The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is increasing its summer eco-tourism appeal with the addition of a new Urban Cultivator located inside the hotel, one floor below the hotel’s green, vegetated roof. Part of a comprehensive sustainability offering at the property, the roof has also received recent major landscaping additions, with more extensive culinary, cocktail and spa plantings in place and two long-standing beehives already buzzing with activity for the season. By late June, the roof’s first 2016 honey harvest will take place, reaping more than 30 pounds of natural honey to be used in Bar Cocoa desserts, in sustainable cocktails at the 15th-floor Punch Room, and for healing treatments provided at The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Wellness Center.
Daily Tours of Rooftop Gardens and Beehives Presented Throughout the Season
This season’s sustainability-focused additions include the following:
The Urban Cultivator
The Urban Cultivator is a self-contained interior greenhouse equipped with lights and power, and in which micro-greens are grown for culinary use. The Urban Cultivator inside The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte grows kale, pea shoots, broccoli, cilantro, basil, radishes, arugula, komatsuna and other micro-greens.
The Green Roof
The hotel’s rooftop gardens have been expanded for this year and are home to several dozen flower, herb, fruit and vegetable species. Among these are thriving cucumbers, peppers, kiwi, tomatoes, Swiss chard, cilantro, lemon grass, curry, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, cornflowers and lemon verbena.
The Urban Cultivator is located on the hotel’s 18th floor, and daily hotel tours in the summer take registered hotel guests to view the Cultivator and then up to the hotel rooftop to see the gardens and the two working beehives.
Farmers Market Table in the Lobby
Hotel guests can help themselves to rooftop plant harvests via a hand-hewn lobby Farmers Market Table featuring live and clipped plantings from the hotel roof and Urban Cultivator, along with produce from local farmers. Temptations include tomatoes, jalapeños, herbs, bell peppers and more, and guests may pluck these complimentary harvests for snacking, for their own cocktails and menu selections — or even to take home.
The Community Garden
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte grows herbs, fruits and vegetables in a free-standing community garden located outside its front drive. This garden is there for the public to enjoy, and locals often stop by to pick complimentary herbs and other items for their own dinners at home. Favorites include tomatoes, lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lantana and more.
Sustainable, Locally-Sourced Cocktails
Spring and summer cocktails from The Punch Room showcase locally-made spirits and house-made garnishes and ingredients curated by head mixologist Bob Peters. Two new favorites include the Cardinal Penicillin — created with local Cardinal Barrel-Rested Gin and house-made honey ginger syrup using honey from the hotel beehives, and the Holy Molé, made with mezcal and house-made cinnamon syrup — and garnished with a jalapeño harvested from the hotel’s green roof and then pickled for cocktail use.
Rooftop Mint Chocolate Fudge
As a special fond farewell, fresh mint grown on the hotel roof is incorporated into hand-made fudge created by pastry chef Crystal Broadbent and presented to 2016 hotel guests as a departure gift.
For further information on the LEED® Gold-certified Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, go to www.ritzcarlton.com/charlotte or call 1-704-547-2244. To engage with the property directly, visit https://www.facebook.com/ritzcarltoncharlotte. For room reservations, please visit the hotel website, call 1-800-241-3333, or contact a travel professional. The AAA Five-Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is located at 201 East Trade Street, at the corner of Trade and College Streets, in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina.