Terranea Resort: A Destination Hotel That Offers a Green Getaway in Palos Verdes

From the humanely-raised foods we eat to the clothes manufactured in fair workplace environments we wear, eco-friendly and considerate practices are becoming more prevalent across a myriad of industries. Sustainable tourism is no exception. Hotels are planning responsibly, and not just by asking guests to re-use their towels.

Many properties are growing their own gardens, taking effective energy-conserving measures and significantly limiting their amount of waste. Terranea Resort is the perfect example of a property not only built with green materials but that pays special care to the natural environment around it.

Terranea Front Drive. (Photo courtesy of Terranea)

Terranea Front Drive. (Photo courtesy of Terranea)

The Palos Verdes getaway has its own honey farm, grows citrus trees, harvests salt from the Pacific Ocean and has a comprehensive food-recycling program that was introduced in 2012 (about 80 percent of waste is recycled or composted). The celebrity-frequented destination (Tiffani Thiessen is a regular, among many others) occupies a fourth of the 102-acre land, allowing guests to enjoy 75-acres of nature.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the property (aside from employee uniforms made from plastic water bottles) is its sea salt conservatory. Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra collects ocean water from the surrounding ocean and harvests it in a sea salt greenhouse, where the salt is produced within three to four weeks by natural evaporation. Terranea reports, “The water is tested on a regular basis by water purity experts yielding a high quality rating of 97 percent.” The sustainably produced salt is used at the property’s restaurants, available for purchase and is incorporated in spa treatments like the Terranea Seaside Renewal.

In addition to the homemade salt, the restaurant’s menu offerings are seasonal and include herbs, fruits and honey harvested on the grounds where the resort is home to 150,000 bees and four queen bees. The four beehives produce an estimated 160 pounds of honey a year, according to the property. You can taste the fresh honey paired with cheeses, in salad dressings, rubs and desserts like the sea salt caramel bar with a caramel and chocolate ganache swirl at Nelson’s. The restaurant is a perennial favorite for locals, not only guests, (must-try: hot Bavarian pretzel, and lobster roll). Nelson’s also has outdoor concerts reminiscent of The Surf Lodge in Montauk. 

The Terranea resort seen from the air. (Photo courtesy of Terranea)

The Terranea resort seen from the air. (Photo courtesy of Terranea)

The resort also offers ongoing “Fun with Purpose” programs, participation in sea lion releases or opportunities to plant-a-tree. Other activities include whale watching, ocean kayaking and a guided hike along the Discovery Trail footpath. Guests are aware of the eco-friendly practices, as they are displayed and explained throughout the property. It’s truly a destination for those who love luxury and care about making a minimal impact on their environment.

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