Washington Marriott Celebrates Award with Green Tea Time

Many hotels are trying to be more environmentally friendly, but The Washington Marriott at Metro Center has gone the extra mile. The hotel was recently honored for its efforts with the  Mayor’s 2010 Environmental Excellence Award for “Outstanding Achievement by a Hotel.”

The hotel is one of nine District businesses and non profit organizations recognized for their environmental stewardship, innovative best practices, pollution prevention, and resource conservation.

The hotel saved 745,685 kWh in electricity in 2009 from the previous  year with the implementation of energy efficient lighting with programmable and dimmable automation as well as utilization of the Energy Management System controlling the heating/cooling and lighting of its banquet space. It also will save an estimated 600,000 gallons of water a year by converting all restroom urinals to water-free. Other accomplishments include:

  • Recycled wood flooring and linen-less dining tables in the Fire & Sage restaurant.
  • Energy-efficient bulbs used for all lighting.
  • Low-flow showerheads and toilets in guest bathrooms.
  • A water/energy saving linen program that  includes both bedding and towels.
  • Guestroom keys made from 50% recycled materials.

To celebrate the award, Washington Marriott at Metro Center will host a complimentary “Green Tea Time,” complete with iced green tea and Executive Chef Aaron Tootill’s freshly baked organic cookies and snacks, in its lobby every afternoon throughout the month of August.

Kimpton Celebrates with Sweetgreen Fro-Yo

Tasty frozen confections and Green Seal certification. We’ll toast to that!

And you can too when Kimpton hotels celebrate their DC city-wide Green Seal Certification with free Sweetgreen frozen yogurt giveaways at all 11 hotels on May 13th and 14th.

All of the hotels have been awarded Green Seal certification at the Silver Level, which is part of Kimpton’s goal to soon become the first lifestyle boutique hotel company in the U.S. to attain 100 percent Green Seal certification at the Silver Level for its 50 hotels.

Fro-yo loving Washingtonians are invited to stop by one of the area hotels to enjoy a free cone of Sweetgreen frozen yogurt, which will be dispensed at a Sweetflow Mobile–-an environmentally-conscious frozen yogurt truck engineered to run without a generator.

The first 50 people on site when the truck makes its stop will receive a complimentary frozen yogurt cone with the choice of one of Sweetgreen’s signature toppings, including strawberries, granola, or organic chocolate chips.

Visitors can also get the “inside scoop” from Kimpton employees on the company’s more than 80 green products and practices, and enter to win a free overnight getaway at the hotel.

For more information on the Sweetflow Mobile’s exact times and locations, locals can visit the individual Facebook page of each hotel, including:

Washington DC:
Hotel George: 15 E Street, NW: facebook.com/TheHotelGeorge
Hotel Rouge: 1315 16th Street, NW: facebook.com/HotelRouge
Hotel Helix: 1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW: facebook.com/HotelHelix
Topaz Hotel: 1733 N Street, NW: facebook.com/TopazHotel
Hotel Madera: 1310 New Hampshire Ave, NW. facebook.com/HotelMadera
Hotel Monaco Washington DC: 700 F Street, NW facebook.com/MonacoDC
Hotel Palomar Washington DC:2121 P Street, NW; facebook.com/HotelPalomar.WashingtonDC

Lorien Hotel & Spa: 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA. facebook.com/LorienHotelandSpa
Morrison House: 116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA. facebook.com/MorrisonHouse
Hotel Monaco Alexandria: 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA. facebook.com/MonacoAlexandria
Hotel Palomar Arlington at Waterview: 1121 N. 19th Street, Arlington, VA. facebook.com/Palomar.Arlington

Green Seal certification is an important third-party validation of Kimpton’s more than 80 environmentally responsible operational practices under the company’s EarthCare program, and allows Kimpton to more effectively measure its nationwide reductions in waste, energy, and water consumption.

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle Art Show

Talk about turning trash to treasure. At Kimpton’s Morrison House local artists have repurposed the hotel’s trash to create whimsical works of art.

General Manager Robert Hannigan invited area artists to tour the hotel and look for inspiration in discarded objects ranging from faucets and heating filters to plumbing lines.

The result is a collection of sculptures that are exclusively composed of repurposed materials and pairings of unexpected objects – like hubcaps with plastic lids.

The artists enjoyed being challenged to create art from found objects at the hotel. “The fun in working with reclaimed items is trying out unusual combinations of forms and solving the mysteries of the links between them,” said artist Rosemary Luckett, who will have six pieces on display at the reception.

A reception for the “Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle” exhibit will be held on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 from 6-8 p.m, at the Morrison House (116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA) and features more than a dozen works created for the event by local environmental artists affiliated with the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town.

After the reception, guests can enjoy a 100-mile candlelight dinner in honor of Earth Day at The Grille at Morrison House . The four course dinner, with ingredients sourced from local farmers within a 100 mile radius is priced at $55 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Eggs and poultry will be sourced from Path Valley Farms, while guests can enjoy local Virginia beef, pork sourced from Pennsylvania, and freshly caught fish from the Chesapeake and surrounding tributaries.

7 Local Organic Cocktails

organic martini

The always inventive mixologists at several chic DC-area hotel bars are shaking things up with cocktails that feature organic spirits, homemade fruit purees, and locally grown veggies and herbs. Here are our top picks:

1. Juniper at The Fairmont Hotel serves five “Going Green” organic cocktails featuring herbs from the hotel’s courtyard garden and regionally grown fruits. “Feeling Blue,” for example, is made with Blue Coat Organic Gin, courtyard grown cilantro, Virginia blueberries, housemade simple syrup, and club soda. There are also several cocktails made with honey harvested from the Italian honey bees that make the hotel’s rooftop their home such as the Bee-tini made with Belvedere Pomrancza vodka and honey mixed with fresh grapefruit juice, mint, and grenadine.

2. The mixologists at Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons make many of their own bitters, tinctures, and syrups and grow their own herbs. The cleverly named “Not Tonight” features additive-free Hangar One mandarin blossom vodka, velvet falernum (a sugar cane-based liqueur), orgeat, fresh lime, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, and a chipotle tincture

3. Stop by Zentan at the Donovan House for an organic version of a Margarita.”The Scarborough Affair” is made with organic sage-infused Herradura Reposado tequila, house-made thyme agave nectar, house-made sweet and sour mix, fresh lime juice, St. Germain elderflower liquor, and garnished with a fresh spring of rosemary.

4. Start brunch off right with an organic Bloody Mary from Entyse at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner. This tasty version is made with Square One Organic Vodka, organic Bloody Mary mix (made from organic, locally grown tomatoes), Tabasco, Worcestershire, a pinch of organic black pepper, and garnished with organic celery, lime, and green bean. All of the cocktails at Entsye are made with ingredients from local and organic farms.

5. The Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt offers martinis that can be made with Square One Organic Vodka and your choice of a pearl onion, olive, caper berry or lemon twist garnish.

6. Keep the wolves at bay with the “Little Red Riding Hood” cocktail at the Quill bar in the historic Jefferson hotel. This glorious concoction features house-made hibiscus-pomegranate-infused vodka, Cointreau, Galliano, cranberry juice, and molecular yogurt-vanilla foam.

7. With arguably one of the best views in town, POV at the recently opened W Hotel has an artfully crafted cocktail menu courtesy of Sasha Petraske of NYC’s Milk & Honey.  The all-natural libations change with the seasons and are made with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Energy-Saving Lights Shine at the Willard Hotel

The Willard Intercontinental isn’tWillard Hotel just an iconic Washington landmark, it’s also one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the city. Now, in addition to leading the way in green meetings, being the first hotel in the city to be 100% windpowered, and engaging in a variety of award-winning sustainability practices, the Willard Complex is going green for the holidays.

The Willard Complex, which includes the Willard InterContinental Hotel, the Occidental Restaurant, Cafe du Parc, the Willard Office building, and an elegant courtyard, has decked its outdoor trees within the complex and on Pennsylvania Avenue with 20,000 LED  lights. The decorative LEDs used to outfit the trees will twinkle along Pennsylvania Avenue from 14th to 15th Streets and on the courtyard trees and wreaths.

The Willard’s use of the LED lights instead of conventional lighting has given the complex management a special opportunity to conserve energy and reduce waste during the holiday season.  Using LEDs reduces energy consumption by 80%, the bulbs have a long life span and emit a cooler light than traditional holiday lights, and they are generally more safe and cost effective.