Cape Verde: Eco Hotel

Love sustainable travel? We do. That’s why for our SS20 photo shoot we took four explorers: Alex, Chris, Emma and Rachel to the remote islands of Cape Verde with sustainable travel company ‘Travell With Purpose’.

Our accommodation was an eco-hotel in Sao Pedro, built from natural, local and sustainable materials. The 13 bedroom hotel situated next to the sea, finished with a wood and lime putty. Certified wood was used to build the rooms, which can also be assembled and disassembled, so it can actually be dismantled and moved.

We spoke with the local architect, Eloisa Ramos, who had worked on many projects of different scales – from creation to construction. She believed in clear and simple designs that create a peaceful yet beautiful place to stay, whilst working in harmony with the natural surrounding environment. This eco-hotel was no exception.

Every element of the accommodation had been well thought out. Local materials are scarce, so this eco-hotel maximised on whatever sustainable materials they could get their hands on. Even the water from the shower is recycled in the toilet flush, and there’s no need for air conditioning due to the crossed ventilation. Although the hotel does have Wi-Fi it doesn’t have televisions, in an aim to encourage guests to get out and experience the local environment.

Eloisa Ramos has also carefully designed the sister hotel, Terra Lodge Hotel, which is set on the other side of Sao Vincente. Stone from nearby mountains was used to create the path to the bedrooms and almost everything at the hotel was handmade, including the furniture.

High winds from the Sahara often battered this location, so the outdoor veranda was open with wooden slats, which also responded to the sun’s path throughout the day. But it didn’t stop there. There were photovoltaic panels on the roof and a clever water system. Even the gate was made from recycled metal from petroleum barrels!

The people were also very friendly at our eco- hotel in Mindelo. The owner was originally from Sardinia in Italy and was passionate about football. He told us how he once played for the Naples national team, but that in his later years, he focused on giving back to the community. He funded and coached the local children’s football team which he really enjoyed, as football is one of the most popular sports in Cape Verde. His passion and energy shone through.

Inspired by his story we decided to give something back too and donated clothing to the local football team.

When we travel, we want to have as little impact on the environment as possible. We want our tourism to be sensitive to the agricultural environment and the local communities we encounter. This was certainly the best place to start our adventure.

By Jennifer Carew


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