Green Goddess: Change Agent... Green Getaway...

"We all sit around talking about things we want to change, but unless you change, it ain't going to happen," says Alicia Silverstone. "I used to say, 'What...

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Special Issue
WWD Green issue 10/30/2007
Hotelier Deirdre Wallace started the getaway from the ground up as a holistic retreat. "Our intention was to build a healthful hotel. This was my first project and there were many green choices, but it was during the process of building the hotel that I learned what green building really was," says Wallace. "Soon after opening, we 'greened' all of our operational practices."

With assistance from the city of Santa Monica, environmental experts and feng shui consultants, The Ambrose is set to be LEED-certified next year. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) wall paints and floor lacquers were used throughout the hotel, but it's the smaller, everyday things that appear to be making the biggest impact on customers. About 75 percent of the hotel's waste is composted, while nontoxic housekeeping products, recycling bins placed in each room, a towel reuse program and preferred hybrid parking insure low-impact living from guests and staff alike. Being green and sustainable, though, does not mean skimping on luxury. The rooms feature hardwood floors, Frette robes and all-natural Aveda products.

As for the real showstopper (not to mention the setting for this shoot), the Japanese courtyard garden provides a peaceful place for guests to indulge in the fresh organic berries and fair trade coffee served every morning.
— Monica Schweiger


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