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Office-park setting belies this hotel's No. 1 green ranking

February 8, 2009
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GREENSBORO, N.C. - It's a happy coincidence that the greenest hotel in the country is on Green Valley Road in Greensboro.

Last fall, Proximity Hotel was rated the hospitality industry's most energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable building, earning the US Green Building Council's only platinum award given to a hotel.

While the hotel's setting in an urban office park doesn't scream green, its construction and operation do, allowing it to use 40 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than a comparable hotel, according to owner Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels, a local company. Proximity's dozens of sustainable features include oversized windows for natural light, 100 solar rooftop panels, and an elevator that generates electricity on its way down.

Even its popular restaurant, Print Works Bistro, has risen to the challenge with such innovations as the use of geothermal energy for the refrigeration equipment and oven hoods that use sensors to set the power according to the kitchen's needs.

The unsuspecting guest or diner will see only a high-design ultrachic hotel and restaurant, but the hotel staff is happy to give a behind-the-scenes tour. It's almost enough to forgive Proximity's use of disposable toiletry bottles instead of dispensers.

Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro, 704 Green Valley Road, Greensboro, N.C., 800-379-8200, 336-379-8200, www.proximityhotel.com. Doubles start at $249.

DIANE DANIEL

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