Hotels

Ho­tels, airports, airlines mark Earth Day

 

Earth Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1970, falls on Sunday, April 22 and hotels, airport, airline and other segments of the travel industry are joining in to draw attention to environmental movements worldwide.

Hotels ditching those tiny plastic bottles, offering Earth Day events

This week, 450 hotels across Marriott International’s Classic Brands, including Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites and TownePlace properties, began replacing individually wrapped soaps and tiny .7 ounce plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner with shower-product dispenser systems.

The dispensers contain Paul Mitchell Tea Tree brand products and Marriott estimates that the average hotel will divert from landfills more than 23,000 tiny bottles, or 250 pounds of plastic, per year. Overall, Marriott International hopes that, once the switchover is completed at 1500 of its hotels, it will do away with more than 10.4 million plastic bottles and save more than 113,000 pounds of plastic each year.

1Hotels, with properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York and in Miami’s South Beach, is kicking off its ‘Earth Day Every Day’ campaign this weekend with a series of events and talks. Each property will also be creating lobby “action centers” designed to both educate guests about environmental issues and encourage them to take action by contacting federal, state and local legislators.

Also, in honor of Earth Day and National Park Week (April 21-29), participating Travelodge Hotels are offering guests a “Celebrate Earth Day” rate of 25 percent off Best Available Rates for stays completed by April 30, 2018. Details here .

Airport restaurants and airlines make Earth Day efforts

On Earth Day, 200 Delaware North-operated restaurants at 23 airports and highway travel hubs across the United States are kicking off a campaign to reduce plastic waste by offering drinking straws only by request. With “The Last Straw” campaign, the company hopes to significantly cut back on the estimated 8.1 million plastic drinking straws it handed out last year.

Airlines are also joining in with Earth Day efforts.

On Thursday, April 19, Delta Air Lines bought carbon offsets for an estimated 170,000 corporate and leisure domestic passengers who traveled into or out of seven major airports, including Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Raleigh, and all three New York-area airports. The airline’s carbon offset program calculates the carbon emissions per customer and then invests in projects that provide social benefits and reduce emissions.

“We know that many of our customers are engaged in their own personal and corporate sustainability efforts and want to extend those efforts to travel,” said Christine Boucher, Delta’s managing director for Global Environment, Sustainability & Compliance, in a statement, “We’re proud to help them do that through this program and projects that expand our global sustainability efforts.”

And on Earth Day Air Canada plans to save 160 tons of carbon on 22 domestic flights out of Toronto-Pearson International Airport by blending 230,000 liters (more than 60,000 gallons) of sustainable biofuel into the airport’s fuel supply system.

“Our participation is one way Air Canada is reducing its footprint and also helping our entire industry improve its environmental performance,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

You also have until April 30 to vote in the JetBlue for Good campaign which will award grants of $15,000 each to 4 earth-friendly causes. If you vote, you’ll also get an entry in a contest for 2 roundtrip travel certificates with carbon offsets to reduce the eco-impact of your travel.

Hotel tidbits

 

Just sharing some tidbits about hotels I’ve stayed at recently – and hope to return to.

In New York City, I was a guest at Marriott’s Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park – which turned out to be in the theater district and around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater, where The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is filmed.

The location could not have been better and my cozy room, with a work desk, complimentary WiFi, city view, coffee maker and crisp white linens was an ideal for base for a one night stay.

I didn’t have time to check out the fitness center, but did spend some time at Nosh!, the living room-style 4th-floor restaurant and bar open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the sort of place where you can get a coffee and just hang out to work or read.  After my stay, I learned that this is the go-to hotel for good friends when they go to New York City to see plays or concerts.

In Portland, Oregon I’ve been a guest recently at some of the darling and diverse Provenance Hotels,  including the Sentinel,  where my room looked just like this, including the terrace and fire pit.

Among the great amenities – a giant fitness room and, on my floor, this ‘secret’ lounge with a snack bar, TV, sofas and cool (fake) wall of books.

 

In Paris with one extra night to spend in the city, I was a guest at the 37-room charming Grand Pigalle Hotel, in the 9th arrondissement, in the hip South Pigalle, or SoPi, neighborhood.

The first floor has a cozy wine bar and Italian restaurant  where breakfast is also served. Rooms – all different and designed by noted French interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon – have metallic wallpaper, brass lamps and handles, and tiled bathrooms with deep tubs. Some have terraces too.

My only regret from my stay: I was too busy making sure not to stumble on the circular stairs to snap a photo of the martini glass-themed carpeting.

 

 

 

 

 

Souvenir Sunday: cool hotel key cards

Few hotels actually issue guests real door keys anymore and opt instead for electronic key cards, with magnetic strips on the back.

The face of the key cards often have only the name of the hotel, if that, but some hotels get quite creative with the tiny bit of real estate that guests carry around and look at multiple times during a stay.

Here are two cards I received at hotels in Portland, Oregon that morphed from keys to souvenirs in a snap.

Portland key cards

The one on the left was issued to me at the Hotel Lucia, which has photos by Pulitzer prize-winning photographer and Oregon native David Hume Kennerly in the rooms, the hallways and public areas.

The key card on the right is from the Hotel deLuxe, which has a Golden Age of Hollywood cinema theme.

Both hotels are part of the Provenance Hotels group.

How to find day rates at airport hotels

sleeping on airplanes

In working on a story for NBCNEWS.com about hotel booking sites trying to stand out by offering a twist – including Winston Club, which plans to match people up to share top hotel rooms – I discovered a good resource for travelers who find themselves stuck at the airport.

HotelsbyDay.com is a site that helps travelers find good rates for short stays at hotels during the day.

These aren’t the, ahem, one-hour or less kind of stays. The service offers stays of at least four hours in three-, four- and five-star hotels, enabling a traveler to rest and refresh before or after a long flight, get some work done in a quiet and comfortable space between meetings or, perhaps, for a family to have a “daycation” at a hotel with a pool, waterpark and spa.

The site has a search option for airport hotels and on that list you’ll find the Miami International Airport Hotel (located inside the terminal) – offered during my search for $55 for a four hour stay between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – and the post-security Minute Suites – DFW, offered at $100 for a four hour block between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., $110 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and $120 between 3 a.m. and 7 p.m.

I called to check and compare walk-in rates as was told there is not a posted rate at the DFW Minute Suites for a 4 hour stay, but that, with taxes, a 3.5 hour stay would cost about $134 and a 5 hour stay, $148. So the HotelsbyDay rate does indeed offer some savings.