Readers vote Hotel Skyler the best eco-friendly hotel in the U.S.

Hotel Felix Chicago, The Hike Inn, Berkshires Shirakaba and The Gardens Hotel also winners

As the responsible travel movement continues to gain momentum, the UN has appointed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. So 10Best set out to find the best eco-friendly hotels in the country, hotels that go above and beyond to protect this planet we call home. Each of these 10 winners has earned certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council, Energy Star or GreenLeaders status from TripAdvisor, and have earned rave reviews from our expert panelists and guests.

Inn by the Sea (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
Green initiatives at this Silver LEED-certified luxury boutique property on the coast of Maine include non-toxic Green Seal cleaning products, an indigenous garden to provide food and habitat for local wildlife and recycled materials throughout the property, including the cardio room (recycled rubber floors) and spa (recycled sheet rock walls). Photo courtesy of Inn by the Sea
Bardessono Hotel and Spa (Yountville, Calif.)
Bardessono is one of only a few LEED Platinum certified hotels in the U.S., and their commitment to sustainability (built from salvaged wood and non-toxic materials, organic linen, cleaning and spa products) is organically incorporated into their spot-on design. The location in downtown Yountville is the real attraction of this hotel. Bardessono is within walking distance of half a dozen vineyards open for wine tasting, as well as some of the area's most acclaimed restaurants, namely the French Laundry, Ad Hoc and Redd-Wood. Photo courtesy of Bardessono Hotel & Spa
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is a departure from the typical Strip hotel in many ways. It's smoke- and gambling-free, with sleek style and modern features throughout. It was the first hotel in the Mandarin Oriental group to receive LEED certification, when it attained Gold level in 2009. Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
Virgin Hotels Chicago (Chicago)
Virgin Hotels Chicago brings the variety of luxury to the Windy City you'd expect from a Richard Branson endeavor. The LEED Gold certified hotel uses green housekeeping practices, maintains a hotel-wide recycling program, promotes walking tourism in the Windy City and was built with green roofing material for more efficient storm water management. Photo courtesy of Virgin Hotels Chicago
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
The Gardens Hotel (Key West)
The 23-suite luxury sanctuary in Key West has earned TripAdvisor Green Leaders Platinum status for its eco-friendly initiatives, including the use of Energy Star appliances, solar panels and a robust linen reuse and recycling program. Photo courtesy of The Gardens Hotel Key West / Facebook
Berkshires Shirakaba (New Ashford, Mass.)
Inspired by the Japanese ryokan, Berkshires Shirakaba is a romantic bed and breakfast situated on a forested ridge in the beautiful Berkshires. This Energy Star-built and TripAdvisor Green Leader Platinum-winning property features solar panels and a geothermal water furnace, triple pane Thermotech windows, energy-efficient radiant floor heating and LED bulbs with light sensors and timers. Almost everything on property is recycled. Photo courtesy of Berkshires Shirakaba / Facebook
The Hike Inn (Dawsonville, Ga.)
Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can stay guilt-free at the LEED Gold certified 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
Hotel Felix Chicago (Chicago)
An eco-friendly boutique property in the Windy City, Hotel Felix Chicago opened its doors in 2009 as the first Silver LEED-certified hotel in town. An earth, wind and fire theme extends throughout the hotel, where sustainable features include southern exposure for natural heat in the winter, LED and compact florescent lighting throughout the building, a recycling room, earth-friendly cleaning supplies and motion-sensor climate control in all guest rooms. Photo courtesy of Hotel Felix Chicago
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 Hotel Skyler

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

  1. Hotel Skyler - Syracuse, N.Y.
  2. Hotel Felix Chicago - Chicago
  3. The Hike Inn - Dawsonville, Ga.
  4. Berkshires Shirakaba - New Ashford, Mass.
  5. The Gardens Hotel - Key West
  6. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte - Charlotte
  7. Virgin Hotels Chicago - Chicago
  8. Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas - Las Vegas
  9. Bardessono Hotel and Spa - Yountville, Calif.
  10. Inn by the Sea - Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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 Claire Endean-Cance (Luxury Travel Diary), Eric Grossman, Gerrish Lopez, Christopher Parr (Pursuitist) and Nancy Trejos (USA TODAY) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the hotel scene across the nation.

Congratulations to all these winning hotels!