KATHLEEN JAY/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINERScenic and sustainable: CADE Winery

Bay Area travel destinations setting a green standard

Today — Jan. 1, 2012 — is one of those days during which many of us revisit resolutions or take a stab at creating new ones.

How about supporting green travel?

Although this concept is nothing new, supporting local travel businesses that have gone the extra mile to get Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (commonly known as LEED) certification — a rating system standardized by the U.S. Green Building Council for implementing high-performance green design — is an attainable goal for just about anyone this year.

LEED is a rating system that distributes points in five major categories: sustainable sites, water-efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. It also considers extra points for innovation in design and regional priority. Depending on your score, you can also receive higher accolades, such as Silver, Gold or Platinum LEED certification.

In the Bay Area, LEED certification applies to a handful of hotels, ski resorts and wineries — all of which deserve recognition for embracing the most rigorous, eco-conscious standards in the U.S.

San Francisco

Located near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Moscone Center, the W San Francisco — which transformed all of its public spaces this past fall — is LEED Silver-certified. The 404-room hotel also has a restaurant, Trace, that offers a menu tailored around sustainable, traceable ingredients.

A few blocks away, the InterContinental San Francisco — one of The City’s newer hotels — is LEED Gold-certified. With a 32-story glass tower, it is the largest building in California and the third-largest in the U.S. to receive this distinction.

For a smaller, boutique property, the Orchard Garden Hotel — located north of Market Street near Union Square — is San Francisco’s first hotel to earn LEED certification.

Hotel Carlton is not only LEED Gold-certified, but it is also the first solar-powered hotel in San Francisco.

Set to open this spring, the Inn at The Presidio, which is seeking LEED Gold certification, will be located in historic Pershing Hall. The inn will feature 22 guest rooms — 17 of which will be one-bedroom suites — and is scheduled to open in April.

Napa Valley

In Yountville, Bardessono Inn and Spa was the first hotel in California to earn LEED Platinum status, the highest and most challenging standard. A few reasons to visit: Check out the gorgeous woods used throughout the hotel that were milled from salvaged trees; the property also used nontoxic, nonallergenic materials throughout its construction; organic linens and cleaning supplies as well as recycling and composting are standard programs here; and products in the restaurant and spa are sourced primarily from local organic or sustainable producers. Room rates start at $379 per night.

In American Canyon, the DoubleTree Napa Valley — formerly the Gaia Hotel — was the first LEED Gold-certified property in the U.S. This hotel offers great value as well; room rates start at $89 per night.

Hall Wines, located in St. Helena, was the first winery in the state to reach Gold LEED certification. Hall offers drop-in tastings starting at $15 per adult as well as a food-and-wine experience on the weekends at 11 a.m. at $75 per adult.

With one of the most-spectacular views of the Napa Valley, CADE Winery — located on Howell Mountain — was also awarded LEED Gold certification. The sleek, modern facility is worth a tasting and tour of the property.

Sonoma County

Located 60 miles north of San Francisco, the h2hotel — just off the historic town plaza in Healdsburg — is the first LEED Gold-certified hotel in Sonoma County. Many of the materials used to build the 36-roon hotel — such as custom furnishings, exterior wood decking, its main stairwell and its meeting room floor — were made from salvaged lumber and far exceeded the LEED standard. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Spoonbar, also offers a menu that uses seasonal ingredients and artisan-crafted products from local purveyors. (Even liquors are sourced from small-batch producers, many of which are local or certified organic.)

entertainmentFeaturesTravel & Casinos

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Thankfully, playgrounds that were closed due to the pandemic during the summer have reopened.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
The perils of parenting, COVID-style

At long last, it’s OK to take your little one out to play

Ten candidates are running for a seat on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District.. (Courtesy photos)
Strong leadership needed as City College faces multiple crises

Ten candidates vying for four seats on CCSF board

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Most Read