Trying to be kind to the planet and make eco-friendly choices can be challenging when you’re at home but it seems next to impossible when you pack up for vacation.
Thankfully, many wineries, restaurants and hotels in Sonoma and Napa Wine Country are going above and beyond to make it easier to travel with good conscience. Among the hospitality businesses that stand out in this regard is Bardessono Hotel & Spa in Yountville, recognized as one of the greenest properties in the United States.
Bardessono is one of only eight LEED Platinum hotels in the country, the highest certification for green buildings. From office buildings to schools, any type of building can seek LEED certification. Hotels are unique: since they’re occupied around the clock, they consume resources at a higher rate.
Built on land farmed by the Bardessono family after they arrived from Italy in 1926, the Yountville hotel has always made sustainability a priority — from construction through the 2009 opening to today.
“Sustainability was at the core of Bardessono’s inception, before many of the environmental initiatives we’re familiar with today gained the momentum they have now,” says Stephanie Leavitt, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bardessono.
The hotel was built using 100,000 square feet of salvaged wood — Monterey Cypress, California Bay Laurel, Redwood, Eucalyptus and orchard Walnut trees –- obtained from a nearby stretch of the original Bardessono homestead that was cleared to make way for residential development. The wood is used in everything from custom-designed bedside tables and guest room desks to flooring, dining room tables, and exterior siding.
Proof of the Bardessono’s commitment to sustainability can be seen throughout the property: The atypical flat rooftops house photovoltaic solar collectors, which provide about 20 percent of the hotel’s energy supply. Low emissivity glass in guest rooms let in a generous amount of natural light, cutting the dependency on daytime lighting. Low water flow fixtures and dual flush toilets are the norm and all of the hotel’s bed linens, towels and robes are made with organic cotton.
“As a pioneer of this effort in the hospitality industry, maintaining a sustainable environment within our operations has not only been necessary but a constant source of inspiration to our team, and even our guests,” says Levitt. “[We want to] give back in every way we can.”
Click through the gallery above to see other ways Bardessono makes sustainability a top priority.
Do you know a local hospitality business that is leading the eco-friendly charge in Wine Country? Let us know.