor float pool and more than 100 treatments, including facials, manicures, pedicures, hair styling, massages and body wraps

Hilton Americas Houston  

Hilton Americas Houston
The Hilton Americas Houston was the first hotel in Texas to earn the Green Seal certification. Photo Courtesy the Hilton Americas Houston. 

If the Houstonian is too pricey or posh for you, check out the Hilton Americas Houston. This hotel was the first hotel in Texas to achieve Green Seal certification for its many green features, which include:

• CFLs in all guest rooms and public spaces

• water-conserving faucets, toilets and showerheads

• a recycling program for kitchen oil, commingled plastic, paper, metal cans, cardboard, fluorescent bulbs and toner cartridges

• an in-room program that allows guest to use their bed sheets and towels for multiple nights

• energy-saving thermostats that automatically turn off when a guest checks out and won’t turn on until another guest checks in 

Where will you be traveling in the future? Will you be staying in a green hotel? If you have a city that you’d like me to explore for green hotels, please leave me a comment!