La Isla y El Mar: Sustainable luxury holiday on a volcanic island
Text: Noelia Santana | Photos: Rubén Acosta
Lanzarote’s volcanic beauty is a Biosphere Reserve. The whole island is a habitat that has managed to maintain complete harmony between man and nature. The island is home to protected ecosystems and man-made artistic creations that enhance the atmosphere and the island’s culture.
For many years, the population of the island has worked hard to keep alive this harmony. They adapt their lives to the richness of the landscape, to use the natural resources of the island to their advantage, but always in a respectful way.
Luxury can be sustainable
Blending in with Lanzarote’s volcanic landscape is La Isla y El Mar, an adults-only, five-star hotel in Playa del Carmen, by the Martínez Hotel Group. It is the next generation in Boutique Hotels, a pioneer in eco-tourism and the first hotel in the world to be certified as ‘Biosphere-Smart’. It is working towards preserving the environment through the use of smart technologies and a rigorous sustainability approach. Doing everything it can to live up to its ethos: “Our environment, a source of life”.
Its approach to sustainable luxury means that it takes every step towards creating an enjoyable and deluxe environment but with the right practices. “Because of the way the hotel is built and the way the energy is managed, it consumes four times less energy and four times fewer carbon emissions than any non-sustainable building of the same size,” says Marga de Luis, corporate director of the Martínez Hotel Group.
Just like the population of the island, it has made use of the natural resources to create energy. For example, the air conditioning systems work thanks to the seawater running through the pipes along the corridors. Although actually, air conditioning is rarely needed as the natural isolation of the walls means that the room temperature usually stays quite pleasant without being too hot or too cold.
But being sustainable is a work in progress, and this is why it is conscious of raising awareness among its staff, partners and even its guests. One way is by encouraging recycling: each room has three types of recycling bins and intelligent lighting systems that help to reduce the electrical consumption and thermal load.
A reflection on Lanzarote
The commitment to and love for the island are palpable in every architectural decision. The hotel was designed by José María Pérez with a simple concept in mind: a building that thrives thanks to the natural resources of the sea, the sun and the wind. José María worked closely with César Manrique, a firm believer of this concept and whose architectural and artistic legacy was and still is a big reference in the island’s development.
The dynamic and natural architecture mimics Lanzarote’s environment to perfection. It’s the open spaces and discontinuous walls, it’s the rock materials and reflective elements mirroring the sea, making the guests feel like a part of the lunar landscape of Lanzarote. It is a natural haven that oozes relaxation, where the salty breeze of the deep blue sea, the gentle dance of the palm trees and the spectacular views of ‘Isla de Lobos’ will make you feel far from reality.
La Isla y El Mar Boutique Hotel has 81 suites all facing the Atlantic sea. There is an outdoor and dynamic fresh water pool – heated in winter by the solar panels, with hydromassage chairs, waterfall and water jets. There is also a wellness and beauty centre, ‘La Gruta de las Flores’, where you can choose from a wide range of customised treatments to pamper your body and soul even more.
Traditional cuisine with an eclectic twist
The restaurant, Kentia Gourmet Club, plays with flavours from all over the world, adapting them to the traditional Canarian cuisine to create tasty and eclectic dishes that match the stylish decor of the venue.
Its special ingredients are the volcanic terrain and its dedication to collaborate with the local agriculture. The vegetables and fruits are sourced from its own eco-farm, Finca Machinda, and the seafood is offered depending on the season, so the guests can enjoy the best of the island’s fresh produce, like the ‘cherne’, red crab or prawns of La Santa.
Last year, Kentia Gourmet Club hosted four gastronomic workshops, inviting the most innovative chefs of the Canary Islands to cook a taste menu that celebrates the fusion of local produce with other world cuisines. Due to the success of these events, new dates for 2020 are currently being planned. The perfect occasion for food lovers to indulge in avant-garde cuisine.
La Isla y El Mar has designed exclusive experiences to make you enjoy the island to the fullest, from wine tastings at the local vineyards to plenty of yoga overlooking the sea or boat trips with a picnic and the opportunity to enjoy a swim.
You will go home with your batteries fully charged (solar-powered) and a reinforced resolution of doing the best you can to look after our beautiful planet.
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