Beach House Dream
Michelle speaks to H&E Naturist about launching Eco Beach
As part of the launch of Eco Beach, Michelle gave an interview to the editor of H&E Naturist
magazine about the new villa and Lanzarote Retreats. Here’s an excerpt from the
Q. Can you share a brief background to your life before moving to Lanzarote and how and
why you chose to say here?
I moved to Lanzarote aged twenty-one having travelled the world at eighteen for a year and
decided going back to live in the UK was not an option. I just loved being abroad. I had been
coming to Lanzarote since the mid eighties when my parents bought a holiday home in
Guime. So, it felt like the natural choice for my future.
Tila also moved to Lanzarote early on, he was just 17 years old. He came over to teach
windsurfing at Los Pocillos beach and fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle. We met each
other on the island in 1994 via my brother and the rest as they say is history! We raised our
four children on the island and have just welcomed our first grandson.
Q. What were your reasons for setting up a holiday accommodation company and the
emphasis on eco-friendliness?
Tila and I originally worked on a few developments together and in 2004 built six triplexes in
the fishing village of Punta Mujeres. We rented these but found it frustrating if we had bad
tenants, so decided to try holiday letting them. At the same time, we decided we wanted to
live a more sustainable life, so we moved into what is now the Eco Luxury Villa at Finca de
Arrieta to be “off grid”.
After a year or so we needed an extra bedroom so restored the other building at Finca De
Arrieta into a new home for us and decided to try to rent out the Eco Luxury Villa. It was an
instant success! We were quite surprised because at this time there were very few rural
holiday homes on Lanzarote. Looking back, we were quite courageous and the eco side was
our personal preference. We find our guests love to know that even though they have
travelled abroad for the sunshine they are doing their bit by staying in one of our eco
homes. For many it’s the first time they have lived by wind/solar power, and they are always
pleasantly surprised that they don’t have to forgot their normal luxuries!
Q. How has this evolved?
Over the following years we added yurt accommodations, all with private shower rooms and
gardens, and restored other outbuildings to create what is now eco village Finca De Arrieta.
We have also added other villas and apartments to our range and our latest holiday home is
the stunning Eco Beach at the naturist resort Charco Del Palo.
Tila and I have taken a back seat in the company and our oldest son Joshua is now the CEO
for Lanzarote Retreats. It was important to us that the company continues to be a family
Q. What is the background to opening Eco Beach? How does this fit alongside your other
Eco Beach had been in an awful state for many years. It was an abandoned restaurant and a
property close to our hearts. We used to go and eat there many years ago when our
children were small. We always loved the location being right on the ocean, our daughter
learned to swim in the natural pool just in-front. So, when the property came up on the
market, we knew we would be able to renovate it to the high standard that it deserved.
We decided that we wanted to keep our eco spirit alive in this project so installed solar
which powers all the electric and hot water for the villa. We felt that being in the naturist
village of Charco del Palo we could see a niche for a high end villa which can sleep a larger
group of people.
Q. What do you think are the unique/special selling points of Lanzarote?
The island of Lanzarote has been tarred with a not so lovely image in the British press. As we
love Lanzarote, we are passionate to show the other side to visitors who have not had the
privilege of visiting.
Our eco range was of huge interest to the press when we launched in 2007 as this is not the
kind of thing the island is known for. We chose our properties carefully and have focused on
the unspoilt northeast of the island. It’s difficult to get across that the island is NOT one big
resort with kiss me quick hats. There is a huge amount to explore and discover on Lanzarote,
hidden cove beaches with no-one on, beautiful coastal walking paths, magnificent volcanic
craters to trek into to name a few. You also have wonderful tourist places to visit such as the
cactus gardens, caves of Jameos del Agua and Cuevas Verde, the fire mountain national park
and the wine region which is a great day out for wine tasting in the bodegas.