Behind the Green is all about giving you more insight into the places we feature. Our interviews reveal what happens behind the scenes, tells stories of the people on the ground, exposes the challenges they face, as well as the communities they impact; essentially the bits you don’t usually hear.
Meet Paola, the general manager of Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas. Whether it is hiking the mountains, doing the Flamenco or enjoying traditional greek dance, she is always active. Previously a financial analyst in the corporate world, she was attracted to work here by the natural, beautiful surroundings which make each working day a joy!
Learn more about Aristi Mountain Resort here >
How would you best describe the resort to potential guests? Is there anything they don’t expect?“Aristi Mountain Resort is a complex of small buildings that has successfully managed to blend in with local architecture as well as its surrounding nature. All of our guests have seen the hotel on photos or videos prior to their arrival, but what seems to strike them most is the sound of nature in this area, the abundance of flowers and the view. Guests are in awe of our view from the veranda. Our breathtaking view is something they often don’t expect”.
How do you engage guests in being eco-friendly and make them feel part of your green efforts?“Guests are often informed of our eco-friendly approach before they visit us. However, we emphasise on our green character from the moment we welcome them and give them their first tour of the premises. People are always very interested in our green concept and this orientation tour engages them straight away”.
What is the most sustainable aspect of the hotel which you are most proud of to date?“I would say water management is what we are most proud of. The owner of the hotel is a civil engineer by profession with a specialisation in water management so he really knows his stuff. He has worked hard to reduce water consumption.
Water consumption is minimised by putting pressure regulators to keep the pressure at the water tabs in a certain range, that allows water consumption to be regulated within the acceptable levels”.
What have you observed regarding the impact on the community, has it changed their awareness & attitudes towards sustainability?“There was always a sense of sustainability in this region, its part of the culture here, but we have noticed in the last year in particular a revival of green efforts and a collective feeling towards the local environment.
Our resort is a pioneer in the region, the locals are very positive about what we are trying to do here. For example we had a local University contact us, asking for information on our green practices to support their research about this topic”.
What is the best local dish or drink you serve and highly recommend to potential guests?“If you like fish I would recommend the trout. In order to have a real, authentic taste of the culinary heritage of this region, you should definitely try one of our famous Zagorian pies. Modest, simple and tasteful”.
What in your opinion is the most challenging aspect of running an eco hotel?“The challenge comes in trying to keep up with all new developments, creative ideas and trying to find the right way to implement them at the hotel. On the other hand, it is always challenging to work in a hotel in a relatively remote area when it comes to things like maintenance or even electricity issues.
Tell us about the latest green initiative or project you have implemented there?“We have implemented the “Planet or Plastic?” as part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.
National Geographic’s initiative, “Planet or Plastic?”, launched in May 2018, aimed at raising awareness on the pressing problem of single-use plastic in the world’s oceans, is our commitment. As members of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World’s family we are participating in this effort to tackle this global issue by committing in eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and plastic straws, which we have met”.
What’s next for Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas?“We love to welcome couples and families to visit us. Our next step is to showcase the hotel as a great place for team building activities for companies. Therefore, we are planning to create a small conference and events centre that will facilitate these needs”.
Find out more about Aristi & do your own green checks here >