Hives on the roof? Hotels capitalize on green trend

Luxury hotels host bees – and reward guests for using the same towel
Adopting an environmental scheme, with simple words about where to leave used towels in the bathroom, is no longer enough in this era of climate change. Some hotels are rewarding guests for showing their own initiative.
When Dr Stuart Gitlow stayed at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta for three nights for a conference, he asked housekeeping not to clean the room.
“I don’t need my bed made every day and can certainly use the same towel three mornings in a row,” he explained.
For his green initiative, he was given 1500 Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty points or a $15 voucher for food, as part of a Starwood Hotels and Resorts program called Make a Green Choice. Drought and extreme weather in the USA are pushing hotels to place more attention on conservation, which is both cutting costs and attracting guests.
Farm-to-table cuisine in the restaurants, charging points for electric vehicles, using kitchen scraps for compost and recycling cooking oil for biodiesel fuel are adding to simple measures like energy-efficient light bulbs and digital thermostats and those familiar signs about the environmental benefits of not changing the towels every day.
There are other tricks too, which can be great for marketing. As at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, the Fairmont Washington, D.C., has built a home for bees on its rooftop. A four-metre structure has been constructed to house 50 mason bees that will join 100,000 Italian honeybees already in residence.
The hotel says it was motivated by the problem of disappearing bees. The hotel bakers also make honey walnut bread that appears on the hotel menu – and honey is used for the house cocktail, the Beetini.
The New York Times
[pictured: Pollinator Bee Hotel on top of the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto]

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