For the seventh consecutive year, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts throughout the Western U.S. and Hawaii will participate in Earth Hour, a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to raise awareness about climate change. On Saturday, March 29, at 8:30 p.m. (local time) these Fairmont hotels and resorts will participate by turning off their lights for one hour.
“Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for Fairmont colleagues and guests to participate in the world’s largest global climate change initiative,” shares Thomas Klein, Regional Vice President and General Manager for Fairmont San Francisco. “It furthers our ongoing support of environmental awareness and demonstrates the hotels’ ongoing energy conservation stewardship.”
Here are a few details surrounding the event at various properties:
- In Sonoma Valley wine country, guests of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa can lounge by the lobby fireplace and twinkling candles during Earth Hour. The resort’s new lounge, 38◦ North will be highlighting sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, while its Michelin award-winning dining room, Santé, will showcase the region’s abundant local products and world-famous wines.
- The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui will turn off non-essential lighting throughout the 22-acre property. Over 200 floating candles will be placed in the lobby fountain and outdoor paths will be lit with battery-operated candle luminaries. At 7:30pm, an oceanside “lights out” yoga class on the Polo Lawn will be lit only by tiki torches.
- At the Fairmont Newport Beach**,** all non-essential principal lighting and the hotel’s pool heater will be shut off during the hour. Staff will encourage guests as well as vendors to go “electricity free” in their guest rooms, homes and places of business. The hotel’s culinary team will share complimentary “Environmentally Sustainable” bites between 8:30 and 9:30 and bambú restaurant will feature a special prix-fixe menu showcasing their hotel-harvested honey and goat cheese specialties from Drake farm, a local artisan partner. The hotel will also be supporting the initiative with the following "Green in the O.C." package, which includes:
- Overnight stay in Junior Suite
- 24-hour use of an all-electric Chevy Spark
- A welcome bottle of Trinity Oaks wine (a tree planted for every bottle sold)
- The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows will host a free hour of Glow Yoga under its majestic Moreton Bay Fig tree, open to hotel guests and community members, from 8:30pm – 9:30pm. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mats and will be given glow bracelets to wear during the one-hour yoga session. The seaside ambiance will further be enhanced by tea lights and candles throughout the hotel and glow sticks will be presented to children of guests, to educate them on the conservation of electricity and sustainable earth efforts.
- Guests of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii can dine by candlelight at Brown’s Beach House Restaurant and Norio’s Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, which will be offering Earth Hour specials featuring sustainable cuisine and locally sourced products.
- The Fairmont San Francisco will once again switch off its principal lighting for one hour to mark Earth Hour and invite guests to celebrate the event with a candlelight dinner or drink, as they enjoy a suggested sustainable entrée at the hotel’s Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar.
- Guests in the heart of Silicon Valley at The Fairmont San Jose can “unplug” while relaxing in the candle-lit lobby or a special LED martini created in honor of the event. Guests will be encouraged to join the global initiative by turning off unnecessary guest room lighting.
Earth Hour is a WWF event that began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. It showed that everyone, from children to CEOs and politicians, has the power to create change in the world. With the invitation to ‘switch off’ extended to everyone, WWF’s Earth Hour quickly became an annual global event. It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March – closely coinciding with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it rolls out around the Earth.
Fairmont is not the only hotel chain showing its commitment to increasing the sustainability of the hospitality industry:
- Last year, Caesars Entertainment’s hotels in the US, Uruguay and China participated in Earth Hour for the fifth year in a row, and last month the hotel chain became the first to sign on to the EPA’s WaterSense H2Otel Challenge;
- Hilton Worldwide announced in November it has saved $250 million through chain-wide energy-efficiency improvements in the last four years;
- Marriott is working to empower women, create jobs in emerging markets and fight human trafficking;
- And if you still need more sustainable hotel options to choose from, consult TripAdvisor’s handy GreenLeaders-certified properties – this week, the site expanded the program to include destinations in Europe and Canada, as well as the US.