GTA Award member Laguna Lodge is an inspiring example of what it means to be truly sustainable.
In a privileged setting the luxuriously natural 5 star boutique hotel commands sweeping views over azure waters to a trio of dramatic volcanoes. Inspired by nature and created from volcanic stone, adobe and palm, the spacious lakeside suites are individually appointed with comfortable hand hewn king beds, fine linens, intricate woven textiles and indigenous antiques. In the evenings their award winning Zotz restaurant is bathed in golden hues from a large stone fireplace and antique candelabras, a romantic ambience for a fine dining experience. After the days tours and adventures enjoy a dip in the hot river rock spa pool and be pampered with a relaxing body treatment offered at the Hummingbird spa. Relax at the lava bar or lakeside pavilion and watch the surreal sunset turn into a star studded night. The Mayan highlands are rich in culture and the lodges indigenous staff look forward to offering you a unique and memorable experience! – Utz Ipetik! Welcome!
Laguna Lodge is completely off the grid, they produce 100% of their own power from renewable energy, the Lodge has a thin film solar panel array. Energy saving led and compact fluorescent/low wattage bulbs, solar garden lights, solar security lights, solar hot water heating and utilises natural lighting through large windows. The fireplace is fueled with naturally fallen brush wood found on the reserve. Natural ventilation occurs through air flow from large opening windows, high ceilings and natural building materials.
Rainy season planting. Watering in the early morning or late afternoon. Landscaped with edible plants, bananas, papayas, coffee and large hardy succulents. Grey water goes to the garden. Rain water is collected in rainy season for drinking. Sheets and towels are changed every three days unless otherwise requested. Water pressure reduction for water saving. Modern toilets set at low water levels and have half flush option.
Rain and lake water is put through modern filters then ultra violet light and reverse osmosis is used for processing drinking water with regular filter changes and maintenance.
Other Energy Conservation
Solar pump for water supply. Natural gas stoves. Pressure cookers. The Lodge grows their own organic food and purchases as many items as possible locally and then nationally before internationally. Sheets are sun dried when possible. Lawns cut with manual mowers. Batteries are rechargeable. Sports activities are low impact. All boats use efficient 4 stroke motors. Most employees arrive by foot. Staff are trained to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Reduced Use of Plastic
Favor natural materials. Refillable dispensers and containers. Water bottles may be refilled with purified water. Filtered water in rooms and served in the restaurant. Seedlings are grown in reused cardboard containers. Plastic bags reused and kept to a minimum. Bulk purchasing to reduce packaging.
Other Sustainable Materials
Natural locally produced unbleached cotton towels. Hand woven local wool blankets, happy goose down duvets and pillows. Vegan hypoallergenic bedding and pillows. Hand blown recycled glass and stoneware. Bamboo table mats. Stainless steel kitchen utensils, appliances and equipment. Individual re-usable cotton hand towels in public bathrooms. Reduced use of paper napkins in favour of cloth napkins in the restaurant. E-mail communications. Reduced printing. Paper is printed on both sides and recycled. Blackboards /white boards for daily information.
Non toxic biodegradable phosphate and chlorine free detergents and natural cleaning agents are used through out the lodge. Smoke and fragrance free rooms, unscented candles. Natural and organic toiletries and spa range. Bathroom tissue is unbleached. Towels and flannels are unbleached. Unbleached paper used for printing and writing. Linseed oil and water based varnish used for wood preservation. Finishing materials are low/zero voc and are lead free. Spa pool is cleansed with copper and natural minerals. Swimming pool is cleansed with silver/copper and ultra violet filter. Landscaping and organic food production using natural insecticides, mulch and compost. Natural foods without preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial colours or flavours are served.
Reusable bags, wooden and cardboard boxes are used to bring supplies. Bulk buying and emphasis on fresh unpackaged produce. Food waste is composted for the garden and other recyclable waste is separated into plastics, paper, metal and glass bins then taken to re-cycling centres. Un-recyclable waste is buried on our land to prevent burning in municipal dumps. Used engine oil and cooking oils go to a bio-diesel project.
Fly screens in food preparation areas. Natural fruit extract controls insects. Relocation of larger insects and animals.
Ecological, Renewable & Recycled Materials
Adobe clay is quarried and adobe bricks handmade at the lodges organic gardens. Cane is harvested there also. Trees cut on our land for construction are fast growing pine or cypress and are replanted in greater quantities. Other wood is from sustainable forestry. Stones washed down from the mountains in the flooding of 2005 were purchased from our neighbour and carried to Laguna Lodge. Local wood fired bricks, tiles and slate. Palm and bamboo are from sustainable plantations on the pacific coast. Reed mats are bought locally. Recycled wood has been reclaimed from old constructions. Antiques have been used in most areas. Recycled glass, and ceramics are also used.
An interpretation room can be visited before going on the nature reserve, entrance is free to indigenous people from Santa Cruz. In work time staff receive information on ecologically sustainable concepts, visit the interpretation room and study our web site. Notices are posted in staff areas as reminders to reduce-reuse-recycle. The Lodge arranges for various speakers to give health protection talks on topics such as dental hygiene and the damage poorly placed gold fillings cause. Family Planning information is available for staff who are interested.
The Lodge employs 100% indigenous staff including managerial, and provide long term employment with opportunities for personal and professional development in the fields of construction, organic gardening, reserve management, managerial, culinary and other services within the hotel. Furthermore the Lodge encourages the use of traditional clothing and the use of native language between staff to preserve local tradition.