Eco Review: Ecohotel Las Cumbres
By Cynthia Ord
At XelaWho, we do our part environmentally by passing the buck to those who are doing their part. With so many lodges, restaurants, and other tourist services claiming to be “eco” this and “green” that, our team of investigative journalists asks industry operators all the tough questions.
Ecohotel Las Cumbres is an amazing geological gem just outside of Xela. The hotel is built over the geothermic reserve of Zunil, so all water is heated naturally by the volcanic activity under the ground. Each of the country-style rooms has a fireplace and a jacuzzi, and some rooms feature private saunas of volcanic steam. The unique location of the hotel keeps its guests toasty warm without using fuel for heating.
The cuisine at Las Cumbres is also ecologically friendly. All the vegetables used in the restaurant are grown in the garden on the hotel grounds. They’re organic, so no chemicals are used at any point in their production. The coffee is organic and produced on the owners’ land as well. The drinks are natural, and an herb garden is available for guests to pick their own seasonings. All the food is unprocessed and prepared on site. Because the hotel focuses on health, no alcohol is served.
Las Cumbres has been open for about 10 years. The owners are from Xela and are always present and active in the management. They originally bought the land for the production of mushrooms, and they were going to use the natural vapor for mushroom cultivation. The local market for mushrooms was weak, so they decided to convert the mushroom production into a restaurant and sauna. After a few years, they converted their storage buildings into the first hotel rooms.
INGUAT, in cooperation with a French organization called Getes, awarded Las Cumbres status as one of ten hotels in Guatemala with local ownership and great personal service to its clients. These ten hotels form a network of healthy tourism promotion in rural areas, along with forty other hotels in Central America. To receive this distinction, all hotels must maintain European standards of operation.
New developments include about ten more rooms and a wedding garden. Las Cumbres has already hosted 27 weddings. For an escape from the cold of Xela nights, Las Cumbres offers natural warmth and homestyle comfort. Way to be resourceful with the earth’s natural geological features, hotel Las Cumbres!
For more information, visit the website at www.lascumbres.com.gt or call 5304-2102