El Geco Verde is the brainchild of Des and Ilaria, a well-travelled Anglo-Italian couple who met in London at the tailend of the last century.
After nearly 10 years of working in the UK capital, they got fed up with the daily commute, the dark, grey skies, the stress. When the kids started arriving it was time for a big change. Wide open spaces, sunshine, tractors!
Italian Ilaria longed to reconnect with the Mediterranean climate and lifestyle; warmer weather, a child-friendly culture and more time to perfect the art of pizza making. English hubby Des had no complaints!
The couple spent a few months learning Spanish in central America and scoured southern Spain on successive holidays looking for the perfect spot to build a little eco-hotel; the kind of place they´d love to stumble across on one of their own travel adventures.
In 2004 they found an abandoned farmhouse on a hill near the gorgeous whitewashed village of Castril. The house was owned by Paco, the local beekeeper, who was using it as a storeroom for his beehives. Though little more than a ruin, the house had a large footprint; big enough for what the couple had in mind. The area around was unlike anything they´d seen before in Spain; forests, deserts, lakes and mountains, the scenery continually delighted and suprised. And many people still live in caves!
Smitten by the strangeness of it all, the peaceful surroundings and inspiring views, they struck a deal with Paco and the rest is history.
Their first son, Ludo, arrived in 2005 and a year later they made the big move. Living intitally in Castril while the permissions and plans were drawn up, the building work finally got underway in 2008 and the work was completed in 2010. By this time a second son, Fede, had made his grand entrance. A lot can happen in two years!
Part of the old house was restored, the rest knocked down and redeveloped. The result is a small country hotel built and maintained on ecological principles in an endlessly fascinating and authentic corner of Andaluica, the Altiplano de Granada.
To say that the project was complicated and challenging would be an epic understatement. But Des and Ilaria are just glad that thier guests seem to agree that it´s all been worth the effort, or “vale la pena” as they say in Spain!
El Geco Verde is more than just a country hotel with lovely views. We want it to be your home away from home!