Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Teneo Members’ Green Efforts Span Coast to Countryside, Initiatives Preserve Beaches, Woodlands, Wildlife

Three Critical Areas of Sustainable Conservation

Eden Prairie, MN… It started with organic soaps, recycling bottles, water conservation and signs urging guests to turn out the lights before leaving the room. Today, environmentally conscious hoteliers support holistic conservation strategies that reach into every corner of the property. Driven by technology and the demands of environmentally conscious guests, these initiatives have sharply reduced waste, conserved resources, saved money and educated guests to the importance of environmental efforts. The hotel industry has made remarkable progress, but beyond the bricks and mortar of member hotels and resorts lie acres of countryside and coastline that present sustainability challenges and opportunities.

“For many hotels, responsibility for the lands and waterways surrounding the property has become a commitment and an increasingly complex challenge,” says Mike Schugt, president of Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. These responsibilities include woodlands, campgrounds, beachfronts, everglades, mangrove forests, lakes and rivers, as well as marine and wildlife, which has become a priority as rising tides, drought and development encroach upon habitat.

Teneo’s member hotels have spearheaded numerous sustainability projects at every level of operations, according to Mike Schugt. “We are seeing many creative approaches to managing land and water resources, and a trend towards educating guests regarding wildlife and land preservation. Teneo is excited about the sustainability efforts of their member hotels. The meeting planners and groups we partner with are equally enthusiastic!”

Critical Area #1:  Land–Preserve It, They’re Not Making Any More

While many of today’s hotels offer impressive programs to save water and conserve energy inside the building, some resorts must find equally effective ways to deal with the great outdoors. The Resort at Paws Up in Montana comprises 37,000 acres of hills, woodlands and rivers, ideal for outdoor activities and an array of team building and special adventure programs. The resort offers luxury safari-style campgrounds on land that must be responsibly managed. Several rivers run through the property including the Blackfoot, an angler’s paradise. Thanks to The Resort at Paws Up uniting efforts with local ranchers, hoteliers, conservationists and state and federal wildlife agencies, the waterways are as clear and brimming with trout as they were when Lewis and Clark passed through.

The staff of Vail’s Sonnenalp Hotel regularly volunteers to clean the nearby Eagle River, local highways and mountain bike trails. The resort helps employees to reduce their carbon footprint by providing bus passes, car pool coordination and housing within walking distance of the hotel. Sonnenalp also works to educate guests, employees and the public by supporting a range of community efforts, including Zero Hero information stations at community venues such as the Vail Farmers Market.

Since 1806, the healing mineral springs at the historic Omni Bedford Springs Resort have drawn a celebrated clientele. Thirteen US presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have visited this bucolic retreat in Southern Pennsylvania’s Allegheny mountains. For 200 years, the hotel has carefully conserved these exceptional natural spring waters. The springs feed the indoor pool at the resort’s Aquatic Center and the natural spring waters are used in treatments at the Springs Eternal Spa.

Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Central California’s wine country is a Tuscan-style villa surrounded by beautiful vineyards that produce fine Allegretto wines served in the resort’s restaurants. Using Old World methods, grapes are harvested by hand versus machine and are grown in small lot vineyards to preserve land. The main villa was designed with the most sophisticated environmental systems available, including those that ensure highest quality of runoff water, preserve natural vegetation, and promote ground water recharge.

The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Southeastern Wisconsin spans 1,300 acres of ski slopes, lakefront and woodlands. Recently the resort, certified by Travel Green Wisconsin, extended its award-winning environmental efforts to one of its two championship golf courses, restoring tens of thousands of square feet of land surrounding the course by planting native grasses and plants. The Grand Geneva Resort is also home to the Roy Divik-designed Entry Garden, a sustainable meadow of more than 20 vivid flowers and grasses, predominantly native to the Midwest.

Most urban hotels have little acreage to worry about, but New York’s 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge supports the adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park with funds and an innovative rainwater reclamation system that irrigates the park during the summer months. The system also reduces storm water runoff into neighboring water streams by more than 50 percent. Roughly 5,000 cubic feet of water is projected to be reclaimed each year.

Critical Area #2:  Against the Tide

Beach erosion and water pollution are major concerns for oceanfront and lakeside resorts. The situation has grown more urgent following the three devastating hurricanes that pummeled the US and the Caribbean in the Fall of 2017.

Volunteers from The Ranch at Laguna Beach currently maintain a 0.75-mile stretch of the Aliso Creek Channel in Mission Viejo. Since December 2015, the resort’s team has removed over 2,500 pounds of trash and debris from the channel, preventing this damaging refuse from polluting the Pacific Ocean. Using an invention called the GL Sand Machine, the resort recycles glass bottles by pulverizing them into sand that is then used in the golf course sand traps and to help replenish sand on Laguna Beach. The Ranch at Laguna Beach is the first property in the Continental United States to utilize the GL Sand machine and it has found a new use for it. Oyster shells from the hotel’s restaurant are ground up and used on the property’s bocce ball courts.

In South Florida, mangrove forests play a key role in marine ecology, serving as habitat for a variety of marine species and birds and as the first line of defense in the face of hurricanes. Guests of the Naples Grande Beach Resort can explore the adjoining 200-acre mangrove preserve and estuary via canoe and kayak. The hotel’s eco-friendly boardwalk, composed of recycled milk jugs, provides an eco-friendly path to the resort’s three miles of beachfront habitat, under the stewardship of its employees and managers.

Critical Area #3:  Walk on the Wild Side

Wildlife preservation and education merge at select Teneo member hotels. They offer interactive programs that bring guests in closer contact with nature and wildlife, often as part of a team building effort. Guests of the Garden of the Gods Collection in Colorado Springs can experience the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, learning about the history, biology and conservation of wolves, coyotes, foxes, and the environmental challenges they face. The program, supervised by a trained wolf handler, can end with a group howl, symbolizing oneness with nature and its preservation.

The Garden of the Gods also offers groups a day of discovery at the 200-acre Elk Glade Ranch. Through the science of equine therapy, participants ride horses and drive cattle, gaining courage and confidence.

Part of Montana’s Resort at Paws Up is a working ranch, offering an equestrian program where guests, led by an experienced cowboy, help with an actual cattle drive.  These equestrian programs, situated in nature versus a more mechanized or artificial environment, are growing in popularity as team building efforts and exercises in enhanced communication. For non-expert riders, the exercises are held mostly on the ground, and involve approaching, grooming and walking the horses. Thanks to the high sensitivity of horses, participants can quickly learn how their body language, tone of voice and mannerisms impact interactions and team success.

Virtually all species of sea turtles are threatened and Teneo’s member hotels in Florida and the Arabian Gulf are working to preserve these amphibians that are essential to maintaining marine life. Sea turtles are among the few species that eat sea grass and algae that if not consumed, would grow and threaten the entire ecosystem. And, their nests provide nutrients that help to grow the grass that preserves the dunes.

In Vero Beach, Florida, Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa participates in the community’s annual Turtle Dig. During nesting season, hundreds of turtle eggs are laid and are protected by signs and markers until they hatch. Then, the contents of the nests are dug up and evaluated, helping scientists understand how well the beaches are incubating sea turtle nests. In July, the public is invited to watch nests on the hotel’s beach be examined. They receive a presentation about sea turtle biology, threats to their survival, and ways to help protect turtles.

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts plays a key role in a comprehensive and sophisticated conservation effort, The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. The project is based at the company’s two Dubai hotels, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office.

The public is encouraged to bring sick and injured turtles to the Wildlife Protection Office or to the Aquarium team at Burj Al Arab. Once the condition of the turtles is determined, they are then transferred to the state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary at Jumeirah Al Naseem. When the turtles are deemed ready to return, they are released from the Sanctuary into the waters of the Arabian Gulf as part of the Big Jumeirah Turtle Race. Some of the turtles are fitted with satellite tracking devices. So far, the clear winner is a green sea turtle named Dibba who traveled 8,283 kilometers to a spot off the coast of the Southeast Asian Peninsula. Since 2004, over 1,350 rescued sea turtles have been returned to Dubai’s waters.


New Builds Signal Growing Strength of Independent Hotels, New Entrepreneurial Brands, as a Dozen Teneo Member Hotels Open 2017-2018

Construction Trends Span Independent Properties, Leading Brands, Major Markets, Second Tier Cities, Historic Restoration, Contemporary Design

Eden Prairie, MN, October 2017 … New hotel construction in major markets and second tier cities is signaling the growing strength of independent hotels and smaller entrepreneurial brands. The new properties span urban hotels, resorts, historic restorations, and anchors of major redevelopment programs, emerging business districts and dynamic new sports and entertainment complexes. They are breaking new ground in the areas of sustainability, art and architecture, historic preservation, food and beverage service and design, and using modern technology to create new meetings and guest experiences.

“This year and in 2018, we will see more than a dozen new Teneo-member hotels opening in the US, Mexico and Spain,” says Mike Schugt, president of Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. “These innovative and farsighted entrepreneurial efforts are found across the industry spectrum, in independent properties, in newer boutique brands such as Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Solis Hotels & Resorts, 1 Hotels, Heritage Hotels & Resorts, the Sydell Group, and in major-brand players such as Marriott International, Omni Hotels & Resorts and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.”

1. New builds are part of ambitious redevelopment programs. The InterContinental Washington DC – The Wharf is part of a dynamic new hub of hotels, restaurants, office buildings and residences now rising on the banks of the Potomac River. Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta is a cornerstone of the mixed-use area adjacent to SunTrust Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves. At Hartsfield Airport, the recently opened Solis Two Porsche Drive plays a key role in the emerging Atlanta Airport Business District. Frisco, Texas is part of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex where the new Omni Frisco Hotel is the official hotel of the Dallas Cowboys and located in the team’s new Star Headquarters stadium and office complex. The Omni Louisville Hotel, a 610-room luxury hotel, is rising over the city as part of a new development of offices, clubs, restaurants and residences.

2. Hoteliers continue to see the investment potential in historic properties. Two of Teneo’s recently-opened member hotels occupy historic buildings being revamped and reopened. The LINE Hotel, DC will be reborn in an historic church and the NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans, is now open in the city’s former public utilities building, a National Historic Landmark. Notes Mike Schugt, “While renovating these properties and preserving their ambiance is expensive, the individuality and historic significance of these hotels are a strong marketing advantage. And, the construction of these buildings is far more sound than those built more recently, making them an excellent investment.”

3. Interior and exterior designs are breaking new ground and providing a sense of place. Hoteliers realize that cookie-cutter architecture and predictable guestroom interiors are no longer competitive in today’s environment. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge boasts a stunning interior design that pays homage to nature and Brooklyn’s nautical history. With a spectacular $115 million redevelopment underway, the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach features a spectacular 280,000-gallon oceanarium in the lobby. The Hotel Chaco’s stunning design is inspired by the architecture and ancient Native American civilization of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Located in Albuquerque, the hotel’s interiors are a modern version of the centuries-old pueblos and accented by Native American art and sculpture.

4. Recycled materials enhance construction and design. Recycled materials are being used in both new builds and reconstruction of historic hotels. The new 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge uses recycled local wood and metal to create art and furniture to reinforce the hotel’s nature-inspired design aesthetic. Designers used wood flooring from an old Brooklyn distillery, and artifacts that reflect the legendary borough’s history.

At The LINE Hotel, DC, the wood from the pews in the former church has been used in the lobby and pages from old hymnals have been framed and displayed. NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans began as the city’s public utilities building and its original ironwork, soaring ceilings and majestic windows have been preserved and repurposed.

5. While the farm-to-table trend continues, new restaurant concepts are emerging, including those created by celebrity chefs. ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach boasts two restaurants by celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto. At The LINE Hotel, DC, two award-winning young chefs, Erik Bruner-Yang and Spike Gjerde, are creating three new restaurant concepts, one serving American classics with a Taiwanese twist, one with local Mid-Atlantic fare and another focused on a tasting menu.

6. Hotels are built to create new and unique guest experiences. At the rapidly expanding Atlanta Airport Business District the new Solis Two Porsche Drive overlooks the Porsche Experience Center at Porsche’s North American Headquarters. The Center’s 1.6-mile driver development track is great for teambuilding and just plain fun. Guests can drive with a professional instructor, view cars in the Heritage Gallery, challenge skills in a Simulator Lab and browse in the Porsche Retail Store. Omni Louisville Hotel will include a Speakeasy with a bowling alley and a high-end lifestyle and grocery store. The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando overlooks Lake Austin Nature Preserve where guests can fish, or take to the water aboard a variety of vessels from kayaks to electric boats. In 2018, the resort will open a spectacular Safari Water Park.

7. Local artists and artisans bring a sense of place, history and aesthetics. The Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque features the work of several of New Mexico’s leading Native American artists throughout the hotel, with contemporary painting and sculpture, fabric designs and crafts. In Barcelona, Spain, SOFIA is fresh from a multi-million-dollar renovation with stunning architecture and modern art that reflects the work of Barcelona’s legendary artists, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro. The soaring lobby showcases white and gold mobiles in the modern, geometric shapes they favored.

At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, local artists and artisans have provided original artworks, textiles and sculpture. All of the artwork in the NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans is inspired by transportation themes reflecting the hotel’s original theme as a transit hub and home of New Orleans’s fabled streetcars. At Omni Louisville Hotel, work by local artists reflects the city’s equestrian heritage and will be displayed in the lobby art gallery.

8. An Emphasis on Wellness. Most of the new build properties offer full service spas. The all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos has a 29,000-square foot spa with 25 treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy facility, and a fitness center with personal trainers and numerous exercise classes. Omni Frisco Hotel offers a Dallas Cowboys Fitness Package based on the same exercise programs used by the legendary football team and its cheerleaders. At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the internationally famous Bamford Haybarn Spa is open, offering holistic treatments and organic products.


Introducing The Scott, a Lively Gathering Place for Valley Visitors and Locals with a Signature Sonoran Style, Enhanced Amenities and Creative, New Programming

Scottsdale, Ariz. (January 5, 2016) – Classic Hotels & Resorts, a leading hospitality development and management company based in Phoenix, announced today its plans to rebrand and rename Firesky Resort & Spa, a boutique property the company acquired in April 2016. The 204-room resort, located in Old Town Scottsdale, is being renamed as The Scott Resort & Spa, along with a newly rebranded website that is now live.

Revered as one of the premiere resorts in Arizona, boasting one of the best locations in Scottsdale and known for its impeccable service and tantalizing cuisine, The Scott continues to be a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Over the next two years, Classic Hotels & Resorts will invest $15M to make an already beloved resort even better. The reinvention will consist of all guest rooms, suites and public spaces, including the resort’s 14,000 square feet of meeting space, two pools, lobby bar and restaurant. The redesign will at once celebrate the historic building’s iconic architecture, while introducing a new look and feel and elevated guest service culture, creating a new personality for the prized resort alongside an all- new restaurant concept – both of which will be unique to the current Phoenix/Scottsdale hospitality market.

While maintaining the resort’s vibrant Sonoran style that visitors and locals have enjoyed for the past 55 years, The Scott will soon benefit from several significant enhancements throughout. The first phase of the redesign will begin in May 2017 and be complete in September 2017, just in time for peak season travelers, and will include:

  • The lobby will be upgraded from the inside out. With caning screens that contrast against the modern curved brass of Bauhaus-inspired chandeliers and rattan settees scattered throughout, the lobby will reflect an eclectic style of traditional front porch Havana. Blue-glazed olive jars and indoor landscaping create an intimate seating oasis for guests. A hand-crafted, Spanish-tiled bar and existing arches reflect the traditional, original architecture of the space. Vintage artwork and paintings compliment signature rattan and wicker furniture.
  • The signature Lobby Bar and Restaurant will be completely renovated and re-concepted, while still capitalizing on its ideal indoor-outdoor layout. A large tree will serve as the bar’s focal point in the center of the open-air space, surrounded by abundant succulents and indigenous plant life. The fireplace will remain rightfully intact, as a gathering place for morning coffee or evening cocktails.
  • The new furnishings and décor are met with an all-new menu, designed by Executive Chef Christopher Bailey.
  • Several upgrades to the resort’s two lagoon-like pools will include additional cabanas and beautifully new landscaped surrounds. Guests and locals will continue to enjoy creative cocktails and light bites from the Acqua Pool Bar and are welcome to dip their toes in the resort’s signature sandy beach pool.
  • The resort’s 14,000 square feet of meeting and function space will receive all new custom Axminster carpeting and custom decorative light fixtures that echo the property’s overall Spanish and Moroccan inspired ambiance. Landscaping and outdoor lighting upgrades are also underway for the beautiful event lawn – the resort’s main wedding venue. Smaller common public spaces and patios will be refurbished, with additional fire pits for lounging.

The second phase will revamp all 204 spacious guestrooms, each of which features private outdoor patios or balconies. Significant upgrades will range from new furniture packages and case goods to redesigned bathrooms. The renovation will also unveil an all-new Presidential Suite and the addition of four one- bedroom suites.

“This historic property is an elegant and fun addition to our portfolio, and we feel honored to restore and update it in ways that enrich the guest experience – not only through elevated and comfortable design, but also through new amenity and programming concepts that speak to this unique desert destination,” said Classic Hotels & Resorts President John Grossman. “The Scott is a modern incarnation of an Arizona classic with a fresh, design-forward concept that will attract both locals and visitors alike.”

A talented team of designers is responsible for the resort’s new concept, including New York and San Francisco-based AvroKO, local architect firm Synthetic Design, and Hart Howerton, which is overseeing the meetings and events spaces. Rinker Design crafted the resort’s rebranding and played an important role in concept visioning and programing.

“This is such an exciting project for us to be involved with,” said Greg Bradshaw, founding partner of AvroKO. “We took the approach of wanting to keep intact some elements that are already very much a part of the hotel – particularly the beautiful Spanish Revival inspired architecture – and have incorporated several new layers into the overall design, including beautiful staple pieces that are inspired by the Bauhaus movement and old Havana, which guests will see immediately upon arrival and get a true sense of the place right away. We can’t wait to see the finished product and how it all comes together.”

For additional information, please contact your Teneo Sales Representative.
1-800-495-0119 |

Teneo Hotel Member, Boston Park Plaza, Receives AAAs Four Diamond Rating

BOSTON, MA (October 17, 2016) – Boston Park Plaza, which completed a massive $100 million renovation in June 2016, is pleased to announce that it has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond designation. This is the first time in its nearly 90-year history that Boston Park Plaza has attained this prestigious rating. Hotels at this level are committed to providing every guest with a personalized experience and attentive service (more…)

Teneo Hospitality Group forms Exclusive Domestic Partnership with The DMC Network

Eden Prairie, MN – (January 20, 2016) The DMC Network, LLC, the most accredited (ADMEI) consortium of destination management companies in North America, has signed a preferred partnership agreement with Teneo Hospitality Group, a global sales organization representing 200 member hotels and resorts. The alliance will provide the Teneo associates and their clients the most reliable, trustworthy and consistent DMC services (more…)

Teneo Hospitality Group adds Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico to its Collection

Eden Prairie, MN – (January 11, 2016) Teneo Hospitality Group, a national sales organization representing 191 member hotels and resorts, has expanded its reach in Mexico with a partnership with Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico. Teneo is thrilled to announce these 25 major hotel and resort additions to its collection. Fiesta Americana Grand Meetings Mexico combines the best of Mexico with their state-of-the-art facilities and service meeting planners count on (more…)

Hotel Commonwealth Announces Completion of $50 Million Dollar Expansion

December 15, 2015 (BOSTON, MA) – Today, Boston’s Hotel Commonwealth announces the completion of a $50 million dollar expansion and renovation project nearly doubling the number of existing guest rooms and event space. The new wing overlooking iconic Fenway Park features 96 new guest rooms and suites, a designated Fenway Park Suite filled with exclusive Red Sox memorabilia, and 6,000 square feet of additional meeting and event space, including 1,500 square foot outdoor terrace. (more…)

Jumeirah Group Rehabilitates 44 Turtles Into The Arabian Gulf To Mark The UAE National Day

Dubai, 1 December 2015: Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, celebrated the UAE’s 44th National Day with the release of 44 sea turtles into the Arabian Gulf at Madinat Jumeirah’s private beach by Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Group’s UAE National colleagues, Emirati students from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, children from Senses, in-house guests, social media influencers, local media, representatives from Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the Irish Business Network and the Wildlife Protection Office came to watch the turtles making their way back to their natural environment (more…)