New York is one of the biggest tourist traps in the world. Its restaurants, theaters, shops, and museums draw an average of 60 million visitors annually. And they all need a place to sleep.
Being a cultural epicenter makes New York, and specifically Manhattan, a major destination for the hotel and hospitality industry. The average occupancy of New York City hotels in 2017 stood at 86.7 percent, up 1.1 percent from the previous year: with the city now home to more than 119,000 hotel rooms spread across the five boroughs, hotels play a major part in the city’s consumption and pollution rates.
With the fast turnaround of patrons, upkeep and maintenance add to the problem. Especially for luxury destinations, lighting, heat, water use and all of the other factors that go into running a large enterprise contribute to environmental consequences that are veiled by the beautiful exteriors (and, let’s face it, mighty comfy robes and slippers).
According to city reports and analysis, seventy percent of the city’s CO2 emissions come from large buildings. Hotels use 84.7 Billion kwh/ yr which is enough to power 9.6 million blow-dryers, 64.5 million TVs, and 219 billion gallons of water a year. US hotels spend more than 7.5 billion each year on energy.
This might seem to be an insurmountable fact of the tourist economy, but a small movement of surrounding eco-friendly hotels is starting to gain momentum on the big energy users, as more patrons seek out sustainable alternatives and make green more mainstream.
Being in one of the largest cities in the world with the most hotels, I decided to do a little self-guided tour of eco-friendly options to see what is really available in terms of sustainable stays in New York. Here are hotels that I saw, and a little insight into each one.
1 Hotels is a new eco concept that everyone is falling in love with. The one i went to is located near central park but they also have locations by the water in Brooklyn and in South Beach, Miami.
All hotels are inspired from nature and made from reclaimed wood and materials and have natural elements included through the hotel to abide by their philosophy of sustainable and environmental practices. This includes how the hotels processes and harnesses energy.
It is the small details that make the stay there a new type of experience. Like the recycled wood room key and the wooden hangers made out of reclaimed wood.
From the outside walking down 7th avenue towards the park, 1 Hotel sticks out like a sore thumb — green thumb, actually — because the exterior is overgrown with lush greenery. An abrupt change from the grey and white New York buildings that run along midtown avenues. immediately knew that was the place i was looking for, and yes, it helped that I had done some googling beforehand.
Walking into the boutique hotel on the corner you immediately are taken away from the concrete city and transported into a green oasis. Lush mossy plants dangle from the ceiling and dot the surfaces of the waiting room areas. I took out my phone to start snapping pics.
Large letters spell out “No Thing Is Ever Really Lost” and a small farm-stand of fresh apples and pears await your check in.
The rooms have the same charm and eco-appeal without losing class and the feeling of luxury. Definitely check – in the next time you’re in New York. You aren’t opting for a lesser experience by going eco in this case and you will feel better about your decision afterward.
- 32000 Ivy Plants are blanketing our building, each living in a 100% recycled pot and working diligently to produce oxygen, absorb greenhouse gasses, reduce surface temperature of the building in the summer and insulate in the winter.
- 6288 square feet of reclaimed water tank wood used in our guest rooms – thats about 20 water talks that have seen a new life
- 1600 branches woven into our front doors by Queens artist Charlie Baker. The branches were collected from leftover landscaping jobs around Long Island.