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Built in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado, Becomes the Oldest Hotel in U.S.
to Receive Green Seal Certification

Coronado, CA - May 2011 -  Established in 1888, the legendary Hotel del Coronado has achieved another milestone by being the oldest hotel in the U.S. to receive Bronze Level certification by Green Seal. In accordance to Green Seal’s environmental management system, The Del has made significant progress against the four pillars: climate change, waste, natural resources and health and wellbeing – achieving higher stands of care and stewardship for the environment, while delivering exceptional guest service. “The entire staff embraced a culture of environmental responsibility, which supported our efforts to overcome the challenges associated with being a 123-year-old property,” says Donna Gonser, Hotel Manager.
Changes We’ve Made
Paper, cardboard, wood pallets, plastic containers, aluminum cans and glass are separated and recycled resort-wide. The Del also recently replaced all of its outdoor trash cans with dual-use receptacles: one side for recyclables and the other for non-recyclable trash. Fry oil is also recycled and used in the production of biofuels. In addition, a wide range of materials, including 75 tons of green waste, is recycled annually. Batteries, florescent lights, computers and other items that require special handling are discarded appropriately to keep these items out of landfills.
The hotel has completed the retrofit of every guestroom to energy-efficient compact florescent lights, saving over 640,000 kilowatts of power on an annual basis and has implemented a state-of-the-art energy management system that controls the heating, ventilation and air–conditioning and a majority of the property’s lighting. Most guestrooms feature ceiling fans to help cut back on air conditioning usage.
The Del’s irrigation systems have state-of-the-art programmers and the sprinklers all have low-flow, high efficiency heads. The resort works with a leading pest control company to reduce the use of chemicals for pest and weed control.
Specific departments within The Del practice ‘green’ whenever they can. For example, the culinary team promotes local farmers and fishermen as much as possible. It also utilizes an on-site herb garden for fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs and takes steps to control and minimize food waste for all meals and functions. The Housekeeping department utilizes vacuum cleaners specifically designed by the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) to reduce indoor air pollutants. And, the department’s basic chemical package is Green Seal Certified. The resort has kept leftover soap and bottled amenities out of landfills and prevented contamination of ground water by donating them to “Clean the World”, an organization that recycles and distributes these items to impoverished people world-wide. Discarded linens are converted into cleaning rags and cook aprons by A&E Textile Recovery Inc. Also, the operating hours of the laundry start very early in the morning in order to save energy costs. The Del’s Marketing department uses soy inks and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper when creating resort collateral. A Sustainability Steering Committee, involving staff from all departments, meets regularly to evaluate current programs and to discuss recommendations for moving the hotel forward.
Guest Involvement
Management also recognizes that guests have a role in the conservation efforts. Therefore, guests are encouraged to minimize water and energy consumption by refraining from having towels, sheets, etc. changed every day helping to reduce water consumption. We have estimated an annual water reduction of over 663,000 gallons with this cooperative program. Guests are also reminded to turn off air conditioning and lighting when not in the room.
“Conservation and environmental responsibility is everyone’s business,” says Gonser. “We are so proud that we’ve achieved our goal of being certified by Green Seal. We are always looking at new and innovative ways to improve these important and vital practices.”
For more information, visit
About Green Seal
The Green Seal Standard for Hotels and Lodging Properties, GS-33, is one of the most robust environmental standards in the hospitality industry. In order to receive certification, a hotel must meet and adhere to stringent standards. These include requirements in waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, wastewater management and green procurement. A certified property’s records, processes and procedures are evaluated and an on-site audit of the property is conducted. Certified hotels submit to annual monitoring to assure continued compliance. For more information, visit
About Hotel del Coronado
Situated along 28 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island, just across the bay from downtown San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado is an elegant example of Victorian architecture and is considered one of America’s most beautiful resorts. Built in 1888, this National Historic Landmark has become a living legend with visits by celebrities, U.S. Presidents and dignitaries from around the world. In fact, publisher Rand McNally credits The Del as enjoying “more fame and historical significance than perhaps any hotel in North America.” The resort recently unveiled over $150 million in luxury enhancements including a world-class Spa, state-of-the-art Fitness Center, upscale shops and restaurants and the spectacular oceanfront cottages and villas at Beach Village. 


Lauren Donoho
Director of Public Relations
Hotel del Coronado

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