Friday, January 28, 2011

Hotel Eco Paraiso Xixim, A Remarkable Eco Paradise in México

With the rise in all things eco-conscious, ranging from food to cosmetics, many hotels are catching the wave and implementing green technology and practices not only to lessen their carbon footprint on the planet, but also to protect natural habitats. Hotel Eco Paraiso Xixim is at the forefront of this wave.  This hotel is not only an extraordinary leader of green practices but has also developed a team of staff members that are devoted to protecting and showcasing their environment and culture. 

The two hour drive from Yucatan’s capital, Merida, to this exceptionally “green” boutique hotel takes travelers on a journey through colorful small towns surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, rivers, and a bio-reserve.  The journey continues along a stretch of unpaved costal road to arrive at a very private piece of paradise.  The owners and staff of the 32-room Hotel Eco Paraiso Xixim are dedicated to preserving the exotic and impressive flora and fauna that surround the hotel along with making as small of an impact as possible on the surrounding natural habitat. Only 1.2% of the 25 hectares of land, including five kilometers of sandy beach, have been developed.

The extraordinary environmentally-conscious practices implemented at Eco Paraiso include an “eco garden” that surrounds accommodations and public areas using no pesticides; solar heated water in showers and pools;  bathroom amenities  in large yet stylish dispensers limiting the use of plastic; organic biodegradable bamboo towels and robes;  chemical-free pools using special bacteria-fighting filters; hardwood floors made out of local and constantly reforested Zapote trees (which have a long history in Mayan construction); complete recycling of waste and a clever energy saving design that allows guests to enjoy this zen-like destination without air conditioning or heating – , naturally facilitated by the warm tropical local climate.

Thus, this hotel’s green mission goes way beyond mere recycling! Adding to the hotel’s mystique are eight bungalow-style Master Suites dispersed throughout winding gardens, allowing for the utmost privacy. These accommodations have king size beds, ocean views, outdoor dipping pools, sunken living rooms and indoor and outdoor showers with ocean views.  Additionally, the property boasts a new yoga/meditation space in a large thatched roofed structure with gleaming hardwood floors and new massage cabins also in thatched roofed structures (one for couples with an open shower!), a juice therapy bar, and a new restaurant headed by the creative chef Elia Córdova featuring  contemporary Mexican cuisine using fresh local ingredients. Favorite dishes include grilled white fish with a smoky chipotle and mandarin sauce, shrimp lasagna with plantain, squash quenelles [vegetarian meatballs] and the creamy coconut mousse a-la tequila. 

Not to be missed, and only 12 kilometers from the hotel, is a tour of the neighboring Celestún bio-reserve and Pink Flamingos. Alex, the hotel’s expert Ornithologist, guides guests on a breathtaking journey that begins at dawn at the bio-reserve park to view awe-inspiring exotic birds and flora. Next guests arrive at the ancient Mayan port of Canbalam for a canoe-like boat ride to the Petrified Forest through mangroves and thick vegetation to reach the Island of Birds and lastly, the area where the largest reserve of Pink Flamingos in Yucatan reside. The best months to view these stunning creatures are from December through March when they migrate to the warmth of Mexico for the winter months.

For a real “green” getaway  the Hotel Eco Paraiso has to be one of the most ideal properties and destinations to visit, for the amazing flora and fauna, the green hotel rooms and amenities, and a staff with  a big green conscious  heart.

View our new packages available at this peaceful resort:

Romance in Mayan Paradise

Flamingos in Celestun