“Beetroot water?” Barbara asks, smiling in a bright yellow dress. Her husband Martijn, joins us as we sit on the patio at their boutique eco-hotel, Ecocirer in Sóller. As he sits down, we express our admiration for the place in which every corner and crevice is filled with colour. It is a vibrant sight as we go from crates of oranges to strawberry plants and then finally to Martijn’s avocado shirt. “For us, eating fruit and vegetables is like a party” says Barbara, as she explains that at the heart of Ecocirer is taking the time to appreciate the good things in life.
Home to six unique rooms, Ecocirer is an eco-conscious hotel committed to sustainability and a healthy way of living. All the furniture is sourced by Barbara who spends much of her time exploring Mallorca‘s second-hand shops for items that need restoring. They both point to the table which used to be an old door and the hanging lights above that were former plumbing parts. “I’m always thinking about the could” Barbara says. “What something could be if I change this or change that…” She tells us how even as a child she was always fixing things and Martijn grins. “I just follow her lead.”
Now author of the book ‘Eating Colours’ Barbara explains how her passion starts in the kitchen. Everything at Ecocirer is home-made which Martijn says requires patience but is worth it in the flavour. They show us into their kitchen where bottles of home-made olive oil line the shelves. Opposite is a hessian basket full of local produce which Barbara tells us is filled-up every day. “If a guest stays here for two weeks, they will never have the same breakfast.” Martijn picks up an apricot and lightly tosses it into the air. “We are always influenced by the seasons and what is naturally on offer.”
Against a backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains, Ecocirer is surrounded by peace and tranquility. Starting in the autumn the couple plan to take their guests on hikes in the area where a slower pace of life is enjoyed. Martijn, originally from the Netherlands, says he sees it more clearly from an outsider perspective. “People [in Sóller] are happy with their lives, they don’t focus on making more money than last month. I think we can all learn from this, to just say ‘I’m good’” He looks at Barbara and they both agree that it all comes down to “a healthy balance.” We pour ourselves some more beetroot water. “Let’s cheers to that.”