April 14, 2010 -- Looking to explore a new place and help to save the environment on your next vacation? The travel industry has heard your demand and adapted.
Eco-friendly hotels have sprung up around the world offering guests a more green way to vacation.
Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo, said that while more travelers are becoming environmentally-conscious, many do not stay at green hotels due to the cumbersome process of researching hotels' eco-practices. Others said it is difficult to find green hotels within their budgets.
So for Earth Day's 40th anniversary Travelzoo put together a list of outstanding eco-certified hotel deals .
All of the properties have been LEED-certified, which means they fit the U.S. Green Building Council's standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.
The building council's program evaluates hotels for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality to ensure a whole-building approach to sustainability. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification for environmentally responsible hotels.
Here are six of the best deals at environmentally-friendly hotels from Travelzoo:
The Avalon Hotel & Spa, Portland, Ore.: This elegant boutique property was Oregon's first hotel to receive LEED Silver Certification. The hotel is perched along the Willamette River and inside Cottonwood Bay, a protected green area and features its own protected natural area (which doubles as a butterfly refuge), a full-service spa and upscale Italian restaurant. Through April, the hotel is offering rooms from $84 a night, 40 percent off the normal rate. The deal includes free breakfast for two and 20 percent off spa services.
Travelzoo's Great Deals on Green Hotels
Orchard Garden Hotel, San Francisco: This 4-star boutique property was the first hotel to get LEED-NC certification in California (it was built from the ground up with sustainable materials and adorned with art from locally renowned artists). It's on site eatery was named the Best Organic Restaurant in San Francisco in 2009. The hotel is located two blocks from Union Square and next the famed Chinatown Gate, meaning an easy, environmentally friendly walk for many guests. The hotel offers a deal through August from $109 a night, 50 percent off normal rates.
Hotel Felix, Chicago: This upscale 4-Star hotel is in the River North neighborhood (amidst nightlife, dining and galleries) and close to the Magnificent Mile and the city's Theater District. The property just finished a multimillion dollar renovation and features flat screen TVs and free Wi-Fi in all rooms. This is the first hotel in Chicago to be LEED Silver certified (low voltage lighting in the lobby, bamboo flooring and eco products in the spa and carpets made of recycled materials in all rooms). Through June 2, it is offering rooms from $129 a night, 40 percent below normal rates.
AT&T Conference Center & Hotel, Austin, Texas: This state-of-the-art 4-star property is LEED Silver Certified. The property was built with all limestone, brick was bought locally and 75 percent of construction waste was recycled. The property now has eliminated use of plastic bottles during conferences, features green amenities in all rooms and gives priority parking to hybrid cars. Rooms feature flat-screen TVs -- with AT&T entertainment technology -- and pillow-top mattresses. Through Sept. 6, the hotel is offering rooms from $159 a night; they normally go for $249 and up) and is including a free daily breakfast buffet for two and free tickets to the Bob Bullock State History Museum and Blanton Art Museum.
Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole, Wyo.: This luxurious AAA 4-Diamond resort is LEED Certified. More than 90 percent of the hotel's interior captures natural daylight, and the roof features 100 percent recycled roof shingles made from cellulose fiber. The hotel features a state-of-the-art rooftop spa, new-infinity pool and two restaurants. The rooms offer 42-inch HD TVs, natural and organic bath amenities and rainshower shower heads in the bathrooms. Through May, rates start at $95 a night.
Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, N.C.: This well-known chic, luxury AAA 4-Diamond hotel is LEED Certified Platinum. Its efficient construction allows it to use 41 percent less energy than conventional hotels, and 100 solar panels covering 4,000 square feet heat 60 percent of the water used by the hotel and restaurant. The oversized rooms feature 50 square-foot windows, custom furnishings, high definition televisions and Magi beds. Guests get free use of cruiser bikes. Through August, the hotel is offering rooms from $119 a night, 60 percent below normal rates.