Green travelers love our nation’s capital. It’s an incredibly walkable city, and their mass transit system is comprehensive and easy to use. You’ll also find a variety of free cultural institutions to visit with the Smithsonian, great expansive greenspaces like Rock Creek Park, plus many waterfront activities like running, kayaking, and paddle boating. And of course, don’t forget about their stellar dining scene, with more farm-to-table restaurants and sustainable seafood than you can shake a stick at. All in all, it’s a great destination for those looking for eco-friendly pursuits on their next vacation.
It’s also important to keep in mind that lodging is a crucial component of a green vacation. Hotels in the past have been responsible for generating a lot of waste and using too much energy, something that many hospitality organizations have been working hard to correct over the last several years.
Fortunately, D.C. is also home to a large number of green hotels for you to choose from on your next trip. Consider one of these options when making your plans!
Hilton Garden Inn Georgetown
This LEED Silver-certified hotel is majorly environmentally friendly, meeting serious standards for use for things like sustainable building materials and eco-friendly paint, energy efficiency which reduces heating and cooling waste, and rigorous recycling practices. They also donate unused soap and uneaten food to organizations that provide to families in need.
Kimpton George Hotel
As part of the Kimpton brand, this hotel has a comprehensive commitment to being green. They use energy efficient appliances and bulbs, bulk toiletry dispensers to reduce waste, and offer in-room and back of the house recycling. Their convenient Capitol Hill location also makes it perfect for walking to many nearby attractions.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
Another Kimpton standout, this eco-friendly hotel offers features like in-room recycling, incentives for reusing towels and linens, and even an Eco Ride transport option. They also use locally sourced food in their popular restaurant as much as possible.
Kimpton Hotel Palomar
This hotel is located in trendy Dupont Circle, within a short walking distance of the massive Rock Creek Park which allows for easy access to running and biking trails, hiking opportunities, and great cultural attractions. They recycle, reuse as much as possible, offer sustainable dining options, and encourage guests to decline housekeeping.
Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel
This recently renovated hotel has much to offer green travelers. Toiletries are dispensed from wall-mounted units to reduce waste, optional housekeeping reduces water consumption, and in-room monitoring allows you to power down the room when you’re not around. They even offer yoga mats in each room and complimentary bikes to encourage guests to avoid car traffic when navigating the city.
Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C.
Totally powered by wind energy, the Mandarin Oriental is another big player on the green scene. They’ve also made significant changes in the last couple of years alone, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use substantially, recycling as much as possible, and partnering with Clean the World to reuse soap and other toiletries. They also make their annual sustainability reports available publically, so you know their commitment is genuine.
Sofitel Washington, D.C.
Their Planet 21 program is an ambitious dedication to reducing waste, working for renewable energy, and being as sustainable as possible. Furniture made with recycled materials or sustainably sourced wood and eco-friendly toiletries are available in guest rooms. With the money they save on guests declining housekeeping, they plant trees around the globe! There’s even a green wall in the fitness room that helps to promote oxygen production.
St. Gregory Hotel
Ideally located in Dupont Circle, the St. Gregory Hotel makes it easy for green travelers to set out on foot to explore so much of the city around them. Their EarthView sustainability program means recycling in all guest rooms, energy efficient bulbs, recycled paper products, towel/linen reuse policies, soap donations, and paperless check-in/check-out.
The Westin Georgetown
Starwood’s popular “Make A Green Choice” program encourages guests to forgo housekeeping to help conserve water and reduce energy usage. They also have a feature where the room “powers down” when unoccupied to keep things like lights and the TV from running when no one’s around to use them. And of course, the location is convenient to one of the most popular areas in the city, removing the need for car transit.
The Willard InterContinental
This historic hotel makes significant strides towards balancing luxury with environmental and social responsibility. It was the first hotel in the area to run on 100% wind power, and they even have hybrid cars for guest transit to and front the airport. They’re particularly known for offering “green meetings,” which significantly reduce waste.