How to reform your house to convert it for agritourism.
Taking advantage of natural beautiful surroundings to offer clients a unique experience is an option which is becoming more and more interesting to owners of farms or “posesiones” (large farms with grand houses) in rural areas or the “Part Forana” (all the area of Mallorca outside of Palma). So much so that agritourism, which will allow visitors to get to know some of our culture, has ceased to be a fad, and has become a form of increasing rural tourism, and one which will be around for a long time.
In Mallorca, the necessary requirements to be met in order to start an agritourism were established in 1995. It is important to have an assessment done by a professional consultant, who has specific knowledge of the laws that cover agritourism, to ensure fulfilling all the legal requirements. Checking that all the conditions for this type of project have been completed is the first step. Then a reform project, which best caters to the wishes and needs of the clients, needs to be drawn up.
There are two phases:
When an agritourism is developed it is done in a form of direct contact with rural traditions and the rural way of life. That is why the original activity of the place must be considered and, on this basis, it was established by decree which conditions have to be met: they must be dwellings constructed before 1960, on non-urbanised land and on a farm which operated as agricultural, livestock or forestry. In order to be used for agritourism, there must be a minimum of 21,000 m2, a maximum of 12 letting units, with a maximum of 24 places, and there must also be, as a minimum, one complete bathroom for every two units.
Subsequently there have been various legislative reforms such as the “Company law” (named after the Mallorcan Minister who made adaptations to the Spanish law on urban restoration) which permitted that those who made more than 50% of their income through agricultural or livestock activities would be exempt from the old requirements and land size which had been establish by law, but later modifications to this legislation restricted the conditions once again.
The reform itself
Fulfilling the conditions as stipulated by law, and with the consultant taking the latest legal updates into account, the next step is to carry out a reform which will allow us to make our agritourism into an attractive space, comfortable and personal, because the objective is to offer a unique experience to clients. And because of this, each project is different.
Nevertheless, there are some basic steps which will help in most reforms which focus on agritourism. Among them, making more light – normally old houses had only very small windows which didn’t let light into the living rooms as much as is desirable nowadays. Also, if it is possible, a good option would be to open up the common spaces with structures that separate the different areas in ways that give more space.
As well, it would be interesting where possible, to reuse the original materials giving a refreshing and comfortable image, while maintaining the history of the place in the eyes of the clients. Another import point of the reform are the bathrooms: the legal obligation is to have at least one bathroom for every two units, which can cause us to rethink the distribution, so that we can meet the standard, while trying not to lose space and at the same time retaining a comfortable size for each room. Always bearing in mind the goal: that the accommodation should tempt the clients to switch off and enjoy a setting which few others can.
In Zanobia we are experts in this type of project and if you decide to visit us, we can revise not only the aspects most relevant to this type of reform, but also the best materials, trends and what you, the client, finally likes most! We’re looking forward to meeting you!