Experiential travel has been on the rise among mindful adventurers. In its essence, experiential travel starts with being aware of our individual and collective impact on the places we visit. It is a way of exploring new places through immersing yourself in the local culture, history, gastronomy, environment, and society.
If you have an urge to take a more experience-driven route, family-owned Lanzarote Retreats might just have the perfect accommodation for your next alternative holiday experience. Founded in 2007 by Michelle and Tila Braddock, Lanzarote Retreats offer multiple luxury villas, holiday homes, glamping, and eco-stays across the Lanzarote island.
At their flagship location Finca de Arrieta, you will be immersed in the luxurious off-grid vibe inviting you to unplug and reconnect with nature. This charming, self-sufficient eco-village, is the perfect example of how eco-tourism does not always mean forsaking modern facilities and rich comforts.
What makes Finca de Arrieta such a unique holiday experience?
If you look closely, you will notice the energy of inspiration all around the village. Finca de Arrieta draws you in, invites you to slow down, shift from a busy mind to a simple life. Surrounded by volcanic ridges on one side and the beach of Playa la Garita on the other, Finca de Arrieta blends into the landscape so delicately that it truly is a hidden gem on the east coast of Lanzarote.
Tila Braddock explains the idea of this eco-village: “Offering our guests the luxury of a hotel with the simplicity and community of off-grid camping was one of our main goals. Finca de Arrieta has 17 different sizes of sustainable holiday accommodations. These stunning holiday homes, ranging from Mongolian yurts and traditional cottages to private, luxury villas are all very original and offer privacy along with communal relaxation areas and adventures for the children”.
For the Braddock family, sustainability is embedded in their business as much as in their daily lives. They are constantly working on new ways to achieve even higher sustainability. Their eco-village is powered by the largest green energy system on the island, and it keeps evolving! At the moment, the family is developing a vegetable garden just uphill from the eco-village. From sustainable business operations, locally sourced food, and renewable energy to engaging with the local community and organizing beach clean-ups – Lanzarote Retreats team wear their values on the sleeve.
What authentic experiences can you have while staying at Finca de Arrieta?
- Rent a Toyota Prius Hybrid and explore Lanzarote landscape. Just off the northern tip of Lanzarote, you’ll find dramatic views of La Graciosa island. We promise, for a trip to remember this is the spot.
- Order a locally sourced, hand-delivered breakfast.
- Socialize with other travelers in the communal spaces and enjoy the Monday paella night.
- Visit the farm and feed the animals. On their farm you will meet hens, geese, and friendly donkeys, always happy to say hello to guests bearing snacks.
- Participate in Children’s Cactus Garden. This is an ongoing project where guests and their children can start taking an active interest in nurturing and gardening while staying at Finca de Arrieta.
- Borrow a bodyboard or surfboard for a day at the beach.
- Experience a VIP private transfer from/to the airport.
How is Lanzarote Retreats embodying sustainability?
Sustainability at Finca de Arrieta follows you every step of the way. From authentic, organic architectural design to small details teaching guests sustainable habits. You’ll find words of encouragement around the area inviting guests to recycle, reuse water, be honest customers, and more.
LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE
- Built on historical farmland, the architectural design of Finca de Arrieta has preserved the original features of the site wherever possible. For example, the swimming pool was previously a water tank. A historical well has been reconstructed and now is used to fill up the pool. The Eco Tower used to be the main windmill that pumped up the water.
- Finca de Arrieta design follows the Braddock family values. When planning where the shower room should be at the Eco Chico Yurt, there was a palm tree in the way, but they decided to build around it. Tila says: “The tree is a wonderful feature and reminds us that we should live around nature without disturbing it.”
- The eco-village grew organically, and there was no master plan. As the family restored the old property, one by one, they added yurts, built holiday homes, and developed the landscaping making each new accommodation stand out with its unique features.
- The village is built with natural, eco-friendly materials, using natural ventilation, natural lighting, and incorporating the principles of Cesar Manrique wherever possible.
- They also partner with a local Arrecife carpenter and a cooper to have local, handcrafted interior elements around the village.
- The eco-village is powered by the largest green energy system on the island. Most of the electricity is produced by solar and wind energy.
- A local engineer has designed rotating solar panels to increase efficiency. Rotating solar panels can increase energy production by up to 30%.
- Greywater is re-used for watering plants and palm trees.
- A local desalination plant is used for producing freshwater.
- Toyota Prius Hybrid rental cars are offered to guests encouraging sustainable commuting.
COMMUNITY AND WELLBEING
- The whole concept of Finca de Arrieta invites its guests to slow down, disconnect from devices, and reconnect with nature.
- All guests are welcome to join paella night every Monday. It has become a big social occasion – a traditional Canarian get-together, with a big emphasis on celebrating family, friends, and the rich local produce.
- Eco Zen Yurt is a place for all guests to use. It is an escape for stretching, pilates, yoga, or massage. When it is not booked, the guests can use it for free for whatever helps them relax.
- Guests are welcome to use a local farm produce delivery service – order a grocery box or a VIP-ready breakfast delivered to your door.
- Lanzarote Retreats aims to extend its sustainable impact to the local community. They have just started a partnership with a community organization Lanzarote Limpia organizing beach clean-ups.
EDUCATION, AWARENESS AND PLAY
- Self-serve Honesty Shop offers guests a chance to help themselves 24/7 with any products or household items. Here guests can buy local produce, even local wines, and teach their kids integrity and nobility. Guests write down items they’ve taken, and at the end of the week, they settle up.
- The eco-village is a family-friendly accommodation. Play area for children includes trampoline, climbing frame, swing, pirate boat, seesaw, sandpit, even a giant chess board inviting kids to reconnect with nature and play with each other.
- Cactus garden – an ongoing project where guests and their children can start taking an active interest in nurturing and gardening.
- While waiting for the hot water to kick in, guests are invited to collect the excess water and water the plants around the village.
Tila leaves us with a thought for the future of tourism: “All-inclusive type of tourism is not bringing much value to the island. Guests who spend their holiday inside the hotel area are neither taking what the island offers, nor giving back to the local community.” Though we see a positive change. More and more travelers are seeking alternative, responsible ways to explore new places redefining the concept of luxury. For the experiential traveler, luxury stands for authentic, unforgettable, local experiences. A story for a lifetime.
To read more about how unique each of the 17 yurts at Finca de Arrieta are, check out Lanzarote Retreats website: https://www.lanzaroteretreats.com/range/eco/
Finca de Arrieta
charming, self-sufficient eco-village by Lanzarote Retreats
Thank you to everyone involved in this Canary Green project where our aim is to help promote sustainable tourism in the Canary Islands.
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- John Beckley; Founder of Canary Green non profit
- Canary Green non profit:
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- PR; Kim De Coster
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-Organic veggies and fruit from Finca La Calabacera
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-Yoga class instructed by Concepto Yoga
- In cooperation with Canary PR, Tenerife Magazine