The Hotel Florita, built in 1888, is the only one of the 19th century houses that is still in use after the earthquake -- it is the Oloffson of Jacmel. Located on the Rue du Commerce, one block from the ocean, it is a step back in time. With the exception of modern plumbing, it has not been changed in any significant way since it was built.
It is furnished with period furniture. Art is everywhere -- in the halls, the bar, the rooms. Jacmel is only 2 hours from Port au Prince but is in another world. It is the prettiest and most peaceful and romantic town in Haiti -- the center of craft and Carnival. There are no factories and no pollution -- on a clear night there are a million stars in the sky. You can walk anywhere without worry, there are things to see along every winding street, it is the only town in Haiti to still have some of its original charm.
The Florita is the only hotel that was formally a private residence and one of only two hotels in the town of Jacmel. There are a few beach hotels on the road out of town but it is necessary to drive to get back to Jacmel. And one of the pleasures of the town is to be able to walk at night. Jacmel is the friendliest town in Haiti and has almost no crime.
No trip to Jacmel is complete without a visit to Bassin Bleu! Click for more…
We are rated the #1 hotel in all of Haiti on Trip Advisor. And please read the review in the post-earthquake edition of Lonely Planet.
We are often full and to confirm your reservation is a very good idea -- and it can be done from here after confirming that the room that you want is available.
We look forward to seeing you in Jacmel.
Queen Sophia of Spain with Manager Jean Ruid Senatus and Florita Staff
After Haiti's devastating earthquake, local activists and international historic preservation groups are trying to figure out how to rebuild Jacmel, a port city known for its French colonial architecture.
Video courtesy of:
The Hotel Florita was built in 1888. At that time Jacmel was the richest town in Haiti and the money came from coffee. There were no coffee plantations, the peasants were subsistence farmers, and grew coffee for the small amount of cash their lives required.
There were only a few "big families" and all of them built houses with the ground floor as their office and the two stories above it for living. The kitchen and servants quarters were in the courtyard and the depots for the coffee were usually next to the house and elsewhere on the street -- hence the name Rue du Commerce.
The 19th Century houses themselves were all designed in Europe -- primarily France -- and made of materials selected there. The iron, tiles, etc. were manufactured in Europe -- only the wood -- abundant mahogany at that time -- was local.
The economy of the country changed and many of the wealthy Jacmel families relocated to Port au Prince and closed their Jacmel houses. The Florita was sealed in the 50's -- until the town was "rediscovered" by adventurous Americans (and Canadians) at the beginning of the 70's -- before there was a paved road. The trip between Port au Prince and Jacmel took all day -- with many rivers needing to be crossed -- and the town remained beautiful, peaceful and unspoiled.
One of the first foreigners to come to Jacmel was Selden Rodman -- a prolific art and travel writer -- as well as a poet, critic and eventually, an art dealer. He bought the house after it had been vacant for 20 years and made an art gallery on the first floor. He began to write about Haitian art (most of the "coffee-table books" about Haitian art were written by Rodman) and was more responsible than anyone else for the popularization of Haitian art in the West. He kept the house for 20 years, spending 4 (the winter+) months a year there, and renting it at other times. It was rented by Joe Cross and his family in 1982 -- who eventually purchased it in 1989. When it was thought that the house should give more people the opportunity to have a sense of what life was like (for the rich) in Jacmel a century ago it was "converted" into a hotel in 1999 -- but was not cut up into cubicles -- so that it could at any time be re-converted into a private house -- and for this reason the house and courtyard retain their original charm.
The restaurant and bar are in the depot where the coffee was stored -- and although the coffee business is no longer thriving in Jacmel the coffee is still local -- and is the blackest but most alkaline -- and wonderful tasting -- coffee that can be found anywhere.
Although damaged in the earthquake in 2010 it was repaired in such a way that it is stronger than prior to it -- and the courtyard has been substantially rebuilt and will be entirely rebuilt before the end of the year.
We serve whatever a guest wants, if we know in advance. But by almost everyone's estimation we have the best food in Jacmel, and Beleq, the bartender, probably makes the best rum punch and rum sour in Haiti. Ambassadors of most of the major nations stay with us when they come to Jacmel.
And the bar is the only real bar in Jacmel, where people can relax on sofas and arm chairs, just listen to music, or have meetings. There is free WiFi -- very rare in Haiti.
Jean Ruid Senatus has been the manager of The Florita since it opened as a hotel ten years ago, and he has become a friend to all of our regular guests. Anything he can do he will do. Jean is well-known for his genuine friendliness and concern -- his responsiveness to the needs of all our guests; and we depend on the loyalty of the guests who stay with us frequently.
We can arrange to have you picked up at the airport, or ride in comfort cheaply in the front seat of a direct mini-van. While the town beach is not used for swimming we can have you taken to -- and picked up from -- excellent local beaches.
The Hotel Florita represents a number of local beach houses for people with extended stays. Please call for information.
The beach house is only for friends of the Florita and Haiti.
Please enquire as to availability.
Hotel Florita - Bit in 1888
Two Typical Bedrooms
Queen Sophia of Spain
Hotel Florita's New Pool
Guest in our new Pool
Complete Beach Privacy -- Weekdays Only
Children in Wading Pool
Door to The Pool
There are many user-submitted photos of Jacmel available on tripadvisor.com here
Hotel Front Desk: 00 509 3785 5154 (from the US 011+)
Jean Senatus Manager: 3785-5154 or 3366-7868
+1 212 614 7455
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We regret to have to ask for a one night deposit by credit card on confirmed bookings at busy times. We are a small hotel, are often full, and never overbook -- You can check availability and reserve your rooms by e-mailing inquiries and credit card information, including billing name and address, to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning us at 00 509 3785 5154 (from the US 011+)
It is preferable to reserve your room by email or over the phone to avoid any confusion, since we do not yet have a system that shows room availability online.
Credit card deposits may be made over our secure online payment gateway using the link below. (Select the desired room from the list of room names on the left side of the screen. After all desired rooms are selected proceed to checkout and enter the correct information into the required fields to submitt your payment.)
Please call to confirm that the room you desire is available before reserving online.
PLEASE NOTE: The Hotel Florita is in Jacmel -- in the historic center of the city -- and one block fom the ocean. The other hotels -- that call themselves "Jacmel hotels" -- are beach hotels NEAR Jacmel -- but not within walking distance of the town. At The Florita a guest can go out the front door and walk (in safety) about the town at any hour. At the beach hotels a guest without a car has little option but to eat in their restaurant -- and neither has a real bar. Unlike at The Florita, where guests receive free transportation to and from all local beaches, guests at other beach hotel are restricted to single beach access.