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The First Net-Zero Hotel In the U.S. Will Earn You Points


The U.S. is getting its first net-zero points hotel, the Hotel Marcel New Haven, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Covid and the climate crisis have sent travelers in search of responsible travel options. The industry is responding in kind. The latest effort, opening next month, sees Hilton open a net-zero location in Connecticut.

According to Hilton, the new location will run without fossil fuels and is expected to be the first Passive House-certified hotel in the country. It is also one of a handful with LEED Platinum certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The news follows the opening of what claimed to be the world’s first net-zero hotel late last year in London’s Chiswick neighborhood. That hotel, Room2, was the first hotel in the world to account for its entire carbon footprint; it signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. The hotel says all emissions will be offset to net-zero.

Hotel Marcel New Haven

“Hotel Marcel New Haven is a major milestone for the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand as the first anticipated net-zero hotel in the U.S.,” Jenna Hackett, global brand head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, said in a statement.

net-zero hotel

“Each Tapestry Collection property displays an original style and personality while also encouraging guests to explore local destinations,” she said. “Hotel Marcel New Haven will connect travelers with the New Haven area while inspiring them to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their stay. We look forward to celebrating this new and exciting chapter for this unique landmark with our guests.”

The 165-room location will run on solar power for all guest rooms and suites, common areas, restaurants, and meeting rooms.

The hotel was designed by the sustainable architect firm, Becker + Becker. Developer and owner Bruce Redman Becker purchased the location, which opened as the headquarters for the Armstrong Rubber Company 50 years ago, and updated it sustainably. The building is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

Becker + Becker worked with Dutch East Design on the hotel, keeping many of its original design elements. The Brutalist architecture features board-formed concrete and granite tile, clean lines and geometric forms.

Becker and his team’s updates include repurposed building materials throughout the hotel; they reused wood paneling that was once in the Armstrong executive offices. Measures were also taken to improve energy efficiency, such as power-over-ethernet lighting system that reduces lighting energy use by more than 30 percent. Upgrades to enhance interior temperature control, such as triple-glazed windows, are expected to require significantly less energy than most hotels.

hilton net-zero hotel

The property also boasts 12 Tesla Superchargers or universal level-two chargers for electric vehicles.

“We are all responsible for confronting the climate crisis, and that sense of obligation factored into every decision we made in creating Hotel Marcel New Haven,” said Becker. “The opening of this revolutionary hotel, which is giving new life to a New Haven landmark, is a momentous occasion for travelers, the industry and the planet. Guests will be ensured a terrific hotel experience and can relax knowing that both they, and the environment, are being cared for during their stay.”

Hilton says the hotel’s restaurant, BLDG, features locally sourced items as well as organic and biodynamic wine. The kitchen runs on electricity instead of natural gas, as does the laundry room.

Hilton sustainability

The New Haven location comes after the chain’s recent announcement in the Galápagos Islands. Last month Hilton announced it would become the first points hotel in the original UNESCO World Heritage site. Part of the Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection, it’s taking over the Royal Palm Galápagos Hotel. That location will emphasize conservation. It’s situated on a secluded 160-hectare estate in the Miconia Highland Forests adjacent to the Galápagos National Park.

hilton hotel galapagos
Image courtesy Royal Palm Galápagos Hotel

“Sustainability is at the epicenter of the hotel’s ethos,” the chain said, “and woven into the hotel’s operations, engagement with guests and the community.”

Points are coming to sustainable travel in a new way for travelers heading to Palau. The Pacific island nation announced earlier this month that it has established a rewards program to incentivize visitors to be more responsible while visiting. Visitors can track their carbon footprints via an app while on the island, unlocking access to off-the-beaten-path sites and trails on the island the more sustainable they are on their trip.


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