Paint this hotel bright green

The Proximity hotel has 100 solar panels on the roof

The Proximity hotel has 100 solar rooftop panels and oversized windows

Below is a little ditty I wrote for “The Boston Globe” (it ran Feb. 8, 2009) about what could these days be called North Carolina’s most famous lodging: Proximity Hotel, about a hour west of Durham, where I live. Its image even graces the cover of the state’s 2009 travel guide. Proximity’s claim to fame: the country’s most energy efficient hotel, with a LEED Platinum rating. What I have to admit surprised me when I visited in December was its hipster factor. In Greensboro? I had no idea. 

 Office-park setting belies this hotel’s No. 1 green ranking

The US Green Building Council awarded its only platinum award to the Proximity hotel

US Green Building Council awarded its only lodging platinum to Proximity

GREENSBORO, N.C. – It’s a happy coincidence that the greenest hotel in the country is on Green Valley Road in Greensboro.

Last fall, Proximity Hotel was rated the hospitality industry’s most energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable building, earning the US Green Building Council’s only platinum award given to a hotel.

The hotel lobby

Sweeping view of hotel lobby

While the hotel’s setting in an urban office park doesn’t scream green, its construction and operation do, allowing it to use 40 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than a comparable hotel, according to owner Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, a local company. Proximity’s dozens of sustainable features include oversized windows for natural light, 100 solar rooftop panels, and an elevator that generates electricity on its way down.

The City Suite

The "City Suite," one of the largest rooms

Even its popular restaurant, Print Works Bistro, has risen to the challenge with such innovations as the use of geothermal energy for the refrigeration equipment and oven hoods that use sensors to set the power according to the kitchen’s needs.

The unsuspecting guest or diner will see only a high-design ultrachic hotel and restaurant, but the hotel staff is happy to give a behind-the-scenes tour. It’s almost enough to forgive Proximity’s use of disposable toiletry bottles instead of dispensers.

Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro, 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro, N.C., 800-379-8200, 336-379-8200, http://www.proximityhotel.com/. Doubles start at $249.

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2 Responses to “Paint this hotel bright green”

  1. karel Says:

    I say yes, paint it green, because green is not dangerous. It is nature.
    Why? Some 20 years ago in our village ( they like me to say city) a hotel was built. And they painted it pink. In a wink everybody called it the ‘Homotel’. Although our society is said to be tolerant, many people have other thoughts about the homo-issue. Anyhow at that era.
    Green is more accepteble

    • didaniel Says:

      Karel, only you can get away with saying this. ;) And it’s true. People think the Dutch are so tolerant, but it’s really a small group of Dutchies in the big city, just like it is in US, a la SF and NYC.

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