Green & Chic ~ Hamadryade Eco Lodge, Napo (Amazon), Ecuador
By Dian Hasan | September 26, 2009
It used to be that experiencing the Amazon, or most other nature parks, was all about “roughing it” with accommodation that always bordered on the rustic, quaint, and heavily ethnic. One important element always seemed to be absent from this equation: “Style”.
Fast forward to today, when travelers are more inclined towards eco-friendly, where “Green” is the new “Black”, style has pervaded into the design vocabulary of eco hotels across the globe. From Ecuador to Ethiopia.
Regardless of what we call them: Resort, Lodge, Cabin, Retreat, or Escape… being both green and chic is possible. And it’s here to stay. Introducing the new crop of stylish abodes: Hamadryade Eco Lodge, in Amazonian Ecuador (you probably weren’t aware of this fact either!).
The Lodge leads to a 64-hectare private protected Rainforest Jungle that allows you to appreciate the local biodiversity. Hamadryade Lodge practices Responsible Tourism, by endanging directly with the “Valle Hermoso” Community and the Galleras-Sumaco Biosphere Reserve.
Designed by French Architects, Olivier Donnet and Caroline Tresse, who went into the project thinking green. Opting for pure and simple lines, contrasting with the exuberant Nature around. Space being integrated in luxuriance, an opening under the canopy, lines amongst a chaos of curves. Integrating light in the buildings, allowing to regulate atmospheric humidity through a natural aeration. As for water and electricity, nothing was done that could damage the site, we have everything buried, avoiding cutting trees.
Four spacious bungalows offer all the modern comfort and elegance, blended with paintings of traditional inspiration from four Amazonian Ethnic groups. At night, the natural soundtrack lulls you to sleep after a day of exploring the jungle.
Dining is an exercise of enjoying the breathtaking view while indulging in French and international cuisine, accompanied by a selection of South American wines.
The lodge’s natural rainwater swimming pool awaits for some relaxation, and you can also wander around the lodge’s path that leads to the surrounding Rainforest.
Other activities can be arranged to visit Napo Province, from Walks through the Rainforest and canoe trips on the Napo, to Rafting and Kayaking in huge canyons; early booking is always preferable.
A Jungle Ethnic Lodge practicing Responsible Tourism
We pride oursleves for our engagement as an Eco- and Ethno-lodge.
Not only we work to preserve and protect our unique ecosystem, but we also work closely with the local communities through various development projects. This philosophy appears in every corner of the Lodge creating a unique ambiance for our guests.
At the Hamadryade Lodge, we did not wish to work toward any “Eco” accreditation, hoping to gain any commercial benefit from it; we wanted to do things according a personnal ethic based on the simplest belief: respect is everything. Therefore, what we wanted to do was not the essential part, but what we did not want to do was our main preoccupation.
We bought this little piece of Amazonian Forest to protect and respect it. We love it even more because of its imperfections, stigmates of a past exploitation… a gold rush took its tole on some small areas, leaving deep scars on the ground. We knowingly chose to build the lodge on this very same place, somehow to embellish this invisible wound and help it heal.
Through the decoration, our Ethno-friendly philosophy prevails again in every corner of the Lodge and the Bungalows, allowing an harmonious alliance between modern and traditional. Each Bungalow is a tribute to the Nature as well as to some of the ethnic groups cultural ethetism and symbolism. The colors we chose for the bungalows are directly inspired by the Amazonian Environment : the red soil, the wings of a common butterfly, tree leaves, a wild flower. Each ceiling displays the main animal and vegetal symbols from four important ethnic groups : Quichuas, Shuars, Huoaranis, and Cofanes. These symbols and representations give to each bungalow a proper identity with an ethnic and even mystic dimension.