The owner, Mr. Ioannis Evgenikos, has gone to great lengths to ensure that everything from construction materials to the local breakfast contribute to sustainable tourism. One part of the hotel consists of traditional Skyrian ‘houses’ that preserve the culture and décor of the island’s homes. The other part boasts simple Cycladic architecture built with local materials, yet with lovely spacious interiors and modern (eco-friendly) bathrooms.
The property also collects rainwater in cisterns to water the plants. It fills the pool with refreshing seawater rather than drain the island’s sweet water resources. The garden features local and endemic plants, while much of the fruits and vegetables come from the hotel’s organic sister farm (with Skyrian horses!) outside the town. The farm produces delicious watermelon, honeydew melon, radishes, figs, pomegranates, quince, apricots and pears among other produce which you are likely to see at breakfast. Add to this local cheeses, meats, herbs and olive oil to make a regal feast that’s as close to nature as possible. Some of the fruits even grow in the hotel’s garden and end up on the breakfast table’s jams as well.
In parallel, Nefeli has a modern recycling program for waste, and in a traditional yet effective method for recycling, any extra food is never thrown away but given to the farm animals.
Energy-wise, the hotel has solar heating and is in the process of creating a system for solar lighting. All bulbs are energy efficient, including LED technology, while appliances across the hotel have also been procured with energy savings in mind. Even the washers and dryers work at nights when electricity is abundant and costs less.
On a natural note, both the saltwater pool and the endemic trees on the property have attracted migrating birds, offering a wonderful natural sight to the hotel’s guests. (Birdwatchers will also rejoice in the bird towers that were recently erected on the island). The hotel’s management is also very helpful in informing guests about nature activities and alternative tourism around the island. To begin with, the hotel organizes stargazing nights in the clear skies of Skyros, especially when there are any celestial events such as eclipses or comets. They can arrange for guided hikes or even diving trips if asked in advance.
In short, the rooms of this green hotel all look new and offer all luxury amenities including natural toiletries, AC and flat-screen TV. Some have a fireplace for colder months, and there is also a room for the disabled. The management builds a warm relationship with its guests and is very welcoming in every respect. If you want to go eco and first class as well, the Nefeli and Skyros are an excellent choice.