Low-impact travel where sky is the limit is possible without losing the sense of elegant and seductive luxury.
By Valeska Idarraga
For eco-conscious travelers we have made a personal selection of 10 of our preferred eco-friendly hotels in our three destinations: Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Because sustainable travel and the highest standards of service should not be rivals, these properties emphasize in preserving both culture and local economy. Low-impact travel where sky is the limit is possible without losing the sense of elegant and seductive luxury.
The chef Fina Puigdevall converted the ground floor of her family’s 13th-century house nestled in the volcanic region La Garrotxa in Catalonia, into one of the world’s best-looking dining establishments now awarded with two Michelin stars. In 2006 they had a disruptive idea: creating five totally glazed pavillions to accommodate gourmets the world over. The room’s doors, walls and floors are glass; the ceiling is metal and glass. As you enter in, there is no bed, minimalism reigns. Absolute silence and relax, the inviting and huge four-foot deep tub is totally integrated in a confusing indoor-outdoor space. Obviously the gastronomic proposals are outstanding, from the breakfast with traditional local produce – and some of the best charcuterie you can imagine – to amazing picnics and the fabulous fine dining room. It’s not for everyone, but for those in search of isolation and nature in combination with a certain hedonism it’s worth a try. Les Cols Pavellons
The hotel images have been around the world and published in more than 150 publications on the five continents. Set in the heart of the Bárdenas Reales stone desert, the inhospitable landscape hosts a 22-room kind of lunar camp. You can decide to stay in any of the cube rooms, or sleep in a bubble for a more extreme experience where the sky is your roof. The hotel’s menu is plant-based to highlight that just a few kilometers far we find a unique vegetables kingdom, Tudela, famous for cultivating the best artichokes and white asparagus in Spain, among other green delicacies. Desert and oasis, the perfect combo. Aire de Bárdenas
Light pollution free, My Moon (literal translation for Mi Luna) is set only at one-hour drive from Madrid, and 45 minutes from Toledo. Escape from the crowds and the universe will unfold above you. At this remote spot one of the greatest payoffs can come after dinner; stargazing in solitude. Choose to stay in any of the four private 30 sqm ‘moon’ rooms – surrounded by a garden of aromatic plants – with unparalleled panoramic sky views to contemplate the infinite from a king-size canopy bed or from your private outdoor jacuzzi. You can also take a a spin through the heavens via via your room’s telescope while you explore the lunar calendar. Witness the magic. Miluna
The highest tree houses in all Europe, built at 55.7 feet and entirely made from non-treated natural wood, they use energy-efficient bulbs, wood central heating and a thorough recycling system. Immerse yourself in a 35 hectares of lush pine forest. Three of the tree rooms have running water, shower and electricity, while
the fourth lights up with candles and is perfect for travelers who want to live in the middle of nature, without added luxuries. The most special is, without doubt, the Oooh! Suite, fully rounded in its design, from the stairs to the bed, the table and the 39 sqm terrace offering 360º views. You childhood illusion can come true. Cabañas en los Árboles
One hour south from Portugal in the coveted region of Comporta we find this pair of waterfront cabins in Grândola. To reach these two old fisherman huts you have to drive across small sandy roads and vegetation fields across the estuary. Made fully in wood, they face the vastness of Sado river. There are no distractions in this minimalist refufe. Welcome to the untouched Portugal. Cabanas no rio
A little hotel of four seaside thatched-roof houses. The living space invites for relaxation on the white Gervasoni Ghost Sofas. The beach sand floor can be heated in winter. The Bedrooms, have concrete floors and minimalist white Corian open plan Bathrooms. The Garden, was left wild with its spontaneous vegetation on the dunes. Small, (sandy coloured), swimming pool to refresh the warm summer days. In the pool area, outdoor furniture by Kettal and a big daybed is built on a local fishing boat. Making the act of inhabitation a unique poetic experience. Casas na Areia
The main concern was to have the house open to the vastness of the property and welcome Nature’s gifts through the large windows of every room. All floors are paved with local clay blocks (heated in winter); fully equipped kitchen is integrated in a beautiful white marbled structure, open to the dining table in front of a huge window overlooking a 400 sqmt swimming pool. Lounge is a luminous area with white sofas and a beautiful fireplace corner. The 4 suites are spacious with a mixture of modern bedding and local wooden furniture and walk-in showers. Timeless granitic stones outcrop the green and stand by the trees or water as nature’s random signposts, inviting guests to explore and journey through the welcoming flat land. Time stands still at Casa No Tempo.
Around a camp fire at night under a dome of falling stars in the middle of the largest hot desert in the world. Find a spot with a 360-degree view of the sunset, the waves of dunes, and the surrounding mountains. It is absolutely breathtaking. ““Immediately when you arrive in Sahara, for the first or the tenth time, you notice the stillness. An incredible, absolute silence prevails outside the towns; and within, even in busy places like the markets, there is a hushed quality in the air, as if the quiet were a conscious force which, resenting the intrusion of sound, minimizes and disperses sound straightaway. Then there is the sky, compared to which all other skies seem fainthearted efforts. Solid and luminous, it is always the focal point of the landscape. At sunset, the precise, curved shadow of the earth rises into it swiftly from the horizon, cutting into light section and dark section. When all daylight is gone, and the space is thick with stars, it is still of an intense and burning blue, darkest directly overhead and paling toward the earth, so that the night never really goes dark.” – Paul Bowles.
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All the way down between desert and ocean, Dakhla is known as The Pearl of the South. About 350 km from the Mauritanian border, surrounded by the wild waves of the Atlantic on one side and the dunes of the Sahara on the other, this is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts the world over. La Tour d’Éole luxury eco-lodge is perfectly situated in the middle of the fascinating dune landscape with its stylish and sustainable design through the use of solar panels, intelligent wastewater treatment and locavore cuisine. Stay in one of the twenty-one bungalows and experience Morocco’s wildness. Tour d’Éole
Between the towering Atlas Mountains and the dusty Sahara desert, this discreet and quiet ancient kasbah is all but opulent. 14 rooms in a sumptuous simplicity decor, all different, it is the ultra luxury service what sets it apart. The extraordinary attention is all provided by locals from the palm grove region who have been trained to offer the highest standards of service at the The House of Dreams. And as soon as you cross the doors you enter in a new dimension: no reception, no keys, no tv, no hours, no transactions; an all-inclusive concept where freedom reigns. Welcome to paradise. Dar Ahlam is one of our preferred accommodations in Morocco.
From glamping to sleeping in bubbles or cubes, from the desert to the ocean, lush forests or dizzying cliffs, these lodgings have all something in common; they drive you to an introspective experience. In and out are fused and confused, the environment penetrates every corner. While traveling, we should think of our continuous interaction with the habitat and our impact.
REMEMBER: We can assist you in planning your tailor-made extended CÚRATE Trips journeys in Spain, Portugal and Morocco to escape the crowds and experience every destination authentically.
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