What does it take to achieve LEED Platinum Certification, the U.S. Green Building Council's highest rating? As the owners of the first and only platinum certified hotel in the country, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels can say for certain that it takes careful planning, a commitment to environmental responsibility and a great deal of learning about sustainable building materials and practices. But in the end, every carefully considered detail was worth it, both for the proud hotel owners and for the guests who get to enjoy the hotel's hip design, delicious food, abundance of amenities and Greensboro's welcoming atmosphere. Most likely, travelers will never miss the decreased energy and water used to run the hotel, or notice a difference in the hotel's solar heated hot water as compared to conventionally heated hot water. All that guests are likely to notice is how luxurious and comfortable their stay at the Proximity Hotel is.
Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels is a collaboration between Dennis Quaintance, Nancy King Quaintance and Mike Weaver. Already owners of the Lucky 32 Restaurant, the O Henry Hotel and other properties, the company began thinking about the Proximity Hotel in 2003, four years before it opened for business. During the planning and building stages of the hotel, the company used the LEED Green Building Council Rating System to help guide the process, ensuring sustainable building practices, environmentally friendly materials and resource conservation were used. Once construction was complete, the hotel was a model of what can be achieved in sustainable commercial design and construction. In awarding the hotel with the Platinum Certification, the President of the U.S. Green Building Council stated, “Proximity is a showcase for high-performance, energy-efficient, healthy environment, and an inspiration for others.”
The statistics regarding the operation of the Proximity Hotel are impressive. As a whole, the hotel uses 41% less energy than a conventional hotel, and 33% less water. With 100 solar panels on the hotel's rooftop, the hotel can heat 60% of the hot water used in the hotel and restaurant. Careful consideration was given to the exterior of the hotel, with the planting of local plants, a reduction of soil erosion in the surrounding area, and a green rooftop planned for the restaurant, designed to reduce the urban heat effect. During the hotel's construction phase, 87% of waste was recycled. Much of the hotel's building materials were recycled, energy efficient, locally sourced or salvaged. The truly impressive thing about all the sustainable practices and features employed at the Proximity Hotel is that they only serve to enhance each guest's stay.
What can guests of the Proximity Hotel expect during their stay? Comfortable and chic loft, studio, and suite-style hotel rooms, many featuring large windows with the hotel's bold logo of an "x" in a circle incorporated within; original art from the hotel's artist-in-residence Chip Houlton; and bedding designed by the hotel's holding company to be plush and luxurious. Several floors of the hotel feature a "guest living room," a common space that provides computer access. Fitness-minded guests will appreciate the fitness studio, outdoor pool and the Greenway, a jogging and biking trail near the hotel. The Proximity Hotel offers bicycles and helmets for guest use. The Print Works Bistro is the hotel's restaurant, where guests can enjoy a classic dining menu, a selection of wines available by the bottle or glass, and in-room dining options. Nearby downtown Greensboro, North Carolina provides the perfect mix of activities for all travelers. Shopping, dining, winery tours, city gardens, fun children's activities including a water park and a hands-on art gallery, and several venues perfect for history buffs mean that a stay in Greensboro will be packed with things to do. After all the activity, guests can relax with an in-room massage.
For guests that want to stay at a truly eco-conscious hotel, the Proximity Hotel will definitely fit the bill. Guests interested in luxurious surroundings will also find the Proximity to their liking. In fact, the Proximity Hotel has something for everyone, all delivered in a smart, eco-conscious package that shows that eco-luxury is going to be an integral part of a brighter, greener future.