The Stafford London Gets New GM

By Kristy Adler

Leon Baum has taken over as General Manager of The Stafford London by Kempinski. Young and full of charm, he brings way more than his witty personality to his new role. He also has plenty of experience, having worked as the hotel’s Senior Assistant Manager since 2006.

The property is a family favorite partly because of its over-the-top service, and partly because of its location tucked away amongst the gas lit streets in the historical district of St. James’s. Frank Laino, the Executive Head Concierge, will cheerfully offer up pages of things to do for families who want to really see the sites of London. It’s a wonderful destination for kids and adults of all ages.

Enchantment Resort Sparkles and Shines

By Kristy Adler

Located in Sedona, Arizona, the Enchantment Resort is surrounded by red-rock formations at the doorway to secluded Boynton Canyon. This is what the Southwest is all about. A recent facelift has made this property better than ever.

Mii amo Spa is a world-class destination in its own right, and it is located directly on the property. Enjoy the amazing spa treatments while your children explore nature walks and star gazing with trained counselors at Camp Coyote.

Known for its pampering, fine dining, children’s programs, championship tennis, and Native American Experiences, there has never been a better time to visit Enchantment.

Luxury Hotels Making Giant Strides At Being Green

In the past, the best hotels had to walk a tightrope when it came to balancing environmental responsibility with providing the luxury experience they promised. Typically, an information card would be left in a room advising that towels would be re-used if left on the rack, but hotels had to be weary of making their guests feel guilty about their consumption. Driven by technological improvements and a consumer base enthusiastic about protecting our world, many hotels have greatly expanded their programs and are now fully engaged in the green movement. The initial financial burden for hotels may seem large, but the long-term benefits we all ultimately receive are much greater.

Many of the environmental measures taken by hotels are not visible to the average guest, like the purchasing of renewable energy and wind power, and using more efficient lighting. Rooms are being cleaned with safer products and recycling is the new standard. Paints are being used with low volatile organic compounds. Your morning newspaper is likely to be delivered in a reusable jute bag. Valet parking may be complimentary if you drive a hybrid.

RockResorts and many top hotels are implementing new paperless check-in and check-out with corn-based key cards. Sustainable cuisine often enhances rather than detracts from the dining experience with fresher organic foods acquired from local growers. Even “environmentally engaged” weddings and meetings are being offered. Vail Resorts and Fairmont Hotels have embarked on making their golf courses “green”, with many being certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts published “The Green Partnership Guide”, a how-to book designed for its own hotels, but also generously shared with the entire hotel industry. Most of the chain’s properties go way beyond their signature green procurement program. They donate soaps and amenities, supplies, furniture, linens and food from buffet lines to shelters, food banks and soup kitchens. Employees are personally involved raising money for endangered species preservation. Green committees are established and compete for environmental superiority.

Some guests want to be more involved. RockResorts recently partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and environmental organizations to offer “Give & Getaway Volunteer Vacations”. Guests of the hotels participate in trail restoration, watershed and other conservation projects and receive a discounted nightly rate and exclusive gifts. Volunteers must be age 16 and older.

We have come a long way. Social responsibility has become fashionable, economical and complements the luxury lifestyle. On so many levels, environmental programs are a good investment for the hospitality industry. Besides, it sends a message we can be proud of to our children.

Editor’s note

Check environmental ratings for various hotels and resorts at www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com.
You may also want to visit www.greenopia.com for city-specific guides to eating, shopping and living green