Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every traveller puts health and safety first. Moreover, one of the crucial issues is isolation from other people. But is it possible to consider all these aspects for hotels? I talk to Faro Cumplida, the remote Spanish lighthouse hotel, about safe travels during the pandemic, how they prepared the hotel for post lockdown, and more.
As an introduction, can you tell us a bit about the background of
Floatel and the idea of the lighthouse hotel Faro Cumplida?
Floatel is based in Berlin and specialised in lighthouse accommodation. The first lighthouse on the Baltic Sea Island Usedom was opened 12 years ago and did not have 1 day without a guest ever since. More lighthouses were acquired and turned into hideaways. With Faro Punta Cumplida in La Palma Floatel opened the first Spanish location. It is the most beautiful, most southern, most exclusive one so far. It is our reference project in Spain and more lighthouse hideaways will follow.
For whom do you recommend a getaway to Faro Cumplida?
It is the perfect place to get away from it all, to calm down, relax, enjoy the Atlantic Ocean, the beautiful island and the magic of this totally unique place. It is ideal for couples that spend a few days in one of the suites, swim in the infinity pool and drink a glass of wine on top of the 36m high tower. It is hardly possible to find a more romantic and authentic place. It is also ideal for families or small groups of friends, who book the complete lighthouse for themselves. The typical Canarian patio in the middle of the lighthouse is the best place to get together at night, while during the day everyone can take his or her time out in the private suites.
Can guests become a lighthouse keeper for one night?
Yes. Lighthousekeeper for one night is the dream of many people. The light is still active and when you stand way up on top of the tower with the strong Fresnel lense shining more than 20 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, everyone can experience what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper. Guide the ships, save sailors’ lives, give orientation and security…
La Palma is also called “the beautiful” or “the green” island. It is the island with the most water, the greenest and by far the most beautiful of the Canary Islands. Do you think La Palma is the perfect
place for meditation, stress relief and relaxing self-isolation?
Yes, absolutely. We have visited all lighthouses in the Southern Canarian Islands and selected Faro Punta Cumplida, because it was the most beautiful building on the most beautiful island. The island is fantastic for lighthouse lovers, that want to be close to nature, relax and enjoy peace.
Do you think travelling is positive for mental health?
Yes, that’s why we go through all these endless administration processes, most difficult construction projects, complicated financing, etc. …. We believe that travelling to unique places with history and natural beauty can open people’s minds, let them see things from a different angle (from above) and make them happy.
What makes your suites unique?
Well, they were the home of the lighthouse keeper families. They do not have golden door handles and there is no butler who carries your things around, but they provide everything that makes the stay comfortable. They show the original use of the building. The guest can experience the history of the lighthouse keeper’s life in a maritime design with style. The suites are so close to the Atlantic Ocean that we had complaints from a guest who could not sleep because the ocean was so loud. We can live with this critique and of course have hundreds of guests, who sleep better than ever with the wind and the waves in front of their window.
What places do you recommend to visit on La Palma and around the
There are 2 wonderful natural pools close to the lighthouse. You swim in the Atlantic Ocean, but at the same time, you are in a swimming pool made of volcanic rock.
We work with a very experienced guide that speaks 6 languages and takes our guests through the 16 tunnels of Los Tilos. They end in a mountain waterfall and the return path goes through a fairytale forest. More experienced hikers go up the Vulcano with him through moon like landscapes. The coolest tour is to let him pick you up from the lighthouse and drive up to the top of Roque de las Muchachos in his van filled with E-Mountain-Bikes. They go downhill from there until they reach the Lighthouse’s infinity pool.
Can you describe what might be an ideal day for Faro Cumplida guests?
Get up around 7.30 make a coffee with the island’s best coffee beans and step out onto your terrace to watch the sunrise. If you are into Yoga, you can welcome the day and the sun from the Yoga platform in the garden. Go back to sleep for another hour and wake up from the “TokTok!” knock at your door, when our housekeeping lady Pili delivers the breakfast basket. After a long breakfast, take a swim in the infinity pool and take a good book to the terrace. Look up once in a while, maybe you see a whale or dolphins on a calm day. For lunch a short drive to the natural pools of Charco Azul, where 2 young cooks offer wonderful Tapas. Back in Faro Punta Cumplida one could take a nap, take a walk through the magic path in the garden and sit down on one of the daybeds and just do nothing. Around 18.30 the sun starts to go down, which is a good time to mix a Macaronesia Gin Tonic on the terrace of the Farero Suite. The sun goes down for about 1 hour, so part of this multicolour spectacle could be watched from the top of the lighthouse. Hobby cooks could cook their own dinner in the fully equipped kitchen, but the perfect day would end with a visit of our local cook Carlos, who prepares candlelight dinners in the lighthouse. Since you are totally relaxed then, you could end the day with a few hours of stargazing, for which La Palma is world-famous.
Considering the current pandemic and quarantine measures, are you
currently open for visitors?
Even though there were only very few cases, all hotels on La Palma had to close during the lockdown period, but since June we are open again and while the rest of the world goes into the second lockdown, the Canary islands stay open and become Europe´s last warm water destination that is not a risk area.
What measures do you consider in the hotel for the safety of your guests?
Well, Faro Punta Cumplida was already (almost) Corona safe, before Corona was known, because it has only 3 exclusive suites, the breakfast comes in an individual breakfast basket and the Atlantic Ocean gives fantastic ventilation. Now, of course, the crew follows all required cleaning and disinfection rules so that Faro Punta Cumplida is safe.
Can guests reserve the whole lighthouse to themselves and their
loved ones alone?
Yes, of course, the absolute best experience is to be in the lighthouse just with your loved one(s). We had grandfathers that invited their children and grandchildren and said “thank you for providing a place so unique that my busy children accept the invitation and come”… we also had lovers that rented the complete lighthouse by themselves to be able to propose to the future bride in every suite and on top of the tower in one night…
What do you recommend for people with wanderlust who are not
allowed to travel right now?
I would recommend to book a week or at least a few days in Faro Punta Cumplida in March when it is already summer in La Palma and the travel measures should have ended. I would put the booking confirmation on the fridge and smile at it every lockdown day, seeing it as a light at the end of the tunnel.
How can our readers contact you and follow on social media?