Loisse Herger: The Story Behind the Young Entrepreneur


The owner of O:LV Fifty Five, O:live Boutique, and Aire by Olive, Loisse Herger, who, inspired by traveling the world, established the first boutique hotels in Puerto Rico, gives an insight to her life as a hotelier and entrepreneur. Loisse Herger was inclined from a young age, feeling the Herger DNA in her blood, to pursue her own path and stray from the norm, following her dad, who indirectly implemented a business mindset on his children. Before operating in the hotel industry, Loisse worked around eight years for corporations on marketing and sales, and planned to continue doing so as her main source of income.

Her partner in their modern projects and husband, Fernando Davilla, always pushed Herger to have her own business and give up working for corporations. Completely happy with her job, salary, work trips, and life, Loisse had no intention to give up this job, even when her husband presented many projects that they could take on. What sparked interest in this young entrepreneur, twenty-eight years old at the time, was when her aunt, who owned a bed and breakfast on the beach, offered her the administration of the building. When this occurred, Loisse found an interest in hotels and took up the offer. She spent around three years administering this building until an opportunity presented itself and, as a team, Herger and Davilla took the chance. Loisse does all of her projects with Fernando by her side; he, as a civil engineer and Loisse working with marketing and sales. Together they filled two very major roles that would be needed to pursue this opportunity.

Together this husband/wife duo travels the world for inspiration and brings new ideas to the industry. “If I were asked to dive into a new project tomorrow without my partner, I would jump into it head first. But I wouldn’t stop working with him today— we already have the formula,” From when she began working and developing her first boutique hotel, Herger has been working with Davilla and self-teaching herself how to adapt to modern society and how to cater to the community. When asked who supported her the most mentally and physically, Herger answered: “Honestly, my partner and I as a team…, and myself.” She voiced that thanks to her instinct, technology, and access to education from different videos, books, and more, she has been able to become a better leader. Loisse would manage everything herself; she could work as a waiter, manage the front desk, book weddings, invite friends to parties… And now she has staff and people who have been hired to do these jobs, once she overcame the initial struggle.

Three boutique hotels and one hundred-twenty-two rooms… Starting out with one hotel, which had a mere twelve rooms and was their only project for around thirteen years, Loisse Herger has flourished with her popular projects that seem to pop in the recurring theme of chain hotels in Puerto Rico. Yet success for Loisse and her partner did not occur overnight. When asked if any doubts were apparent in the conceptualization and development of the first boutique hotel Loisse answered “100%”. The industry at the time in Puerto Rico was made up of the Hitlon and Sheraton—boutique hotels here did not exist. “If I am going to do something, it has to be different.” The first project that they worked on together, O:live Boutique, is a Mediterranean themed hotel that Loisse describes as her “first child.” Most of the inspiration for these new concepts that Loisse introduces are formulated from trips, whether the projects be bohemian chic, city glam, or romantic and personal. The hotel is filled with passion and has a warm, inviting, romantic atmosphere, as the couple was in their honeymoon stage. For the first hotel (which is, coincidentally, Loisse’s favorite), everything was more personal rather than in a business mindset. Artifacts, branding, art, and more were handpicked and inspired from their honeymoon trip to the south of France. A romantic aura fills this hotel which the team dedicated 13 years before taking on a new project. Herger said that “the Olive brand is like a projection of Loisse.” When taking a leap with this new concept of a boutique hotel, she had her own doubts. “When you create a new concept and you know people will like it, you are more confident than when you are unsure that people will even take up on the new idea.” Once Loisse and Fernando’s projects began to gain popularity and gather more attention, Loisse mentions that “with more success comes more pressure.” She feels as though once she has created a project the next has to be equally of quality or better, that she has to maintain a reputation. Although the couple began receiving more attention, it didn’t mean for Herger that she would be getting much more exposure. She mentions that she has always liked to keep herself backstage, away from the spotlight. Loisse has been pushed by colleagues to do podcasts, interviews, shows, and posts, but she prefers staying in the shadows.


These types of projects that this duo jump into are not simple nor small-scale. “I was never nervous,” Herger declares, feeling like she already had a base. Worry is not something she often experienced, as she never felt that insecurity as to whether a new project would become successful or not. Loisse knows she can always find a way up. Contrasting from the beginning of her career, now she knows that people will like her concepts. Before, she doubted whether people would fill the restaurants and whether they would like the decorations or the concept in general. As Loisse Herger continues developing projects, her goals are being achieved along the way. She is “exporting [her] brand” as she opens a hotel, a villa, and more outside Puerto Rico. Already having the formula down for the projects that they create in Puerto Rico, Herger wants something that challenges her, that will make her think about what the locals will like and what will work best. She wants to learn how to make others fall in love with her brand. “I haven’t fulfilled my full potential.” She already has three complete projects and one still undergoing. Loisse expresses that she won’t be calm until she has exported Olive to an international level. Places like Italy, Colorado, Greece, and St. Barth’s are ideal for her.

Operating in the hotel business and having such success were not foreseen by Loisee in her future. Loisse’s mother, Martha Anadon, reminds her today of what she used to tell her as a little girl when the family was struggling. As a daughter, she would reassure her mother to not worry; Loisse would become a millionaire and have a mansion. Stress and pressure to not disappoint her mother from a young age drove her to become successful.

Her mother had married quickly after college and it resulted in divorce, leaving her unemployed and desperate to find a job. Her mother, throughout her and her siblings’s life, had always reminded them to study outside, in the United States, to not depend on anybody, and to become successful. These achievements did not come easily for the married couple; there were a few rough years in Herger’s career. For about three to four years the duo was stuck in a legal battle which led them to what Loisse called “a vicious circle.” After being able to steer clear of this situation, Loisse wished she didn’t have to experience confrontation, but, after reflecting, she says that “it helped [her] grow tough skin.” Herger voiced that now she doesn’t feel any fear whenever she gets sued or whenever she has to come face to face with a lawyer. She is not afraid to fight back and conquer the situation. Not only has Loisse Herger been confronted with difficult situations, but she has also faced discouragement in the early stages of her career. In one of her first jobs, working at a corporation that managed Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC in Puerto Rico, Loisse wanted to leave and study to get her masters in Business. She had asked the manager to write a letter of recommendation for her. When Loisse voiced she was going to quit and leave, the manager offered a larger salary for the young lady. Loisse was set on pursuing her degree and turned down the offer. Herger recalls the manager, looking her in the eyes, and telling her: “I want you to call me in 10 years and tell me this was the biggest mistake you made in your life. I wanted to call her the other day and tell her, look, who’s the millionaire now?”