I am currently at the hip Adara Hotel in Whistler, BC. The decor is mod, gorgeous but not as weird as some I’ve seen. The mattress, comforter, pillows and bed linens are first-rate (upper right). The folks who work here are attentive as can be. The Adara also has some fabulous amenities. A Sharper Image Sound Soother on a bedside table can produce 20 white-noise options from heartbeat to rainforest to dockside to help overcome sleep problems or cancel out a partner’s snoring. There’s a French press on the counter for making in-room coffee (right) — along with directions on how to do it. On the shelf above it is a cool retro martini shaker. In the bathroom, in addition to the SugarBath line by Fresh, is a personal oxyen cannister by Oxia. Breaking the seal to take whiffs of O2 to help combat jet lag or altitude problems or help cure a hangover costs $14.95, a small price to save a vacation day.
However, once again, I strongly suspect that the towels that I hang on the rack to indicate that I am willing to reuse them are sent to the laundry anyway. And if my suspicion is wrong, I can’t tell which towels had been used and which are clean, because the housekeeper meticulously refolds used and unused in exactly the same way and hangs them on the same bar.
Also, partially used SugarBath toiletries are replaced with unopened ones. Are the half or two-thirds full plastic bottles discarded? I hope not. On the plus side, the housekeepers only turn on a couple of lights in the evening. On the minus side, they also turn on a bedside audio thing that I can’t figure out how to turn off (I unplug it) and they also turn on the faux fireplace, whose holographic flame is more energy-efficient than gas and certainly nonpolluting but neverthless uses some electricity. So while I have been out at dinner, several lights, music and an electricially dancing flame have entertained and illumininated the emptiness. The Adara is at 4122 Village Green, Whistler, BC; 604-905-4009.
I recently stayed at (and posted an item on this blog) that really gets it, environmentally, is the Óscar in Madrid, one of two design hotels I stayed at in Europe. The dark-walled hallways are equipped with sensors, so that the lights come on only when someone comes out of a guest room or steps off the elevator, and they turn themselves off after a reasonable interval. And Europeans are famously parsimonious with shampoos, soaps and lotions.