Do you own all of those hotels, resorts and eco lodges?

“Are you the owners of all of those hotels, resorts, and lodges?”  This is a question that we get asked a lot. What does Cayuga do?  So if you don’t own them, how does the management work?  Here is the full explanation.  Between the paragraphs, we included a few videos of our properties, so you get an idea what we are all about.

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a management company that specializes in small sustainable luxury hotels and lodges in Central America.   In the future, we might expand further, but for now our geographic focus is Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

What we do is not that different from what the more well-known management companies such has Marriott, Four Seasons or Hyatt do.   The big difference is that we are focused not only on luxury hotels and resorts, but won’t take on a project that is not 100% committed to sustainability.   We also have set ourselves a size limit of 50 rooms per hotel.

All the properties that we work with are owned by distinct parties.   The owners of the hotels and lodges pay us a monthly management fee plus an incentive fee and we take care of the operations for the owners from A-Z.   That way they can take care of their other businesses, enjoy retirement, hang out with their family and friends or go surfing.   We’ve got their backs covered.   The smallest hotel we manage has  6 guest rooms, the biggest resort has 38.

In order for this to work, the owners have to agree to give us full operational control of their hotel or lodge. That is not always easy for them as often it is their ” baby” and they are very emotionally involved.   But we have been able to make it work and have a great track record of happy owners.   Of course, we meet with them on a regular level and run the big decisions by them.   We have budget and performance meetings at least once a year, in some cases
more often.

 

We have a Cayuga Corporate Team based in Costa Rica, which supervises and supports the operation of each hotel.   Our corporate office is located in the “Centro de Escazu” just outside of the Capital City of San Jose.   The corporate team helps in the implementation of new projects, training and perform quality audits at the properties on a regular basis.  They also work on developing and opening new properties and in rare cases are involved in consulting for other companies.

We have a complete set of Standard Operating Procedures and since they are not “standard” at all, we chose to call them Cayuga Operating Procedures or COPs.   This is the backbone of our operations and while all of our hotels and lodges have a distinct and unique personality and provide very different and personalized experiences, these procedures ensure a great level of quality and consistency in the guest experience at the hotels and lodges.

We hire the top management team (General Managers, Operations Managers, Experience & Sustainability Managers) at each hotel and lodge and they report to the Cayuga Corporate Performance Director back in San Jose.   All hotel employees including the managers are on the payroll of each of the individual hotels.   These are some of the departments and areas that Cayuga through its managers on the ground takes care of specifically in each hotel:   Reservations & Sales, Front Desk & Concierge, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Gardening, Security, Guided Tours & Experiences, Wellness & Spa, Retail shops, Restaurant & Kitchen, Human Resources, Accounting and of course Sustainability.

Our hotel managers run all the finances and accounting for the hotels.   They account for the revenues, pay suppliers and employees and make sure there is proper financial reporting happening in the format of (audited) financial statements according to the Uniform System of Accounts for the Hospitality Industry.   Cayuga has negotiated preferential prices and conditions with corporate and local suppliers.

Cayuga is 100% committed to working with local employees, which makes the work that our human resources department does crucial to the success of our hotels and lodges.   We spend a lot of attention on recruiting, training, motivation, and the development of our staff.   Career path opportunities are available within the hotels or at other Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges and Corporate.

Sustainability is in our DNA.   Cayuga was sustainable long before it became mainstream.   We are the leaders in sustainable hospitality in a country that is world renown for sustainable and eco-tourism.   We have won several awards for our sustainability efforts and always take sustainability into consideration when making big decisions.   We have a person in charge of Sustainability at each of the hotels and lodges and work very closely with a non-profit organization called Equilibrium.

Cayuga believes that a great operation sells itself, and word of mouth (personal or digital) is the most successful marketing strategy anybody can apply.   All other marketing and sales are done at Cayuga’s corporate level.   Public Relations, a digital strategy including social media and relations with agencies and wholesalers are centrally managed in San Jose.

Cayuga manages the process of opening new hotels from scratch and have evolved an expertise for upgrading, remodeling and renovating the operating hotels and lodges while operating.   We have helped owners invest in their assets to keep the hotels fresh and current.

We are flexible, we are passionate, we are proud of what we do.   If there is a way, we will make it happen.   But what we won’t do is cut corners when it comes to quality, our staff, and sustainability.

Did that help?   Do you understand now what we do?   If you would like to learn more, send us a note to hans@cayugaonline.com.

One more thing, so you now understand what Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality does. What is the Cayuga Collection though?   It is a group of hotels that share the same values in terms of service quality and sustainability and offer unique and authentic experiences to visitors to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.   Most of the Cayuga Collection Hotels are managed by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality and two are managed by its owners, but part of the Collection as a marketing group.

 

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