In light of the recent news about Starbucks, American Airlines and many cities across the U.S. banning plastic utensils and/or straws, and Hawaii’s upcoming ban on all sunscreens containing a specific harsh chemical—oxybenzone, or octinoxate—we are bringing you our top environmentally-conscious hotels in Hawaii. If we missed one, let us know. This is the digital world; we can always add good suggestions.
Committed to increasing efforts in sustainable living and tourism in Hawaii, the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club has focused in on a major pollutant offender: Plastic. By launching their reusable water bottle program, they are attempting to encourage their guests to support the health of the planet. And their trendy onsite eatery, Mahina & Sun’s serves only sustainable seafood sourced mostly from local purveyors including MAO Organic Farms and uses only biodegradable containers, doesn’t offer plastic straws and is constantly redesigning the menu to promote a zero to low waste approach.
All of Hawaii’s major attractions, including Waikiki Beach, the Kaka’ako arts district, and downtown Honolulu, all revolve around the brilliant epicenter that is Modern Honolulu by Diamond Resorts. What sets their mission for more sustainability apart is their all-in approach. Winners of the Hawaii Green Business Award, Modern Honolulu implements sustainability in all their facilities and practices, from the way they run their restaurant and spa business to the cleaning products they use.
Fairmont Kea Lani is surrounded by extensive coral reefs, world-famous beaches and beautiful places for adventuring, namely the Haleakala National Park. It comes as no surprise that the sustainability team at this resort is working hard to increase ecotourism. Since 2001, they have launched over 50 environmental initiatives from hotel maintenance to fine dining and guest service. Initiatives include installing a photovoltaic panels, sponsoring reef and beach clean-ups, providing complimentary reef-friendly sunscreen for guests, creating sustainable landscapes from native Hawaiian plants and lava rock to reduce water use, and much more.
4. Honua Kai
Built on a vision of sustainability, Honua Kai has committed to environmental stewardship since day one. In addition to cultivating natural, inviting habitats for indigenous flora and fauna, they have installed an energy recovery unit that diverts heat from the A.C. system to heat the pool and a green compactor that is run on soy oil and solar power for waste diversion. They are also the only resort with their own wetland pond, which has become a welcome home to water birds and endangered sea turtles.
After undergoing a $46 million renovation earlier this summer, the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort has been re-imagined with an emphasis on biophilic design, which focuses on the relationship between nature and well-being. Originally built in 1994, this property is now a part of the Westin Hotels & Resorts group. They have launched their “Make a Green Choice” site to share statistics and information about how each and every guest is helping make a positive impact.
Lush and vibrant with its exotic gardens, white sands, and sparkling fountain lights that illuminate the resort, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa offers spacious suites with flat-screen TV’s, an open-air Anara spa, and a host of island activities like hiking, zip-lining, and scuba diving among sea turtles and fish. But don’t take their extravagance for lack of seriousness because they are bent on preserving the health and beauty of our planet.
Since 2014, the Hyatt has taken considerable action to reduce energy, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in all their hotels and then some. In order to tackle the issue of waste, the Hyatt established public business guidelines, bringing the hospitality industry’s attention to environmental issues on a national scale.
Sabrina, a senior at Elon University studying Professional Writing and Fine Art, is currently exploring the intersection of her interests as an Editorial Intern at Marin Magazine. Born and raised in San Francisco/Marin, she loves traveling just as much as coming home to the Bay Area. She has curated a sophisticated palate for food, travel and culture and uses her travels as an outlet to develop her photography portfolio and hone her writing craft. Her dream is to work in the visual side of editorial (after globetrotting as a freelance writer and photojournalist).