Hotel Online Special Report

Bamboo Garden Oxygenates Air in the 
Sheraton Rittenhouse Lobby
Every Day is Earth Day at Nation's First Environmental Hotel
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 20, 1999 -  April 22 may be Earth Day for most of us, but at the Sheraton Rittenhouse Square Hotel in Philadelphia, every day is Earth Day. The 193-room hotel is the first in the nation to offer a 40-foot-high bamboo garden to oxygenate the air in the lobby, and every guest room gets fresh, filtered air -- independent of the heating and cooling systems -- 24 hours a day.

But that's just the beginning, according to Barry Dimson, president and CEO of EcoSmart Healthy Properties, LLC, one of the joint venture partners for the Sheraton Rittenhouse Square Hotel. The hotel also features recycled glass and aluminum for its room number signs, recycled granite for its countertops and flooring and recycled glass tiles for its front desk.

"In our EcoSmart office, a sign says, 'We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children,' and the hotel stands for that statement," explains Dimson. "We don't want to take from the next generation. That's why we used bamboo, which is totally sustainable, instead of hardwood. Even our carpeting will be recycled into new carpeting after use."

Guest rooms feature nightstands created out of recycled wooden shipping palettes by Dimson's son, who, coincidentally, was born on Earth Day.

The beds are "organic sleep systems" made from 100 percent organically grown cotton, as are the linens, bedspreads, drapery and upholstery. Guests enjoy organically grown vegetables in the hotel restaurants, natural shampoos and soaps in the bathrooms, and other ecological touches, such as a nightly turn-down service that places flowers seeds rather than chocolates on the pillows... and not just on Earth Day.

The hotel, which is totally non-smoking, even requires guests to sign a form promising they will not smoke, and the housekeeping staff uses only natural, environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Environmental and High-Tech Features
FRESH AIR SUPPLY GRILL - Fresh filtered air 24-hours to each guestroom. Sixty percent filters capture mold, pollen and bacteria before it enters room and building

BATHROOM AIR TRANSFER GRILL - Removes stale air, mold and bacteria from room and building

FLEETWOOD FURNITURE - Finished with catalyzed lacquer process to eliminate off-gassing of toxic chemicals

SILESTONE FLOORING - Made of 93% recycled granite

MINTEC BAMBOO WALL PANELS - Bamboo is a sustainable product, growing 60 feet every three years

BAMBOO GARDEN - The hotel's 40-foot centerpiece oxygenates the air at a 35% higher rate than other plants

6th FLOOR VIDEO-TELECONFERENCING CENTER - The 6th floor video-teleconferencing center will allow guest to conduct business meetings with colleagues across the globe.

BENJAMIN MOORE PRISTINE PAINT - Contains negligible volatile organic compounds (VOC's)

FABTEX WINDOW TREATMENT - Contains 100% organic cotton with no added chemicals

FURNITURE UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE - Contains 100% organic cotton with no added chemicals

FURNITURE BED & COVER - Beds are "organic sleep systems" comprised of 100% organic cotton and 100% pure wool. Mattress and cover are 100% chemical free. Contains no toxic bleaches or dyes. Free of fire retardant and mineral oils, no emissions or toxic fumes. Natural materials adjust to body temperature.

CARPET PADDING - Made from 100% surplus synthetic fiber recycled from the carpet manufacturing process. Chemically inert and hypoallergenic. Resists mildew, odors, and off-gassing.

BREWSTER WALLCOVERING - Complies with International Guidelines for ecological products and has the IGI certificate of approval. Contains no toxic chemicals.

LIGHTING - Energy efficient lighting used throughout the hotel.

ENVIROSAFE CLEANING PRODUCTS - Non-toxic cleaning products used throughout the hotel

CLEANING SYSTEMS - Vacuum cleaners use 9 stage allergan filters that capture mold, pollen and bacteria

SHAW CARPETING - Meets or exceeds all applicable industry and EPA standards. Old carpets are collected and recycled

COYUCHI ORGANIC SHEETS AND PILLOWCASES - Naturally grown organic linen sheets and pillowcases containing no chemicals from pesticides, fertilizers or dyes

SAFE SOLUTIONS NIGHT TABLES - Furniture made from recycled shipping pallets

HIGH SPEED CONNECTION - Each guestroom has a high speed connection to the internet

AIR HANDLER - Each guestroom has individual controls for heating and air conditioning

The Sheraton Rittenhouse Square Hotel is a joint venture of The Lubert- Adler Real Estate Opportunity Fund, LP; EcoSmart Healthy Properties, LLC, and Carlyle Construction Corporation. It is operated by GF Management, Inc., a Philadelphia-based hotel management company.

Sheraton Hotels Resorts has more than 350 hotels worldwide in 64 countries including nearly 200 in the US, and is owned by Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood, through its St. Regis Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, W and Caesars subsidiaries, is one of the leading hotel and gaming operating companies in the world with more than 712 hotels in 72 countries and 125,000 employees.

Deborah Bernstein, 914-640-8361, 
or Jodi Barrack, 914-640-8259, 
both of Sheraton Hotels Resorts; 
Trudy Mason of EcoSmart Healthy Properties, LLC, 
Also See: Accor's Environment Policy Earns 1999 Green Globe Award / March 1999 
Westin Resort Macau Sets New Financial and Environmental Benchmarks in Energy Management / Feb 1999 

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