école!, Hotel Identity

Staying at école! means getting more than a room and a place to eat: it implies joining a project that protects nature, without overwhelming it.

Featuring a small surface but great significance, école! Inn appears in all travel guides of Pucón as a lighthouse where visitors may feel as if they were at home while they support an undertaking aiming at improving living conditions on the planet. We got to école! wishing to have a new experience. Halfway through the morning we noticed the movement of visitors getting ready to go out on some tour around the local sights. Their voices announced that there were more foreigners than Spanish-speaking guests. However, communication was possible and that was proof of the good vibes inside the venue. As we got in, two spacious rooms with comfortable armchairs and full of sunlight invited us to join the rest of the guests, who were reading, checking their e-mails on their own notebooks or just spending their time while the hustle and bustle of the house surrounded them. A library offers books and travel guides for guests to read or buy, a gallery treasures paintings and a coffee place invites everyone to enjoy some beverage. To one side, we saw the diner and the breakfast area. A little farther ahead, we saw an access to an inner yard where an old vine offers its shade when most needed: in the summertime.

  • école! Inn

    école! Inn

  • Spacious rooms

    Spacious rooms

  • Sleeping room

    Sleeping room

  • Full of sunlight

    Full of sunlight

  • An inner yard

    An inner yard

We had a look at the menu containing vegetables and legumes produced in the zone and used in several preparations with different condiments. Vegetarian cuisine is served at the venue. Ingredients such as quinoa, a wide array of vegetables cooked in the grill or the wok, all kinds of salads and warm homemade pita bread toast are the main protagonists. For dessert, we chose sweet local delicacies such as season fruit, homemade cheese and nuts. All dishes are simple, fresh and contain ethnic touches and pure ingredients. We spent one night there and shared dinner and a chat with a young Belgian couple who liked to tour around the forest trails and were traveling the world to enjoy that natural experience. We also had a conversation with Mr. Hernán Verscheure, partner of this project. He told us about the beginnings of this inn which today aims at a sustainable management. In the early 1990s, Hernán and a group of other people heard about the intentions of some businessmen to acquire an area in the Cañi Mountain Range where there was a monkey-puzzle tree forest. As national parks did not exist yet, these species had no protection and those who wished to prevent these trees from being cut down were quite alarmed. Their purpose was to preserve these ancient species and intangible areas. “We took the matter into our own hands and spread the news about that precious local feature. We lodged visitors at the old inn called Don Pepe, pioneer of this inn. Then, as part of the program, we bought the inn and continued to carry out environmental and preservation projects with the profits”, said Hernán. The basic idea was to develop what the soil provided and make sure the sustain concept was not lost. The common space in the inn is occupied with cultural encounters the community of Pucón and its surroundings have adopted as their own. With the aid of new technologies, they search to incorporate alternative energies, such as solar panels and the so-called termo canon to heat water and provide warmth to the facilities. However, at école! The soft sound offered by the wooden floors of the old grand house insists on reminding us of its history.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

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