Thursday, 11 September 2008

Spotlight on… Chez Sven, USA

Chez Sven is located on beautiful Cape Cod, in one of Wellfleet’s oldest houses, which Sandy’s parents purchased in 1970. Sandy and Sven turned it into a bed & breakfast five years ago when they moved from Europe to care for her elderly mom.
Sven, a retired Lyce√© International history teacher, found a 1798 Liberty Coin under the floor during renovation. A little more digging and they discovered that in around 1750, their old Cape Codder was moved to its present location on Old King’s Highway, a scenic dirt road used by George III’s tax collectors. It is still possible to imagine what the area looked like before the American Revolution.

Guests can book rooms in the main house or in Seagull Cottage (with its own kitchen), set back in the woods. The main house dates to a similar period as the Atwood-Higgins house, a top attraction in the Cape Cod National Seashore nearby.

In renovating the northern wing of Chez Sven last winter, the innkeepers paid particular attention to detail, making the new space as authentic and as green as possible. Old 12-inch wide pine boards were recycled in the kitchen, as were most of the doors and hardware. One exception is the lovely private bath, hard to imagine back in the 1700s when the owners used a two-seater outhouse.

Guests at Chez Sven can count on eco-friendly towels and 100% organic cotton sheets, washed in a low-energy front-loader and air-dried in spring, summer and fall. Sandy and Sven offer natural amenities and use only green cleaning products. The couple love to share books and magazines from the environmental shelf in their international library. They serve as much organic food as possible, including homemade granola and yogurt, and provide water that has passed through 3-stage PUR filters. No plastic bottles here, although the innkeepers recycle any that turn up in the trash.

62% of Wellfleet is within the boundaries of a national park created by President Kennedy in 1963. This unique situation means there are miles of pristine forest to discover and many deserted beaches to explore. Wellfleet’s ponds and marshes are perfect for kayaking. From Chez Sven, it is possible to hike or bike to the beach or into town. It is a short walk to the popular Wicked Oyster restaurant, open year-round.

“Consider the capacity of the destination,” Ayako Ezaki, director of communication at the International Ecotourism Society, said recently when discussing choices available to eco-tourists. The town of Wellfleet has actually been far too successful in promoting itself over the years. The winter population of 3000 swells to 25000 in July and August. Sandy and Sven encourage ecotourists to come in fall, after the summer rush is over. The town’s folk are so much friendlier without the crowds!

Like oysters? The other main industry here is shellfishing, and Wellfleet celebrates Oysterfest in October. It is possible to go out on the flats, along side locals, and bring home a bucket of shellfish. Sandy recently volunteered to edit a book on the history of shellfishing, which will be sold at Oysterfest to benefit the local historical society.

For more information on Chez Sven and details of the special offer for September 2008, visit: http://ecobookers.com/hotel/North_America/USA/Chez_Sven_Bed_%26_Breakfast/105.php

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Eco-luxury villas in Costa Rica!

The eco-luxury suites and villas of Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas have been designed using green hotel practices and Feng Shui. The Balinese style village is made up of 3 villas, each of which can be split into 2 suites.
The villas are secluded by rainforest - dense, lush and exotic with a wealth of rare plants and animals that are unique to a waterfall environment.

Cascadas Farallas is 3 miles on paved road from Dominical’s famous surf beach, secluded by rainforest, but close to shops and a wide variety restaurants. The exotic southern pacific beaches extend all the way to the Osa peninsula and are within easy reach by paved highway.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

ecobookers 1st birthday!!

This month marks the one year anniversary of ecobookers.com. It's been a busy first year, and a fun one, so we’d like to take a little time to reflect on the past 12 months and ask you what you’d like to see in the coming year!

August 2007 – ecobookers.com officially launches with approximately 50 eco-friendly accommodations around the world, including eco-friendly hotels, ecolodges and treehouses. Each accommodation has been hand-picked for its eco-policies.

September 2007 – The ecobookers homepage is revamped to include pages with ideas for eco-couples, eco-luxury, eco-city, eco on a budget and eco-family travel.

October 2007 – ecobookers forms partnerships with ecotricity, Nigel’s eco store and Earth & Wear so that our lovely customers can get discounts from these great eco-friendly companies!

November and December 2007 – ecobookers’ Nikki Ashton is invited to write articles for eco-friendly blogs such as Amaze Magazine and Green Girls Global and lots of new eco-friendly additions are made to the ecobookers site.

January 2008 – With more accommodation being added all the time, ecobookers now has 100 eco-friendly hotels and ecolodges, all hand-selected for their wide range of eco-policies.

February – April 2008 – The ecobookers site continues to grow and we start work preparing for an exciting new show called UK Aware, which aims to show how easy it is to make your life more eco-friendly.

May 2008 – ecobookers exhibit at their first ever show – UK Aware – giving us the chance to meet lots of you lovely eco-friendly types! ecobookers is also featured as ‘Cream of Green’ in the Guardian!

June and July 2008 – We start work on a makeover for ecobookers.com, whilst continuing our search for eco-friendly gems.

August 2008 – ecobookers.com turns 1 year old and our sparkly new re-design is launched with improved functionality.

As you can see it’s been a busy, and fun, first year and we have more than doubled in size over that time. We plan to keep growing over the next year, so if you have any ideas of what you’d like to see on the ecobookers site, please drop us a line to let us know! Your feedback is always welcome!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Eco-friendly hotel in Italy

Today sees the addition of Hotel Jolie in Riccione, Italy, to the ecobookers site. This small, family-run hotel, which has been awarded the EU Eco Label, is set in a lively tourist resort. Located on Avenue Dante - one of the busiest streets of the area - shops and night spots are close at hand and the beach, one of the main draws of the area, is just 100 metres away. Riccione is also surrounded by a large hinterland made up of open green spaces, stunning scenery and fascinating castles.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Eco resorts in the Philippines

If you’d like to be based in the midst of a beautiful natural environment without foregoing some holiday pampering, then look no further than these 2 resorts in the Philippines – Lagen Island Resort and Miniloc Island Resort – both in El Nido.

Both resorts are set in coves against a backdrop of limestone cliffs. The area provides a wealth of opportunities for wildlife observation and sightings and there are plenty of activities on offer such as rock climbing, snorkelling, diving, trekking and kayaking. There are a range of accommodation styles to choose from and both resorts have an impressive range of eco-policies. In particular, the resorts are focused on conservation of the spectacular natural environment and improving the standard of life of people of the local area.

Monday, 4 August 2008

New Eco Camp in Andalucia, Spain

Today sees the addition of a new eco camp to the ecobookers site, the Nomad Eco Camp in Villanueva de Tapia, Andalucia, Spain.

Set on 10km of land at 650m altitude, Nomad Eco Camp is surrounded by wonderful landscape of fields and mountains. The biggest lake in Andalucia, Iznajar, is just 15 minutes away and has a beach that is ideal for children.

The camp offers a range of accommodation including a studio apartment, yurts and camping.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Site re-design

It's been a while since I last wrote and the reason for that is I've been fully caught up getting the ecobookers re-design ready. The re-design is now live on the site and we hope you'll agree that it's a great improvement on the old site.

If you get a chance please do take a look - www.ecobookers.com - and tell us what you think! After looking at the new pages every day for days now, feedback from people seeing the site for the first time would be most welcome!

We look forward to hearing from you!