Orla McArt review 17 Aug 2013
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Scenery, retreat guests, Yoga, puppies, lake, meditation... Lots of good memories.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Beware the hills!
It's ok you don't need to be a genius at yoga! Very suitable for beginners and the classes are great, if challenging!
When you are receiving the complementary treatment you may be asked if you'd like it with acupuncture. What you're not told is that this costs an extra 25 euro, which you will be asked for on your last night... Came as a bit of a surprise to a lot of us we were not told this at the time of our treatments.
Bring your own towel. They say towels are provided... One... All week. No extra towels are left for guests.
Don't worry the food's delicious (from a non-vegetarian)!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes. Locals were supported and there seemed to be a great alliance between Andrew and the locals. This was fantastic!
Yes. Dry toilets, recycling, composting etc. Really on the ball here!
Surprisingly, though they use Persil washing powder, even though the guests are told to bring simple safe products as it all goes into the water supply.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Very good with a few little drawbacks.
Read the operator's response here:
Thanks for your review on Responsible Travel. Sorry the additional acupuncture cost was a surprise. Normally Vonetta details this really well in your orientation on the first Sunday. Although we explain this in our Welcome Pack, maybe Olly didn't make this as clear as Vonnie would have done if we weren't partying with the kids at the Sudoeste music festival on that first weekend when you arrived! Last thing we would want is people to be surprised by additional costs. So sorry Orla. This is the first time we've ever had this happen, so we obviously got it wrong this week. We'll do better in future. :)
Secondly, on the grey water system, I normally explain this too at the start. 2 of our sinks in the farmhouse go to another system to treat the chemicals and salt. Our rinse sink in the kitchen and the waste on the washing machine. Eco friendly products for washing clothes are the worst for the land as they contain such high salt content. So we had to devise a separate system to deal with washing clothes.Likewise when we pick our olives we need to soak them in lots of salt before we can eat them. The first year we came we had to waste 2 barrels of olives because we couldn't dispose of the salt water anywhere without destroying plants.
But all the bathrooms you used, the water goes directly to water trees. So if people use products high in chemicals, it would kill our trees. Again, sorry we didn't explain this properly to you in the Pack or when you arrived. Although we explain this thoroughly on the Responsible Travel site.
Hope that helps Orla. This was our first "non glowing" review. But it's helped us to realise how important it is to explain what we do here better. So thank you.
Hope you get back home safely and thanks for being such a wonderful guest this week. We really enjoyed having you here. .
See you next year
Andrew, Vonetta, Josh & Ellie