Green Getaway: Eco-Friendly and LEED Certified Hotels and Spas to Visit in Las Vegas
When you think of green getaways or a holistic wellness center, Las Vegas probably doesn’t come to mind. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Las Vegas’s CityCenter—the vision of MGM Mirage—is one of the world’s largest environmentally sustainable developments.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified center is comprised of five properties (six buildings) including Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Aria, and Vdara Hotel & Spa, all of which are LEED Gold Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (there are four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum). In fact, the casino-free Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, is the first of its hotel group to receive a LEED rating. And, Vdara Hotel & Spa, which is also a non-gaming property, is even non-smoking!
While the design at Vdara Spa may be no-frills—think lots of wood paneling (sustainably harvested from the African sapele tree) and long corridors—what sets the spa apart is its exclusive use of the leading line of natural skincare, ESPA. “ESPA is a natural product line that is ethically sourced and created in their own UK-based factory, which is accredited as one of the best natural manufacturers in Europe,” said Vdara Spa’s manager Kim Key. “We strategically select partners that share our care and concern for the environment. We seek out products that are free of parabens, and are packaged with minimal outer packaging,” she added.
The full-service, two-story wellness spa includes 11-treatment rooms (two of which are couples rooms), three relaxation rooms, a co-ed mediation room and a full-service salon using sulfate-free, phosphate-free and paraben-free Moroccan Oil hair products, and nail services incorporating a vegan treatment line.
According to Key, Vdara may be the only spa in Vegas that carries one, all-natural line. The spa is also the first in Las Vegas to join the Green Spa Network, which also incorporates an integrated recycling program and the use of recycled paper for spa materials.
Among the signature body treatments that can’t be found anywhere else are, On the Rocks (body brushing, exfoliation, body massage with volcanic stones, scalp massage), and Desert Rose (salt scrub, personalized body massage, scalp massage, application of body butter), which were designed specifically for Vdara Spa by ESPA. Though, Key shared that the most coveted treatment is The Bamboo Ritual Massage.
The 80-minute Balinese massage promotes metabolic facilitation, and of course, relaxation and blood circulation. Services range from 25 minutes to 110 minutes and start at $95 to $350.
The spa also features a sauna, eucalyptus steam rooms, hot plunges and a fully equipped fitness center replete with a smoothie bar – and a registered dietician should you want a nutritional consultation.
Adjacent to the Vdara Hotel & Spa is the luxurious partner property Aria hotel, which is the largest building in the world to receive a LEED Gold certification. The gorgeous hotel and casino has been designed to achieve more than 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency and saves an estimated 31 million gallons of water each year. Of course, the hotel has used LEED certified building materials, but what’s outstanding is that even the slot machines are sustainable, since the bases double as air conditioning displacement ventilation units cooling from the ground up. For meetings, conventions and events, all convention sales kits are made from recycled paper materials (with the exception of the outside wrap), and uniforms in the convention area are woven from recycled polyester.
It appears the new properties strive for the highest level of eco-friendly practices, while the older hotels are also making efforts. For instance, the MGM Grand, which is not LEED certified, offers guests upgraded wellness rooms (after all, MGM Resorts International is the joint partner in CityCenter). MGM Grand’s entire 14th floor is known as the Stay Well collection. Which includes 171 rooms with wellness features, including LED lighting, an all-natural mattress made without harmful VOCs, toxic chemicals and off-gases, and an in-room water purification system which reduces disinfectant byproducts, chlorine, pesticides and some pharmaceutical and personal care products. The hotel’s conference center is also non-smoking, and Five Green Key.
As MGM explains, “The designation of five keys is awarded to hotels that exemplify the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility in relation to their meeting and convention facilities. MGM Grand is among an elite group of only six hotels in North America to receive this designation.”
Who knew your next restorative, green vacation could be in Vegas?