La Posada de San Marcos

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 Small family run guest house that offers added value to our guests holidays in the way of walking holidays, family adventure fun, gastronomic experiences and spanish classes
Member since: 25 May 2018

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Hospitality comes naturally to Andalusians and we believe that we too have developed this wonderful skill through living here for nearly 2 decades. Ángel was born and brought up in Sevilla, this is his motherland and I have a genuine commitment to my adopted, but heartily loved country. That is why, along with running our own business we put much effort in pushing forward the local community’s development and contribute as much as we can to its economy.
We recognise that the environment, the community and the culture within which we operate and our relationship with local organisations, businesses and individuals is vital to the success of our own business. We live and work in an area which has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe dependant on agriculture and EU grants and it is very motivating that we are able to contribute to the local economy by bringing business to the village on a regular basis.
We employ a local girl for housekeeping on a full time contract. As and when the need arises we will also contact people to help out. We have a contract with a local gardener who has an organic nursery and all our plants come from this nursery. Any extra maintenance/IT that needs to be done is always sourced locally.
We are members of the local business association where we have a whatsapp group for communication. This helps us keep up to date with the different activities, new business and problem solving that is needed all round
Approximately 70% of our turnover is spent in local businesses and we encourage our guests to spend money in the village as well. We promote the local heritage, architecture, culture, traditional crafts and gastronomy by giving detailed information on where to go, where to eat, what to see and what and where to buy throughout their stay.
Wherever possible we purchase supplies such as organic whole meal bread from Uli, honey produced locally by Julián, organic walnuts from our neighbour Ana, the jamón is always from the Iberian pig, raised traditionally free range by neighbours, the Iberian Pork from Juan Carlos who has a small butchers, local organic olive oil, local seasonal produce, goats cheese, ceramics from Rosa or Nicolás, the crafts shop run by Sonía y Pepe, handmade glass jewelry and plates by Irene, shoes produced by Juanjo and Darma, equipment produced locally, thus supporting local income generation.
This also introduces guests to the produce in the area encouraging the subsequent purchase of such produce who spend an annual average of 10,000€ in the village (based on an average spend of 50 euros per person in the various establishments). Much of the money earned remains within the village.

Environmental responsibility

 
We encourage our guests to respect our environmental policy on various important aspects: our policy regarding water usage and dirty laundry; the no-smoking policy throughout the hotel; the use of the recycling bins provided. We have strived to include our staff and suppliers in this quest so that they also feel motivated and are involved in helping us achieve our goals every step of the way.
Throughout all our activities we take the preservation and protection of natural resources into account as part of our environmentally friendly management policy.
We are in contact with the majority of guides in the area who are all qualified and highly respectful of the area. We have produced our own walking notes and encourage walkers to respect the country code and the environment around them.
We would like to be a part of keeping this unique place for you and your children and need your understanding and support for the environment.
Visual Impact:
Ground source energy has no visual impact.
The original roof tiles have been reused allowing the building to blend in. The stone from the building was reused to create the perimeter walls.
The original beams have been restored and used in the lounge area and dining room. The original front door has been restored and reinstated.
Energy Consumption and Saving:
The ground source energy pump provides hot water, heating and cooling. Heating and cooling is provided through underfloor. During the summer the excess heat from the building and hot water is used to warm the water in the pool which in turn helps cool the house. The system reduces our consumption by 75%.
We use LED light bulbs throughout the building. In areas where lighting is necessary and at night we have installed LED bulbs with movement sensors so the light is only on when somebody passes
All our equipment is kept clean and maintained regularly to reduce energy consumption.
The building was designed to achieve energy efficiency class A through the use of natural cork and lambs wool as insulation and high quality double glazing.
All our equipment is AAA classified.
The electricity supply in the rooms is cut off by removing the card key when leaving the room.
Heating and cooling is controlled externally with a constant temperature between 22-23º, via underfloor heating/ cooling. The guests can alter the temperature via the fan coils in the rooms but most find the rooms more than comfortable in all seasons.

Water Resources:
Rain water is collected and stored and is used for the double toilet flush system and garden irrigation.
All the taps and shower heads use the aerator system which reduces the consumption by 60%.
Shallow wash basins prevent overfilling.
To reduce water and chemical consumption we change towels and sheets every 3-4 days.
We always ensure that the dishwasher is full before using it.
The swimming pool is a salt water sanitized which require less time to filter, is kinder to the skin and doesn’t require us to store chemicals
Waste and recycling:
Organic waste is separated and used for compost.
Used oil is filtered and used to make soap and biodiesel.
Paper/cardboard, glass and plastic/metal/ tetrapaks, batteries and lightbulbs are recycled using the village services.
Paper is used on both sides and for internal memoranda.
We only print the documents we are obliged to, all our other records are maintained on hard disk.
Bathroom amenities are offered in refillable dispensers, replacing the sachets or disposable plastic bottles that create so much waste.
Products:
We use environmentally friendly products accredited with the eco-flower label for cleaning.
The shower gel and shampoo provided as amenities contain 0% parabens, colourants, phthalates, phenoxyethanol and is produced in less than 100km from us
We wash all our own linen with environmentally friendly products and always line dry.
We only change towels and sheets every 3 to 4 days and request our guests to respect this
Where ever possible we replace disposable plastic products by reusable ones.
We ask our guests to help us achieve our aims by:
Do not let water run unnecessarily, close the taps while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands and ensure that they are closed after use. Let us know if any of the taps in your bathroom are dripping. Do not flush the toilet unnecessarily.
Use the shower rather than the bath, a shower uses 5 times less water than a bath.
Keep your towels for 3-4 days
Switch off lights and fans and leave heating on minimum on leaving the room.
Don’t leave mobile chargers plugged in.
Use the recycling bins provided in the bar. The beer bottles are returnable and should be placed in the crates, not in the bin.
Follow the country code and bring your rubbish back with you after enjoying your day out and about.

Social responsibility

We encourage our guests to use public transport when at all possible. We provide detailed directions and have a video on how to make the journey from Seville airport right to the hotel available on the website We offer a 5€ discount to guests you make this journey or offer to meet them in Aracena if they use the morning bus where there is a long wait for a connection to Alájar
We provide our own photographic walking notes and maps for all our guests which are circular starting from the hotel.
We offer walking holidays and provide the transfer of the luggage on our Inn to Inn holidays.
In our Slow Week and Spanish language holidays we arrange visits to the local olive oil mill, vineyard, historical sites, iberian pig farm, bird watching, star gazing, cork harvesting, flora and fauna of the area, honey production, chestnut harvest and a family run delicatessen producing jams and patés from local produce
In our Family adventure holiday we use local companies to provide the various activities that the clients can contract.
Our Iberian Ham School showcases the iberian ham and includes a visit to a local farm where the Iberian pig is bred, providing an insight to one of the main economies of the area and the centuries old traditions of breeding and curing the Iberian pig, a local secadero where the ham and cold cuts are cured.

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