Surrounded by lively green gardens on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Hotel La Semilla set out to offer a more conscious form of hospitality. One of its key goals is to spread awareness about the importance of nature in our lives. To that aim, Angie Rodriguez and Alexis Schärer have launched an initiative called Árboles La Semilla, through which they plant trees to forge a deeper connection to nature and share their message. For this project, La Semilla has become a tree ambassador for One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization focused on global reforestation. It’s a fitting passion project for La Semilla, whose name means “seed” in Spanish. The owners have also developed a spiritual initiative called Zemillas, which aims to help guests develop self-knowledge for self-transformation and transform obstacles into opportunities. As Schärer says, “How could you be conscious about the external world if you are not connected first with your inner consciousness?” The hotel does good work on the details, too: The breakfast menu is small, locally sourced, and mostly vegetarian. Instead of buying cut flowers, the team uses potted plants for decoration. And when the plants grow too large they are planted in the garden, which nicely illustrates Hotel La Semilla’s dedication to circularity.
The hotel is set inside an existing building that was minimally refurbished. Local materials such as stone, polished concrete, and bricks were used to create the simple, earthy feel.
Each day, guests are given a large glass bottle of water to reduce plastic waste, which they refill for free. The hotel has reduced cut flowers and paper in both guestrooms and public spaces.
At breakfast, the hotel serves mainly healthy, locally sourced vegetarian dishes, though meat options are on offer. The menu is small and changes daily to reduce food waste.
La Semilla collaborates with the Amigos de Sian Ka’an Organization, one of Mexico’s most respected institutions for conservation, sustainable development, and education.
Guests are invited to connect with nature through outdoor yoga classes and jungle excursions. Through the Zemillas well-being program, guests can work to develop self-knowledge for self-transformation.
Free bicycles allow guests to explore the area while reducing their carbon footprint.
Hotel La Semilla clearly states its sustainability measures on its website and throughout guest communications.
We spoke with Alexis Schärer, one of the Originals behind Hotel La Semilla, to learn the latest on the hotel’s conscious journey.
Personally, this year has brought me an inner charge of reflection, connecting with emotions that I had left in the depths for a very long time. But now I am seeing the possibility to build a new reality by expanding my emotional consciousness.
After saying that I came up to the question: What does “hotel sustainability” really mean nowadays? This term is being used to mean everything—and nothing. Sustainability for me is really about creating a responsible business that can be maintained. My first step is to give back and restore what I destroyed in the first place to build my business.
Árboles La Semilla is an initiative of conscience, respect, and responsibility. The main goal is to restore the deep bond that exists between humans and nature on an emotional and spiritual level. By planting trees, I plant the seed of balance between me and nature—a seed of forgiveness, respect, peace, and love to the deepest part of the earth. Planting trees is a tangible expression of our vision of responsible hospitality that attempts to “rebalance” ourselves with the world around us.
We collaborate with the Amigos de Sian Ka’an Organization, one of the most respected Mexican institutions for conservation, sustainable development, and education.
As an industry, our daily consumption and our daily purchasing of things are much stronger than our actions. As a brand, we try to “close the tap.” You can mop all day, but if your tap is dripping, you will never be done.