While the notion of a spa retreat carries with it thoughts of seeking balance with oneself and harmony with nature, the former can sometimes occur at the expense of the latter.
As global consciousness rapidly rises to catch up with — and preferably slow down — the climate changes we’ve all begun to endure, many spas are doing their part to lessen their impact on the environment, not only through their practices and products, but also quite literally through the structures in which they stand.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or “LEED”) certification is granted through the U.S. Green Building Council using a rigorous set of criteria; a building must incorporate many environmentally conscious processes and materials in order to achieve a LEED status, be it silver, gold or platinum.
Several spas around the US have done their part to rightfully call themselves LEED-certified, giving their patrons yet another reason to feel relaxed and at peace with their surroundings during a low-key getaway.
The interesting part for those of us who aren’t living in hyper-metropolitan areas? They’re not just in New York or LA; they’re in places like Pine Mountain, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina and Thomspsonville, Michigan. Here’s a glimpse.
Nestled among hundreds of acres of native gardens divided by tall Southern pines, this Marriott lodge and spa boasts LEED Silver certification. Among its perks, aside from the usual wraps and massages: seemingly endless gardens, a wildlife experience and ziplining adventures. (visit website)
This 13,000-square foot penthouse spa opened in 2009 as the first Ritz-Carlton to achieve LEED Gold certification. Offering organic treatments like the Green Your Body experience, consisting of a skin brushing, sugar & salt scrubs, scalp mud, cocoon wrap, foot soak and massage. (visit website)
Crystal Mountain proudly boasts its title as the Midwest’s only LEED-certified spa to date. Revelers can ease tight muscles with eco-friendly treatments after skiing, hiking, golf, cycling, tubing or kayaking, as well as enjoying the resort’s easy access to the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (visit website)