What’s the ecolodge project on Pinel Island about?

The company Malo, in which one of the shareholders is Ms. Lharmony, has been nourishing the project to build a five-star ecolodge on Pinel Island.

The infrastructure would include "Twenty bungalows and a restaurant built in a desire to achieve optimal integration”, said Malo, which presented its project on April 5 to the members of the Saint-Martin Executive Council.

The bungalows will be built according to the model of a traditional wood and/or stone hut on stilts. The use of materials and techniques which will "reduce the use of raw materials" will be imposed, as well as the use of "renewable products”.

They want to provide each of the huts with a tank of water and photovoltaic panels so that they are all practically self-contained. "For the restaurant, a reinforcement by a vertical wind turbine with very little visual impact as well as drilling have been considered," said Malo which wants to work with EDF, the water and sanitation establishment of Saint-Martin as well as the ADEME (Environmental Agency).

"The impact on the environment will be minimal", ensured the developer. "On the contrary, the project will help to protect the surrounding fragile areas by involving the population through the creation of sustainable jobs (guarding, gardening, maintenance, etc.)," he added. In this perspective, the company wants to collaborate with the Natural Reserve in order to implement a mission of environmental advice and support in the development of the project. At the end of the project, it would also like to build “a partnership for the careful reintroduction of plant species such as Lignum Vitae, sea grapes, melocactus intortus" and create a "sanctuary for the preservation of the Lesser Antillean iguana".

Finally, the staff will be made aware and trained on the natural appearance and history of the site. The company wants to build partnerships with the Northern islands high school so that students of the building section can participate in the construction, as well as those of the restaurant-hotels section for the operation. Agreements should be signed with the ferrymen in order to transport the customers.

"This eco-lodge project is the first of its kind for Saint-Martin and must set an example for controlled development, job creation and enhancement of the natural environment", explained the company.

According to the decision of the Territorial Council on October 13, the population will be asked to give its opinion on this project at a public inquiry for which the date has not yet been determined.


Estelle Gasnet