Rusticae is a revolutionary company which has had a major impact acting as a true Agent of Change in the Spanish tourist sector. Rusticae focuses on promoting a ‘quality’ tourism model versus the ‘quantity’ model. A model that enhances an incredibly valuable artistic and cultural heritage, superb and rich cuisine, beautiful landscapes, the traditions, the silence, the nature and, ultimately, healthy life. With its rigorous selection criteria, Rusticae has been offering for 20 years the best selection of boutique hotels in Spain, Portugal and Morocco as well as in Latin America.
Carlota Mateos, Co-Founder of Rusticae took a moment to speak with Positive Luxury to reinforce the importance of sustainable travel and working with brands to trust.
Please tell us about how the journey of Rusticae started.
Isabel and I managed a small, charming hotel in the north of Spain in 1995. That allowed us to understand both the needs of a growing group of hotels, as well as the needs of an increasingly conscientious guest.
Rusticae was born to unify the best selection of small charming hotels in Spain, and as a company that supports these family-run establishments. We support them with national and international commercialisation and consult in an array of situations.
In your opinion, what have been the most significant changes in the travel industry since you created Rusticae?
In our 20 years of business, we have seen Spain become more than just a ‘sun, sea and sand’ tourist destination. Rural tourism focuses on the value of our cultural heritage; the gastronomy, the landscapes, the craftsmanship and the natural spaces. This type of tourism has also encouraged the development of the experience industry. The traveler who wants to know an authentic Spain is not satisfied with simply choosing a nice hotel, they want to enjoy unique experiences of cultural, local richness.
You recently launched your Countryside-City project, connecting all that both locations have to offer. How has this evolved?
Rusticae has been working to highlight the Countryside-City binomial for 20 years. We’re convinced that the survival of the countryside will be based on two pillars – tourism and organic farming – the demand will always come from the cities. That is why we are convinced that we have to work this virtuous circle. We have now launched a new project, “PlenEat”, which continues working this binomial but from the perspective of organic food.
How are guests educated to minimise their environmental footprint across the different Rusticae locations?
Most of our hotels are located in the heart of natural surroundings. The main aspiration is that we can offer the experience of that nature in its purest state, creating an emotive connection with guests. This implies that they play a very active role in preserving the nature around them. The guests perceive this from the moment they arrive at our hotels, and in a very organic and natural way they come to participate in the same philosophy.
What is Positive Luxury to you?
From my point of view, Positive Luxury develops an essential guide for all our companies and an impeccable communication work. I believe that we each have an obligation to the values that Positive Luxury is promulgating if we really want to have a place in the modern economy. In addition to doing so, we have to communicate it properly
What is your favourite Rusticae destination?
It depends on the occasion, whether you travel with children or with your partner, to the mountain or to the beach, but I’ll tell you the last three hotels where I’ve stayed lately:
I promise we’ve lived memorable moments in all of them!
Find out more about Rusticae Hotels as a brand to trust here