Rooftop gardens, beehives for locally harvested honey, and even on-site farmers markets…luxury hotels are going green with eco-friendly initiatives. The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte—the first LEED Gold-certified hotel in this busy North Carolina city—is the latest to generate buzz. The 140-room luxury hotel is already known for its garden rooftop (where bees produce honey for honey-based spa treatments and the honey pecan gelato served in the lobby) but now it’s taking it up a notch with a new “Urban Agritourism” program.
The rooftop garden has been expanded, and the produce is featured at the new Lobby Farmers Market, where guests can clip their own produce from potted plants. These ingredients are also used by the hotel’s chefs and mixologists. Bar tip: order the Charlotte Swizzle, concocted with rum, yellow Chartreuse, lime, organic jalapeño and mint from the rooftop, and Angostura bitters.
Also part of the program: guided bike tours of the city’s market and garden scene (free bikes organized by the Bike Valet); Plant life and conservation experiences for kids; cooking classes with local residents in the private Cocoa Lab kitchen; and private honey harvests with the on-site beekeepers.