While the number of eco-friendly hotels is on the rise, it’s rare to find one that incorporates sustainable initiatives as comprehensively as the Shore Hotel, which opened October 7.
The striking three-story Gensler-designed project is the first and only newly constructed hotel in the beachfront city of Santa Monica to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered. It’s already at Silver status, and merely one point away from coveted Gold, which would make it the only such property in the city.
From the design to the construction to the operation, everything has been conceived as “green,” down to the lobby chairs, made from 100% pre-consumer recycled polyester, and the chemical-free products used to clean the rooms.
This was all part of the Farzam family’s masterplan when, a few years ago, they tore down two Ocean Avenue properties they owned and managed—a Travelodge and the Pacific Sands Mote—which stood on the site where the Shore has risen.
Half of the construction waste from those demolitions was recycled or salvaged for use in the Shore, and ten percent of new building materials come from within a 500-mile radius of the project.
“We all grew up in the community, we all live in the community, and now we work here,” says COO Steve Farzam. “Moving forward, we’re reducing our carbon footprint and paving the way for adoption of sustainable, green building practices in Santa Monica and nationwide.”
The lobby is deliberately laid out to draw in the local community: the open-plan space is a cross between a sidewalk and hotel entrance, and there are park benches for pedestrians.
And, true to the Farzams’ vision, the benefits don’t end when the first guests check in. By constructing the Shore, they have created 60 permanent jobs and also provide employee incentives to carpool or bike to work.
Further green credentials include native vegetation throughout, energy-monitoring and -adjusting systems, and a dedicated “Green Concierge” for advice on eco-friendly activities, shopping, and dining in the local area.
And that’s before you get to the 164 guest rooms, which are decked out in beach-chic shades of teals and orange and feature hypoallergenic pillows and duvets plus gizmos such as a simple room service and housekeeping light (no pesky laminated “do not disturb” signs here). In the “peekaboo” bathrooms—rain shower, check—one touch and your modesty is covered by a privacy screen.
But the real draw, especially in this midrange price bracket, is the dreamy ocean views—you know, the ones you’re often promised but don’t actually get? Some balconies face the Santa Monica Pier, while those at the back overlook the new Santa Monica Place shopping mall. Natural sunlight is maximized, and, thanks to double glazing, noise is minimized.
OK, so guests will have to wait until early next year for the sustainably focused Blue Plate Taco restaurant and bar to launch onsite, but before then they’ll hardly go hungry—especially not with True Food Kitchen handling room-service grub.