Sustainable in Paradise…..

Prana del Mar-view of hotelOnly a twenty minute drive from the tourist hub of Cabo San Lucas is a totally sustainable hotel-retreat center, and you will feel as if you have arrived in paradise…that is if you consider paradise blue, sunny skies, a long soft, sanded beach that you probably will have to yourself, views of mountains, elegant accommodations, and delicious, primarily organic, meals.

Prana del Mar is a new (they just opened in November) dream of a retreat center. It is usually booked only for yoga workshops, but by late spring if they have spare rooms you will be able to reserve one and enjoy your own personal retreat, or maybe join in a class or two with the instructors permission. Three meals a day are included in your stay and more than likely some of what you will be eating will come from their organic garden. They have an on staff massage therapist who has received rave reviews, and she does a variety of massages including hot stone and also body wraps with a salt scrub to finish.

The hotel and its location are stunning, and the rooms are inviting with gorgeous views but what excited me the most is that it is completely sustainable. This hotel is truly an inspiration for what is possible, but this is nothing close to ‘roughing it’.

At Prana del Mar stewardship for the environment is a primary concern, and this is not just lip service, they really do tread as lightly as possible. Here are some of the ways that they are reducing the impact on the local environment and the planet:

-All of their electricity comes from solar panels installed throughout the property.

-The pool is solar heated.

-All waste water is treated on-site and reused to irrigate the gardens. They also have their own well.

-Skylights were incorporated in the design to increase natural lighting and so they can almost eliminate the need to use lights during the day.

-All appliance and light fixtures were selected with energy efficiency as a criteria.

-Organic sheets, bath towels and bath mats are used in all of the rooms.

-In order to reduce water use guests have the option to reuse linens and towels.

-Cloth hand towels are used rather than papers towels.

-The garden is completely organic. No pesticides or herbicides are used and compost is made on-site from food waste and organic materials and then used as fertilizer.

-Only green cleaning products are used….and I saw them so this is really the case.

-Organic personal care products -shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions -are available for guests, and they are supplied in dispensers to reduce single use plastic containers.

-Aerated shower heads are in all of the bathrooms, which create great water pressure but at low flow rates, and toilets are low-flow.

-Wherever possible they recycle and they use only rechargeable batteries.

-Purified drinking water is available for guests, and every guest receives a refillable bottle to eliminate single use plastic bottles.

-The floor of the yoga studio is strand bamboo.

-Even the servers that host their website are 100% powered by wind energy.

-If guests purchase carbon offsets for their plane flights Prana del Mar will credit you that amount toward any massage, spa service, surf lesson or any other excursion that you organize through the hotel….Now that is really encouraging everyone who visits to take responsibility in every way that they can, and they will pick up the tab.

-And coming soon…..Solar power will be used for heating the hot water used and glazed rooftop collectors will be added. To me this is really impressive, they have already done so much and will be adding even more to make Prana del Mar even more eco-friendly.

For a place to completely let go, it doesn’t get any better than this. Within a very short walk you are on a beautiful, very secluded beach, where I even saw two whales. Look in the opposite direction and the mountains are visible. On the property there are lovely areas to just relax…by the pool, on the rooftop deck or on a hammock. Visit with Mariana and Benjamin who you may find working in the organic garden or perhaps adding fruits and vegetable to the dehydrator, where they are regularly drying some of their harvest. When I visited the garden was abundant with a few varieties of lettuce, mustard greens, beets, marigolds (a good natural pest repellant), dill, fennel and the tomatoes were starting to arrive.

If you need a little bit more activity there is horseback riding, and you can ride on the sand or head to the mountains. Or if you miss the city life you can head to Cabo for some dancing at night or during the day you can go on a boat ride to catch a glimpse of the whales, go snorkeling or scuba diving. Alternatively you can head north to the artists colony of Todos Santos, which is just a short drive.

At Prana del Mar guests get to experience first hand what is possible on a sustainable property…beauty, efficiency, great food, relaxation and all in an environment that is clean and not harming the environment. Here is the web site for Prana del Mar and this is the current calendar for upcoming retreats.

When you make your visit tell them hello from SmartLifeways. Here are some photos to begin to experience what you will find at Prana del Mar.

Prana del Mar-poolPrana del Mar-fireplace areaPrana del Mar-Rooftop deckPrana del Mar-Solar panels and a viewPrana del Mar-room with deckPrana del Mar-Mariana in garden

Prana del Mar-Ben with dehydratorPrana del Mar-view from dining room
Prana del Mar-main bldg with poolPrana del Mar-Yoga RoomPrana del Mar-statue