The art of the welcome
By Sophia Perlstein | Jul 6, 2020
By definition, rituals are a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. Across cultures, the meaning behind each action varies but the sentiment largely remains the same; to invoke health, abundance and a life well-lived. Traditionally passed down through generations, these practices are deeply personal and their weight a reflection of our own journey. While Habitas is steeped in locally rooted rituals, there is one that charts the journey for every guest: The Welcome Ceremony.
The Welcome Ceremony is a signature Habitas ritual based on local cultural practices. The principles of each ceremony are to encourage guests to set an intention for their stay. At our homes in the Caribbean and African savanna, these experiences are guided by purpose, using natural herbs and ancient tree resins as vehicles for connection. The core focus of each welcome ceremony is to set the tone for the Habitas experience, and pave a path for each guest’s personal journey. It is all about intention-setting, encouraging each guest to think about what they want to get out of their Habitas experience.
In Namibia, we burn Myrrh resin, derived from the Myrrh tree which is local to the region. When burned, it is known to cleanse the body, mind and atmosphere. The ceremony begins at check-in. The moment our guests walk through our front door, we greet them with a warm smile and hug. Once seated, we ask our guests to set their intention for their stay at Habitas and burn Myrrh resin, derived from the Myrrh tree which is local to the region. When burned, it is known to cleanse the body, mind and atmosphere.
Our home in Tulum welcomes our guests in the traditions of the Mayan people, where copal is considered a sacred offering to their gods. Once settled, guests place the resin into a “copalera” filled with hot carbon coals, creating a thick billow of fragrant smoke as they release and reset.
OUR FUTURE HOMES
Every Habitas home will feature its own sacred way of saying hello, one that is rooted deeply in indigenous culture. As we prepare to open more homes in Latin America and Asia, we are crafting this beautiful Habitas ceremony as a way to wish each and every guest the warmest of welcomes.