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The Hotel at Oberlin: A Groundbreaking Green Hotel Opens

Oberlin, Ohio September 15, 2016 – The Hotel at Oberlin, one of the most innovative green hotels in the world, officially opened this week in Oberlin, Ohio.

The Hotel at Oberlin is the first hotel in the U.S. to incorporate solar, geothermal, and radiant heating and cooling. The 70-room property is engineered to be one of the most environmentally sustainable hotels in the world and is one of only five hotels in the country designed to qualify for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Owned by Oberlin College, the hotel was developed by SMART Hotels and is managed by The Olympia Companies, key players in sustainable building with strong track records in environmentally sound campus hospitality.

Oberlin’s History of Environmental Action

The Hotel at Oberlin anchors the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District. It is a product of The Oberlin Project, a unique partnership between the city and Oberlin College to create a thriving, sustainable and environmentally friendly community. That innovative spirit is also behind the first major event at The Hotel at Oberlin next month:“After Fossil Fuels: The Next Economy.” The conference on climate change, which will feature noted speakers including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill McKibben, is co-sponsored by Oberlin College and the Oberlin Project from October 6 -8, 2016.

The Hotel at Oberlin may be the most prominent green building in the city, but Oberlin College has long demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability.  In 2006, Oberlin signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and set a target climate neutrality date of 2025.  When Oberlin's innovative Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies opened 15 years ago, it was hailed by The New York Times as ‘the most remarkable of a new generation of college buildings” and singled out by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the 30 “milestone” buildings of the 20th century. The Hotel at Oberlin extends that tradition of innovation and ambition, in a college environment where biodiesel, hybrid, and electric vehicles are routinely used and where each residence hall monitors and displays real time and historic electricity and water use.

Dining, Meetings & Weddings

Executive Chef Jim Barnhart, a native of surrounding Lorain County, oversees the hotel’s 1833restaurant, aptly named after the year the college and the towns were founded. The menu features locally-grown and locally-sourced fare. Chef Barnhart also oversees the catering menu for events and weddings at the hotel’s 6,500 square foot meeting and function space.

Architecture, Design & Art

The architecture firm behind The Hotel at Oberlin is Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), an architecture, interior design, and planning firm that practices nationally from offices in Chicago and San Francisco. The Hotel at Oberlin’s interior design is by The Gettys Group, an award-winning global design firm serving clients in the Americas, Asia Pacific, The Middle East/North Africa and Europe.

A permanent three-part sculptural installation by Ohio-born artist Maya Lin (Vietnam Veterans Memorial) will be erected in the lobby and exterior in 2017. The installation is inspired by the local climate and landscape, the final part of Lin’s "Ohio Trilogy." 

Oberlin, Ohio is located just 35 miles from Cleveland and is home to Oberlin College, one of the foremost liberal arts colleges in the United States. Rates at The Hotel at Oberlin start at $129 per night.

SMART Hotels LLC develops hotels and mixed-use projects at prominent university and medical center campuses. SMART is committed to environmental sustainability and is a U.S. Green Building Council member. For more information, visit

The Olympia Companies is an innovative leader in high profile real estate development, equity and hospitality management projects throughout the U.S.  They have created a new breed of sustainable, environmental and philanthropic boutique hotels managed, developed and/or owned by The Olympia Companies. The award-winning company is led by President and CEO Kevin Mahaney, an Olympic Silver medalist and a leader in capital asset management, business and real estate. The Olympia Company’s dynamic and pedigreed executive team delivers expertise in hotel development, LEED building design and construction, project management, operational oversight, branding, feasibility and market analysis, as well sales and marketing. The company currently has 19 hotel projects under management in the United States. For more information, visit

"The Hotel at Oberlin, owned by Oberlin College, is a 70-room property that opened in September 2016. It is the first hotel in the US to incorporate solar, geothermal, and radiant heating and cooling, and is on track to qualify for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The hotel also includes a 6,500 square foot meeting and function space as well as 1833, a restaurant overseen by Executive Chef Jim Barnhart. The Hotel at Oberlin is managed by The Olympia Companies, who have created a new breed of sustainable, environmental and philanthropic boutique hotels that they manage, develop and/or own. The Hotel at Oberlin is located in Oberlin, Ohio, just 35 miles from Cleveland. The Hotel at Oberlin, 10 East College Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074, 440-775-7001.

Click here to request photos of The Hotel at Oberlin.
Press Contact
Gayle Conran
twitter @gayleconran 

Copyright 2024 The Hotel At Oberlin
10 East College St, Oberlin OH 44074
Telephone 440-775-7001

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