The Hotel Florita in Jacmel is a special place. Stepping inside the Hotel Florita feels like stepping back in time. Built in 1888 during the height of Jacmel’s sugar and coffee trade, the hotel and surrounding area displays the gorgeous French Colonial architecture that influenced the style of New Orleans. French Colonial mansions with large open-air courtyards, wrought-iron balconies and sweeping facades line the cobblestone streets. These were once the homes of the wealthy elite who grew their riches from the fertile land.
The Hotel Florida was one such home built for a wealthy Haitian coffee plantation owner who used the bottom floor as the office and the top floors for living quarters. The mansion was sealed off in 1950 when Jacmel was in decline and the wealthy Haitians left for Port-au-Prince. It remained closed for almost 50 years until it was converted into a hotel in 1999.
Today the Hotel Florita gives visitors the chance to see what Jacmel was like in the 19th century for the wealthy, elite Haitians who put Jacmel on the map. Fortunately, it has retained its old world charm and is a wonderful place to experience Haiti’s past. It is also rated one of the best hotels in all of Haiti on Trip Advisor.
The restaurant and bar are located in the depot where the coffee was originally stored. The ambiance inside is lovely and atmospheric. Exposed brink lines the walls and a fully renovated patio and terrace offer outdoor seating for those who want to embrace the Haitian heat. I found the Hotel Florita the perfect place to relax and enjoy a fine Haitian lunch.
Lunch is one of Hotel Florita’s specialties. I had fresh fish caught by local fisherman. I also enjoyed some of the delicious, strong Haitian coffee that made this town so famous.
Just like the rest of Jacmel, the Hotel Florita is lined with art. There are posters, paintings and papier-mache throughout the hotel and restaurant. I enjoyed it very much.
After lunch our group decided to check out the courtyard and hotel. It definitely is full of charm and splendor with its wrought-iron fences laced with flowers, numerous balconies and baby blue rocking chairs. I would love to stay here sometime!
We followed the courtyard behind the hotel where a series of stairs lead us up to the rooms. When the mansion was in use, the kitchen and servants quarters were in the courtyard and the family lived above the depot.
There were beautiful flowers growing all along the outdoor balconies and patios of the hotel. I couldn’t resist capturing them, they were so delicate and white.
At the side of the courtyard was a door that opened to an elaborate staircase. It felt like a secret passageway into the house. Colorful artwork graced the hallways and staircase. I can only imagine what it would have been like to live in such a grand place.
I especially loved the views outside the large windows overlooking the rooftops and streets. It made for some great photographs.
I even found where all the white sheets were washed and dried. In fresh air on the rooftop.
The best part of all was the balcony with the pretty baby blue rocking chairs. I think it would be fun to sit here, sipping coffee and watching the world go by.
I could hardly wait to get out and explore the town! I knew we were in for a delightful surprise.
This post is a continuation of Jacmel: The Artistic and Cultural Jewel of Haiti. Please view post for historical information on Jacmel as well as gorgeous art!
Also check out Hotel Florita’s website here.