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Hotel Indigo: Eco-Friendly To The Max

Hotel Indigo
Hotel Indigo was the first LEED certified
hotel in San Diego.
Courtesy photo

The eco-friendly Hotel Indigo San Diego was the first LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design)-certified hotel in San Diego.The propertyis an impressive accomplishment. It’s angling to be a downtown neighborhood place. And that’s accomplished aesthetically via the placement of several photos of San Diego scenes shot by local photographer Ian Cummings. During a visit service was, per corporate directive, distinctly friendly.

I was fully sold on the idea that Indigo wants to be a good neighbor. That’s all the more impressive given that Hotel Indigo is not a boutique property. It’s a brand—there are 29 in the United States, and they’re under the giant umbrella of InterContinental Hotels Group. That makes Holiday Inn a sister brand to Hotel Indigo.

Hotel Indigo San Diego is one of just three LEED certified properties in Southern California and seven in the state. Some flooring is made of recycled materials (grocery bags, milk jugs, etc.). There’s an onsite recycling program, and recycling containers in guest rooms. Certain floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow natural daylighting and ventilation. There’s also an herb garden growing basil, spearmint, rosemary and other items to be used in the hotel’s bar and bistro.

Also, a much ballyhooed eco-roof will be used to grow drought-tolerant, native grasses. This practice serves to insulate the building, and helps use less energy for heating and cooling. The property is pet-friendly. But don’t get any ideas about taking Spot for a walk on the grassy roof—it won’t be open to the general public.

Sleep Here: The 12-story hotel has 210 guest rooms. All have hardwood flooring. The décor features mismatched artistic touches—red-and-white bedspread, yellow curtains and a green, floor-to-ceiling poster of one of Cummings’ photos on a curved wall just outside my bathroom. The rooms come stocked with Aveda products—and I’m hooked on the smell of the rosemary mint shampoo.

Hotel Indigo Guest Patio
Hotel Indigo Guest Patio
Courtesy photo

Eat This: Casual and healthy dining is available at a first-floor Phi Bar & Bistro. It serves breakfast and dinner—and is an open-air space that invites passersby to walk in. There are also dining tables on the ninth-floor Phi Terrace. At night, the fire pits glow. And on evenings when the Padres are in town, the terrace offers a great view into the seating bowl of Petco Park.

Do This: There’s a health and fitness center onsite. But in keeping with the hotel’s inclination to the word Phi (and the Golden Mean and Fibonacci Sequence—interrelated design concepts) the gym is called the Phitness Room.

By The Way: The hotel is completely smoke free…It’s also a partner with the Humane Society…Wi-fi is available for free… Guests who drive low-emitting and fuel-efficient cars get a parking discount.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: (619) 727-4000
  • Name: Hotel Indigo
  • Address: 509 9th Avenue