The Bardessono Hotel and Spa is located in Yountville, CA with a LEED Platinum certification. Also, the hotel is 100% non-smoking and includes a ban on electronic cigarettes on the property.

The US Green Building Council adds:


So with the Living Building Challenge, you can create buildings that are the following:
1. Regenerative spaces that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community.
2. Self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site. Living Buildings produce more energy than they use and collect and treat all water on site.
3. Healthy and beautiful.Living buildings give more than they take, creating a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them

In addition and to keep it green or LEED, the hotel uses organic bedding, cleaning supplies, locally sourced stone and fine salvaged woods. It also serves locally grown food to provide guests. So farm to table with the best environmentally-safe stay.

Yet as the San Francisco Chronicle puts it best.  When Bardessono, the ultra-high-end hotel and spa in Yountville opened its doors in 2009. Then announcing itself as “the greenest hotel in America.”

But scan Bardessono’s home page now. I mean the slideshow. The of images shows a luxurious hotel. All with words like indulgence. So it’s enticing you to book a stay in the lap of Napa Valley luxury.

So as the Chronicle adds: Except for the ambiguous phrase “Exceptional by nature,” there’s not an eco-green adjective anywhere.

What happened? Did Bardessono ditch its environmental efforts? All in lieu of luring ultra-high-end travelers with dreams of incomparable pampering? I mean even toilet seat covers that automatically lift when you step into the hotel restaurant restrooms? (Yes, they really have them.)

I read that it’s not really. According to Sileshi Mengiste, the hotel’s polished vice president of operations.

So according to Mengiste, Bardessono still has LEED platinum certification. That’s the highest a hotel can get.

And unless you ask, you’d never know that a sophisticated geothermal underground system heats and cools the hotel’s guest rooms. Also the spa and domestic hot water supply.

Mengiste believing it’s easier to get someone for a luxury hotel; rather than eco luxury hotel. Because he’s only looking at it as a marketing tool. So he uses it to draw more people and more traffic than without being green. Yet I think he isn’t including the water and energy efficiency savings. Because they are helping the bottom-line.  Hmm

Once inside, according to Forbes Travel Guide is a Four-Star escape. A spot also including a green living wall. All covered with air plants and the natural elements (stone, wood). Although, the warm welcome and nurturing atmosphere bring to mind a sanctuary-like retreat.

In addition, the five-acre property is including hotels with low two-story buildings. All made out of wood-and-steel.

All made out of wood-and-steel From the property but NOTHING ABOUT GREEN!

So as PR Newswire reported:

Phil Sherburne built the Bardessono. All most interestingly with the intention of a hotel that providing guests with a luxurious experience. Then all the while simultaneously protecting the environment.

The hotel’s design, construction and operation all following guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It’s a Green Building Rating System™.

Consequently, it’s the nationally accepted benchmark for high performance green buildings.

LEED is promoting a whole-building approach to sustainability. All facets consequently recognizing green performance. They are in six key areas. Now it is broken into human and environmental health measures but really it’s overall green building.

1. sustainable site development

  1. water savings

3 energy efficiency

  1. materials selection
  2. indoor environmental quality

  3. innovation in design

More importantly certification levels are including Platinum, Gold, Silver and Standard. Of course, all in descending order.

Consequently, examples of primary sustainable practices qualifying the hotel for LEED Platinum certification are listed. (More importantly and for a full list of sustainable practices visit Bardessono):

  1. Solar Power: So let’s talk 947 solar panels. These panels installed on the flat roofs of the buildings. Total energy produced is 200-kilowatt solar energy system.  All providing a significant portion of the Bardessono’s electrical energy requirement. Also, the hotel is happy it’s not visible to the public. I think that’s a shame. Again, I think that needs a second look.

2 Geothermal: How I have heard about the whooping 72, 300-ft. geothermal wells. Thereby drilled to work with a ground source heat pump system.  This helps to heat and cool rooms and heat domestic water.  Consequently, it’s the only electricity used for the hotel. It’s all for operating the pumps.

  1. Construction: Most importantly and consequently, over 93 percent of building waste got recycled.
  • Reuse of materials: The stone on the exterior and interior as repurposed. The older buildings are recycled. So I mean from the stone blocks of an old wine cellar originally on the property.  All of the wood visible on the exterior and interior of the buildings. They were milled from salvaged trees. The list of trees are including including Monterey Cypress, Orchard Walnut, Redwood and Elm.

  • Heat retention: Guest rooms are constructed to minimize solar heat gain. Combining with wide overhangs and specially designed motor-controlled exterior Venetian blinds.  Then the very large expanses of glass. Because they allow winter sunrays to naturally warm rooms and enhance daytime lighting.

  • Lighting: Most important to me is that LED’s are used throughout the property. Then high occupancy sensors are used in the rooms. These extinguish lights when unoccupied.

  • Low Water Use:  In conclusion, all water related fixtures are green. So low water flow fixtures, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals. They are used all throughout the hotel.  Also they use a drought-resistant outdoor indigenous landscaping; serviced by an efficient buried drip irrigation system.

  • Water recycling: All consequently grey and black water is treated and recycled; for irrigation throughout by the Town of Yountville.

  • Finally, Native plants allowing wildlife and fish on property. All the while minimizing soil erosion.

  • Composting

  • Source: Booking.com

    One Response

    1. Thanks for sharing the great news- so happy to see more and more hotels are catching on!

      Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola
      Eco Chic Sense

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