Sonnenalp Resort of Vail First Colorado Hotel to Achieve Luxury Eco Certification Standard

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Sonnenalp Resort of Vail achieves Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS) by Sustainable Travel International (STI), becoming the first LECS certified hotel in Colorado and the Western United States.

Sustainable Travel International (STI) has just announced that the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail has achieved its Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS.

Sustainable Travel International (STI) has just announced that the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail has achieved its Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS), becoming the first LECS certified hotel in Colorado and the Western U.S., including the first in any ski resort community to pass the intensive on-site inspection and receive this distinction. Designed to educate, as well as help luxury hotels create and implement a measurement framework in their move toward sustainability, LECS is the first and only voluntary, global certification program of its kind. Focusing on Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet and Profit), the comprehensive standard aligns with impending global accreditation through the Tourism Stewardship Council.

With sustainable tourism on the rise, The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. spearheaded a new partnership between STI, the global non-profit leader in sustainable travel solutions, and Leading Quality Assurance (LQA), a joint venture of Leading Hotels that specializes in quality assurance, benchmarking and training to the luxury hospitality industry. Together, they created an innovative program, which carries out evaluations in five areas: policy and documentation; energy conservation; water conservation; recycling; and community.

In order to become LECS certified, hotels must undergo a preliminary desk audit, complimented by an on-site, third-party assessment handled by LQA. The process of becoming a LECS eco-certified hotel is challenging and requires a serious commitment on behalf of the hotel applicant, and the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail displayed a high level of dedication from day one. You can view details about the Sonnenalp Resort’s efforts and policies on their dedicated website Coming on-line soon will be their Green Meetings program that helps meeting and event planners successfully execute functions with an emphasis on these sustainable practices.

“The main focus of our ‘green initiatives’ is to use sustainable and responsible practices that show our respect and appreciation for our wonderful mountain environment. In order to assure sustainable operations we focus on initiatives such as energy conservation, waste management, programs to keep our properties and community clean and beautiful, and opportunities that effect positive change by seeking partnerships and sharing our message.” said Sonnenalp Resort’s Owner and General Manager, Johannes Faessler.

The ongoing success of the Sonnenalp Resort’s environmental efforts has come from a company-wide focus on making sustainability an important aspect of decision making throughout the hotel such as the establishment of an extensive sustainable purchasing program emphasizing local and organic products to implementation of the Natura filtration system replacing plastic water bottles in guest rooms. Driving these efforts are the formalized environmental, economic and social goals that have been established along with the processes to measure, monitor and improve on an ongoing basis.

About Sonnenalp Resort of Vail

The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail® is a family owned and operated luxury hotel and resort located in Vail, Colorado. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, the resort offers 112 suites and 15 guest rooms. The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail’s full-service European spa features a fireside lounge, indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpool tubs, fitness room, private sauna and steam baths for men and women, changing rooms and refreshment bar. The resort’s additional amenities include three award-winning restaurants, a library, game room, piano bar and lounge, first-class meeting and banquet facilities, as well as full-time valet and concierge services. The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail is recognized among the world’s premier resort properties by offering a variety of all-inclusive package options for guests – pampering spa services, golf at the Sonnenalp Golf Club, the resort’s private 18-hole Scottish links-style golf course, private recreation and ski guides, children’s programs and dining at its renowned restaurants - as well as a level of personal attention and service that is unparalleled in the Vail Valley.

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Kelly Layton

Brian T. Mullis
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