There is something stirring in the Dyfi Forest. As dawn breaks over Wales, the sun picks out an unusual array of shapes: four, 21-foot-diameter (6-m), North American Indian tepees and one 18-foot (5-m) Mongolian-style yurt in the middle of the forest. The encampment is an undeniably low-tech experience, with private compost toilets and solar showerbags to provide you with warm water, although some creature comforts can be found in the form of organic bed linen, china,and glassware.
The owners have leased the land from a local organic farm and only use fair-trade and locally-supplied goods in the welcome hampers. All the waste products go back to nourish the earth, and everything is recycled to keep the green credentials in impeccable order.
Eco Retreat is more of an experience than a mere place to stay: an escape from the trappings of modern life. There is no electricity, no running water, and, crucially, no reception for your cell phone. Cook at dusk and bed down on a plump mattress by candlelight. This is a place to let the mind wander, emerging cleaner, greener, and refreshed from the forest. Guests are invited to join a communal meditation session on their second night in camp, and a reiki/spiritual healing session is included as part of the deal. A free ticket for the nearby Center for Alternative Technology is also included. Most of all, however, this place is the ultimate chill-out zone with plenty of space, and you are guaranteed not to see a single soul from the door of your tepee as you lookout over the silent forest.