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Is it possible for luxury tourism to be sustainable? Master’s in Luxury Management and Guest Experience graduate Raisha Gargari believes so and has set out to prove it.

Studying in the cosmopolitan environment of Glion’s campus means students become accustomed to dealing with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. It’s something that’s helping alumna Raisha Gargari in her new venture: a sustainable luxury resort on Mexico’s ‘Emerald Coast’.

In partnership with her husband-to-be Arnaud Quiska – also a Glion alumni – Raisha has opened a retreat near Santa Clara on the Yucatán peninsula, in a region also known as ‘the Switzerland of Latin America’ due to its relative security, culture, food and wide array of places of interest to visit.

Alumni entrepreneurs Raisha Gargari and Arnaud Quiska.

Casa Arsha is a luxury beachfront resort with more than one difference. Alongside being as sustainable as possible – powered entirely by the sun’s rays and even using desalinated water – the accommodation consists of converted, recycled shipping containers.

“We saw the opportunity of developing something on that stretch of coast and were inspired by the growing sustainable living movement,” says Raisha. “And we recognized the potential of shipping containers as a versatile building material because they are strong, durable and, with a bit of imagination and taste, you can do amazing things with them. So that’s what we did.”

The value of experience

Having started work on the project in September 2023, the pair finally opened the resort’s doors to the public in March 2024. And although it’s still early days, Raisha is already optimistic about the prospects for the future.

Back to nature.

“We’ve had challenges,” she says. “It’s a new business, so we’re starting from scratch, but I think once more people get to know about it, things will take off. Our immediate aim is to become fully booked for every month, so as well as encouraging guests to leave reviews, we’re also looking into different ways of publicizing the retreat – and that’s not just the facilities but the overall experience. Because that’s really what we’re offering.”

Raisha has her Glion education to thank for giving her the confidence to offer something more than just a nice place to stay.

“While at Glion, we were encouraged daily to stay abreast of the latest and emerging hospitality trends,” she says. “One of those was the idea of selling memorable experiences and the difference that can make in creating business growth. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re not just putting rooms up for rent – we’re targeting a specific audience and delivering something magical for them.”

A blend of luxury and tranquility

Stunning interiors are a feature of Casa Arsha.

Billed as a sustainable sanctuary seamlessly integrated into the coastal landscape and offering unparalleled tranquility, Casa Arsha is definitely not your run-of-the-mill luxury beachfront resort. Designed by Arnaud, the house features beautifully decorated bedroom and living areas, while the property includes a bar, terrace, swimming pool and access to idyllic white sandy beaches.

“Another thing I learned at Glion is that luxury is not the same thing for everyone,” explains Raisha. “So while we have made sure the rooms, beds, furniture and materials are all of the highest quality, the biggest luxury we’re selling here is privacy. You have huge stretches of beach all to yourself, there is exotic wildlife such as flamingoes right on your doorstep and, because there is so little light pollution here, the night sky is absolutely spectacular. Essentially, you are in the middle of nowhere, but you also have everything you could possibly need.”

While the retreat can accommodate families, Raisha was clear the target customers are couples and solo travelers who are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

“It’s a place where you go to disconnect”

“It’s a place where you go to disconnect,” she says. “The experience is of being more at one with nature, something people really appreciate these days because it’s so hard to find. There’s a real focus on reducing energy consumption too. Guests get to disconnect from the grid and, at the end of their stay, we send them a graph showing them how much CO2 they have emitted. That’s been really popular and people can’t believe how much they have saved.”

Ecologically minded

Having sustainability at the heart of the offering is something Raisha believes will make the retreat appeal more to its target audience.

New life for old containers.

“In the past, people were not as conscious of sustainability as they are now,” she says. “But today I believe there’s a much bigger proportion of the population looking for more eco-friendly tourism. For example, we’ve seen in Mexico and the Caribbean people increasingly using organic sunscreen because of the issues some brands were causing with turtles. While it’s especially true of the younger generation, it applies to everyone. So I think the market for sustainable luxury tourism is likely to grow considerably in the coming years.”

The property’s proximity to the sea was also a factor in Raisha and Arnaud’s decision to build a sustainable luxury retreat.

The sea is just a step away…

“Being mindful of what we consume is really important to us,” she says. “But when you’re so close to the sea, you get a different perspective on the environment because you get to witness directly the damage things such as plastic waste can do and how connected almost everything is to our oceans.

“So as well as ensuring the materials we’ve used are sustainably and locally sourced and long-lasting, we’re also looking to get involved in local community projects, beach-cleaning days and educational programs. While it’s true there is more awareness of environmental issues than there was before, there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Towards a sustainable future

With a clear and unique offering, a well-defined audience that’s growing all the time and with two enterprising Glion alumni at the helm, the prospects for Casa Arsha look promising. But what are Raisha’s aspirations for the retreat?

“Having only just launched, obviously our first goal is to consolidate the business commercially”

“Having only just launched, obviously our first goal is to consolidate the business commercially and get to the point where we can start plowing profits back into it,” she says. “We are planning to add another room soon, which will help, but the priority currently is broadening our marketing reach and bringing in more clients.

“In the longer-term, we would like to expand what we can offer, but it’s a protected area, so any development would need to be respectful of the local environment. It’s something we can think about once we achieve our initial objectives. We’d ideally like to open other properties in future, here in Mexico and perhaps in France too. But for now, our focus is firmly on welcoming guests to Casa Arsha, our luxury ecological container house that is the epitome of sustainable coastal living.”

To discover more about Casa Arsha, view the property’s listing on

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