Virgin America is already known for its unconventional marketing practices but it has pulled out all the stops at the soon-to-be-opened Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport.
The new terminal will have features such as LED ticket counters that change color to reflect the light outside and gates will be more like living rooms than waiting areas. They plan to have elevated work desks, free WiFi access and ample laptop outlets. Despite all this high technology, it will be the first airport terminal in the US to receive the LEED gold environmental certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Green features include low-energy ventilation systems, skylights which allow natural sunlight to illuminate the lobby and preferential parking for hybrid cars. The airport will also feature “slow food” which will focus on organic food and locally grown produce rather than traditional fast food outlets.
Most practical of all, thirsty travelers will be able to find free water at the hydration stations around the terminal and outlets with filtered water for filling up empty bottles.
This environmentally-friendly airport is scheduled to open in spring 2011. Costing $383 million and covering 640,000 square feet, the terminal will be the home base for the rapidly expanding Virgin America which will occupy half of the 14 gates.
by Gillian @ Luxique Luxury Hotels
Travelling to West Coast? Check out Luxique’s unique selection of luxury and boutique hotels in San Francisco.
There’s talk of building an upmarket hotel on the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco, the site of one of the world’s most notorious prisons.
‘The Rock,’ is the city’s second most popular tourist attraction after the cable cars, and the US National Park Service is eager to offer visitors the chance to spend a night there.
Guests wouldn’t sleep in the cell blocks that once housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly or Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz). Instead, the hotel would be housed in another part of the famous penitentiary: Building 64 - the guards’ quarters, which boast impressive views across the San Francisco Bay.
Not everyone agrees with the idea, so the plan will have to be approved by city residents. Concern has also been expressed by San Francisco firefighters, who would have to race over to the island in the case of a fire or another emergency overnight.
So the hotel idea seems a long way off yet. But if you have a particular fascination for staying in hotels that were once prisons, try the Four Seasons in Istanbul, Turkey or the Malmaison in Oxford, UK.
by Andy Moreton
A survey conducted by Luxique last year suggested that most people pretty much left environmental cares on the tarmac when they flew off on holiday.
But some hotels are determined to do their bit for the environment and encourage guests to do the same. I hear that the Kimpton chain, for example, have invited celebrities to help design special ‘eco-suites’ that feature sustainable crafted materials such as organic cotton sheets and furniture made from salvaged materials.
Kimpton have about a dozen rooms at the Hotel Triton in San Francisco which are all fitted with eco-conscious furniture, water-saving devices and recycling bins. Woody Harrelson and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were among the celebrities helping with the designs there.
It’s all part of Kimpton’s EarthCare initiative (http://www.kimptonhotels.com/cares_earthcare.aspx) that covers all their hotels and restaurants and embraces everything from the cleaning products they use to the elimination of Styrofoam cups.
by Andy Moreton