Nearest train station
Twelve Senses Retreat is a living testament to natural, sustainable, and recycled materials. Owner Anke Bodack transformed and expanded her home—originally built in 1958—to craft an intimate, soulful hotel run entirely on solar power. The property was built using wood from sustainable sources like Kebony and Accoya that has been preserved using vinegar and the Japanese Shou-Sugi Ban technique, which chars wood to preserve it. Stunning tiles for the rooftop bar were made from recycled ocean plastics in collaboration with Seaform. Twelve Senses Retreat is also a hub for the local community, offering yoga and mindfulness practices and sharing sustainable vendors to inspire more conscious practices in the neighborhood.
Twelve Senses composts food waste and buys locally in bulk to reduce packaging. There are recycling bins located throughout the hotel.
The hotel is proudly run by 100% solar energy. Nest thermostats monitor the rooms when there are no guests to minimize waste. Windows are dual-glazed and walls are sealed to prevent energy loss.
Fixtures are water-efficient. Drinking water comes from a local, alkaline water source. The landscaping requires very little water consumption.
All bread and coffee, and some farm produce, is sourced locally. All bedding, towels, robes, hair products, and body products are made in California.
Twelve Senses welcomes locals to yoga and meditation sessions. The team connects locals with their sustainable builders and shares their sustainable vendors.
The hotel offers yoga, meditation, wellness offerings, surfing lessons, paddleboarding lessons, e-bikes to go into town, and more.
Guests are encouraged to use the local train station, Lyft, and Uber. The hotel also offers e-bikes.
Contractors are invited to eat, drink, and join yoga and mindfulness classes for free. The hotel continues to raise employee pay as much as possible.
Twelve Senses offers tours of the hotel that explain sustainable building practices. The team is happy to share vendor contacts. Sustainability practices are published on the website.
We spoke with Anke Bodack, the Original behind Twelve Senses Retreat, to learn the latest on the hotel's conscious journey.
Everything is full circle. If we take care of Mother Nature, Mother Nature will take care of us. What is better for the environment is better for us. At Twelve Senses Retreat, we always search for a sustainable solution for our building and materials, furniture, bedding and towels, food, energy, waste, and processes.
We love to connect with our community. We use as much local produce as we can, and we invite locals to our mindfulness classes. We also share our sustainable materials and building process (which calls upon sustainable local builders). Our first choice is always to source what we need locally and sustainably. If we can’t find it nearby, we create a larger circle, but the underlying principle is always sustainability.
For many hotels, the setup is a challenge. Since we are new and very small, it was easy to get set up in a sustainable way—it’s all in the mindset. Generally, this means a bit more investment upfront, but we feel there is no other choice. Not only is it worth it, but it is very gratifying to know we are on the right path. Our next goals are becoming zero-waste and offering a carbon-neutral option for the guests at check-out.
Sometimes it sounds overwhelming to become more sustainable, but I believe even small actions (like using organic towels and sheets and recycled paper products) are easy to implement and make a difference.
The Originals Anke Bodack