Downtown Erie's Victoria Inn Moves Forward with Intention
Yoga, breathwork classes, and retreat spaces now offered
"When you put your intention out there, the world conspires to make it happen for you," explains Vicke Marz, owner of the historic Victoria Inn at 401 Peach St. in the heart of Downtown Erie. Marz enthusiastically tells the story of how a broken water pipe on Christmas Eve sparked a flow of ideas to bring yoga and meditation back to the inn and expand retreat and wellness offerings in the space.
"My brother, my husband, and I were watching this water cascade into the dining room on Christmas Eve; thankfully we were able to mitigate the damage," Marz recalled. The inn was closed for three weeks, leaving Marz with time to think big about her true intentions for the space, which includes expanding beyond being a bed-and-breakfast exclusively. "I love hosting guests in the bed-and-breakfast space, but I want to expand our offerings and really follow my passion to share this amazing space with more people."
The Victoria Inn, previously known as the George Carroll house, offers historic lodging with a maximum capacity of 20. One step through the beautiful front doors and guests quickly realize why the Victoria Inn is one of Erie's landmark Victorian mansions. Examples of the era surround you, from the 12-foot ceilings to the incredibly detailed, handcrafted hardwood moldings, mantles, and beautiful hardwood floors throughout the house. "The Victoria Inn is such a peaceful oasis in the middle of the chaos of downtown, and when I first walked in, I felt the energy of the space," Marz said. "I came downtown to buy a building after retiring, and, much to my husband's surprise, I came home with a bed-and-breakfast. Adding yoga is just another chapter in the very colorful history of this lovely building."
Victoria Inn owner Vicke Marz was prompted to re-examine her use of the space at the historic bed and breakfast after a broken pipe caused them to close the inn for three weeks. Combining her love for the inn with her passion for intentional yoga practice felt like the best way forward. (Contributed photo)
That sacred feeling has inspired Marz to combine her passion of running the inn with her dream of offering an intimate gathering space for retreats. The inn already has an almost-full calendar this year of author's retreats, ceremonial breathwork retreats, and yoga retreats. Marz has been practicing Bikram yoga since 2010 and received her certification to teach in 2018. She currently offers the "26 and 2" practice, which is a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, practiced over 90 minutes. There are also plans for a 60 minute version of the same practice. Sound bowls, meditation, and restorative yoga will also be offered.
Breathwork classes are available to the guests as well as the general public on Sundays from 3 until 5:30 p.m. for $90 a class. Reservations are required and the class is 90 minutes. The breathwork classes begin with intention setting, rounds of elemental breathing, a meditation, an integration, and a sharing circle. They also include music and drumming.
Marz says she would like to see more people utilizing the Inn for weekend or overnight retreats, eventually bringing in more out of town retreat hosts and guests. Bringing a Kirtan to Erie is high on her list of wishes, as are wellness offerings for the local community. The inn is booking up quickly for 2023 weekend retreats, but there are some options remaining, so if you're interested in talking about booking a retreat, she recommends calling soon.
Breathwork and Yoga are beautiful practices that will change your life, heal your heart and create space for joy. Join us!