Eco Lifestyle and Lodge first Off Grid Hotel in Intimate Hotel of Barbados
The Intimate Hotels of Barbados group is celebrating 23 years of providing service excellence in the hospitality industry. This membership association of 40 hotels started in 2000 under the trading name Small Hotels of Barbados Inc. and represents the best of the island’s small hotels, apartments, guest houses and villas.
To celebrate its 23rd anniversary, Intimate Hotels of Barbados is taking its valued public behind the scenes to learn some of its history and meet some members of the group; the third of which is Eco Lifestyle and Lodge.
Located in picturesque Bathsheba, St Joseph this eco-friendly lodge which contains 10 rooms is owned by husband-and-wife duo, Kyle and Maryam Taylor who took over the property in 2018 from its former owner after relocating to Barbados.
But how did the property get its name?
Owner of Eco Lifestyle and Lodge said when they bought the property in 2018, they were both passionate about having sustainability in tourism but also wanted to pay homage to their roots as they are both from east coast origin, hence how the intimate hotel got its name East Coast Origin (ECO).
Kyle Taylor -Owner of Eco Lifestyle and Lodge
After viewing the former property and speaking to the owner they made the decision that they were going to purchase the property but enhance the space and make it a viable sustainable tourism product.
“We took over Eco which was formerly Sea-U- Guest House in 2018. When my wife and I decided to move to Barbados we wanted to give back to the community through the creation of jobs and focus on local and environmental sustainability. I had been in the hospitality industry before owning bars and restaurants in the USA, so it was already in my blood. The sustainability part came naturally as we just incorporated our personal beliefs into business practice. The former owner who was Green Globe Certified did a great job laying a foundation of sustainability, but we knew that there was so much more that could be done,” he said.
Not only did Taylor make the business sustainable he went a step further in creating history as the hotel is the only member of the Intimate Group of Hotels to have a PV off-grid system.
“We wanted to create an idea that a vacation does not mean you need to be wasteful. Luxury does not need to be that you get the towels changed four times a day or pump air conditioning with doors and windows open. Luxury should be that you get great service in a beautiful environment, but you can do that whilst being responsible to the earth. What is really unique about our off-grid system is that through our partnership with Acceleron, we not only have the first hotel in Barbados but also in the Caribbean that uses energy as a service where we pay them rather than pay the utility company for our power” he said.
You can see the off-grid nature when you visit their property in Bathsheba, where they have a natural waterfall, a non-electrically powered urban Sauna, and all their rooms while electric is run off the off-grid energy system which provides electricity without using the local electrical company’s grid system.
Taylor, who is a member of the Intimate Hotels Group of companies, said he joined the organisation back in 2019 due to him wanting to join a community in Barbados that allowed him to understand the Barbadian culture after he relocated to the island.
“Being new to the Bajan world we met a lot of persons in the Intimate Hotel Group of companies that have given us guidance. I personally believe that there is power in numbers as your voice is louder when you deal with government and private institutions. I also like the comradery from the other owners who are all working towards the same goals,” he said.
Kyle Taylor whose hotel has won a myriad of awards on Trip Advisor and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association said he is pleased that the eco-friendly intimate hotel has been recognised for its efforts.
“We have won our awards from Slow Foods, won Best Boutique Hotel, and Most Sustainable Hotel from the BTMI and we must now strive to do even more,” he said.
“It is not always easy to do the right thing, so we are really happy that persons are understanding and appreciating our efforts and when I say we I mean the entire team. Every employee has contributed to making the organisation what it is today “A hotel is only as good as the staff that is there. You can create this great ambience, and you can create a lot of sustainability, but without the great staff to give you that bloodline you are nothing. We are fortunate that we have some of the most amazing people working for us. A lot of the people came with the hotel when we purchased it and we have expanded since then to have over 20 employees and every one of them is very important to the running of this award-winning intimate hotel,” he said. (Write Right PR Services)