A Christmas Party – Cayuga Style

Every year, we get together before the beginning of the “holiday season” with the complete Cayuga Management Team.  Holiday Season for us does not necessarily mean going on vacation, calm and peaceful Christmas celebrations and relaxation.  It means very demanding guests, hotels with record occupancy and lots of last minute things to take care off.  But of course, we love it…

We asked our management staff earlier in the month what they would like for Christmas from Cayuga as they really deserved a present for all the great work during the year.  The response from almost all of them was the same:  “We don’t need presents – we are so blessed.  But we would love to give to people that are not getting anything for Christmas”.  So we originally looked for an activity to support underprivileged  kids and asked our friends at Casa Luz (a great project supported by Cayuga Collection’s Grano de Oro Hotel), if they could receive us.  But they were “booked” and so we had to look elsewhere.

We found a group of people that do not seem to be getting a lot of attention in Tirrases de Curridabad de Costa Rica.  A old folk’s home for homeless, recovering alcoholic men aged 53 to 93.  Tirrases is a “rough” neighborhood in the outskirts of San Jose, but helping those men was exactly the right thing to do and a great experience for all of us.

See the pictures below of our experience that was definitely much more gratifying than any present…

Cayuga Christmas
Cayuga management staff preparing food and organizing the donations upon arrival at the Old Folk’s Home in the outskirts of San Jose.  Cakes, cookies, table games, deodorants, toothpaste, soap, etc.

 

This is the area where we spent the afternoon with 60 seniors in Tirrases de Curridabat.
This is the area where we spent the afternoon with 60 seniors in Tirrases de Curridabat.  A historic building.

 

The highlight of the afternoon was "Bingo" which was conducted by our managers Marijke from Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Alfonso from Arenas del Mar Resort and Howard from Jicaro Lodge in Nicaragua.
The highlight of the afternoon was “Bingo” which was conducted by Ana Maria and our managers Marijke from Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Alfonso from Arenas del Mar Resort and Howard from Jicaro Lodge.

 

The participants of the Bingo took the game very seriously and carefully placed the "beans" on the fields that had been called out.
The participants of the Bingo took the game very seriously and carefully placed the “beans” on the fields that had been called out.  Johan, operations manager of Lapa Rios Eco Lodge carefully watches progress.

 

Cayuga's Co-Owner Andrea Bonilla helps distributing Coffee and Cake.
Cayuga’s Co-Owner Andrea Bonilla helps distributing Coffee, cookies and cake.  Andrea’s passion for helping others and “giving back” is a driving element in Cayuga’s Sustainability Vision.

 

All participants of the afternoon's activities were very thankful for the presents but especially for the attention that they received by the Cayuga staff.
All participants were very thankful for the presents but especially for the attention that they received by the Cayuga staff.  They personally thanked all the Cayuga staff, in this case, Cayuga’s CEO Hans Pfister.

 

Some opened the gifts right away, others preferred to wait and open them in private. Kura Desgin Villa's GM Ana Catalina in discussion with some of the senior citizen.
Some opened the gifts right away, others preferred to wait and open them in private. Kura Desgin Villa’s General Manager Ana Catalina in discussion with some of the senior citizen.

 

Before we left, the female members of the Cayuga team even received a "serenata" as a thank you for the great afternoon.
Before we left, the female members of the Cayuga team (Karla, Maria Jose, Pamela and Andrea) even received a “serenata” as a thank you for the great afternoon.

 

After this emotional event, we drove back to Escazu and had a relaxed evening together.  We shared stories about the “funniest requests” that we had ever received as hotel managers (that could be our next blog…) and shared some home made wood oven pizza and craft beer.

Homemade Pizza and Craft Beer in a great outdoor setting.
Homemade Pizza and Craft Beer in a great outdoor setting.  Thank you Carlos and Maylin for a great evening at the “Clandestino”.

 

You will see them very serious and professional at their hotels. But it also feels good to let go and have a good time with great colleagues once in a while.
Howard, Jose Pablo, Jorge and Alfonso.  You will see them very serious and professional at their hotels. But it also feels good to let go and have a good time with great colleagues.  What a team…

 

Our Superstar Female General Managers. Marijke of Lapa Rios Ecolodge and Ana Catalina of Kura Design Villas.
Our Superstar Female General Managers. Marijke of Lapa Rios Ecolodge on the Osa Peninsula and Ana Catalina of Kura Design Villas in Uvita near Bahia Ballena National Park.

Next Year’s Christmas activity?  Not sure yet.  Any suggestions?  Always looking for Experiences and ways to Learn and Connect.  Happy Holidays and a Happy New Years to all friends and supporters of the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges.

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