Our Go Green series showcases destinations working to protect the environment.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., proves that “swanky” and “environmentally-friendly” can coexist.
Every amenity, however enjoyable, is built with a keen eye on maintaining the environment: Proximity is built to use 40 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than a comparable hotel.
So rest easy and breathe deep.
The indoor air quality is extraordinary thanks to a triple-filtering system that continuously pulls outside air into each guestroom using an energy exchange technology that “trades” thermal energy from the air being exhausted.
That’s just one of the more than 70 examples of sustainable practices employed here!
In 2008, Proximity became the nation’s first LEED Platinum hotel and restaurant. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the LEED certification process measures building sustainability in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Platinum is the highest LEED level, and Proximity is the first hotel and its Print Works Bistro is the first restaurant in the nation to earn that status. Blissfully, there’s no compromise on luxury. If you entered not knowing about its superstar environmentalism status, you wouldn’t notice: Proximity is AAA Four Diamond rated. You’ll appreciate that quality in every corner of the 147-room hotel and its adjacent restaurant, from the custom-designed furnishings to the menu showcasing local ingredients.
Key to the custom-designed furniture is the “Magi Bed,” which as the name promises promotes near-magical sleep. “Since we couldn’t find bedding that was just right, we decided to design our own,” reads a release. “We started by tweaking an already supremely comfortable mattress. Then we added four plush, down-like sleeping pillows, wrapped it all up with sumptuous, Egyptian combed-cotton, Italian-woven sheets and pillowcases and topped it off with a hypoallergenic, fiberfill blanket and a chocolate brown-colored damask coverlet.” Mmmm Zzzzz.
The Proximity formula: attention to detail + sustainability = luxury, guilt-free.
Here are just a few examples of the 70+ sustainable practices used at Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro:
- 100 solar panels on the roof generate energy to heat water
- High-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures were installed, saving two million gallons of water the first year and 33 percent of typical water usage each year
- The building is home to North America’s first installation of the regenerative drive for Otis’ Gen2 elevator, which captures the system’s energy and feeds it back into the building’s internal electrical grid
- 700 linear feet of stream was restored by reducing erosion, planting local/adaptable plant species and rebuilding the buffers and banks.
- The bistro bar is made of salvaged, solid walnut trees that came down through sickness or storm
- Room service trays are made of bamboo plywood
- Newly-engineered variable speed hoods in the restaurant set the power according to the kitchen’s needs and adjust to a lower level of operation (typically 25 percent of full capacity). The sensors also detect heat, smoke or other effluents and increase the fan speed to keep the air fresh
- Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system
- 87 percent of construction waste was recycled, diverting 1,535 tons of debris from landfills
- Bicycles are available for guests to ride on the nearby five-mile greenway
- Free Wi-Fi and high-speed Internet access for all guests of the hotel and restaurant
- Free, 24-hour computer access and printing stations are located near the elevators between the 3rd through 8th floors
- Smoke free environment; two smoking areas are designated
- Outdoor pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day
- In-room massages are available every day, until 11 p.m.
- Some rooms offer double sink bathroom vanities
- Some rooms offer bathtubs; if you require a tub, request one at booking
- In-room movies are available upon demand
- New York Times is delivered six days a week
- Coffee maker (with basic supplies), microwave and mini-frig are in guestrooms
- Stereo with CD player and MP3 connections
704 Green Valley Road
Greensboro, NC 27408
Print Works Bistro
702 Green Valley Road
Greensboro, NC 27408
This upscale casual restaurant puts an emphasis on upscale service, but you can dress casual. Executive Chef Leigh Hesling showcases high-quality local ingredients in classic and creative dishes that mix French and Southern influences, from beef stroganoff to pork and apple-sage meatballs, quiche Florentine to pulled duck poutine. The restaurant is a destination for hotel guests as well as locals with its lineup of special events such as jazz performances, wine dinners, cake decorating classes and more.
@21plusTravel Tips—Extra time in Greensboro? Check out…
- Green Bean
Sit and sip your favorite fancy coffee drink or another beverage and feel instantly immersed in current local culture.
Stroll South Elm Street, Downtown Greensboro and read sidewalk markers chronicling six chapters in local African-American history. Don’t miss the International Civil Rights Center at 134 South Elm Street, located in the former Woolworth Building where the sit-in movement to end “Jim Crow” policies was launched on February 1, 1960.
- Replacements, Ltd.
The world’s largest inventory of china, crystal and silver is warehoused near Greensboro. Visit to admire the collection, complete yours, or find a treasure.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.