That's exactly what I did when the 85-room hotel reached out to me, tantalizing me with all the things this Connecticut born and raised, green girl loves: sweeping views of the Long Island Sound, organic spa services, and an on-site restaurant featuring local fare.
I went open, but always skeptical of any given hotel's sustainability cred. With so many "green hotels" featuring not much more than the option to re-use bath towels and bed sheets more than once, can you blame me? ...Not to minimize the profound water savings with this small step. So when I was given the green tour during mom's and my stay at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, I was refreshingly surprised.
The cozy, Connecticut country-inspired interior of Saybook Point Inn & Spa King Bedroom.
Saybrook's sustainability plan far surpasses the more obvious eco-touches like its LED lighting, paraben-free, botanical bath and spa products, the easy-to-adjust Energy Star room thermostat that one can lower before leaving the room, the perfectly saline, skin-softening pool, complimentary bike rental and Fresh Salt restaurant menu offering a local raw bar, and Farm to Chef program.
Less overt: according to their 'green team' (the hotel has an impressive sustainability committee to help institute ways to green up their act), the inn has lowered their carbon footprint by 180 metric tons since 2006! Lest I forget their use of solar panels, rain water capture, and their recently replaced oil burning boilers with a co-generation heating system (CHP), the simultaneous production of both heat and electricity from a single fuel source (in this case, natural gas). A hotel press release states,
The EPA recognizes the environmental benefits of CHP because less fuel is combusted than in separate equivalent production of heat and electricity. Less combusted fuel translates into less greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.
I'm not energy-savvy enough to know whether CHP was the resort's best sustainable switch, but it seems like a big step in the right direction. This is all part of the hotel's plan to reach Silver LEED certification.
Gracious Hotel Staff Walk their Green TalkMore than anything, it was the humanity behind the hotel staff and their enthusiasm for sustainability that rocked me. The otherwise unseen efforts, like seeing the hotel employees eat lunch in the staff quarters, dining on a bounty of buffet-style leftovers from uneaten food from the hotel's restaurant and banquet events. Food at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is not wasted, and what is, is composted. I also learned dishwasher machines are only run when they are completely full for water savings. In the basement laundering room, I saw a tub-sized bin of used mini-soap bars. What guests don't use aren't discarded, but sent off to third world countries where the hotel's Marina Manager, Abbie Coderre, eagerly reminded me that many serious diseases can be prevented with plain old soap and water. Dotting the perimeter of the hotel's exterior, bird houses attract our two-winged friends for natural pest management. In the adjacent parking lot you can find the hotel owner, Steve Tagliatela's plug-in station who I'm told cruises in, in his Chevy Volt. I had hoped to meet him myself and take a cruise but Saybrook's Batman wasn't in sight.
As mom and I swam in the saline pool, enjoyed a meal of local, sweet scallops, and blissed out with deep tissue massages, the inn's sustainable touches made everything taste and feel a little more like home.
I suggest treating mom this May to celebrate her-- and Mama Earth.
The Spa Package which includes overnight accommodations for two, a choice of a Regenerating Facial or a Saybrook Point Massage and a full breakfast in Fresh Salt Restaurant begins at around $449.00, pre-tax.