Meet the team that works hard to create the magical experiences our guests experience at our hotels, resorts and eco lodges every day. We are a young company full of creativity and ideas. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we work with locals or permanent residents developing young men and women to become world class hospitality professionals.
Hans Pfister is the President and co-owner of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality. Hans brings over 20 years of experience in the hotel business in all capacities from trainee to General Manager. Born and raised in Germany, Hans’ career began with the European tradition of apprenticeship as an introduction to the industry, rounding out his education and training with a degree from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and experience in various properties in Europe, Asia, North- and Latin America. In addition to his native German language, Hans speaks English and Spanish fluently, and is proficient in French. Hans is a frequent speaker at sustainability related conferences and was invited to share Cayuga’s experiences in the field of sustainable hospitality at the Harvard Business School and Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration
Andrea Bonilla is Vice President of Operations and co-owner of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality. She was born and raised in Costa Rica. Her passion for service and the hotel industry in general lead her to Cornell University where she received a degree in Hotel Administration. Andrea brings over 15 years of industry experience to Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, from training positions at Disney to Operations Management in Zanizbar, Africa. Being from Costa Rica, her native language is Spanish, and she speaks fluent English and Italian and is proficient in French.
Jorge Arrieta holds a master’s degree in International Business Administration from UIA, Texas and an undergraduate degree in tourism. He has over 20 years of experience in hotel operations and consulting. Jorge has held various positions in Cayuga Corporate and at the property level making him the most versatile and experienced of our team. He currently serves as General Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio.
Maria Jose Castro is the Performance Director at Cayuga and in charge of the operations at the hotels and resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. She has held a variety of corporate and property level positions in the past and has been instrumental in the implementation of standard operating procedures in the past. Maria Jose has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Administration from the Universidad Interamericana de Costa Rica, is fluent in English and Spanish and understands German.
Jose López is Cayuga’s Culinary Director. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from Lynn University in Boca Raton and a Grand Diplome from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, France. After graduating as Chef de Cuisine and Pastry, he had the opportunity to travel and work in fine restaurants in Europe, Asia and Africa, where he was exposed to new products, techniques and flavors. Jose has operated successful restaurants and has represented Costa Rica in distinguished culinary competitions abroad.
Ana María Baldioceda received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management in Houston, Texas. She held operational, marketing and human resources positions in Costa Rica and abroad and currently works for Cayuga in the position of Project Director. He work has been focused on human resources and standard operating procedures and her versatile skill set makes her a very valuable asset for the organization. Ana is fluent in Spanish and English and is proficient in French.
Monica Acosta is our Marketing Coordinator at Cayuga. She has obtained a Bachelor´s Degree in Hotel Administration from the Universidad Interamericana de Costa Rica and recently acquired a Master´s Degree in Business Administration & Marketing. Monica formed part of the opening team of the Four Seasons Hotel in Península Papagayo, Guanacaste and has worked in different departments within the organization for almost eight years. Her current role at Cayuga is to coordinate and execute all corporate marketing efforts for the hotels. She is fluent in English & Spanish.
Irene Rosich is currently working as Project Coordinator for Cayuga. She is the youngest member of our team and was hired after she did an internship with Cayuga. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the Universidad Latina in San Jose. Irene is fluent in Spanish and English.
Jose Pablo Cordero was born in Costa Rica, graduated from high school in Thailand and received a Degree in International Hotel Management from Adelaide University in Australia. He has extensive experience with Hotel chains such as Hilton, Aman and Crown Plaza in Australia and Thailand. He first joined Cayuga as the Food and Beverage Manager at the Harmony Hotel in Nosara and now works at the Corporate level to share his knowledge with the Cayuga hotel and lodge staff at all levels. He is fluent in English and Spanish and conversational in French.
Jose Pablo Saenz obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the Universidad Latina. He worked in Costa Rica and abroad where he gained valuable experience in hotels such as the Four Seasons in Whistler Canada. Jose Pablo has held a corporate position with Cayuga as Guest Experience Coordinator in the past and is currently the General Manager of Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa. His passion and dedication to personalized guest service, surfing and fishing make him the perfect fit for this position.
Marijke Mulder was born in Golfito, a small port town across the Gulf from Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. She grew up in Belgium and came back to the Osa Peninsula when she was 16 years old. She started at Lapa Rios in a junior position at a very young age and worked her way through different departments showing great dedication to sustainability and customer service. Marijke has spent months at a time travelling around the world but was always brought back to the Osa’s natural beauty. In September 2011, Marijke became Lapa Rios’ first “local” General Manager. In addition to Dutch and Spanish, Marijke is fluent in English and is able to communicate in French and German.
Federico Gurdian graduated from the prestigious Glion Hotel School in Switzerland in Hospitality Management. Upon completion, he worked for international hotel chains in Costa Rica, Mexico and China where he obtained strong hands-on experience in hospitality. He is very passionate about nature and the outdoors, as well as the hospitality industry in general. He held corporate positions in Cayuga as well as operations positions. He now is our new Operations Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort.
Howard Coulson was born and raised in the northern Nicaraguan town of Estelí. He has a degree in Hotel Management and Tourism from INTAE and over 15 years of management experience in hotels and restaurants in Granada, the city he now calls home. The management of Jicaro Island Ecolodge is Howard’s first assignment with Cayuga and he has been able to position the lodge as Nicaragua’s premier Ecolodge. He is fluent in Spanish and English and able to communicate in basic French.
Hazel Blanco was born and raised in Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose. Her passion for Costa Rica’s natural and cultural resources motivated her to become an ecotourism professional. She holds an undergraduate degree from the prestigious University of Costa Rica. After working in eco tourism, she continued her studies and obtained a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Sustainable Tourism. This expertise she applies on a daily basis as the Operations manager of the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula. Hazel has worked in Lapa Rios since 2013 where she started in the position of Experience Manager. She is fluent in Spanish and English and brings years of experience in sustainability and a great passion for sustainable development of local communities.
Martin Wells and Alejandra Umaña are the co-owners and managers of Kura Design Villas. They do not have any prior hospitality management experience, but after designing and building Kura, they became quick learners and now manage the hotel under the Cayuga Umbrella. Martin has completed his architectural studies at the UACA, Veritas and Creativa in San Jose. Kura has been his first project where he clearly defined his style and took care of ever little detail. Alejandra’s career is in Biology and she holds a degree from the Universidad Latina. She worked at INBIO before heading to her perfect place in the world – the South Pacific of Costa Rica – and work on Kura. Both are fluent in Spanish and English.
Eduardo Zumbado joined the Cayuga Team as “trainer” and is responsible for maintaining and raising service standards at the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges. He graduated from the Universidad Interamericana in San Jose, Costa Rica with degrees in Hotel Administration and Human Resources. He has experience in the opening of five star hotels and managing Human Resources, Food & Beverage and Marketing departments. Besides Costa Rica, Eduardo has work experience in Canda, Guatemala, Mexico and Suriname. During the past years, he worked as an independent consultant for hospitality operations and restaurants in Central America. He is fluent in Spanish and English.