How to Incorporate Sustainability Into Your 2024 Travels

Travel is about more than trying a destination’s hottest restaurants and seeing the top sights — it’s an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a new way of being for a time. Mindful travelers seek to go beyond the surface, connecting with culture, traditions, and of course, their surroundings. At Independent Collection Hotels & Resorts, we are proud to offer sustainability-minded travelers a selection of properties that not only provide an unparalleled guest experience but also take steps to preserve and celebrate the environment, empowering guests to leave places better than they found them. As Earth Day approaches, consider staying at these properties and traveling more sustainably as an homage to the place we all call home.

Giving Back to Florida’s Ecosystem

Support the Local Wildlife at Islander

At Islander Resort and Bayside Villas, sustainability is woven into every part of the guest experience. When you arrive for your stay, you’ll notice that everything points back to nature, from the warm textures featured in the rooms and inviting indoor-outdoor spaces to the drought-resistant native landscaping and stunning sea views. The purpose behind this unique focus on nature extends far beyond appreciation for its beauty. When Islander recently renovated, they made a renewed commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. As such, they’ve taken special care to support the delicate ecosystem they call home with specific sustainability practices

Islander is proud to partner with the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida in their mission to protect the outstanding animals and plants in their local ecosystem and their management of the world’s largest coral rescue center. They’ve made it convenient and fun for guests to get involved too, offering the Reef Relief Cocktail at their on-site Tides Beachside Bar & Grill, served in a large fishbowl and featuring refreshing island flavors like Papa’s Pilar Rum, blue curaçao, lychee puree, and pineapple juice. Two dollars from each cocktail sold will be donated directly to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Kids will love taking home their own Reef Relief Turtle, available in the hotel gift shop. This cheery plush mascot costs just $20 and is accompanied by an informational card sharing more about its environmental mission with 50% of sales donated directly to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

During your Islamorada escape, take advantage of earth-friendly touches throughout the property. Whether you’re taking locally sourced food to-go in a biodegradable container or enjoying the recycled products in your room, opportunities to be kind to the planet are around every corner.

Learn About Native Plants at Parrot Key

Key West is the ideal backdrop for an Earth Day celebration, and Parrot Key Hotel & Villas offers the perfect oceanside oasis for you to have yours. Step into a world of white sand and glimmering pools, surrounded by an absolute haven of lush native plants.

Naturally integrated into the property’s landscape, you’ll find hundreds of native plant species, each labeled with their own botanical tag. Ecologists have shown that plants indigenous to a specific place support a balanced ecosystem, supporting local wildlife — like bees, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and even feeding creatures at the bottom of the food web.

Learn all about Key West’s native plants and sustainability practices during your stay, and get the little ones involved too. Mini-explorers can participate in their Kids Scavenger Hunt at The Grove Restaurant & Bar and adults can chat with staff at their lobby retail shop to learn more about the benefits of planting native species in your area.

Explore Eco-Friendly Practices in Miami Beach

For a stay that transports you to the Mediterranean without the carbon footprint, stay at the alluring Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club in Miami Beach. Every aspect of the hotel embodies the spirit of the European Riviera while blending seamlessly with Miami’s iconic Art Deco design, from its impeccable hospitality to its fresh seaside cuisine. 

Their attention to detail carries over to their environmental ethos, encompassing a triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability through the implementation of EarthView®, a proprietary sustainability program created by HHM Hotels. They focus on a holistic approach to hospitality, providing memorable amenities and unique offerings that enhance the guest experience. A prime example of this is Cadillac’s bicycles available for guest use, offering a stylish and eco-friendly way to discover Miami. They are also careful to protect and celebrate the marine life around the property, implementing safety precautions to care for the sea turtles that grace the shores of Miami Beach.

When you step foot into the inviting rooms and suites at Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, European-inspired amenities won’t be the only thing you find. Environmental impact is considered down to the smallest detail, including thoughtful touches like energy-efficient light bulbs (LED), guest room energy management systems (EMS) smart thermostats, and more. Book your Riviera-style escape to Cadillac to experience a sustainable Miami Beach stay.

Get Inspired Among the Everglades

If starting your day with a strong Cubano and a bit of Art Deco inspiration sounds like your idea of the perfect getaway, then consider a stay at Blue Moon Hotel for your next sustainable escape. Wake up to the sight of Florida sunshine peering through your window before discovering boutique charm in the heart of Miami’s South Beach, just steps away from Lummus Park and Collins Avenue. Sink your toes in the sand with the beach just two blocks away, or soak in the energy of the lively Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, just a quick walk from the hotel.

Blue Moon Hotel offers the tranquility of a holistic retreat combined with an urban vibe that draws inspiration from the rhythm of our surroundings, but not without considering its impact on the world around it. When you stay on the property, you’ll find plenty of green initiatives designed to preserve the environment for generations to come, from refillable amenity dispensers and hotel bicycles to property-wide recycling and a towel and linen reuse program. This offers guests the opportunity to actively participate in making the world a better place, inviting them to take environmentally conscious actions during their stay and maybe even inspiring them to do the same in their day-to-day lives.

Be sure to venture beyond the property to explore Florida’s unique beauty with a guided eco-tour of the Everglades, offering an exclusive view into the environmental personality of the area. A stay at Blue Moon offers a unique perspective on Florida’s ecosystem along with peace of mind to thoughtful travelers, assuring them that their visit does good for the planet.

Supporting California’s Bounty

Connect With the Coast 

When a retreat into nature is calling your name, there’s no better place to connect with yourself and your surroundings than at The Sanctuary Beach Resort. Nestled on 19 acres of pristine Pacific shoreline between Monterey Bay and the protected Marina Dunes Preserve, The Sanctuary invites you to escape and enjoy the best of the California Coast. Explore carefully crafted programs and experiences that merge casual coastal sensibility and environmental sensitivity. 

Every detail at The Sanctuary draws your attention back to its source — the bountiful coast. Their on-site restaurant, Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette, takes pride in sourcing ingredients from their surroundings, utilizing the bounty of the area to curate seasonal, ingredient-driven menus that put a California twist on New American cuisine. Even the aesthetics of the space incorporate warm wooden textures, al fresco seating, and a serene color palette derived from surrounding scenes. The menu showcases the flavors of Salinas Valley, with an emphasis on raw, cured, and wood-fired cooking styles, giving each diner a pure and authentic taste of California.

The Sanctuary’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond its culinary offerings. You’ll find that mindful choices have been made about even the smallest details of your stay. Energy-efficient lighting, biodegradable packaging, and non-toxic cleaning products are used throughout the resort to keep emissions and impact on the surrounding Marina Dunes Preserve at a minimum. These are just a few of the details that make a big difference, making The Sanctuary Beach Resort the green standard for Monterey hotels.

Sustainability efforts don’t stop there though — The Sanctuary is a proud partner of Kind Traveler, supporting the important work of Rancho Cielo in furthering the well-being and sustainability of its community. Kind Traveler, a veteran-and-women-owned public benefit corporation, is the first socially conscious “give + get” travel platform empowering a new generation of responsible travelers to positively impact the communities they visit. This partnership directly benefits Rancho Cielo, providing culinary training to an underprivileged community of youth seeking to grow in life skills and development. The Sanctuary is committed not only to bettering their physical environment but also to helping their community flourish. Enjoy a coastal getaway that not only connects you with the natural beauty of California but helps ensure that future generations can do the same.

Immerse Yourself in the Sustainable Community at The Ambrose Hotel

Look no further than The Ambrose Hotel for a stay that offers a refreshing coastal retreat paired with a tasteful, sustainable space. The revitalized hotel is filled with inviting indoor-outdoor spaces that give the feeling of being tucked away in nature without sacrificing the convenience of its urban surroundings. From rooms featuring cozy patios to the communal courtyard filled with plants, The Ambrose brings the best of nature’s beauty to the city. Venture to serene Santa Monica where you can take in a bit of California seaside charm before enjoying the bustling city only moments away. 

Walking distance from your accommodations, you can easily find Santa Monica’s renowned shopping, restaurants, museums, and local events, making The Ambrose an earth-friendly option close to Los Angeles. On the other hand, if you prefer to discover Santa Monica with a bit of wind in your hair, take advantage of the bikes available for use at the hotel. If you’re the type of traveler who is more comfortable exploring by car, feel free to use the hotel’s on-site electric vehicle chargers or the Tesla house car, available to be used within a three-mile radius of the hotel daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., so you can travel through the city in style.

While you’re out discovering what Santa Monica has to offer, don’t miss the chance to get a taste of the area’s sustainable dining options, like Blueys Santa Monica. This casual eatery gives off the inviting vibe of the beach cafes found throughout Australia, offering fresh fuel to surfers and locals. Blueys focuses on locally sourced produce, seasonal cooking, and healthy eating, offering elevated simplicity with fresh, flavorsome food and quality ingredients.

After exploring this exciting and beautiful city, return to The Ambrose, knowing that your stay is one marked with sustainable choices at every turn. In fact, in 2007, The Ambrose Hotel was the first in the United States to earn the prestigious LEED EB certification. They have maintained third-party audited certifications since then, earning the City of Santa Monica Green Business Certification, the state of California’s Green Lodging Program Certification, and TripAdvisor’s Gold Green Leader Certification.

You’ll be able to notice these sustainable touches throughout the property from the moment you arrive. As you sink into rest, you’ll find that your guest room utilizes its own energy management system (EMS) smart thermostats, offering you peace of mind about your energy usage. Be sure to also take advantage of the towel and linen reuse program, property-wide recycling, EarthView water, and recycled-content paper products conveniently available for use.

Spending Time in Washington’s Natural Beauty

Explore Earth’s Beauty in Seattle

If you’re looking for the ideal setting to celebrate Earth Day, look no further than Seattle — a city surrounded by majestic mountains, sprawling parks, and lush forests. Pan Pacific Seattle is at the center of it all, perfectly positioned for you to explore nature’s most stunning spectacles while still getting to experience the city right outside the doors of your hotel. Stay in comfortable accommodations as you rest up for a big hike up Mount Rainier, a bicycle ride on the Burke-Gilman Trail, or a day of sailing to Bainbridge Island. Enjoy European-style soaking tubs, perfect for restoring sore muscles, before tucking yourself into your plush pillowtop bed after a long day in nature.

Sustainability-focused travelers can rest assured that once they return to Pan Pacific Seattle, every detail of the stay has been thoughtfully considered by the on-site team, due to their unwavering commitment to the environment. They pride themselves on sustainable practices, and they conduct their business guided by this philosophy.

Because of this steadfast principle, the team has implemented initiatives like removing all plastic straws from the property in addition to always looking for eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products in use. Not only does a stay at Pan Pacific Seattle offer guests the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but it also gives them the chance to become a positive vessel for environmental change in the city and beyond.

Aerial view of the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club property in Miami Beach, from the pool surrounded by palm trees to the ocean in the background

Foster New Travel Traditions

This Earth Day, discover travel experiences that go beyond the ordinary and take care of this beautiful planet we are fortunate enough to enjoy and explore. Celebrate the joy of travel by staying at these sustainable Independent Collection Hotels & Resorts, while fostering new traditions for future generations. From the lush green parks of Seattle to the sparkling shores of Miami Beach, experience a renewed appreciation for the beauty and bounty of our world with an earth-friendly stay.