Humans and non-human animals are treated alike at Finca Victoria's hilltop retreat. The Ayurvedic vegan hotel welcomes open-minded guests in search of healing and rejuvenation.
The magical countryside setting on the Island of Vieques, Mexico, is an ideal place to slow down and enjoy each step, each bite, and each breath.
Sylvia De Marco was the founder of Dreamcatcher, Puerto Rico's first vegan inn focusing on wellbeing. But after finding a 50-year-old guesthouse in the picturesque hills of Vieques, she used her knowledge to chase her dream and create Finca Victoria.
Veganism is often wrongly associated with dietary prohibitions, but it's much more complex than that. It's a philosophy of abstaining from using animal products and letting the natural world run its course.
So, while eating is a big part of it (especially considering that most of us do it thrice a day), being mindful of all other aspects where animals can be harmed is equally important.
What does it all mean for Finca Victoria? It starts with the abstention from using leather.
Instead, the interiors of the cabins, cottages, and treehouses are made of sustainably sourced wood and fitted with cruelty-free furniture. In addition, many pieces are upcycled and given a second life.
The surrounding gardens grow bio fruits, vegetables, and herbs, which the hotel uses for making delicious food and natural products for their wellness center.
The gardens are cleverly split into three sections: herbal, medicinal, and edible.
The Invisible House
The quirky Invisible House blends into its environment with a tree-like shape topped with a "canopy" and the clever use of black wood and two-way mirrors.
You can climb on a ladder to the cozy bedroom from the airy living room.
The best spot in the Invisible House is the hammock installed in front of the bed, hanging at the height of canopies with the right amount of privacy to enjoy this place's tranquility.
Finca Victoria's specialty is the outdoor shower. Unless your partner peeks out of the cabin's window, you are hidden from people but open to mother nature.
The other designer jungle house is named after artist Rogelio Baez. The Bauhaus styling mixed with nautical elements like the rounded windows, lamps, and balcony creates a fascinating mix.
The two balconies have an ocean view, and a spacious deck is on the first floor.
The three rooms of Casa Nuria are in a more traditional-looking house; however, it doesn't mean its interiors are boring.
The styling interiors with vintage furniture and artwork on the wall, and the feel-good atmosphere is intensified by the selection of homemade oils for the diffusers, homemade teas, and infused water.
The farmhouse-style bed & breakfast sources herbs from its garden to prepare delicious ayurvedic vegan food.
Each Friday, the communal house is turned into a cozy outdoor restaurant with candlelights, lounge music, and a four-course vegan menu.
The vegan dinners include a four-course menu made from ingredients sourced directly from the garden of organic vegetables.
Here, beef is beet; Beluga is a type of lentil, not caviar, and milk comes from coconuts, not animals.
Each morning starts with a complimentary yoga class in the brightly lit shala on the sundeck.
Part of the Ayurvedic treatment is Swedish and deep tissue massages, which increase oxygen levels in the blood, reduce muscle toxins and improve circulation and flexibility.
Finca Victoria offers a unique aquatic therapy that transfers you into a deep meditative state.
Wild horses at the Parque La Ceiba de Vieques