Baltimore’s first LEED certified green hotel is the moderately priced Fairfield Inn and Suites is in the heart of downtown Baltimore. It is close to the city’s famous Inner Harbor and the Baltimore Heritage Walk, a three mile walking trail through four centuries of American history, making it an ideal choice for eco-travelers looking for a moderately priced hotel close to museums and other attractions.
The Fairfield Inn and Suites chain is targeted at family, senior leisure and frequent business travelers who also like to save the green in their wallets. Included in the already-affordable room rate, guests get free internet connections and free breakfast.
Here is some of what makes this new hotel a green travel star:
* The breakfast area is lit by solar tracking skylights
* The courtyard lawn is not grass but turf created out of recycled tires, and the plants are watered with recycled water
* Eco-friendly guest amenities, including biodegradable “greenware” coffee cups
* Behind the scenes, employees will be cleaning and maintaining the building according to the ‘Green Housekeeping’ protocol set by Marriott, which operates the Fairfield chain. Marriott also operates Ritz-Carlton hotels.
The hotel is located on the site of the former Baltimore Brewing Company, locally famous for brewing DeGroen’s beer, and historic Brewer’s Park. The brewery’s old grain silo and one of its brewing tanks were salvaged and are being used to collect and store rainwater draining from the roof to water the trees and flowers. That’s double recycling — reclycling the silo and the water, too. I’m resisting the impulse to call this green beer.
The hotel’s ideal location, on Baltimore Heritage Walk, let’s you walk to 20 historic sites and museums in the Inner Harbor, Little Italy, Historic Jonestown, and City Center. To me, the most important of these is the Star Spangled Banner Flag House, where the original American flag was sewn.