A couple from Madrid, who spent many years living and working in London, have just opened what they say is Andalucía's first eco-friendly boutique hotel.
Mayte González and Javier Martín, who worked in the banking sector in London for a number of years, say that by opening Casa Siempre Viva, which is located in the El Peñoncillo area of Torrox Costa, they have "fulfilled a dream".
The hotel offers five double bedrooms, a swimming pool, organic meals and views over the Mediterranean and provides adult-only accommodation.
Siempre Viva Casa has been awarded the Passivhaus certification, which is a German initiative with eco-friendly building guidelines. The couple say that they first heard of Passivhaus through friends and were keen to make sure their project followed the rules.
The hotel, in which the owners have invested 600,000 euros, has been designed in such a way that it benefits from natural light all year round and therefore maintains a temperature of between 20 and 23 degrees. All the furniture is made from wood from sustainable forests and the decor is either recycled or ethically sourced. "Our textiles either come from Spain or from places we know have a fair trade policy," explained Mayte.
Hot water comes from solar energy and electricity consumption is fueled by a photovoltaic system, although the couple admit that the hotel is connected to mains electricity for days when there isn't enough sunlight. There is an allotment where the couple grow their own fruit and vegetables which are used in the hotel's kitchen along with locally sourced produce.