Portsmouth, NH—(April 2009)—Just in time for Earth Day, Mike Thiel, President and Founder of Hideaways International™, Inc., names the seven sexiest sustainable hotels and resorts in the United States.
"From coast to coast, these exceptional escapes are gorgeous and green," says Thiel. "Each has a unique degree of sustainability while attaining the highest degree of desirability."
1. Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Washington
Why it's sexy: You have a lot to toast in this Washington wine-country retreat. Each room and suite feature a stone fireplace, oversized soaking tub for two, and a hard-to-leave bed . . . the lodge is a two-minute stroll from two world-class wineries, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery . . . and children, while not forbidden, are not encouraged.
How it's sustainable: With a 5-Star EnviroStars rating, the lodge is committed to environmentally responsible operations—its six-acre riverfront site, for example, is completely eco-friendly.
2. Solage Calistoga, Calistoga, California
Why it's sexy: Located on 22 acres in the northern edge of Napa Valley, this loft-style resort has the kind of inviting and inspired California-casual-meets-city-chic design that's a pleasure to return to after a day of oh-so-strenuous wine tastings or treatments—like the "Full Body Mud Cocktail'"—at Solage's own spa. Its romantic Capella Suite makes any visit a honeymoon.
How it's sustainable: A member of the Green Hotel Association, this resort's impressive "Green initiatives" cover the resort from top (solar panels) to bottom (bamboo flooring).
3. Sundance Resort, Sundance, Utah
Why it's sexy: This retreat—with its collection of suites and mountain homes tucked away within 6,000 acres of protected wilderness—is irresistibly alluring in the same way a perfectly fitted pair of jeans and a white tee is often more appealing than something revealing. It embodies healthy living from its rooms and restaurants to its diverse amenities and activities.
How it's sustainable: Owner Robert Redford's commitment to conservation is seen in nearly every inch of the resort and in places that can't be seen, like the spa's recycled denim insulation.
4. The Fairmont ScottsdaleTHC, Scottsdale, Arizona
Why it's sexy: When your desert experience is designed as a romantic pas de deux, follow the winding pathways from reception to a private suite. Perfect for that special tryst, your casita is hidden in a quiet courtyard setting, comes complete with the attentions of a butler, and is cleverly placed at the opposite end of the resort from the family-friendly guest rooms.
How it's sustainable: Like all Fairmonts, this hotel practices environmental stewardship in an ever-increasing number of ways, from hotel kitchen composting to energy-efficient lighting.
5. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
Why it's sexy: There's a romantic spell here that can't easily be broken, especially with the resort's no-children-under-14 policy and its genius ban on cell phones in public places. Stay in a Premier Garden Cabin and end a day of world-class spa treatments, unique indoor and outdoor adventures, and exquisite dining by relaxing in a hot tub in your private garden.
How it's sustainable: The spa treatments and included-in-the-price meals incorporate the fruits of the resort's organic gardens, and its dining room serves local and seasonal cuisine.
6. Little St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
Why it's sexy: Located on a 10,000-acre barrier island off the Georgia coast—and accessible only by boat—the lodge offers a combination of complete privacy and Southern hospitality in an unspoiled wilderness for no more than 30 guests. Enjoy seven miles of private beaches, a range of island activities, and regional, home-style cuisine. Ready to be castaways together?
How it's sustainable: The lodge isn't going green, it is green with an impressive list of eco practices, from using motion-sensor outdoor lighting to serving organic, shade-grown coffee.
7. The Equinox, Manchester Village, Vermont
Why it's sexy: Nestled in the spectacular Green Mountains, this 2,300-acre, four-diamond resort is a retreat for those who like to stay busy, even if you're busy getting a facial. After tackling the resort's golf course, British School of Falconry, or Land Rover Driving School, retreat to your elegant townhouse, a private sanctuary for two, and relax by the fire.
How it's sustainable: This resort is an "Environmental Partner," preventing pollution and encouraging conservation by upholding the standards promoted by the Vermont Small Business Development Center and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
"The thought that eco-friendly and luxurious are mutually exclusive is outdated, as is the idea that you have to travel somewhere off the beaten path, like Costa Rica, to experience a truly earth-friendly retreat," says Thiel.
About Hideaways International™
Hideaways International is a luxury travel company in business for 30 years, catering to savvy, discerning consumers with a passion for travel. Hideaways International operates the Hideaways Aficionado Club, with members worldwide — ranging from notable celebrities, musicians, publishers, authors, and politicians to ordinary folks with extraordinary taste — all part of this lively community with a passion for luxury travel.