Many Coachella Valley hotels have adopted sustainability in exciting and inventive ways.
We’ve checked in to some of our favorites and see what they have to offer.
We’ll be highlighting one hotel a week, and throughout this series you’ll read about everything from herb gardens to beauty products made through ‘green chemistry’ to vehicle charging stations, and lots more.
So sit back, relax, and come along on our eco-friendly vacation.
This week: La Quinta Resort & Club
Where better to focus a green initiative than on the golf course? The team at La Quinta Resort & Club tells us that is just the beginning of the resort’s eco-friendly policies.
When did you first introduce eco-friendly features and how did you start?
The most aggressive period of our program started more than a decade ago. Recently the resort acquired a very technologically advanced composter that provides both ground mulch and reclaimed water, which we capture in 55-gallon barrels. The mulch is being used throughout the property in our flower beds, and filtered water runs from the machines being used for irrigation and is used to fill up golf cart batteries.
Do you receive many comments and how do guests react?
Much of this takes place behind the scenes, but golfers who are exposed to our extensive water conservation efforts are grateful and supportive. Our efforts do not impact anyone’s game, but they do impact our beloved golf environment in positive ways.
What qualities do you think are most important to male guests?
It would be difficult not to mention golf. In the Coachella Valley, which hosts over 140 private and public golf courses, La Quinta Resort & Club's Citrus Course was the first to achieve certification through the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program in 2004. We’ve also installed aquatic plants in lakes to prevent shore erosion. These plants help with nutrient uptake in the lakes, which improves water clarity and reduces the need for chemical treatments. And we’ve started a microbial program in our lake systems, which naturally helps keep the lakes clean and reduces the use of chemicals. In the future, our plans are to continue irrigation upgrades with new heads and nozzles, as well as analyze the golf courses for more opportunities of no-mow areas and possible turf reduction with the installation of more native plants and grasses.
What qualities are most important to female guests?
The many organic spa and salon products at Spa La Quinta always receive kudos. And, interestingly, these comments come from both genders. We use non-disposable treatment aprons in the spa and donate spa linens to animal shelters. And our spa-wet treatments are minimized to help conserve water.
Can you tell me about the most unusual eco-related request you’ve ever received?
The request was an internal one, occurring when a sales manager asked how the team could save the most paper possible when creating event proposals for clients. The concept of e-proposals is certainly not new, but we took it a step further by holding formal training in how to make an e-proposal dramatically more effective than a paper document. The in-person training involved homework, workshops, online practice sessions, and e-role playing. The resulting e-proposals were then submitted to the resort executive committee. Interestingly, the exercise has made everyone a better writer and a more perceptive reader/listener.
What’s your favorite eco feature?
The remarkable sustainability leadership of Chef Jimmy Schmidt at our restaurant, Morgan’s in the desert. One of the first pioneers of the sustainability movement, Chef Schmidt is a founder of the prestigious Chefs Collaborative, which works to promote culinary seasonality, food diversity and the support of local food economies by restaurants and food suppliers nationwide. A culinary innovator, Chef Schmidt has always focused on sourcing local products that are grown and raised responsibly, and he consistently uses this approach to develop his menus for Morgan’s.
Any changes or additions coming up?
Look for some very interesting national sustainability announcements from Chef Schmidt, as well as even more golf course and spa news.
La Quinta Resort & Club, 49-499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta, 760-564-4111