Ivar Arocha, current owner and founder of Hotel Sagarnaga, was born in a small border town in the southern part of Bolivia in the early 1940’s.
Raised by a young widow, Ivar always had a clear example of perseverance and hard work. He and his two sisters always aided their mother in her various entrepreneurial adventures. Together as a family their portfolio included a small convenience store, imported clothes, and later in life, the opening of one of the first cinemas in La Paz.
It wasn’t easy to be a mother and a solo businesswoman in the 1940’s, but together, the Arocha family somehow always succeeded and progressed, which allowed Ivar to have a strong education. Furthermore, allowed him to travel the world.
He slowly got caught in the desire of learning and exploring more, but to make it feasible, he would get out to the world through exporting. He exported alpaca and wool products, which he soon realized were in very high demand. Shortly, he decided he had to be on the manufacturing side of these products, and by 1968 he opened a small sock factory.
A couple of years later, after being betrayed by his business partner in his first big venture, Ivar’s sock factory had not been what he expected. He salvaged what he could by selling his part of the factory to his business partner.
No stranger to risk taking and with some cash in hand, Ivar decided he had to try something new. Inspired and supported by his mother and young family, he decided he could turn his mother’s cinema into a hotel. It would not be easy, but his vision was clear. Bank loan, after bank loan, and a few years of perseverance, Hotel Sagarnaga opened its doors in September of 1980 with only a staff of 3 and a total of 5 rooms.
Today our family hotel stands in what turned out to be the heart of the touristic area, and now counts with 60 rooms. Inside you can now find two in house restaurants, a cozy sky bar, an exercise area, in house travel agency, and a lobby space to relax at, making a total of over 400 square meters of common areas. Further, you can still find Ivar at the front door welcoming our guests.
Despite the years, the façade of the hotel has not changed from the original cinema’s art deco style from the previous century. No matter how much we still strive to innovate and stand out, this will always be a reminder of our beginnings.