BRIEF HISTORY OF HOUSE-HOTEL “CASAHOTEL SARACENA” IN COROICO
I. IDEA, LOCATION AND DESIGN OF THE PROJECT
The idea came up during a family camping trip to Coroico in the early 1990s. After camping on the soccer field, the family decided to walk around Coroico, and delighted with its dense vegetation and tropical flowers, resolved buy a small property for the place And that's how the family began the search for properties for sale in Coroico; At least 15 properties were visited, before finding the one that everyone liked the most in Pankarani ("flowery" in Aymará) 2.5 km from Coroico towards Carmen Pampa. The property was purchased in 1993 and later expanded, acquiring a natural grove next to the property. The aspects of the property that the family liked the most were the panoramic view of the Andean snow-capped mountains, the colorful flowers, the dense vegetation; including fruit trees, its grove and the coffee plantation.
After purchasing the property, it was decided to find an architect to design a simple country house; However, the family had to travel abroad for a year (father's postgraduate studies in Boston, USA), and back, with new ideas, the initial design was scrapped and a larger and more innovative project was started. . The design was rethought and various styles of country houses were considered, from those reflected in specialized magazines to styles that were observed in some country houses in the mountains of Samaipata, Santa Cruz. When the family had a clear idea of the type of country house they wanted, they sought out an architect with experience in rustic country houses. The architect Diego Vargas Farjat fulfilled this profile and it was with whom the final design of the house was developed and finalized with a Californian colonial style, in 1996.
II. THE CONSTRUCTION
Construction began in mid-1997 after building a good team. Fortunately, an excellent experienced North American builder was found, Mr. Robert Cashen, married to a lady from Coroico, who not only had experience in construction in Coroico and knowledge about the noble materials of the place, but also his ability to correctly interpret American colonial design. of the house (therefore English type).
The construction of the house took about a year (July 1997-July 1998), with biweekly supervisory trips (self-management) down the old road; also, known as "Road of Death" carried out by the father for 30 times with his middle son Jaime (12 years old at the time), who was a calm co-pilot and with nerves of steel during all the trips. At the beginning, fear spread to both travelers who had to travel such a narrow (3 meters wide) and dangerous road (with several cliffs approximately 800 meters deep); however, little by little, fear was disappearing, but not respect for a winding road lined with deep cliffs. Also, the youngest of the sons Sergio (11 years old at the time). He accompanied on several occasions in these trips to Coroico, and finally, the whole family traveled - including the mother and the eldest daughter Silvia (15 years old at that time) - in as many times. Fortunately, there were no major mishaps; just one "run-in" with a downhill fleet in one of the hairpin bends, and two tire blowouts (one in the rain).
During construction, most of the building materials were found at the site; especially, the native woods "huasicuchu" and "quina quina" (noble and very hard woods that are not affected by the termite) that were used for the internal steps, the structure of the barbecue, the columns of the portico and others; as well as a lot of stone for the "dry tacanas". However, the tiles, ceramics, carved and cut stone type "Tarija" (for the bathrooms and porch of the house) had to be brought from La Paz; bathroom Games; hardware; paints and other materials. It was not easy to find a good "stonemason" in the place, so one had to be brought from La Paz to cut and carve about 100 large stones that were found in the place and that were used for the construction of many "dry tacanas". ”That are seen on the property.
When the main construction was completed in 1998, the country house consisted of 3 en suite bedrooms (with 3 bathrooms, including the guest bathroom), kitchen, living-dining room, pantry, entrance arch, and machine room. In addition, it also included a pool 15 meters long by 6 meters wide and 1.8 meters deep, a barbecue with a jatata roof and a small small house for the caretaker.
III. COMPLEMENTARY WORKS AND EXTENSIONS
Complementary works (landscaping, additional dry tacanas, septic tank, water tank, camping bathroom, clay oven and others) were carried out mainly during the second semester of 1998. To Mr. Jorge Dulón, now also a Pankarani community member, He was commissioned to do the landscaping work on the property, for which more than 500 diverse and varied plants were purchased from the place (bougainvillea, palm trees, giant ferns, jasmine, bamboo, ornamental shrubs, full-color parlor leaves, and many others ) and was complemented by others on the property and the surroundings. The tacanas, and the more than 10 paved paths including the perimeter, and several within the property, were made by Mr. Mario Mamani, caretaker and manager of the property. Likewise, the natural perimeter fence of the property (one and a half hectares) that protects the flora of the place, was also built by Mr. Mamani with a combination of trees (pines brought from La Paz, seibos, “pedritos” (cucarda) , medlar, bougainvillea).
During a year and a half (July 2015 - December 2016), an important expansion was carried out (the lodging capacity of the country house was doubled) with 2 additional cabins - Fiori with 36 m2 and Nonni with 30 m2 - and a house for the caregiver with 25 m2. Each cabin has a spacious bedroom suite, kitchenette, and bathroom. Both the design and the supervision of this work were in charge of the architect Sergio A. Vizcarra Dáttoli, who traveled several times to Coroico and directed the work of Mr. Jorge Quispe, master builder, hired from La Paz to carry out the works. . Also, there was the collaboration of Arch. Mario Camacho Valdivia, who traveled from Cochabamba to advise and complement the work of this expansion.
IV. ORIGIN OF THE NAME "SARACENA", FURNISHING AND DECORATION
When the construction phase was finished, the family decided to name the country house, and baptized it as "Little Saracena Village" in honor of the hometown of the Dáttoli family - the maternal grandfather (Nonno) of the children was from there. . “Saracena” (pronounced Sarachena) is a mountainous town. Near Castrovillari, in southern Italy, in the Cosenza province, Calabria region, about an hour from the Ionian Sea, arm of the Mediterranean.
The part of the furnishing and decoration of the country house, which turned out to be something "eclectic" and which was carried out during the years 1999 and 2000 in the first stage, and in 2017 in the extension. Furniture, screens and ornaments that fit the style of the house were looked for and it was tried to find furniture and also objects of diverse styles but always old and colonial; for example, the chairs, banquets, bar-mantel, porch bells, and other decorations are in the American Colonial style. The bedroom furniture is of the classic Mobilia type; the wrought iron screens (which belonged to the Dáttoli family) are in colonial style; and the cedar table in the dining room from Chuquisaca is from the early twentieth century. To give the house a subtropical atmosphere, wicker furniture was included; hammocks and bedspreads made of camba yarn. The furniture in the Fiori and Nonni cabins are "country" type of aged pine and also Mobiilia furniture.
Finally, the various trails in the house were named. The eldest daughter Silvia, was in charge of designing them, giving them the names and painting them; there are more than 20 posters with very creative names, such as: "El Mirador Curioso", "Ganado a la Barbacoa", "Las Paltas Chinchosas", "Plaza La Glorieta", "Lindero Uchumachi", "Camino Arácnido", " Forgotten Path "," Path I Don't Know How to Explain "," False Path "and several others.
V. START OF THE COMPANY: "CASAHOTEL SARACENA"
After a market analysis, a pilot test stage, the organization and marketing phases, it was decided to start up the Casa-Hotel Villa Saracena, as a one-person / family-run lodging company - the first of these characteristics in the region - that since 2007 operates under the corresponding records of FUNDAEMPRESA and the Operating License of the Mayor's Office of Coroico.
Coroico, as the first tourist municipality in Bolivia (Law 2074), requires an attractive eco-tourism offer that offers its internal and external guests a house-hotel with the unique characteristics that “Caahotel Saracena” offers:
A unique finely furnished country house, fully equipped with large windows and a terrace, which functions as an Aparthotel (guests bring their food to prepare their meals). and it is ready to be occupied by guests who have at their disposal: a country house (10 pax = people) with three suites (two double, one master with a double sofa-bed, and another with a single sofa-bed, both with a terrace , and a triple with single beds), kitchen, living-dining room, fireplace, flat TV (40 “LED) for DVD / MP3, water heater, refrigerator, gas stove, microwave, and electrical appliances; the Fiori cabin (4 Pax) with a matrimonial suite with a double sofa-bed, kitchenette, bathroom and terrace; and the Nonni cabin (4 Pax) with a matrimonial suite with a double sofa-bed, kitchen, bathroom and gazebo; and camping (5 Pax) with bathroom and laundry. The common areas of the house-hotel include a natural pool (15 x 7 x 1.8 meters deep), barbecue, clay oven, and garage for several cars. Likewise, the house-hotel includes complete kitchen utensils, bedding, personal towels and soap. Last but not least, it has its own garbage collection and disposal system (organic, non-organic, plastic / glass and a composting pit) and its septic tank for the treatment of sewage.
It also offers 1.5 hectares of property with a paradisiacal fauna and flora, a small natural waterfall, several trails to enjoy walks and citrus, banana, custard apple and coffee plantations. The house is located in a small natural grove, which allows you to make a forest bath (Shinrin-yoku), full of subtropical vegetation with the varied sounds of nature, being possible to observe exotic birds (Uchis, Huaracachis) and with a spectacular view of the Andean mountains (Huayna Potosí, Chacaltaya, Mururata).
The company has an online reservation system and also, through international tourism agencies. Reservations are confirmed with the payment of 50% of the cost of the stay and confirmed according to the order of deposits. The company has special offers described in the corresponding tab of the website: www.casahotelsaracena.com.
VI. MISSION AND VISION OF CASAHOTEL SARACENA
MISSION: WE ARE AN INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE TEAM THAT OFFERS OUR GUESTS A UNIQUE COUNTRY HOUSE WITH COZY AND COMFORTABLE LODGING ENVIRONMENTS AND A HIGH QUALITY SERVICE; BOTH ALLOW TRAVELERS TO FEEL AT HOME IN A PIECE OF YUNGUEÑO PARADISE.
VISION: WE WANT TO BE RECOGNIZED AS AN ECO-TOURIST HOUSE-HOTEL - UNIQUE IN ITS STYLE - THAT OFFERS EXCELLENT LODGING SERVICES AND ENVIRONMENTS, AND IN THIS WAY, SATISFYING THE DEMANDING REQUIREMENTS OF TRAVELERS AND CONVERTING LOCATIONS STATE-OF-THE-ART FOR THOSE WHO LOVE AND CONSERVE NATURE.