green holidays made easier
Westminster, a few minutes from Buckingham Palace and Parliament
This is a large and efficient hotel with modern amenities for both business and leisure travellers and within easy striking distance of severalLondonlandmarks. Originally built in 1897 for visiting aristocrats and gentry, a distinctive and attractive feature is its central courtyard with fountain and well tended garden.
There are 342 “standard”, “superior” and “deluxe” rooms and suites. All provide features one would expect in a hotel of this standard: en suite bathrooms, good clothes hanging space, high speed internet access and dataport. In addition they have complimentary still water, a two-line telephone,UKandUSAvoltage plugs and weighing scales.
Spa Fifty One, accessed via the courtyard, was included in the World's 100 best Spas by Harpers and Queen and offers pure and chemical-free Sodashi spa treatments.
There are three restaurants. The informal Bistro 51 serves British and French classics and a enticingly dubbed “Decadent Dinner”. The Quilon Restaurant and Bar is sister to one ofLondon's best Indian restaurants, the Bombay Brasserie. It serves southern coastal Indian cuisine with modern health dishes and has been awarded an AA Rosette. Bank Westminster, a brasserie, is sister to the phenomenally successful Bank Restaurant in Aldwych. Its conservatory dining room overlooks the courtyard.
The Zander Bar, the longest inLondon and possibly inEurope, has resident DJs till 1:00 am, Wednesday to Saturday. On a more relaxed note the Hamptons Bar boasts great cocktails and a resident pianist.
In terms of green initiatives this hotel seems very much the trailblazer for the Crowne Plaza chain in the UK. Most measures are also implemented at 51 Buckingham Gate, the neighbouring 5 star hotel which is under the same ownership.
Paper, cardboard, glass, batteries, stamps, cooking oil and printer cartridges are recycled. All staff are trained on the hotel’s environmental policy and main procedures. In fact office workers are even fined when they leave their lights on. Signs encourage guests not to request daily linen changes if staying for more than one night - though they aren’t fined for lapses in this respect! Nearly 1000 spotlights in the corridors and public areas have been removed and a new water harvesting system brought in.
The Crowne Plaza – St James has received a clutch of accolades from the Considerate Hotelier’s Association, a respected trade body. In 2004 and 2005 it won the Considerate Hotelier of the year award, in 2005 Environmentally Friendly Hotel of the year, and in 2006 the Envirowise Award for water savings.
Plans afoot for 2007 include a further reduction of energy consumption by 40%; having calculated the hotel’s carbon footprint it is introducing a voluntary carbon offsetting scheme for guests; expanding the recycling programme to cover plastic, wet waste, cans and tins; starting green patrols throughout the property and green audits within each department.
A hotel that’s definitely not resting on its laurels.
ecofriendlytourist.com visited Crowne Plaza London - St. James in March 2007