Home of an ancient pre-Columbian community, the Island preserves the forest. Guests contribute to transplant a primary rainforest seedling to an area of secondary growth
Barefoot on the beach in the middle of nature like a modern Robinson Crusoe, that is the idea behind the Ben Loomis’ Isla Palenque. Ben Loomis, before Isla Palenque, was a project manager in Chicago, then he turned into a successful real estate developer. He fell in love with Isla Palenque, where he lived for five years and decided to create here a private tropical island’s resort. Isla Palenque is a protected natural reserve of 400 acres, collocated in the Chiriquí Gulf, northwest side of Panama, bordering Costa Rica and the Pacific Ocean.
The Gulf of Chiriquí and Isla Palenque represents one of the world’s few remaining undiscovered places and home of the Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park. Home of an ancient pre-Columbian community, it was a sacred site and a sanctuary of an indigenous tribe. It preserves rare primary forest and hundreds of species of plants, flower, animals and birds.
This is Isla Palenque, home of a sustainable private resort. The resort is in the heart of the island, Playa Palenque, the largest beach, spanning 1,3 km of coastline. The vacation spot is composed by Las Rocas Restaurant and Bar, the Infinity Pool, Sunbeds and Hammock Lounge and eight beachfront casitas. The casitas are your home on the island. The cabins are made in socially responsible design.
The interior is projected by a local firm, incorporates design and artisan furniture. The furniture is made using the wood of the island by the Artisan Carpenter’s Wood Shop, where they hand-craft the one-of-a-kind furniture.Most of the wood derives from fallen trees from a storm that rocked’ the island in 2012. The accommodation reminds a pre-Columbian cabin, with a straw roof, but with all the comfort of the modern time, from air condition, shower heated with solar panels, cosy beds and adds on, such as yoga mat and meditation pillows. The color used on the inside has the aim to give a relaxing effect, with shades of green and blue, reminding the colors of nature and sea around the cabin. A place to stay in contact with nature, without walls, but large windows that give you air and light inside the bungalow.
Hidden in the east-side of the island, is located the Beachfront Villa, a residence for big groups and families. The villa is beachfront next to Playa Primera Beach, tucked between ancient trees. Is a 6 free-standing with rooms, suites and pool. Also in this lodge you can find all the modern comfort in a socially responsible design, decorated with artisan furniture. The shades choose in this case are the tropical ones, with a hint of orange and pink, reminding the flowers of the island.
The island is a member of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels, nine lodges, resorts, and sustainable hotels in different regions of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with the aim to protect and preserve the communities and ecosystems that surround them. The island is also one of the National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World; a selection of properties, across six continents, of rare experiences. Those are some of the planet’s most treasured places where properties help to protect places for generations to come. That’s why Isla Palenque has high standards of sustainability, without sacrificing the resort comfort.
All the materials are renewable for an environmentally friendly and low-impact construction, locally-sourced and biodegradable. The construction is made by sustainable hardwood sources and rapidly renewable material to avoid deforestation. The deforestation is a sensitive theme for the resort, that’s why the structure also set a reforestation program, where the resort invites all the guests to contribute to transplant a primary rainforest seedling to an area of secondary growth. In the cabins and villa, heat and energy derive from solar panels, all the black and grey water are treated and reused for irrigation. There is also attention and engagement toward local inhabitants that are educated and trained in sustainable farming practising, giving them a work to live and to be proud of. In this way luxury also joins the sense of community and belonging to the territory.