In the second episode of Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby, airing on Monday 3 April at 9.00pm on BBC-2, Giles and Monica head to the Andean Cloud Forest of Ecuador to work at Mashpi Lodge, a $10 million modernist hotel featuring an extraordinary gondola cable car that ‘flies’ guests one mile through the jungle canopy at a dizzying height.
Built by a former mayor of the capital Quito, on the site of what was once a logging station, 70 percent of its staff are locals who used to be loggers or hunters but are now proud conservationists. Gloriously remote and perched 900m above sea level, guests are surrounded by one of the last remaining biodiversity hot spots on the planet.
Giles and Monica reveal the challenges of delivering the highest standards of guest experience in the midst of teeming wildlife, mud and moisture, doing battle with the hotel’s main enemy, mould, thanks to 90 percent humidity; abseiling through the jungle canopy for a safety drill; and preparing a unique local delicacy – guinea pig. They also spend time with the hotel’s resident biologist, who has captured on camera a species the area has not seen for 30 years.
Going beyond the lobby, Giles and Monica unearth a story of luxury in a surprising place and pioneering eco-tourism that is saving thousands of species. They also spend time with their new co-workers at home, uncovering moving stories of how local people’s lives have been transformed by the arrival of the hotel.
Pictured is Staff member of Mashpi lodge with Monica Galetti in vegetation fields Ecuador
Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby Episode 2 (of 6) airs on Monday 3 April 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.