Santa Fe hotel debuts guestrooms powered by solar panels

The new year just started, and hotels are working hard on their sustainability resolutions. Most recently, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the guestrooms at the Hotel Santa Fe, The Hacienda and Spa are now completely powered by solar panels.

The hotel, owned by Picuris Pueblo, partnered with Stay.Solar to reach its green goals, but importantly there are no solar panels on the roof of the property. Instead, the energy is produced at large solar installations located elsewhere and delivered to the hotel through smart-grid technology. The guest experience is not affected by the process, but a sign at the hotel's registration desk informs all arrivals of the hotel's natural power source.

"It's kind of like depositing money in a bank in New York and pulling it out of an ATM machine somewhere else," Stay.Solar president Don Hicks told The State.

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Last week, National Geographic launched its own series of boutique hotels under the moniker "National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World." According to TTG Asia, these hotels are committed to sustainability and currently number 24 properties on six continents, including the Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia, Zhiwa Ling Hotel in Bhutan and Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Malaysia.

Yahoo Travel reported that the hotel portfolio's green emphasis includes sustainable tourism and preservation of cultural heritage. "These lodges share the Society’s vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand," Lynn Cutter, EVP, travel and licensing for National Geographic, told Yahoo Travel.

This is looking like a banner year for sustainability in hotels, as the tail end of 2014 saw the announcement of InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) Green Engage program, which was set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2015, across the company's 4,700 hotels. The program allows hotels to track how much energy, carbon and water they are using, as well as assessing how waste is managed.