Located in an area of two and a half acres in one of the highest peaks of the island municipality of Vieques is Finca Victoria—Botanic House and Hotel. It is an eco-friendly hostel with aims to be fully self-sustainable. It was created by interior designer Sylvia de Marco, who also owns the Dreamcatcher Hotel in San Juan.
She was already familiar with the location because that is where she used to hold other environmental activities. According to De Marco, the place used to be called Finca Caribe and its owner was American, Cory Parker. But Hurricane Maria devastated the area in 2017 and everything changed, and Parker—who lives in Washington—sold the property to De Marco.
Throughout the debris collection process and rebuilding, the place took shape quickly and it became a five-room hotel ready to captivate even the highest skeptics.
The hotel provides the ideal environment to reestablish a kindling with nature because it doesn’t have walls that create horizontal or vertical borders. That is, you can actually fall asleep while star-gazing.
You will also feel blessed after witnessing a breathtaking sunset and enjoy the sound of the wind and the smells of nature because the hotel is surrounded by fruit trees and all sorts of botanicals, which are part of the experience of lodging there.
With an eclectic bohemian atmosphere, the hotel has various building structures distributed around. All are strategically hidden among lush vegetation.
The hotel’s central structure, an architectural hybrid between a loft and a wooden cabin with a black metal structure, offers ‘El Livin’—a beautiful, open-spaced common room overlooking a pool of natural water—a large kitchen, and a communal dining room. A spacious room, lounge areas, and five guest rooms complete the structure.
In the center of the common room, there is a store with a variety of items—caftans, vintage clothing, jewelry by local designers, natural home-made products, crafts by Puerto Rican artisans, and even an area that includes vegetarian food made from vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel’s farm.
“The fertile soil of our gardens offers a large variety of tropical plants, fruit trees, flowers, and cacti. The farm’s space design is based on the principles of permaculture, with areas designed for our herb garden, medicinal garden, and edible garden, from which we obtain a large sum of the foods we serve in our vegetarian kitchen,” De Marco said.
Each room is different, making the guests feel special. In fact, each room has a name related to its style and design. In that regard, there are the Victoria Suite, the Nuria Suite, and the Sahar and Báez-Haus treehouses, among others—each with its own vibe in relation to its location and space design. They all have private bathrooms, beach towels, small fridge, cooking utensils, mosquito net, and many other personal touches. Also, each room has a ceiling fan because air conditioning is not necessary.
The two houses in the Báez-Haus trees are strategically located around the property overlooking the ocean and are surrounded by plants to create a nest-like sensation. They were designed by De Marco herself, in collaboration with artist Rogelio Báez, in the “tiny-home” style and they have their own balcony and outdoor shower. The bedsheets are made with organic cotton and each room has unique decorative accents, all related to the eclectic bohemian concept.
Moreover, the rooms come with diffuser oils, teas, and infusions made on the farm.
De Marco says that she expects to have 10 rooms and cabins available by next summer. Finca Victoria’s goal is to install renewable energy and recycled water infrastructure, so it is completely eco-friendly and self-sustainable, with zero impact to Mother Earth. Nightly rates include a vegetarian breakfast, coffee, and herb infusions all day and yoga classes, among other amenities. For more information, visit www.lafinca.com.