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Posts from the ‘Oregon’ Category

Hotel Monaco ~ Portland, OR

Where to begin about the amazing customer service and experience we had at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Portland, OR.  The spectacular hospitality started a week before we arrived with, Decoteau, the hotel’s amazingly attentive Concierge.  Their team touched base with us the week before our arrival and confirmed the pillows type we preferred, if we need a yoga kit from the room (umm, yes please!), and any other requests we had.  Decoteau assisted us with options and reservations at a plethora of delicious and sustainable dining establishments.   On top of that, she also emailed us a laundry list of eco-fabulous shopping with links and descriptions on places we needed to visit before we even got to Portland.  Icing  on the cake was as we were driving down and my cold was kicking in, the spectacular Decoteau popped down to The Spice and Tea Exchange and picked up organic teas for me to sip on, again brilliant customer service.

After the quick three-hour drive south from Seattle we arrived in downtown Portland and at the beautiful Hotel Monaco.  We pulled directly into their underground garage with valet, and more importantly out of the downpour of rain to unload Robi.  Valet energetically told us that since we had a hybrid our parking rate was cut in half!  What a spectacular reward for being green and way to start off the trip.  The incredibly helpful Bellman helped us unload a ridiculous amount of luggage and escorted us to the lobby.  Garrett, a courteous and friendly gentleman at the front desk helped us get acclimated and checked into our spacious room.  The entire process was seamless, easy, comfortable and most importantly quick after a couple of hours in the car.

When the door to our room on the 8th floor opened I knew we were in for a real treat.  The colors in the room were bright, modern, and splendidly combined into a posh space.   We were in town for 5 days for the Living Future unConference and needed a room well laid out that would let us function, but still be cozy and not wasteful.  The room was equipped with a spacious bathroom with a tub and shower, a living room, and a bedroom with a view.   The bathroom is stocked with luxurious eco-friendly bath amenities and the towel reuse service and low-flow fixtures to reduce water.  The bedroom and living room both had large TVs (his and hers) and the room was stocked with organic goodies and beverages.  Here is a secret, if you aren’t a Kimpton InTouch Member, become one.  Every time you stay at Kimpton as a member you get free Wi-Fi and $10 towards the minibar!

In the evenings the Kimpton hosts a very popular happy hour in their lobby and this particular property has a fabulous live piano player.  Even when my cold went into full force the entire staff stepped it up s amazing.  They offered to send up soup and tea and did an extra cleaning for me using their green cleaning products.  Due to me being a bit under the weather we weren’t able to take advantage of the complimentary bike rentals the hotel offers guests to use to travel green through the City of Roses.

This hotel is ecofriendly, luxurious, cozy, fun, relaxing, and most of all, the staff is SPECTACULAR.  We highly recommend this great property for being green and luxurious.


Living Future Conference 2012 ~ Portland, OR

I am so exciting to be driving down to Portland for another important conference on sustainability.  Not only is this sold-out event dedicated to, Women Reshaping the World, but it is being held in such a vibrant city that embraces a green lifestyle.   The conference is being hosted by the International Living Future Institute allowing  for brilliant minds in the green building movement that are creating and seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues to come together.  This incredible forum for learning and networking formats will  provide visionary design methods, innovative technical information, and the motivation needed to achieve meaningful progress toward living aware.

Many of you may remember that we went down last autumn for the amazing EcoDistrict Summit which is one of the world’s premier annual conference dedicated to urban sustainability.  During that awesome event we were not only able to listen to inspiring speakers like Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, but we were also able to network with city officials, designers, innovators and an array of other like-minded people who are pushing boundaries for greener cities. In turn all of those amazing individuals and no doubt, the attendees of the Living Future Conference, are creating a greener way of life for  communities spread around the world and link us together. 

During our last visit we stayed at The Nines Hotel, a lovely and luxurious LEED Silver Certified property in the heart of Portland.  We dined at their amazing organic/local/sustainable restaurants Departure and Urban Farmer, as well some others around town like Pok Pok and Bamboo Sushi which are some of my favorite restaurants to-date.  On this trip we are resting at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a block or so from, The Nines.  While the property is not LEED Certified, its service is spectacular and it offers a plethora of luxurious green amenities.  For shopping, the Pearl district was full of amazing boutiques like Woonwinkel that we will be sure to stop in on during this trip, as well as search out new shops on the scene. 

Stay tuned, we will have a lot more coming on the Living Future Conference and being green throughout Portland.

Bandon Dunes ~ Bandon, OR

Not too long ago, we did an amazing road trip in Robi (my Toyota Prius) from Seattle to Carmel on Hwy 1.  The first night on the road we stayed at the picturesque Bandon Dunes Golf Resort that is beautifully situated on the Oregon coast.  We checked in late in the evening and the amazing staff helped us to get situated quickly. Since the resort was in the off-season they didn’t have the full selection of rooms to offer, but we couldn’t have been happier with the room we got.  It is a large, simple room with a cozy fireplace and balcony called the Lily Pond.  While this resort is beautiful the amenities are geared towards the boys.  The hotel room’s bathroom and shower were large but locker room-ish. 

The next morning we awoke to the most beautiful surroundings of a forest and the lily pond our room was named after.  We grabbed coffee and explored the properties amazing trails and climbed stairs on the small hill in front of the lodge for the most amazing view of the Pacific.

For all the golfers (myself included) Bandon Dunes, will soon launch a new 13-hole, par-3 course, Bandon Preserve. All net proceeds from Bandon Preserve will benefit the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance. The Alliance supports projects that protect the rich lands and waters of Oregon’s South Coast. Through conservation, the Wild Cost Rivers Alliance will create jobs for local residents and foster stewardship or working landscapes. The Bandon Preserve will also protect and preserve the Silvery Phacelia, an endangered plant species whose habitat is threatened by non-native plants. By reclaiming the open sand along the Preserve, the Silvery Phacelia and other native dunes plants will flourish.

In addition to all of the great work they are doing outdoors they also have comprehensive  recycling plan, energy-efficient lighting, and donations of leftover toiletries to those in need. 

We loved this place so much that we stayed at Bandon Dunes again on the way back north to Seattle.  On the second stay we were able to grab a yummy bite at one of the property’s restaurants called McKee’s Pub.and a glass of wine by the outdoor fire.  The accommodations, room, staff, and food were amazing, once again. We will definitely be seeing you again soon, Bandon Dunes!

The Nines Hotel ~ Portland, OR

As many of you know we attended, The EcoDistrict Summit, for 2 days of training and panel discussions on sustainability at the local, national, and global level, in Portland, Oregon.  Politicians, environmentalists, vendors, and developers were all in attendance to discuss their ideas on making healthier and more environmentally friendly communities. 

Living Aware Daily couldn’t slack on our responsibility during our off hours from the summit, so we had to find the best in sustainable restaurants and accommodations in the area.  Since there were so many options to choose from, that were taking on a sustainability initiative the search populated numerous options.  We narrowed it by combining the best in luxury and environmental stewardship and opted for, The Nines Hotel, in Portland’s city center.  The Nines is a lovely LEED Certified-Silver property, in the historic Meier & Frank off of the bustling Pioneer Square.

First and foremost, the customer service from the concierge, before we even arrived, was OUTSTANDING.  They helped us coordinate an extensive itinerary of local and sustainable restaurants to try during our visit (see, You Are What You Eat, section).  Upon arrival we arrived to a helpful valet to park the Robot (Prius) and a clean, modern entrance and

Atrium at The Nines Hotel

 lobby.  Our room was a calming champagne color with Tiffany blue accents, with elegant crystal light fixtures, and a huge comfy bed adorned with crisp white linens.  The hotel provides environmentally friendly Bee Kind bath and body products packaged in impressive paper bottles to guests.  Another great feature was the free Wi-Fi for visitors throughout the property allowing you to work in the lounge or your room.   I would have loved to have seen a few of the luxury amenities that I’ve seen at other properties, at The Nines, like an organic spa, morning yoga class, free bike rental, or a hybrid car service for guests.

I loved that you can visually tally some of the LEED credits the hotel was able to capture with their large atrium for daylighting, optional room and towel service, convenient location to MAX light rail and bus transportation, product purchasing of organic, local food for Urban Farmer and the Bee Kind body products.  With all of this being said, I wish the rest of it would have been more identifiable for the guest.  The website doesn’t list much about their Sustainability Policy, other than it is LEED Certified-Silver, however they friendly on site and Public Relations staff did send it promptly after our request.  The only other little thing that bothered me was probably just a fluke, but I couldn’t help to wonder if the staff is truly educated in their green initiatives.  An example:  I handed the bartender an empty plastic water bottle from the room (there has to be a better option) and asked him if he could recycle it.  Sadly, the bottle went into the garbage, with a lot of other compostable and recyclable items.

It is awesome and astonishing how many green hotel properties there are in the Portland area, providing some stiff competition in a pretty small city.  I hope The Nines will continue to educate guests and their staff about the importance of being green, as well as luxurious.  Overall, the staff’s hospitality and eagerness to please made our experience marvelous, and we will be back in the very near future.

Portland, OR

Living Aware Daily is heading to the Eco District Summit, in Portland.  After a long day of amazing trainings, we will be reporting on the best the City has to offer in local establishments.  It will include the best restaurants serving local, organic fare, and boutiques selling  their beautifully made sustainable goods.  All them are sure to be a  must see during your visit to the, City of Roses.

Living Aware Daily has officially booked The Nines, a LEED Silver-Certified hotel, for our stay in Portland next week.  We can wait to bring you more on what is sure to be sustainable luxury.