The Greenest Hotel in Connecticut

A Green Hotel in Connecticut

We have long held that there is both outer and inner beauty. Usually these terms are reserved for describing humans; but it’s worth extending this quality to certain buildings, especially those at the forefront of the green movement.

 

The Saybrook Point Inn and Spa is a relaxing escape with quintessential outer beauty. The building and surrounding gardens are charming. The property sits at the merging point for the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, and overlooks a small marina, where, in the quiet evenings, a few dock lights burn with a yellow fuzz and sail parts clink rhythmically against masts.

 

Saybrook Point’s inner beauty, however, is not found in the modern comforts or attentive spa or award-winning restaurant that focuses on serving fresh seafood and produce that originates on Connecticut farms and in proximate waters. The inner beauty is in the organs of the place.

 

The hotel is the leader of the state’s green movement. Besides the solar paneled roof, parking spaces for electronic vehicles, or Energy Star plaque that is proudly displayed at the hotel’s entryway, most of this inner beauty is out of sight. Nevertheless, it’s always on the mind of the innkeeper and managing partner Stephen Tagliatela, nicknamed the Riverman by certain staff members, a title earned for his service to the Connecticut River.

 

Building a Green Hotel in Connecticut

 

To fully comprehend Tagliatela’s commitment to the planet, you must head into the subterranean lair of the Saybrook Point Inn–though if you’re not staff or hired contractors, the sight of a lackluster laundry and boiler room would have you search for the nearest exit.

 

Underground, the inn recycles everything from the rainwater that flows down to a cistern and stored for irrigation to the water used to launder sheets. (The inn takes the last rinse and reuses it as the next load’s first cycle.)

 

I stood beside Tagliatela in the laundry room. He patted the machines as if it were a respected, hard-working horse and he asked that I wait a few extra moments, hoping to feature the machine’s super spin cycle, which revolves with 300 G-force and reduces drying time by one third.

 

The basement also stores the co-generation system which takes waste heat and uses it to heat guest rooms, domestic water, and the swimming pools. Hanging near the co-generation unit is an electrolysis machine that desalinates salt water into naturally chlorinated pool water. Even the inn’s waste water passes through an underground sand filtration system, hidden beneath the parking lot, and returns effluent, which tests cleaner than the Connecticut River, back to the sound. When Tagliatela learned that excess levels of nitrogen in the Long Island Sound were killing fish, he started doing denitrification on his waste water, putting out a cleaner effluent than the law requires.

 

To notice this effort to lead the state’s hotels in a push for a greener business would require guests to have a keen eye, even to take notice of the changes that are not underground. For instance, the grass around the property, which once required a larger carbon footprint to maintain, has been supplanted with herbs that are picked for the kitchen and don’t require mowing. Instead of using pesticides, the inn put up birdhouses. If guests spot Tagliatela driving, they may recognize that he leads by example, parking his Volt at the charging dock.

 

In designing Three Stories, the newly opened property across from the inn, the environment was a chief concern for the hotel’s Green Team. Three Stories is equipped with the latest green technology from energy efficient elevators to occupancy sensors in rooms to help control the thermostat of vacant spaces.

 

Unfortunately, most patrons of most hotels consider comfort over planet when booking a room. Tagliatela half-jokes, “Our toilet paper is only partially recycled paper because we’re still in the hospitality business.” And while he might not be able to touch the toilet paper, wherever he can eliminate waste or recycle product–the inn, for example, ended styrofoam in the kitchen and ships out grease to a bio-fuel program and used soap to Clean the World–Tagliatela makes it part of the green agenda. “We do what we can to be net neutral or net positive.”

 

Saving the planet is often a thankless job, especially when the expensive assets are the ones that go unseen. But by embarking on a mission to increase the inner beauty of the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Tagliatela and his staff are preserving the outer beauty of the hotel and area for a long time to come.

 

***

 

Photo Provided by Saybrook Point Inn and Spa

 

***

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Somewhere, United States

2 Responses to The Greenest Hotel in Connecticut

  1. Sally

    Very nice post with useful information. useful for travelers. A good hotel always keep the mind fresh in travelling.
    Sally recently posted…Travel Tips To Help Your Vacation Flow Smoothly – Part 1My Profile

Add a comment

CommentLuv badge