Cala Luna Boutique Hotel Focuses on Sustainability
By Federico Pilurzu General Manager, Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas | May 03, 2020
Travelers are getting savvier and are taking into consideration their carbon footprint while booking their vacation and even business trips. They are also thinking about the impact they have on the local community with over tourism becoming an important global issue. Guests staying at our planet-friendly hotel can enjoy their vacation and know they are traveling responsibly since sustainability and giving back to nature and the local community is at the core of everything Cala Luna stands for. We want to go beyond ditching plastic and implement practices and life choices that stay with guests well beyond check out. By allowing guests to participate in wellness and sustainable initiatives, like beach cleanups and our organic farm tours, we are looking to inspire them to implement similar practices back home. By providing guests with nutritious organic food and wellness and exercise programs, we are encouraging a shift in attitude, mind and body.
Cala Luna integrates wellness, recreation, and eco-friendly practices in a one-of-a-kind setting. This sustainable haven is nestled amid old-growth trees and native tropical vegetation in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Guests can hear birds chirping and see howler monkeys jumping from tree to tree as a daily occurrence, and Cala Luna's sunsets are unmatched. The hotel also boasts a special beach with pockets of volcanic rocks that create small, individual pools where guests can even see some marine life during low tide. Not only is Cala Luna celebrated for world-class service and dedication to guests, but also for the mission to honor and protect the beauty of Costa Rica through sustainability and conservation practices.
In December 2018, Cala Luna finished installing 1,400 solar panels in order to cut back on energy usage. United Nations award-winning Costa Rica solar power company Solar Ing was the lead on the venture with saline-protected, marine-grade solar panels specially designed to resist saltwater damage. Considered amongst the top 10 in the world, the panels are partly sourced from Germany and formulated to prevent oxidation while generating clean energy. The country of Costa Rica is working to achieve nationwide carbon neutrality by 2021 and Cala Luna's efforts are leading the way in achieving this goal. Cala Luna boasts the highest Sustainable Tourism certification, a level five, from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). In addition to its ICT certificate, the hotel also holds the Blue Flag Ecological Program certification, a prized government recognition highlighting ecologically specialized communities in Costa Rica. Beyond solar power, Cala Luna's sustainability efforts include training staff in green practices, flora and fauna conservation, implementation of recyclable and biodegradable toiletries, glass-bottled water, sustainably farmed produce, bamboo straws, complimentary bikes for guests, local art and decor promoting local talent, integration of endemic ingredients in spa treatments, and more.
Wellness and sustainability go hand-in-hand and Cala Luna puts both wellness and sustainability at the forefront. With an open-air yoga space and a spa on property, it is nearly impossible for guests not to feel relaxed. The treatments begin with a soul purifying palo santo that cleanses energy. Cala Luna's Calatea Yoga Studio is outdoor and allows travelers to feel a part of nature while participating in classes. Classes are open to hotel guests and residents of Tamarindo and are always small enough to allow for a personalized experience no matter the time of day. In addition to yoga and fitness classes (surfing, TRX training and bootcamps), Cala Luna also offers holistic spa treatments. There is a wide array of treatments offered within the unique outdoor bungalow among the tropical gardens of the hotel. The bungalow is built from indigenous hardwoods sourced from Costa Rica.
Cala Luna provides a dining experience with only locally sourced ingredients. Cala Luna's goal is to use only ingredients with a low carbon footprint. Thus, the menu changes seasonally in order to use ingredients grown or produced in Costa Rica. By not purchasing imported items, Cala Luna is more familiar with the ingredients that are used and retain better control over the amount of wasteful packaging and carbon emissions. Cala Luna promotes eating responsibly and healthily, looking to further sharper mental function and improved physical health. Cala Luna also believes that food and wine are intrinsic elements of life, and that is why the menu at the hotel is continually being reviewed in order to go by the stringent criteria necessary to provide the best possible dining experience.
La Senda, a 100% organic and sustainable farm, is the sister farm of Cala Luna. Located at an approximate 15-minute drive from the hotel. La Senda focuses on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and is surrounded by domestic and wild animals, showing the natural flow of life. The goal of La Senda is to grow a considerable variety of fruits and vegetables to provide Cala Luna's chefs with fresh and organic ingredients. By growing these crops, Cala Luna can offer guests some of the best responsible cuisine in the area as well as an experience to taste the true flavor of Costa Rica without any additives or GMOs. Farm-to-table is truly their motto. Dinner at La Senda allows guests to experience the origins of their meal first-hand with a farm tour before diving into the delectable plates created by the Chef. At the dinner, guests can learn about the 100% organic methods of cultivation, the farm's biodiversity, water conservation, and soil management techniques. The farm-to-table dinner experience allows guests to directly learn where their food is coming from while enjoying the ingredients at peak freshness and bursting with flavors and vitamins. This activity also promotes human connection since guests get to interact with each other while breaking bread.
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