Eco hotels make a conscious effort to minimize their impact on the environment with green living practices to reduce waste, and save water and energy. They are often participants in hotel eco-rating systems like the California Green Lodging Program. Visitors who place a premium on sustainability should look for “Environmentalist Level” hotels participating in the California Green Lodging Program. It is the top award based on waste minimization, pollution prevention, water and energy conservation, recycling, program sustainability, and environmentally friendly purchasing. The GreenLeaders Program also ranks green hotels from bronze to platinum levels.
San Diego Green Hotels
There is a growing list of green hotels in San Diego, but only a few have made it to the top of the California Green Lodging Program. The Bahia Resort Hotel and Catamaran Resort Hotel take top honors in Mission Beach. Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla and Fairmont Grand Del Mar golf resorts have also reached Environmentalist Level. Sheraton Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island in Point Loma made the coveted list. The Lafayette Hotel in North Park is also among the handful of San Diego hotels with top green lodging honors.
The only LEED certified and Platinum Level GreenLeader in San Diego is Hotel Indigo. Among this boutique-style hotel’s many sustainable efforts are an on-site recycling program that includes rooftop composting, and one of the first eco-roofs in Downtown San Diego. True boutique Hotel Solamar in East Village has attained the Platinum Level, as has La Jolla’s Lodge at Torrey Pines, and Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley.
Only Sheraton Hotel & Marina, Bahia Resort Hotel, The Lafayette Hotel, and La Jolla’s Estancia Hotel & Spa are Gold Level GreenLeaders. However, several environmentally conscious San Diego hotels have bronze and silver designations for their sustainable efforts. Two boutique hotels, The Bristol Hotel and Empress Hotel, also participate in the Clean the World initiative that works with hotels to collect soap bars, shampoos, and other bath products. The organization sorts, processes, and redistributes them to homeless shelters in the U.S. and impoverished countries around the world.
Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Green Hotels
It’s easy to find eco-friendly accommodations in San Diego neighborhoods, but visitors will find the bulk of them Downtown. Boutique hotels in Core-Columbia on the edges of the Gaslamp Quarter and in East Village, along with the luxurious US Grant Hotel, are Downtown eco leaders. A few resort-style hotels in the Marina district and one on Harbor Island in Point Loma are also top eco-friendly picks. There are nine premier sustainable hotels in this area, and several others with lesser sustainable distinctions.
Among the Mission Bay, Mission Beach, and Mission Valley neighborhoods, visitors will find five top rated environmentally savvy hotels, and many others that are recognized for their green lodging efforts. The Lafayette Hotel holds solo top honors in North Park, Hillcrest, and Mission Hills, but there are a few Silver Level hotels in those neighborhoods, Old Town, and near Balboa Park. Next door neighbors La Jolla and Del Mar together have five top tier environmentally-friendly hotels, and many more on the rise. Visitors concerned with sustainability may want to choose their target neighborhood first, and then look for eco-friendly hotels in that area.