Dear subscriber/ reader
In this blog, we want to share our ideas for the design of our guest accommodations at our retreat New Life PEÑOL in El Peñol, Antioquia, Colombia.
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We have a busy life and when we want to go into relax mode abroad for more than one week, we usually look for a cabin or tiny house. Preferably with a fully equipped kitchenette and a balcony. Why? Because:
When we researched guest housing options for our Finca, we focused mainly on the above basic points, and on designs that would blend in with the natural surroundings of our Finca.
The first thing that came to mind when we thought about hills and the lake was wooden cabins. Wooden cabins are our first choice. They fit in the natural surroundings and are relatively affordable and easy to build on any type of terrain. A good choice for the slopes at our Finca because we can construct them on poles, which means, no need to level the terrain and alter the existing vegetation, etc.
When we bought the Finca, we contacted one of the firms in El Peñol, which specialized in wooden cabins called Maderas Inmunicol. They treat their wood themselves and give a warranty of twenty years on their projects. Wooden cabins in a humid place like the hills of El Peñol may not be the easiest to maintain in the long run though. Let us know what you think of this choice of our guest houses in the comments at the end of the blog.
Currently, glamping dome tents are very popular around the world. In Colombia, they are also popping up like mushrooms everywhere. Despite the popularity, we were not attracted to use this type of accommodation at New Life Peñol. Glamping domes do look interesting (see picture), and some are even fully equipped. We think they look a bit too futuristic for our general theme of wellness, mindfulness, and meditation. In addition, they might be less durable than wooden cabins, and may also be too fragile for the various weather conditions in the hills of El Peñol.
To be honest, we were never attracted to stay at a glamping dome site; it looks to us like they are a bit unpractical, not that comfortable, and will not provide enough privacy for our taste. But that opinion is only based on our feeling. Have you ever stayed in a glamping dome? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below this blog.
This is the latest model that we have been researching. We like A-frames very much, especially the ones made of steel, glass, and wood. They provide a good blend of earthy materials, which looks good in any environment. The sturdy steel construction, long life span, easy cooling and heating capabilities, flexible interior spacing capabilities, and low maintenance do appeal to us a lot. A-frames are also relatively easy to build on poles. See pictures below.
We found reference material from a manufacturer in Estonia who ships A-frame house pre-fab packets around the world. This is a very interesting option since the building can be finished in less than three months. We need to consider the import duties and transportation costs from the Port of Barranquilla to Peñol though, and we heard horror stories about the cost and time it takes to import containers of goods into Colombia.
Our plan is now to build locally. We engaged an independent architect in Medellin, DOT Arquitectura a couple of months back. They were very professional in their service up to now. While we are waiting for some administrative challenges to get resolved (maybe a topic for our next blog), we are researching contractors with experience in building cabins and A-frame houses in Medellin and its surroundings. Let us know what you think of the A-frames in the comments below. And if you can recommend good, trustworthy contractors with an eye for detail in Medellin and surroundings, please let us know!
As mentioned in each section of this blog, we would like to hear what you think of each option. Our retreat will be focused on couples or groups of people in their 35/40+, no kids (below18), interested in mindfulness retreats, yoga, meditation, and relaxation.
We will not have an activity program. We will provide fishing trips on the lake as a relaxing activity though. We will not have a central pool area and NO loud music. Instead, we will place a private jacuzzi on the deck of each cabin/ house! We can arrange excursions through third parties. We can arrange a rental car. We will provide breakfast, fresh fruits, and drinks all day but no lunch or dinner. Ok, we will have a BBQ when you catch some fish 😉
With this in mind would you choose a wooden cabin, glamping dome, or an A-Frame tiny house?
Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments or send us an Email.
We would love to hear your opinion!
In our next blog, we will let you know the outcome and our final decision.
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