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June 9, 2009updated Jan 28, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte Is First LEED-Built Ritz-Carlton Hotel  

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte at Bank of America Center is scheduled to open this October in the heart of dynamic Uptown, bringing The Ritz-Carlton brand to the fast-growing Carolinas market and becoming the first LEED-built hotel for The Ritz-Carlton and for the city of Charlotte.

The contemporary 147-room hotel is set in a sleek 18-story building designed to attain LEED Gold environmental certification from the Green Building Council, which certifies new buildings based on sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte at Bank of America Center has been built to provide a supremely comfortable yet environmentally-mindful travel experience, seamlessly integrating green and sustainable practices with the rigorous standards of The Ritz-Carlton brand. The new Ritz-Carlton will be an eco-focused rarity among top-tier city hotels.

Guest rooms at The Ritz-Carlton begin at 506 square feet and offer uniquely upgraded air quality, thanks to a state-of-the-art air transfer system that efficiently circulates large amounts of outside air into rooms and suites. Further energizing its green commitment, the hotel will utilize a sophisticated Natura Water Purification System, diverting 73,000 plastic bottles from landfills, saving more than 104 barrels of oil, eliminating nearly 49 tons of CO2 emissions and saving almost 605,000,000 BTUs of electricity each year.

A highly-reflective roof vegetated with living plants and aggressive water conservation and recycling programs will support the new Ritz-Carlton property’s commitment to its surroundings, while select staff will wear stylish, custom-designed uniforms made of fabric derived from regenerated plastic bottle materials. Among the hotel’s sustainable practices, complimentary hybrid-vehicle transportation will be provided to guests wishing to visit destinations within the I-277 loop on weekday mornings, while 150 guest bicycle storage spaces will encourage non-motorized enjoyment of the vibrant city of Charlotte. The hotel’s bike valet team will store and service guests’ two-wheelers and provide complimentary local bike usage, and guests driving hybrid cars will receive complimentary parking on-site.

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte at Bank of America Center will feature a 13,000-square-foot, bi-level penthouse Wellness Center-a special rarity among urban properties. The Wellness Center’s philosophy is embodied in its selection of natural eco-based treatments, 100% organic and vegan products and a menu of services designed to lend precious balance to life on the road. The Center offers four treatment rooms, two vitality lounges, a movement studio, fully-equipped fitness center, whirlpool and indoor saline-treated swimming pool.

Dining enthusiasts will experience a variety of in-hotel organic and sustainable options, including the Lobby Lounge’s regional culinary choices and its array of signature martinis, cocktails, wines, coffees and flavored ice teas. A street-side BLT Steak will further highlight the dining experience, offering prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood, a wide variety of tempting side dishes, and classic American dessert favorites. BLT, or Bistro Laurent Tourondel, is the personal stamp of acclaimed chef and restaurateur Laurent Tourondel, named 2007 Restaurateur of the Year by Bon Apptit magazine.

More than 12,000 square-feet of contemporary meeting space can accommodate up to 480 dinner guests at the hotel, with green meetings to be a standard. Offering nine function rooms, the property’s meeting, wedding and event space utilizes visually stunning yet environmentally-mindful interior design, as well as low-emitting organic components and materials seldom found in such quarters.

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