EcoTraveler: San Francisco’s Orchard Garden Hotel
The Orchard Garden Inn claims to be San Francisco’s “Purely Green Hotel,” and as a one of the only LEED certified hotels in the country, I would say it’s off to a good start. Wanting to support such eco-minded entrepreneurs, I checked out the boutique hotel this weekend.
The hotel staff were lovely and although our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, they made accommodations for our bags while we took a day trip to Napa to visit vineyards, such as Domaine Carneros, a gem for delicious California Bruts made from organic grapes – more on that later. When we returned and checked into our Terrace Suite, the staff were just as welcoming and amiable as they had been earlier that day, a true plus for the service industry.
Rooms in the hotel are loaded with “eco-features,” such as EO (Essential Oils) and Aveda products, a recycling bin separated into paper, bottles and trash (which was greatly appreciated by this traveler), and a feature that requires the room key to be “plugged in” for the air and lights to work. Of course, the showers and faucets have water saving filters, and the mini-bar offered organic treats.
While I was surprised to see granite as the choice for the counter tops, I was impressed that the furniture was FSC-certified maple. The 100% smoke free facility mandate and chemical free cleaning supplies were also much appreciated.
In fact, the entire philosophy of the hotel – from the LEED certified building to the ammenities and charming service makes for a very enjoyable stay. The only con to the hotel was the mis-appropriated room size. While the bathroom was enormous, the soaking tub was tiny, and a lot of the space not only went unused but cut down on the “living space” in the bedroom. The exceptionally beautiful and spacious terrace patio made up for that a bit, but if you are in the hotel for longer than a weekend, it could get cramped.
The hotel is a bit pricey, the rack rate for the Terrace Suite starts at $500 per night, but for eco-travelers who want good service, plenty of eco-ammenities in a great location near Chinatown and Union Square, this is a great stop if you don’t mind paying the price.
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