Best "Green" Practices Among California B&Bs
From the street, the historic Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, California, looks much as it did in the 1890s. Even the veranda rooms evoke a by-gone era with restored antique fixtures and claw-foot tubs. But hidden below ground, a state-of-the-art, geothermal energy system heats and cools the property and generates hot water for the guestrooms, swimming pool and soaking tubs. Hidden on the roof of the restaurant, solar panels generate electricity to help run the pumps for the geothermal system, reducing the inn's electricity bills. The inn also composts, recycles, and uses organic cleaning products.
Like many bed and breakfast inns throughout California, the Tallman Hotel's "green" innovations and practices are largely behind-the-scenes. Most guests may never suspect the long lists of choices innkeepers make to ensure more sustainable lodging, but the impact is far reaching in its benefits.
Solar Energy and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The Adobe on Green Street in Santa Cruz generates 80 percent of their electricity on-site with a solar panel system that keeps seven tons of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere each year. The Victorian-style Case Ranch Inn in Forestville was the first B&B in Sonoma County to be certified through Sonoma County's green business program, due in part to the inn's solar panels which generate approximately 40 percent of the property's power. The Inn at Locke House in Lockeford installed solar panels which now provide two-thirds of inn's electricity. The Simpson House Inn, which is recognized as one of the top 30 "green" businesses in Santa Barbara, also uses solar power energy.
In addition to solar energy, both the Adobe on Green Street and the Case Ranch Inn also offer electric vehicle charging stations for their guests to drive emissions-free. Innkeepers at the Adobe on Green Street do most of their shopping for the inn using a 5-foot long bicycle trailer. But for those occasions when they have to drive a car, they use a plug-in hybrid vehicle, and since the car is charged off the solar panels, many of their miles are truly zero emissions.
Energy Efficiency and Water-Saving Devices
Case Ranch Inn, Inn at Locke House, Simpson House Inn, and many other inns have installed energy-saving and water-saving devices such as low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads, timers and motion sensors for exterior lighting, and more energy efficient lighting and appliances. The Grateful Bed in Chico, which was certified "Green Lodging" by the California Green Lodging Program in 2010, and features a host of energy and water-saving devices, including timers for lighting and its irrigation system.
The Martine Inn in Monterey features many similar devices as well. In addition, the inn uses hot water circulating pumps to reduce water usage, fresh fruit is stored in a California cooler requiring no electricity, and the antique lamps have been rebuilt to accommodate electronic ballast fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs.
Re-using, Recycling and Composting
Many inns in California recycle all of their recyclable waste and compost on site.
The Adobe on Green Street composts all their food waste on site and grows all of the flowers for inn in their organic garden. The Martine Inn recycles everything and grows its own edible flowers. Inn at Locke House uses glass carafes for cold water in place of bottled water and cloth napkins instead of paper. Similarly, the Case Ranch Inn uses reusable dishes, glasses and linens.
In Sacramento, the Villas at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa uses compostable cups made of 100 percent corn product at its onsite café and at various water stations. The cups compost in just 45-60 days.
Sorenson's Resort south of Lake Tahoe and the Inn at Locke House both participate in the Clean the World program. The program collects used soaps and shampoos from the hospitality industry, sanitizes and repurposes them, and then redistributes them to impoverished people worldwide, helping to prevent hygiene-related deaths and illnesses.
The Wine Country Inn in St. Helena has made a push to becoming more "green" through chickens. The innkeepers are renting a chicken coop from a small, nearby farm, where they feed and take care of nearly 200 chickens, which in turn provide farm-fresh eggs for the inn's daily breakfasts. Collecting the eggs from the chicken saves on packaging and trips to the grocery store. Plus, the chicken manure is added to the compost, which ultimately gets added to the inn's ever-growing, organic vegetable garden.
Adobe on Green Street makes their own cleaning solutions for all in-house cleaning from water, vinegar, and wintergreen oil. Case Ranch Inn, Inn at Locke House and Simpson House Inn all use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products.
Pacific Victorian B&B
Cheddar Cheese Omelet
Makes 1 serving
4 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup creamy Havarti cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
Beat eggs very well in a small mixing bowl. Add a few shreds of havarti and cheddar cheese into beaten eggs. Melt butter in an omelet pan and pour in egg mixture. Cook eggs well on one side, then flip over to cook opposite side. Add cheese in the middle of eggs and fold in half. Serve on a serving plate and garnish on top with a few additional shreds of cheese.
"We think the Havarti cheese really makes this omelet different and tasty." --Innkeeper,
For more delicious recipes from CABBI-member inns, order our CABBI Cookbook online or peruse recipe collections in our Online Recipe Box.
How I Became an Innkeeper
Inn at Locke House
by Richard and Lani Eklund
How do you rescue a 22-room National Register/California Landmark 1862 home? Why, you turn it into a bed and breakfast, of course.
Well, it really wasn't as simple as that.
First we took off those fabled rose-colored glasses when we realized how extensive (and expensive) restoring, renovating, and rehabilitating this place was going to be. We knew it had to earn its way, and that our lives were going to change. We had never taken on a project of this extent before, but we found that all our previous experiences and talents played a part in creating an inn. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, writing, set design, theatre production, teaching, consulting, team building, gardening, community volunteering, and a deep appreciation for historic places were gifts we could brought to the house--and to the art of innkeeping.
Golf Specials and Packages
Pack your clubs and enjoy some time on the greens this spring. The following inns offer specials and packages just for golfers.
Guests of the , an intimate desert retreat in Palm Springs, can receive a $10 per person discount on green fees at the nearby Mesquite Golf and Country Club. The Mesquite Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course with breathtaking mountain vistas amid swaying palm trees. It features five lakes, mature tree-lined fairways with seven bridges, and provides a challenge for players of all skill levels. The discount vouchers are valid during the morning hours, 6:30 a.m. to noon, year round. Please contact the innkeeper to make an appointment and pick up vouchers.
In the seaside village of Mendocino, the offers a great Golf Getaway package. The package includes a two-night stay in an ocean view room with cozy down comforters and Victorian décor, continental breakfast with steaming cups of organic coffee each morning, a round of golf in Little River (just 2.5 miles south), and a bistro dinner for two with complimentary wine and dessert. Each day, the inn hosts complimentary tastings of local wines, and treats children of guests to free ice cream cones. The Golf Getaway package is $650 and includes tax and gratuities. Guests may add an optional interpretive walk at the Kelly House Museum to hear historians spin stories of shipwrecks, lighthouses and life at the lumber mills for $10 per person. Guests may also add an optional Seghesio Family Vineyards Food Pairing or Kendall Jackson Wine Center for an additional $35 per person.
At the , stay and play on a nearby championship golf course at a discount. The "Stay and Play" package includes: golf for two, range, and cart plus your choice of either Bayonet or Black Horse premier courses. Bayonet and Blackhorse are located less than 15 minutes south of the inn. Request in advance to get great tee times. Substantial discount for pairs of golfers who stay at Captain's Inn.
Looking for a Family-Friendly Bed & Breakfast?
B&B's are not just for the mature traveler. Many CABBI-member inns are located in close proximity to an array of family attractions and welcome guests of all ages. CABBI has more than 180 family friendly bed & breakfasts to choose from. So don't worry about finding a sitter - take the whole family along on your next B&B adventure. Click here to read more about family-friendly B&Bs in California.
You can also search specifically for family-friendly inns on CABBI's advanced search page (just click to expand "facilities" and click the box next to "family friendly").