Top 5 U.S.-Based Eco-Tourism Accommodations

For the active and eco-chic traveler, the United States’ most popular and energetic cities are home to luxury hotels that practice sustainable techniques. Many of these eco-friendly hotels are LEED-certified (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design), which means that they fit the United States Green Building Council’s criteria for sustainable practices. Some of these criteria include sustainable location, water-efficiency practices, indoor climate quality, and renewable energy techniques and sources.

Below are Charleston Naturally’s Top 5 picks for the United States’ most luxurious and eco-friendly accommodations:

1. Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona: Proud of their ability to incorporate green initiatives into their operations, Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona, is making great strides in providing guests with a luxurious, yet eco-friendly, experience. They are working hard to protect the environment, reduce their carbon footprint, save on energy, and conserve natural resources.

Some of their specific eco-tourism efforts include . . .

  • The use of green-certified cleaning supplies.
  • The use of local produce and ingredients for their exceptional dining facilities within the hotel, to help reduce gas consumption used to transport food.
  • Participation in the “Adopt-A-Road” program, which works to clean and maintain the street on Scottsdale Road that runs from Indian School to Camelback.
  • The use of dual pane glass in each guest room to ensure climate control and reduce wasteful energy consumption.
  • The use of postconsumer FSC-certified paper for all print marketing materials, including brochures.


Eco Friendly - Hotel Valley Ho

Eco Friendly - Hotel Valley Ho


2. Arbor House – An Environmental Inn, Madison, Wisconsin: Neighboring 1280 acres of sprawling protected woodlands and prairies, the Arbor House in Madison, Wisconsin, is an award-winning eco-tourism inn that exudes a delightful bed-and-breakfast charm. With beautiful, nature-influenced room décor, a variety of environmentally friendly outdoor activities, and delectable, complimentary breakfasts, the Arbor House is the ultimate retreat for the busy, city dweller.

Some of their specific eco-tourism efforts include . . .

  • The use of organic, non-bleached cotton linens and bedroom fabrics.
  • The use of eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning supplies.
  • Energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
  • The use of 100% organic mattresses.
  • Gardening on the grounds that uses all-natural growth techniques, without the use of harmful pesticides.

3. The Willard, Washington, D.C.: As one of the world’s most socially and environmentally conscious hotels, The Willard in Washington, D.C., provides visitors with an urban, luxurious experience that combines eco-friendly practices with stylish accommodations and lavish amenities. With their recently received International Hotel & Restaurant Association’s Environmental Award for Sustainability, The Willard has developed a holistic approach to sustainability with their “Willard InterContinental – The Next 100 Years” plan.

Some of their specific eco-tourism efforts include:

  • The use of 100% wind energy to power the hotel.
  • The use of green-certified room cleaning materials.
  • The planting of 50 million oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Offering organic beverages to hotel visitors such as Mighty Leaf organic tea, Rainforest Alliance Coffee, and Restore Water (with proceeds from purchases going to Restore Water, which helps to support wildlife restoration in the Chesapeake Bay).
  • The use of CFLs, compact fluorescent lights, to reduce energy consumption.
Eco Friendly Hotels - The Willard

Eco Friendly Hotels - The Willard

4. Orchard Garden Hotel, San Francisco, California: Built from earth-conscious practices and natural fabrics and materials, Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco, is a place of tranquility, healthy lifestyles, and escape. With a location in the bustling heart of San Francisco, luxurious amenities and rooms, and superior hospitality, Orchard Garden Hotel is a must-visit destination for those who want to experience the cultural diversity of San Francisco while relaxing in the hotel’s peaceful atmosphere.

Some of their specific eco-tourism efforts include . . .

  • The use of green-certified cleaning supplies.
  • Construction to incorporate natural daylight. In fact, 80% of the hotel invites natural light inside.
  • The use of recycled paper for all print—marketing materials and soy-based inks for print.
  • The use of organic and recycled materials in construction, including wood and carpeting.
The Heathman Hote

The Heathman Hotel

5. The Heathman Hotel, Portland, Oregon: Elegantly fusing contemporary design with nature-inspired details and materials, The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, is situated in the charming cultural and financial district of Portland.

Some of their specific eco-tourism efforts include . . .

  • The use of 99% landfill-free recycled materials during restoration.
  • The use of showerheads that reduce energy consumption by 10 – 20%.
  • The use of toilets that reduce water consumption by 50%.
  • The use of low-energy-consumption LED lighting throughout the hotel.
  • The use of 13 local vendors during hotel restoration.