“The places that I remember when I’ve traveled are not necessarily the ones with the highest thread count sheets or the shiniest silver cutlery, it's the places where I feel I’ve made a connection. And one of the constant comments we get is, ‘I came here thinking that it was for me, and the thing that’s most touched me is learning about the people here.’”
We’re in great company with Portia Hart, Founder and Owner of Blue Apple Beach, a boutique hotel and beach club where like-minded locals and in-the-know visitors can enjoy guilt-free-beach-life in the Colombian sun.
What started as a place Portia created to satisfy her own tourist desires - to enjoy lazy days, vibrant music and delicious food in a beautiful setting - turned into much more. Today, this is a place for the young at heart, who want to enjoy life without causing harm to others or to the world around us.
To continue our celebration of our planet Earth this month, Portia humbly and humorously shares her story of creativity through resource sustainability and community belonging, in building her boutique hotels, beach clubs, bars and a not-for-profit foundation, all rooted in the culture of Cartagena.
[1:40] From growing up in the gray UK with Carribean blood, Portia was destined to return to an island with much more sun, while making a few eclectic pit stops along the way.
[6:00] With a love of languages and sense of adventure, Portia was keen to learn Spanish and immerse herself in her new home with the local Latin and Afro-Colombian culture.
[9:30] With a change in vision and change in heart, Portia opens up about her first impressions of sustainability and humble business development in welcoming in the Colombian culture.
[11:15] As a tourist herself, Portia explains how she kept finding business opportunities to open several other boutique hotels, beach clubs, bars and a not-for-profit foundation in Cartagena.
[14:45] From a privileged background, Portia graciously shares how she suddenly became aware of how shielded she was from the reality of what happens when you do not take care of your local community and land.
[19:30] Busy by day yet quiet at quiet night, Portia paints a picture of what makes Blue Apple Beach very laid back yet serious about serving good food and fun vibes.
[25:50] From being a “one-click purchase” business to now making everything onsite and by hand with local artisans, everything is so much more meaningful.
[32:40] “I’m not building a community, I was very fortunate to be accepted by a community.” Portia shares how diversity and inclusion in hospitality makes it a better experience for everyone.
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
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- Fundación Green Apple
- Members Only Piano Bar
- Amare Beach Club
- Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
- Carmen Restaurante
- Celele Restaurante
- El Baron Café & Cocktail Bar
- Cartagena Connections
- Kristen Kish