Nature Inn at Bald Eagle Wins Best Eco-Friendly Resort

The Crash Pad in Chattanooga takes second place

As Kermit the Frog once said, "It's not easy being green," but these 10 U.S. hotels, voted the best in the U.S. by 10Best readers, have gone above and beyond to promote environmental sustainability. Along the way, they've earned certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • Proximity Hotel
    Greensboro, N.C.

    Proximity Hotel in Greensboro blends sustainability with style in one of the nation's only LEED Platinum certified lodgings – it was the first in the U.S. to achieve Platinum status. Guests at Proximity enjoy complimentary bikes for exploring more than 90 miles of trails and greenways, while more than 70 eco-friendly practices are in place at the hotel, including solar panels, energy-efficient elevator and energy recovery technology.
    Photo courtesy of Proximity Hotel

  • ARIA Hotel Tower
    Las Vegas

    ARIA's sleek, urban style makes it feel like it would fit into almost any city (minus the casino), which is a plus for some visitors. Unlike many other Strip hotels, natural light is present throughout the property, even in the casino. The ARIA Hotel Tower achieved LEED Gold certification in 2009.
    Photo courtesy of ARIA Resort & Casino

  • The Hotel Skyler
    Syracuse, N.Y.

    The Hotel Skyler in Syracuse takes environmental stewardship seriously, so seriously that it has achieved LEED Platinum certification. Impressive given the building was constructed in 1921. A closed-loop geothermal heat pump helps harness heat and cool the hotel more efficiently, and 20 percent of the building materials were sourced locally. Guests driving low-emission cars get special parking places.
    Photo courtesy of The Hotel Skyler / Facebook

  • The Orchard Hotel
    San Francisco

    LEED Gold and Green Seal Silver certified, The Orchard Hotel in San Francisco uses green practices throughout. Products are sourced locally and organically whenever possible, staff cleans with natural citrus-based products, low-flow water devices help prevent waste and the hotel plants a tree for every review posted on TripAdvisor – negative or positive – as part of the Plant a Billion Trees initiative.
    Photo courtesy of The Orchard Hotel

  • Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant
    Berea, Ky.

    The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant in Berea, Kentucky proves that you don't need to be new to be green. The hotel, built in 1909, has earned LEED Gold status through its eco-forward renovation, which added and energy efficient heating and cooling system, energy star lighting, "green approved" cleaning products and a comprehensive recycling program in partnership with Berea College.
    Photo courtesy of Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant / Facebook

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
    Charlotte

    The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, a LEED Gold certified property, offers luxury and sophistication with sustainability laced throughout. The hotel opened in 2009 and became the first Ritz-Carlton in the world to attain Gold status. Back-of-the-house conservation efforts mean the hotel uses about 30 percent less energy than comparable conventional hotels.
    Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Charlotte / Facebook

  • Point Reyes Hostel
    Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif.

    Surrounded by the coastal wilderness of Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Hostel offers a secluded point of departure for myriad outdoor adventures. The new hostel building was awarded LEED Gold status, and the hostel has also received Bronze Eco-Certification from Sustainable Travel International.
    Photo courtesy of Cheri M. Larsh

  • Len Foote Hike Inn
    Dawsonville, Ga.

    Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can stay guilt-free at the LEED Gold certified Len Foote Hike Inn – a series of rustic guestrooms with hot showers and beautiful views inside Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest. It's a 5-mile trek to get to the inn, where conservation takes the form of odor-free composting toilets, solar panels, rainwater harvesting and vermiculture to compost kitchen scraps.
    Photo courtesy of Len Foote Hike Inn / Facebook

  • The Crash Pad
    Chattanooga, Tenn.

    Affordable. Comfortable. Sustainable. All words that describe this LEED Platinum certified hostel in Chattanooga. The Crash Pad offers bunks and private rooms with free WiFi throughout and access to a fully equipped kitchen.
    Photo courtesy of The Crash Pad

  • Nature Inn at Bald Eagle
    Howard, Penn.

    True to its name, the LEED Gold certified Nature Inn at Bald Eagle demonstrates environmental stewardship through habitat restoration, water-efficient and native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, solar-thermal hot water and use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products throughout the hotel. Guests of this eco-lodge enjoy easy access to the trails of Bald Eagle State Park.
    Photo courtesy of Nature Inn at Bald Eagle / Facebook

In choosing the 20 nominees for Best Eco-Friendly Hotel, 10Best editors considered the input of a panel of hotel experts, as well as industry awards, LEED certification level and guest reviews.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Eco-Friendly Hotel are as follows:

  1. Nature Inn at Bald Eagle - Howard, Penn.
  2. The Crash Pad - Chattanooga, Tenn.
  3. Len Foote Hike Inn - Dawsonville, Ga.
  4. Point Reyes Hostel - Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif.
  5. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte - Charlotte
  6. Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant - Berea, Ky.
  7. The Orchard Hotel - San Francisco
  8. The Hotel Skyler - Syracuse, N.Y.
  9. ARIA Hotel Tower - Las Vegas
  10. Proximity Hotel - Greensboro, N.C.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Marla Cimini (USA TODAY), Christopher Parr (Pursuitist) and Yasmin Pullman (Luxury Travel Diary) were chosen based on their luxury travel experience.

Additional nominated hotels included The Allison Inn & Spa, Bardessono Hotel & Spa, Cavallo Point, Crosby Street Hotel, Fairmont Pittsburgh, H2hotel, Hotel Terra, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, Montage Beverly Hills and The Virgin Hotel Chicago.

Congratulations to all our winning eco-friendly hotels.

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Marla Cimini

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