Archive for the ‘cheap hotels’ Category

Eco Puerto Rico… We Go…

Hix Island House - Vieques, Puerto Rico

Hix Island House – Vieques, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico… ah, that sultry rustic spot just nestled one short direct flight from NYC (and every major airport, it seems). Well, I’m sorry to say that it’s the one place I haven’t been (that you’d think with my latino skills I’d know left and right), but sigh… not yet. And, although I even have some friends that live there, I just haven’t had a chance to make it… yet. Perhaps I keep going back to my beloved Mexico, but one thing is for sure… we all have to check out this rustic eco-chic island of Vieques… Pronto!

As John Hix says, “Nature is more fascinating and beautiful than things that are made by man.” Architect John Hix of Hix Island House is a man with a vision, that’s for sure. Just check out his website and you’ll see that he clearly “strives to make buildings fit with Nature… understanding the forces in Nature that cause those natural things to be what they are.” So, what did he do? Bring those natural forces into his architectural vision, of course.

On Vieques, you’ll discover extraordinary gray granite boulders set about from some ancient primordial era.

This is Eco Puerto Rico, baby!

This is Eco Puerto Rico, baby!

The sculptural qualities are definitely awe-inspiring. His words speak for themselves… these are buildings that harmonize with the countryside and absorbed or concealed by the landscape. At Hix House, his goal is to get guests diverging from their mundane urban or suburban lives. Designing with nature in mind, sun, land, breeze, and rain allow him to conserve energy, reduce maintenance, and minimize chemical usage. Houses collect rain water, they’re heated from the sun and then excess water is used to replenish the surrounding flora. The houses also convert the sun’s rays into electricity.

The Wabi-Sabi construction of block and reinforced concrete surfaced with plaster is also hurricane, earthquake and fire-proof.

Unglazed windows offer direct connection with climate and Nature and concrete houses with their steel rolling doors and heavy wood shutters have become havens for neighbors and friends during hurricanes. To wit, they didn’t encounter any damage from the three they’ve withstood.

So, basically, we gotta check this out because “Su campo es nuestro campo”. There are lofts, 2 bedrooms, whole homes, casitas… pretty much something for everyone.

Including me and you.

http://hixislandhouse.com

Splendid Isolation: The Ultimate Eco-Retreat – Endémico, Mexico

Endemico's Pool

Endemico’s Pool

Newly opened just a few days ago and set along rugged boulders in the heart of Baja California lies Endémico in Mexico’s fast growing wine region. Endémico (English: endemic), was designed to pay homage to the organic beauty of the landscape; from stark desert to lush vineyards. A team of hand-selected local tradesmen worked in collaboration with Gracia Studio to create 20 luxury cabins, which blend seamlessly with their awe-inspiring natural surroundings. Hotel owners Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha, the partnership behind the highly innovative Grupo Habita portfolio of hotels, are avidly committed to investing in the regions in which they build their hotels, on an environmental, social, economic, and cultural level. Therefore, the eco-friendly cabins are raised off the ground to minimize their impact on the landscape and are constructed from Corten steel and wood to ensure that they weather over time.

A sweet eco-cabin in the sky

A sweet eco-cabin in the sky

The rustic tranquillity of the environment also inspired the fresh, understated interior design of the cabins, which all feature simple yet chic furnishings. Minimal the cabins may be, but modern comforts and luxurious touches have not been overlooked. Private terraces offer unobstructed views over the Valle de Guadalupe and the traditional clay fireplaces, known locally as kivas, allow guests to sit under a blanket of stars and sip regional wines while being warmed by a roaring fire. From the pool, guests can soak up the calming solitude, while gazing out over the vast expanse.

I'll have a glass of Mexican wine with my view, porfa

I’ll have a glass of Mexican wine with my view, porfa

Location and rates
Endémico, located in the village of Valle de Guadalupe between Rosarito and Ensenada, is a mere 90min. drive from San Diego. The region is also known as “El otro México” (the other Mexico), being neither a part of California, yet nothing like mainland Mexico. The area, with its old fishing and mission towns, offers an interesting blend of modern and traditional Mexico and cultural traits from across the nation mingle here, causing an exciting cultural and artisanal melting pot.

Rates from $175-$325/night

www.designhotels.com/endemico

Lost Hotels Brings Eco-Adventure to Last Minute Deal Hungry Travellers

Hukumeizi - Colombia

“Be a traveler, not a tourist.”

Embodying this mantra, we just uncovered Lost Hotels, a website that intends to unite a sense of adventure with cultural destinations, nature and authentic experiences. Here, travelers will taste the local beer and food, experience local customs, test out the native tongue, make new friends and garner stories.

Tango Mar Pool - Costa Rica

Each week, time-sensitive deals to unique destinations curated by Lost Hotel’s staff of world travelers are extended to subscribers via e-mail or by visiting www.losthotels.com. Think independent and green properties, small-to-medium size, cool urban boutique hotels, Amazon jungle lodges and expedition cruises. This isn’t Paris in spring at Ritz. This is Tango Mar in Costa Rica, Sacha Lodge in the Amazon rainforest, Ariau Amazon Towers in Brazil, Titilaka in Bolivia, Hukumeizi and Casa Navegante in Colombia and Casa del Suizo in Ecuador.

Brazil's Ariau Amazon Hotel

In addition to its weekly deals, Lost Hotels will offer a travel guru service, where experts help plan getaways to any of its properties. This service includes being matched with a trip authority, mapping out the stay, finding accommodations and booking these suggestions at the best available rates. Lost Hotels was founded in 2000 by Ernesto Ruben under the name Ecorepublic. Ruben, who grew up in Colombia, longed to offer travelers a chance to explore unspoiled nature and cultural enrichment through quality accommodations.

Casa del Suizo - Ecuador

Former Groupon Colombia executive Jonathan Dreszer, Lost Hotels’ chief marketing officer, joined the team and in 2004, Ecorepublic transformed into Lost Hotels, the online resource for travels looking for the road less traveled. Currently, Lost Hotels is debuting its products in the Americas and the Caribbean. Other worldwide destinations are soon to follow.

So grab your camera and your sense of adventure. It’s time to get lost!

www.losthotels.com

Starwood’s Excellent & Eco-Friendly Element Hotels

Element Hotel's Lexington Studio Suite

Our friend recently stayed at one of Starwood’s Element Hotels in New York City (soon to open its 10th hotel in Miami), and I was impressed by both the eco-friendly touches, as well as the comfort and convenience (she had a stovetop and fridge in the room so she could cook and save some money while working in the big apple). With the average room rate starting at  just $125.00 per night, affordability is also a priority. Here are several unique design amenities keeping Element ahead of the curve:

·         Use of recycled tires for flooring and art mountings – an eco-friendly choice that is invisible to guests

·         Bathrooms that feel spa-inspired yet feature a low-flow oversized rain shower showerhead, as well as amenity dispensers to cut down on plastic bottle waste.  Dual-flush toilets also reduce water consumption.

·         Soy-based fabrics throughout that are soft and comfortable

·         Fully equipped kitchens with energy-efficient appliances

·         Environmentally friendly “Do Not Disturb” door magnets

Element Hotels is also the only major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for high-performance buildings.

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