Leading Ecuadorian interior designer leads the redesign of Santa Cruz Island’s only beachfront propertyThe leading eco hotel in the Galápagos Islands, Finch Bay, is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment spearheaded by Ecuador’s most renowned interior designer, Julio Vinueza.
Due for completion by November 2015, the hotel’s new look is inspired by an “expedition chic” ethos designed to complement its position in one of the world’s most extraordinary locations. Nestled in a sandy beachfront cove right on the seafront, it’s just a short water taxi ride to Puerto Ayora town centre, local markets complete with sea lions, and lively Galapageño culture..
Vinueza, who is responsible for some of the country’s most iconic and innovative hotels and restaurants, including Casa Gangotena in Quito and the highly anticipated Hotel del Parque in Guayaquil, plans to use natural tones and plenty of light in harmony with the native surroundings of smoky lava rock, sandy beaches and azure sea. The external façade of the hotel is being repainted in greige to make the building “disappear and blend with its surroundings”, bringing nature to the forefront and leaving the smallest human footprint possible. The new design embodies the Finch Bay’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable approach to tourism within the delicate ecosystem of the archipelago, having been lauded for its pioneering approach to sustainability many times over the last decade. It is the only property in the Galápagos Islands with a biological sewage treatment plant and uses organic waste for composting to enrich its organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden. Solar panels, energy saving lightbulbs and movement sensors throughout the property also contribute to creating a sustainable environment.
The hotel’s 21 Garden View Rooms will undergo a complete redesign, with new furniture throughout, while the six Ocean View Suites will be redecorated and fitted with modern Italian furniture. In addition the restaurant, reception and lounge areas will all benefit from new fittings and furnishings. Guests will also be able to access a new space, the Expedition Room, an ocean-inspired area for reading, relaxation and hosting talks by the hotel’s naturalist guides.
Vinueza has selected a light and natural colour palette with hints of aqua throughout the property, which aims to bring the natural surroundings inside with local Galápagos plants used throughout. In turn, the new furnishings will be very eclectic, mixing some modern classic pieces, such as Eames rocking chairs and a Saarinen Marble Tulip Table, with natural wood, hand crafted coffee tables, and soft furnishings in a variety of colours and textures.
Contemporary art will also punctuate the surroundings, from modern metal wall sculptures to softer pieces made from recycled driftwood. The walls will also be adorned with the work of an emerging young photographer from Quito, Cristina Monge, who has created a new series of unique images exclusively for the hotel, entitled “Textures of Galápagos”. A limited number of prints will be available for guests to purchase and take home as a reminder of their trip.
A three-night package at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel starts at USD 1,831 per adult in a double room including all meals based on two sharing.