The core principles for a sustainable hotel revolve around reducing waste, saving energy, respecting the local culture, and providing value to the local economy. The balance between a hotel’s activity and the capacity of the local environment to provide resources and absorb impact is what every sustainable hotel should be aiming for.
At the five-star boutique hotel La Isla y El Mar (The Island and the Sea), part of the Martínez Hermanos Group, this balance is successfully achieved thanks to technology and innovation enabling the highest sustainability standards. When it comes to sustainable construction, architecture, and smart building systems, La Isla y El Mar is the flagship hotel on Lanzarote island!
We met with Diego Lavado, the hotel manager, who took the time to give us a hotel tour on our arrival. As we explored the hotel, Diego intrigued us with a thought “As much as we might want to run away from the digital world, technology holds the promise of making a real, measurable contribution to reducing carbon footprint, reducing waste, and lowering costs.”
What makes La Isla y el Mar an authentic holiday experience?
La Isla y El Mar guarantees a sustainable, avant-garde environment, intimate, and exclusive, where guests can feel relaxed admiring the panoramic views of Lanzarote. A signature landscape of Lanzarote is the volcanic rocks meeting the ocean, resembling two powerful natural forces forming a single reality. This image has been the foundation of the unique architectural design of La Isla y El Mar Hotel Boutique.
“It is known that the greenest building is the one that already exists. Conservation of the built environment through reusing historic buildings maximizes the use of existing materials. And we did exactly that. In 2015, La Isla y el Mar began a renovation project of an apartment building built in 1970, and you are currently standing in the finished project,” Diego explains.
The hotel is a unique opportunity to be at the center of tourism activity yet still have enough privacy, peace, and luxury. Located in one of the main tourist resorts of the island, Puerto del Carmen, La Isla y El Mar is an oasis of peace and relaxation where the body rests and the heart enjoys.
What authentic experiences can you indulge in while staying at La Isla y el Mar?
La Isla y el Mar encourages guests to experience Lanzarote island to the fullest. They offer the following local experiences for guests to book:
- Timanfaya tour/Hike. Explore the Natural Park of the Volcanoes and discover wonderful, volcanic landscapes, ascending volcanic cones, and spectacular craters. The tour takes 7 hours, includes food, and local wine tasting, as well as dessert and coffee.
- Papagayo Boat Trip. Adventure in the crystalline waters of Lanzarote on a sailboat and take in the magnificent Lanzarote landscape from a different viewpoint. You can choose between an exclusive 4- or 8-hour tour and choose one of the anchoring sites recommended by the skipper. Picnic and drinks are also taken care of.
- Famara Surf. Surfing is constant, unlimited learning, and also a lot of fun. Certified surf instructors will take care of you and teach you the basics of surfing to have an adventurous time at the famous Famara beach.
- La Graciosa Tour. Discover the Chinijo Archipelago from an exclusive mesmerizing viewpoint. Magnificent beaches and routes without roads or traffic will give you the feeling of returning to the past. Direct contact with nature. Lunch of your choice (restaurant or picnic on the beach) is included as well.
Bike Sensations e-bike ride along the coast of Puerto del Carmen. If you want to pick up speed when exploring Lanzarote, Bike Sensations electric bike is the way to do it. E-bikes are easy to navigate, suitable for all ages, and you don’t have to stress about finding parking. Grab a bike at the hotel reception and give it back at the end of the day.
Find out more about experiences offered by La Isla y el Mar: https://www.laislayelmar.com/en/experiencia
How is La Isla y el Mar embodying sustainability?
With an outstanding sustainability policy, innovative technological solutions and genuine care for the future of Lanzarote, La Isla y el Mar is the first hotel receiving “Biosphere-Smart” hotel certification awarded by the UNESCO Responsible Tourism Institute. The hotel follows the Biosphere Reserve declaration scheme, which pleads to support sustainable economic development along with conserving local ecosystems.
Architecture and design
- The hotel is a reconstructed apartment building built in 1970. Renovations are more climate-friendly as renovating an already existing building saves substantial CO2 emissions, produces less construction waste, and requires less energy and resources.
- The exterior design uses mirrored pergolas and roof elements as a continuation of the ocean. Every terrace has an individually shaped canopy to deliver the most daylight. Parts of the ceilings in the bathrooms and spa area are made of glass.
- Design showcases natural materials resembling Lanzarote nature. The building has natural warming isolation constructed by the rock wool material as a passive measure that also functions as sound isolation. The black and grey stone dominates in both, exterior and interior.
- The layout of the hotel allows guests to enjoy an intimate privacy, but also has open, spacious common areas where guests can interact with the landscape, native plants, feel the ocean breeze and relax.
Environment and energy
- Photovoltaic and solar panels installed on the rooftop generate energy for electricity and heat.
- Geothermal energy (a 80-meter-deep well under the building) powers the air-conditioning system.
- Cost-efficient water management and greywater reuse. The water from showers is diverted for flushing toilets.
- Recycling bins are available in all rooms as well as the common areas. They also have a special internal recycling system for dangerous waste.
- They use biodegradable cleaning products as well as packaging.
- The hotel is proud to have an “A” level energy performance certificate (EPC) and ISO 14001 certification confirming annual energy consumption indicators are 4 times less than a non-sustainable hotel with similar characteristics.
- La Isla y el Mar has joined the Biosphere-Smart Project committing to innovation, technological modernization, and the adoption of Smart Hotel Certification sustainability guidelines.
- The hotel has an intelligent lighting system to manage and monitor lighting in the whole building through a single dashboard. This system and the LED lamps ensure maximum energy savings and simplify maintenance.
- They also have a state-of-the-art air conditioning system powered by geothermal energy with a smart and centralized control panel.
Health & wellbeing
- Isla y el Mar cares about the wellbeing of their guests just as much as they care about the environment. The food for the restaurant is partly produced in their own organic garden “La Finca Machinda”. They also grow their own herbs and seasoning.
- Food waste is limited as much as possible by serving hot breakfast dishes only after the guest orders it.
- The hotel offers a Wellness Center with a wide range of treatments and rituals for health and beauty. From personal tailor-made consultancy to massage therapy for all needs.
Social consciousness and awareness-raising
- Isla y el Mar team encourages a positive behavior change in guests and staff. Guests are reminded to recycle waste, be more thoughtful when using water and electricity as well as towels.
- They provide training to all staff about proper waste separation. From disposing of cooking oil to the office printer toner recycling, they are constantly learning and improving their waste management system.
3 tips from La Isla y el Mar for other hotels on their way towards sustainability
- Work with local companies and local people. This way not only are you providing jobs and supporting the local economy, but you are also gaining invaluable local knowledge from the very people.
- Form a team that shares your sustainability values and mindset. Your team is the engine for growth. Isla y el Mar would not be such a success without a dedicated, passionate, and united team behind the scenes.
- Keep up to date with new methods, technologies, and innovations for sustainability. Technology is rapidly evolving. What once might haven’t been feasible, now most definitely is. Don’t get stuck in old thinking habits.
Diego Lavado sees a change happening: “After the pandemic, people are looking for uncrowded and safe destinations for their holidays. The Canary Islands could be a perfect choice. We have many hotels currently under renovation to become 5-star sustainable hotels. Tourists are taking sustainable and responsible travelling more seriously than before. The sector for sustainable, slow tourism is expanding, however, the real success in the tourism industry for the coming years is to be able to continue and maintain the actions towards sustainability. This way we can save both – our tourism industry and our dear island”.
Diego encourages other hotels to explore the possibilities offered by innovation and technology. For instance, all hotels could greatly benefit from digitalization, paperless communication, and sustainable transport while at the same time decreasing their impact on the environment.
La Isla y el Mar is working with Turismo Lanzarote on a project called “Lanzarote Premium” aiming to expand quality tourism, attract tourists with high standards and care for the local, authentic experiences. We invite you to become a quality tourist as well.
Read More on Their Website: https://www.laislayelmar.com/
La Isla y El Mar Hotel Boutique
the most sustainable, technologically advanced hotel in Lanzarote
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- John Beckley, Founder of Canary Green non profit
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- Interview, Andrea Endres
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