ECOCLUB.com Rating: 3.6 out of 5ECOCLUB.com Rating: 3.6 out of 5
 

ECOCLUB.com Rating Explained: The first 5 sections of this application each correspond to the 5 ECOCLUB.com Criteria for Ecological & Socially Just Tourism

The maximum rating score we can award in each section is 5, and the minimum 1. When a criterion is fully met in our view we award 5 ecoclub suns, when it is nearly met 4 suns, when it is partly met 3 suns, when it is not at all met but effort is being made to meet it 2 suns, when we feel that it is not at all met and no effort is being made to meet the specific criterion, 1 sun and when we feel that the the specific criterion is being directly violated by the operation 0 suns. You may add a comment with improvement suggestions to the Lodge at the bottom of the page. For detailed information on the free ECOCLUB.com Rating System please see here.

Name of Property (Country): "Taleton" Eco Boutique Hotel (Greece)

Website:

http://www.taleton.gr

Satellite Map:

Lodge Address: Xirokambi, Sparta, Laconia, Greece

Number of Rooms:

10 Rooms ( 30 Beds)

Minimum & Maximum Double Room Rates:

Euros 60 / 90 (including breakfast) 

Name of Applicant (Occupation & Role in relation to property):

Doros Ioannis Solomos
(Owner & Hotel Manager)
Year of Construction  2009
Date of first operation: April 2009

Rated on:

4 August 2013
1. POLITICAL CRITERIA:  Rating: 4 out of 5

 

1a. Who is/are the legal owner(s) of the Lodge? (please state official name if owned by a company)

"Doros Ioannis Solomos & Company"

 

1b. Who is/are the legal manager(s) of the Lodge?

Doros Ioannis Solomos

 

1c. Since when has the facility been under the current ownership & management?

From the beggining.

 

1d. If owned by a family, since when has the family been residing in the area, and for how many months each year?

Local, locally residing family.

 

The proprietor and his familyThe proprietor and his family

 

 

1e. How are decisions taken and by whom? (Please provide details)

Decisions are taken by the owner and his partners.

 

1f. Who has access to the Lodge's facilities and its land and for what uses?

Guests, personnel and the hotel's owner.

 

1g. Who took the initiative to build this Lodge?

The owner (who iinherited the old building from his family)

 

1h. Which is the nearest local community (village or town) and how far is it from the lodge (in Km)?

The lodge is located inside Xirokambi Village.

 

1i. Did the (nearest) local community participate in the decision-making process concerning the founding and creation of this Lodge and how?

Yes, as there were local people who were hired by Mr Solomos to help with the construction.

 

1j. Does the (nearest) local community participate in the running of the lodge and how?

The Lodge's employees are local.

 

1k. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

No.

 

 

 

2. ECONOMIC CRITERIA -  Rating:  4 out of 5

2a. Number of rooms:

10 (Ten)

The Taleton consists of 10 exclusive suites, each with satellite TV, a DVD player, cable

Internet, free Wi-Fi access and a mini bar. Some suites also feature a fireplace and a kitchenette, while others

fit up to four people.

 

2b. Number of beds:

30 (Thirty)

 

2c. What is the total area of the land of the property?

1,000 square metres.

 

2d. What is the total area of the Lodge including rooms and common areas (in sq. metres)?

The total area of the rooms is 350 to 400 square metres and of the common areas is 300 square metres.

 

2e. What is the total building footprint (in sq. metres) – i.e. part of the land covered by buildings

950 square metres.

 

2f. How many employees are there (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

total: 4 (four)

of which:

full-time: 1
part-time: 3
interns: 0
volunteers: 0

immigrants: 0

 

 

2g. How many employees are from the (nearest) local village?

All employees are from the nearest village.

 

Employee at the reception deskEmployee at the reception desk

 

2h. If applicable, do employees or the community own any shares or share part of the revenue?

No.

 

2i. What was the total turnover (total sales) in 2011 and in 2012? (please state in your local currency)

2011: Euros 68,888.27 - 2012: Euros 61,993

 

2j. What were the total profits in 2011 and in 2012?

2011: 4,133.62 - 2012: 4,377.91 

 

2k. How are profits distributed, and who decides about it?

The owner distributes the profits, pays employees salaries and covers the hotel's daily needs.

 

2l. Are there any national and local taxes to be paid or are you exempt?

Yes, both national and local taxes such as VAT and Municipality tax.

 

2m. What was the total amount of taxes paid in 2011 and in 2012?

2011: 1,072.66 - 2012: 1,010.43

 

2n. What percentage of consumables are locally sourced, how many are nationally sourced, and how many are imported?

70% locally sourced, 20% nationally sourced, 10% imported.

 

Displaying and promoting local products at TaletonDisplaying and promoting local products at Taleton

 

2o. Do you cultivate food for the guests?

No we do not. However the owner produces virgin olive oil for both personal and commercial use.

Guests can enjoy the hearty traditional breakfast made with locally grown products

 

2p. Do you have any agreements with local producers?

Yes, we have. The property co-operates with Theodorakakos Winery, a local producer of organic wines. Taleton Eco Boutique buys wines and offers them either as a welcome drink for guests or for the use of wine events.

 

Mr Theodorakakos, a local wine-maker, delivering a presentation at TaletonMr Theodorakakos, a local wine-maker, delivering a presentation at Taleton

 

2q. Have ever you received any funding, state, national, private or international and for what purposes?

Yes, we have. These were national funds for business growth. The National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) provides several funding programs contributing to the economic growth and the business development in many fields of expertise. For hotel businesses the amount reaches 300,000 Euros.

 

2r. What is the minimum (low season) double room rate (including breakfast) per room per night?

Euros 60

 

2s. What is the maximum (high season) double room rate (including breakfast) per room per night?

Euros 90

 

2t. Are you planning to sell the property within the foreseeable future, and if so why?

For the time being there are no such plans.

 

2u. Is the Property open all year round? If not please provide relevant dates.

Yes, it operates all year round.

 

2v. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

No.

 

3. ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA -  Rating:  4 out of 5

3a. Lodge Siting (how was the lodge location chosen):

The owner inherited the Lodge from his family.

 

Aerial view of Taleton and Xirokambi villageAerial view of Taleton and Xirokambi village

 

3b. Policy followed during construction:

We followed an environmentally-friendly policy preserving at the same time the traditional character of the infrastructure. Stone, iron and wood were used according to the tradition of the area. 

 

Hotel interior - common areasHotel interior - common areas

 

3c. Policy followed during renovation and/or maintenance:

There has been no renovation yet.

 

3d. Lighting:

Energy-saving bulbs in all rooms, 20W 50-80, Manufacturer: HZ-PAULMANN

 

Energy saving through skylightsEnergy saving through skylights

 

 

3e. Heating:
Geothermal System. 
The geothermal systems allows us to heat water for shower,heat or cool the rooms depending on the weather temperatures and heat the floors.This is how it operates. In order to better understand its function,we have attached a copy of these systems.The first one(vertical) and the bottom picture with heating floors during the winter.

 

The principle of a geothermal system is very simple: a few meters below the surface temperature of the soil is standard at 18-20 degrees Celsius. If we, therefore, seize the temperature difference between surface and underground, you can warm places in winter and the cool in the summer. This is done by using a geothermal heat pump and the heat transmitted through a network of pipes that are either in a horizontal or vertical layout. A geothermal heat pump saves approximately 25-30% of energy, thus contributing significantly to energy savings and a cleaner environment.

 

A typical geothermal system installationA typical geothermal system installation A vertical geothermal systemA vertical geothermal system

 

3f. Cooling:

Geothermal System (as above).

 

3g. Cleaning:

We use special products (orange-oil extract) that we buy in Sparta.

 

3h. Water Management:

We have a cistern that collects rainwater for the watering of the gardens. The cistern was part of the original building.

 

The inner courtyard and the cisternThe inner courtyard and the cistern

 

3i. Cooking:

Petroleum gas is used for cooking meals.

 

3j. Waste management (in detail please):

There are recycling baskets throughout the hotel. The municipality of Sparta provides with recycling bins the surrounding villages. Tthere is a certain recycling procedure that is followed according to the type of the materials collected. These materials are separated afterwards. So, we would answer that the municipality has an organised recycling system. These materials end up in a specific place next to a deserted area in Sparta's town (there is no name for this area). 

 

Blue bins for recycling at the villageBlue bins for recycling at the village

 

3k. Insect, pest control:

Not needed so far, we operate with eco-friendly principles.There are no mosquitos in our rooms whatsoever(our rooms are two-level ones with no balcony.There is a mountain view). Should however our guests relax by the fountain where our garden is, we provide them with specific ointments (hypo-allergic ones).

 

3l. Energy Sources, Use & Saving Measures:

We use electricity, provided by the public power corporation, also for the operation of our Geothermal system. In order to save electricity costs, we use low-consumption electric bulbs. Furthermore and especially during daytime there are windows in all rooms allowing natural light. Picture (IMG 9018) shows a room's interior.

 

3m. Noise Protection:

We are located in a quaint village at the foothills of Mt. Taygetus, there is no noise.

 

Aerial view of the village and snow-capped peaks in the spring.Aerial view of the village and snow-capped peaks in the spring.

 

3n. Name, population and distance of nearest settlement (in km or miles)?

The property lies at the very heart of Xirokambi village (population 1,004)

 

3o. Is the Lodge accessible by public transport (such as bus, train, boat)? If yes, please provide instructions from nearest settlement:

The lodge is both accessible by bus, private car and taxi. Xirokambi’s square with only 50 meters away from the hotel acquires a bus-stop. The bus timetables are frequent to and from the hotel. 

 

3p. Is the nearest settlement accessible by public transport (such as bus, train, boat)? If yes, please provide instructions from nearest International airport, or nearest major city.Sparta, the nearest major town is 10-15 km away from xirokambi.it connects it by bus(frequent timetables approximately a 15 minute-drive). The bus leaves guests outside our hotel’s premises.

 

3q. Distance from nearby village / city:

Inside Xirokambi Village, 10km from Sparta.

 

3r. Architectural Features:

A traditional stone building originally used for storing olive oil.

 

Room interior.Room interior.

 

3s. Construction Materials:

Stone, Wood, Iron.

 

Hotel exterior illustrating the stoneworkHotel exterior illustrating the stonework

 

3t. Landscape Management:

Local Flora, including thyme, spearmint and sage.

 

Spearmint flourishing in the inner courtyard.Spearmint flourishing in the inner courtyard.

 

3u: Do you organise or promote tours involving hunting or sport-fishing?

No we do not organise hunting or sport-fishing tours. Should guests are interested in these activities, we address them to local individuals, who offer these kind of services. There are mainly local hunters who do this as a hobby on their free time and know the area well. Some of them do this as a part-time job. Frankly, we do not have hunting requests by our guests. Our guests show interest especially for archaeological sites and they prefer, based on our guidelines, to explore the area by themselves.

 

3v: Do you measure consumption per guest at your lodge? If yes, please explain how, and provide data

Yes, we do. All rooms have mini-bars with specific items (2 juices and 2 bottles of water). 2 guests per room per night take 2 bottles of water (250 ml per bottle) and 2 packs of orange juice (250 ml per juice). We check everyday if guests have made consumption and we fill up accordingly. Generally, a mini-bar in every room is filled up with 2 bottles of water and 2 packs of orange juice. The model of the mini-bar refrigerator in the rooms is Kleo (#kmb835 35l - energy consumption 0.9 kwh/24h according to manufacturer data.)

 

3w. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

No.

 

4. SOCIAL CRITERIA -  Rating:  3 out of 5

4a. Do you provide health insurance and pension to your employees?

Yes, we provide health insurance and pension to our employees.

 

4b. Are your employees entitled to paid leave? If so, how many days each year?

Yes, 21 days.

 

4c. Are your employees entitled to maternity leave? How many months? Is it paid?

Yes, the maternity leave lasts for 6 months and it is paid.

 

4d. Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? (Please state minimum wage, and explain)

No, we do not. Payment is processed according to the terms of the national work legislation. The owner pays the minimum wage for each employee, which is 30 euros (gross) per day. Usually, on weekends there is 1 employee (apart from the owner who is always there) working. For your information the property operates daily till 23.00 pm. The employee, who works on weekends does not work some days on the week.The program of employees for weekends on high season changes accordingly to the needs of the business. There have been times when we also needed part-time employees.

 

4e. What is the total you paid for wages last year? (excluding wages paid to yourself and members of your family)

Approximately EUR 2,000.

 

4f. What is the average wage (per annum), the highest wage, and the lowest wage?

Average: EUR 5,760 - Highest: 10,800 - Lowest: 780

 

4g. Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week: 

5 Days per week, 40 hours per week.

 

4h. Do you employ your staff all year round? (If not, please explain arrangement)

Yes, employment is all year round.

 

4i. Do you employ immigrants? Are they offered the same remuneration & benefits?

Yes we had, as part-time employees with the same benefits as the other employees. Currently all our employees are Greek and from the local village.

 

4j. Do you employ trainees? Please explain what type of tasks they perform, how much they are paid, how many hours do they work and how do you source them?

No we do not employ trainees.

 

4k. Do you use volunteers? Please explain what tasks they are given?

Not currently, depending on the needs of the operation we might use volunteers in the nearest future. So far there was no need for tasks that could be covered by volunteers. We guess that volunteers could be needed if Taleton was a large organisation aimed at social sensitivity matters such as blood donation.

 

4l. Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors, students, young visitors, or nationals?

Yes, we do. We have also offered in the past concessions for bioclimatic architecture for civil engineers and future environmental issues. Usually, discounts are offered for long-stay guests, corporates, elderly people.We also provide discounts to companies that we cooperate for long periods of time as a token of our appreciation and our valued partnership. Discounts are offered for a specific time period per year.

 

4m. Is there infrastructure for people with special needs at your Lodge?

No. Our property does not meet the requirements in order to receive a working licence by the state for people with special needs. We do not discriminate against people with special needs. However, there are expansion plans in the future so as to be able to host people with special needs too.

 

4n. What measures are in place to protect the local (or the indigenous) population from some adverse impacts of tourism?

Most lodges' owners are members of local unions helping local communities (run campaigns, meetings,send informative materials) to all those involved in tourism (directly & indirectly) in order to be able to face properly impacts of tourism. Alternatively, local unions work with the nation’s government in order to elliminate any hazards as well as ensure that travellers are less affected by these.

 

4o. Do you undertake any poverty reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to poverty reduction?

The hotel business contributes to local initiatives to both private and public. There are social groceries run by Sparta's municipality for poor people.The essentials come mainly from donations and sponsorships. Groceries operations include food distribution for homeless too. Groceries have been founded by Sparta's municipality council, audited by the mayor as well as other municipal parties.

 

4p. Do you undertake any inequality reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to inequality reduction?

We do not undertake any inequality reduction initiatives as property. However,we help individually and we support the local community and its authorities by participating in programs against inequality.

 

4q. Do you undertake any injustice reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to injustice reduction?

With our social efforts (participation in several local unions) we are against it. Τhere is a social medicine office/pharmacy installation in Sparta's town, an initiative by the municipality in order to provide assistance to those who need financial aid and require health insurance.This initiative is growing strong with the co-operation of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Association of Laconia and the annex of Red Cross in Sparta.The building is located in Sparta and operates daily from 14.00-16.00pm.

 

4r. What is the minimum, maximum and average age of your current employees (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

Minimum: 20 - Maximum: 50 - Average: 35

 

4s. How many employees do you have (excluding yourself and members of the family)?

4 (four)

 

4t. Is everyone accepted as guests or are there any restrictions?

Basically every guest is accepted on the hotel’s premises as long as they follow the hotel’s regulations.

 

4u. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

No.

 

5. CULTURAL CRITERIA-  Rating:  3 out of 5

5a. Are you located within a village or city, or is there a village or city nearby? (please state name and distance in km or miles)

The property is located in Xirokambi village with only 10-15 km away from sparta’s town. Set at the foothills of Mount Taygetus, the Taleton Eco Boutique Hotel is located in the picturesque village of Xirokambi with its many local restaurants(tavernas)and its charming coffee shops, all in the main square next to the hotel.Sparta and the stunning Byzantine complex of Mystras are just about a 15-minute drive from the hotel.The property's location makes it an ideal starting point for outdoor activities like cycling,hiking and rock-climbing all year round.Guests can visit the Museum of Olive Oil and the Archaeological Museum of Sparta.Also, noteworthy are the idyllic beach of Mavrovouni, the organic Theodorakakos winery and the picturesque seaside town of Gythio about 20-25 minutes away. We have also attached some pictures of the place.

 

PHOTO: 5a-1, 5a-2

 

Taleton at duskTaleton at dusk

 

Xirokambi village and snow-capped Mt Tayetus in the background.Xirokambi village and snow-capped Mt Tayetus in the background.

 

5b. Do guests interact with the local community and how:

Yes. We organise local wine events in cooperation with local communities and wine estates. We also encourage guests to take part in several activities such as olive-picking.

 

Participants of a wine-tasting event at TaletonParticipants of a wine-tasting event at Taleton

 

5c. What type of information is available to guests at the property:

Information on tourist attractions, local/seasonal events, hiking/rock-climbing/cycling, trekking tours, restaurant/café information. Sparta and the stunning Byzantine complex of Mystras are just about a 15-minute drive from Taleton Eco Boutique Hotel. The property’s location at the foothills of Mount Taygetos makes it an ideal starting point for outdoor activities like cycling, hiking and rock-climbing all year round. Guests can also visit the Museum of Olive Oil and the Archaeological Museum of Sparta. Also noteworthy are the idyllic beach of Mavrovouni, the organic Theodorakakos winery and the picturesque seaside town of Gythio about 20-25 minutes away. 

 

5d. What type of activities are available to guests at the property:

hiking, trekking tours, cycling, winery visits.

 

5e. Local guided tours for guests organised by you: 

Not directly, but in cooperation with local people.

 

5f. Events / presentations held at the facility so far:

Wine events (laconian wine secrets on 21/09/12), yoga, jazz nights

 

The proprietor Mr Solomos introducing an event at Taleton.The proprietor Mr Solomos introducing an event at Taleton.

 

 

5g. Specific programme for children:

The property has an indoor playground with a library, for board games and drawing. Taleton's courtyard is used as playground too.

 

The inner courtyardThe inner courtyard

 

5h. Academic Research and Academic Publications produced or assisted by the property so far:

No.

 

5i. Is the local community at all involved in the operation of the Lodge and how?

No.

 

5j. Anything else you would like to mention in this section?

No.

 

 

 

Please sign to indicate your agreement with the following:

 

I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB.com Rating, which will be decided in the manner specified at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating. I also understand that this rating application is valid for a minimum of 1 Year and that I may request a new Rating only after 1 Year from the day that my previous rating application was published online according to the then applicable ECOCLUB.com Rating procedures, provided that we have taken improvements at the Lodge.  By submitting this questionnaire I indicate acceptance of all ECOCLUB.com Rating terms, conditions and procedures as stated at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating, and understand that these may be modified at any time without notice. (Please enter (paste) your signature below or type your initials to indicate acceptance )

 

Your Name: Doros Ioannis Solomos
 

Date: 16 July 2013

 

ECOCLUB.com Rating:   3.6 out of 5 / Rating Date: 4 August 2013
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