LEED Spa, Will Travel

By Healing Lifestyles and Spas

Spas are all about enhancing wellbeing, so it only makes sense that the surroundings should reflect a commitment to a larger wellness issue: the health and welfare of our planet. A number of spas have taken that mission to heart, demonstrating their dedication by becoming LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified—with over 900 hotels and resorts to date meeting the tough requirements for certification.
LEED is the accepted standard for determining a building’s sustainability, and achieving certification is proof that a building is genuinely green. Developed and managed by the U.S. Green Building Council in Washington, DC, the LEED rating system promotes building design and construction procedures that help to decrease negative effects on the environment, and improve the health of building occupants. Certification for new construction is offered at four separate levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Ratings are based on how many credits are awarded in the five environmental categories of water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, sustainable sites, materials and resources, and the quality of the indoor environment.

It’s no surprise that meeting these goals requires a considerable financial investment—another solid gesture of environmental commitment from owners and builders.

“Reducing our impact on the earth is always at the forefront of our thoughts when designing a new spa location” explains Cici Coffee, founder and CEO of Atlanta’s Platinum LEED-rated Natural Body Spa & Shop. “With the opening of our latest spa and nail bar in Brookhaven, it seemed only natural that we should take our greening efforts to a higher level by developing the site to higher LEED specifications than any of our previous facilities. We are very proud to be affiliated with such a revolutionary program that creates awareness around the importance of being environmentally responsible, and allows us to continue to set standards in the green spa industry.”

When asked whether the factors that prompted the decision to incorporate conservation efforts into the new Aguas de Ibiza property in Ibiza, Spain, were motivated by economic factors or environmental concerns, General Manager Michael Cleaver said that it’s an unfortunate fact that anything to do with conserving the environment means spending more money, though it should clearly be the other way around. Cleaver says at least 50 percent less could have been spent on building the hotel and spa using what are considered conventional building practices. Instead, the developers believed it was more important to give back part of what had been taken, to conserve the site’s beauty and integrity, and to protect it for future generations by constructing an environmentally friendly hotel.

“We are all part of one big globe,” says Cleaver. “Humans, nature, water, sky, air and people must live together in harmony. We all need each other, and we cannot live without each other. The wellbeing we provide is directly connected to the health of the planet. The future of humans is to look after their health and their planet. It’s no good to spend two hours in a beautiful and relaxing environment like a spa, and then get back into an unhealthy world. This is the reason why we like to promote the wellbeing of all as one—mind, health, body, and environment.”

Here are a few spas that are paving the path toward a greener tomorrow, by starting with the impact they make today:

Avalon Hotel & Spa

Portland, Oregon

This luxury boutique property can be found in the South Waterfront District of Portland (consistently ranked as one of the greenest cities in the US). Indulgences: The hotel’s Nourish by Spa Chakra features the June Jacobs Spa Collection, a full range of wet and dry treatments, aromatherapy, pre- and post-natal massages, Reflexology, Swedish massage, salon services, extensive fitness center, and state-of-the-art Kinetic Analysis. Green scene: Natural Habitat Preservation (including over 8,000 square feet of protected habitat for butterfly populations), native landscaping, water reduction program (water saving aerators, showerheads and toilet flow diverters), sustainable materials usage, clean air standards adherence, recycling program, hotel vehicles fueled with biodiesel, free parking for guests arriving in alternative fuel vehicles, and easy access to public transportation. What to do: Close to Portland’s downtown area, with museums, galleries, theaters, zoo, Saturday craft market, and festivals.

It’s a blend of energy efficiency and elegance at this 18,500-square-foot facility, with natural features from the local environment reflected in the design. Indulgences: Holistic treatments and therapies include stone massages, aromafusion, and signature treatments utilizing seaweed, Icelandic moss, balsam fir, white pine, and sea salt. Green scene: Energy efficient ground water heat pumps, automated heating and cooling control system, in-room recycling program, local organic products when available, carpool program for employees, wildlife habitat management, wind energy to power ski area, eco-responsible cleaning products, free bus service, eco-friendly flooring and wall coverings, and Icynene foam insulation that maximizes heating and cooling and absorbs sound—creating a more tranquil spa experience. What to do: Seasonal offerings include alpine and Nordic skiing, hiking, golf, cycling, tubing, kayaking, and nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Aquas de Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

This entire resort was planned around the concepts of energy saving, energy optimization and generation, and sustainable operating practices, all through intelligent building design that automatically monitors and controls all operation systems. Indulgences: The concept at Bodyna Spa is based on sleep and energy, with an extensive wet area and full menu of treatments, therapies, and rituals. These daylong experiences include Bodyna Ritual from Siam, and Bodyna Ritual of the Orient. Extensive fitness area, steams, baths, and saunas. Green scene: Free-cooling technology featuring automatic air renovation, high performance/low energy lighting systems, solar protection to reduce heat entering buildings and to lower greenhouse gas production, high-efficiency filters, water separation network, environmental light detectors, set-point control systems in guest rooms, energy-generating glass panels, hybrid and electric courtesy cars, recycling, and reduction of plastics property-wide. What to do: Hot air ballooning, golf, water sports, motor biking, sightseeing.

Crystal Mountain Resort

Thompsonville, Michigan

It’s a blend of energy efficiency and elegance at this 18,500-square-foot facility, with natural features from the local environment reflected in the design. Indulgences: Holistic treatments and therapies include stone massages, aromafusion, and signature treatments utilizing seaweed, Icelandic moss, balsam fir, white pine, and sea salt. Green scene: Energy efficient ground water heat pumps, automated heating and cooling control system, in-room recycling program, local organic products when available, carpool program for employees, wildlife habitat management, wind energy to power ski area, eco-responsible cleaning products, free bus service, eco-friendly flooring and wall coverings, and Icynene foam insulation that maximizes heating and cooling and absorbs sound—creating a more tranquil spa experience. What to do: Seasonal offerings include alpine and Nordic skiing, hiking, golf, cycling, tubing, kayaking, and nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa

American Canyon, California

Surrounded by world-class vineyards, this wine country property is located close to the COPIA Center for Wine, Food & The Arts. Indulgences: The spa offers a series of Asian Spa Rituals, couples’ treatments, sacred soaks and therapies featuring local, indigenous botanicals (cabernet grape seed exfoliation, anyone?) Green scene: Chemical-free landscaping, eco-safe cleaning products, recycling, low VOC paints and sealants, all lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), low flush toilets, recycled tiles and granite, and 12 percent of electricity provided by a solar PV system. What to do: Hot air ballooning, river adventures, horseback riding, cycling tours, hiking, and of course wine tasting!

Gaia Shasta Hotel & Spa

Anderson, California

This pet-friendly eco hotel can be found on the edge of Northern California’s wilderness area surrounding Mt. Shasta. Indulgences: Enjoy your organic continental breakfast, and then head for the spa. The menu offers manis, pedis, body treatments, and massages including the Lotus South Seas Swedish Massage. Pure Fiji is the featured product line. Green scene: The carpets, bathroom tiles, and granite features are all created from recycled materials; low flow water fixtures and water conservation efforts, solar power, tubular skylights to reduce artificial lighting needs, recycle bins in guestrooms, lobby newspapers to share rather than individual room delivery.What to do: Go outside. Close to Shasta Lake, Mt. Shasta, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the Sacramento River. Packages include river rafting and fly-fishing.

Montage Beverly Hills Hotel & Spa

Los Angeles, California

This property is proof positive that being eco chic can also mean being truly luxurious. Indulgences: The spa’s holistic focus includes a menu of healing and restorative rituals that fall into the following categories: water inspired, earth inspired, orchard inspired, touch therapies, and facial therapies. Special offerings include prenatal and post-pregnancy therapies. There’s also a rooftop pool, and a comprehensive wellness program that includes nutritional counseling, personal training, posture assessment, and movement classes. Green scene: A full 83 percent of construction waste from building was recycled, local resources were used in building and still used wherever possible, green housekeeping program, environmentally sensitive landscape management, water and irrigation management, paper reduction program, Otis Gen2 Elevators (which reduce energy use by up to 50 percent compared to conventional elevators) What to do: Shopping, of course, is close to religion in LA, and you’ll be in the thick of the retail area here. See the sights, catch a show, or take a drive along the ocean.

The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa

Avon, Colorado

This newly opened green resort is located at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Vail Valley, and recently earned the Silver LEED certification (one of only nine hotels in the U.S.). Indulgences: Signature treatments at the 23,000-square-foot Spa Anjali include mountain-inspired therapies with mountain honey, red clover, glacial mud, wildflowers, and river stones, plus Ayurvedic therapies and prenatal massages. Full service salon, fitness center, yoga, Pilates, and environmentally friendly spa products from Amala Beauty and Anakiri are also offered. Green scene: Guest recycling stations on every floor, on-site organic garden, open space protection policy, roof tiles made from recycled tires, priority parking for hybrids, organic spa linens, and Spa Anjali’s Green Check-In rewards guests with a discount on their services if they arrive at the spa in the robe from their guest room (which reduces the need to launder a second robe). What to do: Seasonal offerings include world-class skiing and snowboarding, fly fishing, hiking, golf, rafting, trail biking, and horseback riding.

Hotel Palomar

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This boutique hotel can be found in Rittenhouse Square, and offers an EarthCare program that includes organic or Fair Trade coffees and teas, in-room recycling, and organic snacks. Indulgences: In-room spa services include a full range of massages and body treatments. Green scene: Sustainable building site and materials, eco-friendly furnishings, water and energy efficiency, eco-friendly bath amenities and cleaning supplies, wide-range recycling including clothes hangers and batteries, healthy indoor environment, and paperless check in-check out service. What to do: Historic sites and cultural offerings abound, so take your pick.

Hotel Terra

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

As if the Grand Teton address weren’t enough, Hotel Terra embraces the environment with its eco-conscious and sustainable lodging and operation practices. Green scene: All-organic linens, robes, bath mats, and mattresses; organic bath amenities, low-flow water fixtures, chemical-free cleaning products, non-toxic paints and carpets, and the use of recycled, reclaimed, and renewable building materials property-wide. Indulgences: Chill Spa features the Eminence Organic Skin Care product line, and a host of treatments with revealing names such as Reconnect, Restore, Replenish, Relax, Extraordinary, Explore and Extravagant. What to do: Seasonal snow sports, hiking, cycling, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, golf, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, gliding, paragliding, fly fishing, and kayaking. Plus, Yellowstone is just around the corner.

Hyatt at Olive 8

Seattle, Washington

Hyatt at Olive 8 is located near Seattle’s vibrant urban center, including the famous Pike Place market and Puget Sound. Green scene: Eco-friendly cleaning products, automatic room lighting, water-reducing showerheads and toilets, energy-saving fluorescent and LED lighting, low VOC paints, extensive recycling and composting program. Indulgences: Elaia Spa’s skincare products are all natural or organic. Signature Market Fresh treatments feature local ingredients grown in the Pacific Northwest. Yoga, pools, and a 24-hour fitness center. What to do: Sailing, golf, tennis, tours of Mount Rainier & the San Juan Islands, with plenty of other local attractions.

DAY SPAS

Natural Body Spa & Shop

Atlanta, Georgia

Located in the city’s trendy Brookhaven area, this Platinum LEED-rated business—the twelfth Atlanta location—was a founding member of the Green Spa Network. Green scene: Water conservation including tankless water heaters, Energy Star washers and dryers, signature 10TEN alabaster foot basins which use half the amount of water as standard industry basins, electrical power consumption offset using hydro power credits, and LED light bulbs. Indulgences: The natural skincare line includes Natural Body’s proprietary lines, along with Jurlique and Naturopathica products. All Natural Body Spas feature The Blending Bar, where essential oils are custom-blended to create personalized aromatherapy products.

Nusta Spa

Washington, DC

In the South American language of Quechua, nusta means royalty—and that’s how guests at this urban day spa are treated. Green scene: Full recycling program, Energy Star appliances, recycled ceramic tile in wet areas, LED colored lighting in treatment rooms, low VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives throughout, bamboo lockers in women’s locker room, locally quarried stone in reception area, recycled content furniture, locally sourced and recycled content in carpets. Indulgences: In addition to nail and salon services, there’s a full menu of massages, skin care therapies, and body care treatments, including hydrating mud wraps, body polishes, hydrotherapy soaks, body peels, and scrubs. Spa fusion choices have telling names like Gush (hydrotherapy soak, scrub, and massage), Vent (facial and integrated massage), and Glow (facial plus eyebrow styling).

ROB/B

Studio City, California

This Gold LEED certified, OPI concept salon definitely concentrates on manis and pedis, but also offers massages. Green scene: Recycled water in the waterfall features, recycled concrete floors, Plyboo bamboo-plywood furniture, sustainable plaster walls, and a shade on the rooftop patio composed from recycled paper. Indulgences: Full menu of dibutyl phthalate-free manicures and pedicures and Murad skin care products, plus massages, hot stone therapies, paraffin treatments, and nail enhancements. Plus refreshing, organic herbal tonics while you enjoy your treatment.

MED SPAS

Epi-Center MedSpa & Eco MedSpa

San Francisco, California

This day facility is located near Union Square. Green scene: Sustainable building materials, eco paints, recycled fabrics, recycled and FSC-certified wood, low flow fixtures, organic skin care products, and sustainable spa practices that include digital photography and electronic medical charting to reduce paper and ink consumption. Indulgences: Eco MedSpa offers a full range of skin rejuvenation and resurfacing procedures, including laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, peels, resurfacing, and leg vein treatments.

OH2 Medical Spa

Alpharetta, Georgia

In the tree-lined, garden filled town of Alpharetta, green is a natural choice. Green scene: Low VOC paints and finishes, all eligible appliances carry the Energy Star label, low flow water fixtures, all-natural wood products that are urea and formaldehyde free, and use of only LEED-approved for minimal VOC component paints, sealers, adhesives and stains. In addition, the steel used in the wall structures were composed of a minimum of 30 percent recycled material, and every bit of dry wall and steel debris created during the construction phase were recycled. Indulgences: Vein treatments, facials, laser hair removal, cellulite treatment, microdermabrasion, and Latisse eyelash thickening, acne treatments, mineral makeup application, medi-peels and a range of cosmetic surgery procedures.

 

 

About The Author

Healing Lifestyles & Spas content focuses on integrating healing remedies, alternative medicine, natural living, spa wisdom, and nature into our lives, providing tools and inspiration to lead a more healthy and healing lifestyle. We all need to slow down, press pause, and nurture this absolute need to give back to ourselves. Remember to Live Mindfully, Eat Joyfully, Travel Consciously. Sign up and get your your daily dose of spa-living in an easy, bite-size tip, right in your inbox! We provide a wide range of experiences to enrich your mind, stretch your imagination, feed your psyche, move your body, and give you spa delights!

 

 

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