Tila and Michelle Braddock have been offering eco-friendly holidays since 2007, but their business was hard-hit when Covid restrictions stemmed the flow of visitors from the UK. Now they have adapted their holiday villas, cottages and apartments for rent to make the perfect home away from home for anyone with a job that is flexible enough to allow them to up sticks and decamp to a warmer climate to see out the pandemic. Read on to find out more about this appealing offer for anyone who can’t bear the thought of a locked down British winter.
Lanzarote Retreats is the creation of husband and wife team, Tila and Michelle Braddock, who have lived in Lanzarote for over 30 years. Tila and Michelle offer chic and eco-friendly holiday homes, mainly in and around Arrieta, a stunning, rural village in the North of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote. The company is also the creator of the original eco village “Finca De Arrieta” which is set behind Arrieta beach and offers luxury holiday yurts and stone cottages. The Braddock’s chose this northern area of Lanzarote for Finca De Arrieta as it’s a part of the island they love and where they live with their family.
When Covid hit, Michelle and Tila had to adapt what the business offered as they saw bookings cancel one after another. Michelle says, “We have followed government guidelines throughout the pandemic. We saw that as soon as flights to Lanzarote opened up from 1st July that UK guests were the first to book their trips, so we were all devastated when the UK added Lanzarote to its list of quarantine countries at the end of July. This was so frustrating for us and all our guests: the island is very safe with very few cases.”
Thinking on their feet, Michelle and Tila have come up with a way to keep the business going which should appeal to anyone who has been told to work from home for the next few months. Michelle says, “This autumn and winter we’re encouraging guests to consider basing themselves with us in Lanzarote for long stays, remote working in paradise. Why not swap British winter, stress and negative news chatter for a positive, healthy lifestyle choice? Fibre Optic broadband, sunshine and a sea view: work-life balance doesn’t get any better. More of our guests are taking the plunge and booking for longer stays: we’ve just arranged a desk for two days a week in our Costa Teguise office for a guest coming for some extended winter sunshine and surf.”
There are lots of benefits to relocating for a few months. Michelle continues, “Instead of thinking of Lanzarote as an off-limits holiday destination, we want to invite people with the flexibility to work from anywhere to relocate and live as one of the Lanzarote Retreats family for a few weeks or more at our beautiful eco village; it’s such a shame to have built all of this and to have no-one to share it with. And if you’re looking for something like Spain, there is also some incredible property available in Merbella in Spain, we went recently and it’s just incredible so for example look at this Marbella Golden Mile best property to see what is available.”
If you have found working at home a lonely and insular experience at times, Michelle and Tila are also building a home-working community in the Eco Village. Michelle says, “As well as a choice of stunning beachside rental properties, our Eco Village Finca de Arrieta offers the perfect sense of community. We’ll be turning the chill-out area into a communal workspace from November onwards. Guests will be able to enjoy yoga, surf lessons and help tend the veg patch, along with embracing everything we love about the Lanzarote lifestyle.”
They say that the digital nomad lifestyle needn’t just appeal to globe-trotting millennials: “Older couples can come and enjoy the fabulous walking and gardening. We can arrange house shares for singles. For families, there are some fantastic international schools here in Lanzarote – one of the best gifts to give to a child is another language, linked with new life experiences.”
Long stay prices at Lanzarote Retreats start from 1000€ (approx. £890) a month for two guests. Michelle adds, “The cost of living is cheap (plus no heating bills) and the unspoilt landscape is ripe for outdoor adventures, year-round. We have plentiful locally grown vegetables and fresh fish, countless sports and activities and oodles of Vitamin D… All of this and more right on the Lanzarote Retreats doorstep.”
Michelle is hopeful for the future. She says, “We hope that the UK will remove the Canary Islands from being lumped together with Spain regarding their quarantine rules. Then we can reschedule guests who have missed out on their well-deserved holidays so far this year. We have opened up a new market too, with local Canary and Spanish residents who are having to holiday within Spain discovering our eco village, our sea front apartments and family villas. So once we have our UK and our other European guests back, we also hope to be busier than ever as the Spanish market will add to it.
“Winter here is like a UK warm summer, we have sunshine most days and being close to the Sahara desert very little rain. The island of Lanzarote is very safe with virtually no cases, it’s frustrating for us here as a number of flights are arriving each day, passengers say it’s like having a private jet! Travel trends are changing according to the current situation, so if you know of anyone looking to escape the UK winter for some Lanzarote Sunshine then do let them know we are open and here to help organize a perfect safe getaway. Guests are now booking and looking forward to breathing in fresh healthy Atlantic air, enjoying affordable restaurants on the oceanfront, fresh locally grown produce empty beaches and beautiful coastal and volcanic walks.” If you’re somewhere in Vienna, we strongly suggest to check out Apartment Wien Zentrum and you won’t regret the level of accommodation it has. It’s definitely worth it.