Kids or No Kids? Choosing the Best Vacation for You

July 15, 2016

To bring the kids or go on an adult only vacation? That is the question…

When it comes to deciding whether to make a vacation a fun family trip or relaxing couples retreat, there is much to take into account. Do guests want spend their days on high-energy adventures showing their kids the wonders of a new land? Or sipping sangria in a seaside hammock for two?

Whichever type of vacation our guests prefer; we have a hotel or ecolodge that will bring their dream getaway to fruition. With their unique architecture and lengthy cocktail lists, Kura Design Villas and Jicaro Island Ecolodge are the perfect tropical escapes for those vacationing kid free. Lapa Rios—with its 1000-acre rainforest reserve just waiting to be explored— is a nice middle ground for families with children older than six. And Arenas Del Mar is a family haven with on-site childcare and a kid-friendly pool.

So which type of vacation is best for you?

Family Vacation – The Cayuga Way

A trip to a Cayuga property is a chance to come together as a family and make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it was laughing at Dad’s epic wipeouts during surf lessons at The Harmony Hotel or learning how to make authentic Costa Rican tortillas at Arenas Del Mar, guests will come home with stories to tell and experiences to cherish.

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Tortilla Lessons at Arenas Del Mar

Travelling to a remote destination also provides a unique opportunity to pique a child’s interest in the world around them. New foods, new plant life, new cities—the opportunities for learning and growth are boundless and our properties’ staff members are goldmines of knowledge just waiting to be tapped. Together, families can learn about the sleeping patterns of the three toed sloth, the magic of Costa Rica’s medicinal plants, and so much more. The only prerequisites are curiosity and a sense of adventure!

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Adventure time at Lapa Rios Photo: Aranxa Esteve

Family vacations are also the perfect time to break away from scheduled extracurriculars and partake in organic play—an important part of childhood development.  Play encourages creativity, promotes physicality, and builds cognitive and emotional strength. At our resorts, play is not only encouraged, it’s celebrated. After all, what better place to build sandcastles than the snowy white beaches of Manuel Antonio? Where better to chase mythical sea creatures than the frothy surf of Santa Teresa? A family vacation the Cayuga Way is a chance to play, learn, and connect.

Learning about our sustainability initiatives! Photo: Aranxa Esteve
Learning about our sustainability initiatives!
Photo: Aranxa Esteve

Couples Vacation- The Cayuga Way

On the other hand, sometimes Mom and Dad need some good old fashioned rest and relaxation. A couples getaway to a Cayuga property is perfect for those looking to unplug, recharge, and spend quality time with their spouse kid-free. Late nights, lazy mornings, an endless supply of freshly brewed local coffee—a couples retreat with Cayuga is a chance to indulge in life’s small pleasures.

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Pool time at Kura Design Villas

Guests can reconnect while wandering the fields of Finca Rosa Blanca’s coffee plantation, take a snooze in one of Kura’s gigantic purple hammocks, or enjoy a lakeside sangria after a kayak around Jicaro Island. Our only rule? Guests must shed all stress and responsibility (don’t worry, it won’t be hard!) A couples retreat the Cayuga way is a chance to relax, recharge, and indulge.

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Latitude 10’s Seaside Hammocks are the perfect spot for some R and R. Photo: Aranxa Esteve

Family travel and couples vacations are oranges and apples but — whether guests choose to bring their kids or leave them behind— Cayuga will make their trip the experience of a lifetime.

Whale Watching at Lapa Rios

Whales in Uvita Costa Rica

July 15, 2015

Of all the wildlife in Costa Rica, seeing a whale is perhaps the most exhilarating experience. Luckily, Costa Rica is home to an estimated 25 whale and dolphin species which migrate, mate and live in the coastal waters of both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  As a breeding ground for many whale species, Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world for whale watching thanks to its warm waters and protected inlets.

The best time to visit for whale-watching is mid-July to October and December to March as the whales migrate and bread along the coastlines. Both Southern hemisphere humpbacks traveling from Antarctica and Northern hemisphere humpbacks travelling from Alaska pass by Costa Rica. As you can see, the Humpback whales are one of the farthest migrating animals on Earth.

whale tail

Famed for the Humpbacks who spend more than eight months in the waters off Uvita, Kura Design Villas is by far, one of the best places to see whales. The Ballena National Marine Park, visible from Kura’s patio, offers the longest Humpback whale season in the world. This national park, fittingly named after the whales that commonly visit and the whale tail shaped sandbar, is a natural oasis full of pristine beaches and teaming with wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea turtles, birds and tropical fish.

Humpback whales are easier to spot thanks to their distinctive hump and black dorsal fin. These whales also prefer to spend much of their time on the surface and near the shore and can grow from 12 – 16 meters in length.

Although the humpback whale is seen most often, this area is home to pseudo-orcas, pilot whales, spotted dolphins, spinner dolphins, bottle-nose dolphins and common dolphins. During your stay at Kura Design Villas you may want to take a day trip to maximize your whale watching experience and enjoy the surrounding scenery.  Half day whale watching or snorkeling tours are offered, depending on the season. Visit Caño Island Biological Reserve, the perfect paradise for diving and snorkeling. Here you have the opportunity to see turtles, dolphins, sting rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna snapper, parrot fish, puffers and more. Deeper diving off the island may present white-tipped reef shark, silky shark, bull shark, with occasional whale shark and the amazing humpback whale. This all day tour includes a picnic lunch and an optional guided hike on the island.

If you chose to travel a little farther down the coast, Drake Bay, is another common breading ground for whales thanks to the calm waters in this area.  If you’re lucky, you’ll see a mom playing with her new baby splashing in the water near the shoreline as she teaches her young how to breach, dive and feed.

If you’re closer to Harmony Hotel, on the Nicoya Peninsula, there are also good places to go whale watching. The Tambor and Pochote beaches are places where humpback whales are most commonly seen.  While whale-watching tours are not common in these areas, snorkeling and scuba diving are the best options for spotting marine wildlife. Sightings in this area include humpback whales, bottle-nose dolphins, spinner dolphins, common dolphins and sea turtles.

Isla-del-Cano_1-450x225snorkelling

If you love animals and the ocean, then going whale watching in Costa Rica will be an activity you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. It’s an amazing experience to see these impressive creatures and reminds us just how much we need to protect our nature and earth.

The Cayuga Eco Honeymoon Experience

June 9, 2015

It’s difficult to think of a type of travel planning that is more challenging than the planning of your honeymoon. Of course, it needs to be perfect – but is done during a whirlwind time of wedding preparation, anticipation and life changes.

I work in the hospitality industry – and Chloè, my wife, teaches yoga in New York. Having observed Hans Pfister’s innovation in hospitality at the Cayuga Collection from afar, experiencing it first-hand was something I had wanted to do for a long time. This, combined with Chloe’s work in holistic wellness – and the need to have a complete break from urban living, made some time in Costa Rica a very attractive proposition.

We ended up spending 10 days visiting a number of Cayuga’s locations around Costa Rica, and wanted to share our eco honeymoon experience as it may help you as you plan your own honeymoon.

TIP: Cayuga has an Eco Honeymoon Mini-Guide for download. If you’re planning your itinerary now and an eco honeymoon is up your alley, definitely get the mini-guide to see how their collection of hotels can fit into your plans.

Stop #1: Finca Rosa Blanca

Stepping off the plane in San Jose’s Juan Santamaría airport, we picked up our rental car and began our Costa Rica adventure. Our first impressions on arrival at Finca Rosa Blanca were incredible. The reception staff provided a warm welcome and made everything effortless, arranging for our luggage to be brought to our room and the car parked for us. After 9 hours of traveling, you’re just tired and hungry…and maybe a little grouchy 🙂

A brief tour of the hotel property led straight to the restaurant so we could settle into our stay. Gazing out over the city of San Jose in the valley while we sipped a welcome drink and learned about the history of the property and coffee farm was the perfect opening to our eco honeymoon experience.

Eco honeymoon welcome drinks at Finca Rosa Blanca

There’s something about looking out over a city that is profoundly relaxing for me. It’s the perfect way for me to put distance between the hectic months leading up to that moment – to stop, take a deep breath, and tell myself, “I’m on my honeymoon now.”

Sherman & Alejandro provided above and beyond service at the restaurant, with the perfect mix of professionalism and friendliness.  Everyone remembered our name and preferences so well. The front desk stuff was very helpful during our stay, with the receptionists making numerous calls to check on local activities for us. I sensed that the staff actually love working there – which is all-too-rare in hotels.

The Finca coffee tour in the morning was a highlight. For me, that’s real luxury – experiencing local treasures with a very knowledgeable guide.

Eco honeymoon "Cupping" session on the Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Tour

Sustainability is something you hear about frequently from the Cayuga team, and I was looking forward to experiencing their interpretation of it myself. The company takes a very comprehensive approach to sustainability, which you can read about in detail in the guest welcome book found in the rooms. It’s clear extensive planning goes into this, and community engagement is a core objective for their operation. Cayuga is investing into each area of the local ecosystem – something that’s required to foster an truly flourishing community.

In general, I feel that the Finca Rosa Blanca experience is an ideal honeymoon getaway. Not hours from the airport (which would be exhausting after the 9 hour flight), yet seemed a world away.

The abundant freshness everywhere we went was the perfect New York detox and much needed after all the stress of a wedding. Everything seemed alive around us.

But there was more to come…

Stop #2: Arenas Del Mar

The second hotel on our stay was the eco-resort Arenas Del Mar. Substantially larger and different from Finca Rosa Blanca, this property has a privileged position along the Pacific coast. Upon arrival, proactively warm and helpful service again made us feel special and cared for from the start. The concierge team went out of their way to help us find things to do.  We loved the little electric cars to navigate the hilly property!

The suite size and views were among the best we’ve seen around the world. Very spacious. Having a hot tub on the porch with an ocean view was incredible and something we really enjoyed. Room service here is something you’ll probably find yourself ordering more than once – delicious food and private ocean views are hard to beat.

But you’ll want to check out the restaurants as well. One is located on the beach (with chairs & tiki torches in the sand!) and the other on the higher level, overlooking the ocean. The incredible views and service continued:

Our eco honeymoon at Arenas del Mar with private ocean views over breakfast. Hard to beat!

New activities are shared every day: Movie night, nail painting, bird watching and more. The nature tour provided by the hotel was a can’t miss activity. Hannia, our guide, was  knowledgable and made the experience very enjoyable.

The end of day happy hour at this hotel is a fun way to mix and mingle with guests. We enjoyed this each day at this property.

Stop #3: Harmony Hotel

Travel can be exhausting. The moment I finally arrive and step foot on property, I don’t just need a “hotel” – I need hospitality. A true welcome. We’ve been looking forward to your visit. The feeling of being expected  and among friends.

Real friends – and great hosts – anticipate needs and state of mind.

This is completely dependent on where I’m traveling and what my expectations are. Am I staying a week on my honeymoon? Welcome me with a drink, whisk my bags to my room, and have the general manager give a tour around the property to make me feel like a VIP.

That’s exactly what happened when we arrived at Harmony Hotel. Andres, the general manager,  met us at the entrance and personally oversaw the whole check-in process. Explaining the history of the property, sharing which amenities he personally enjoys the most, and introducing us to staff throughout the property.

By being genuinely excited to see us, and taking time out of his busy day to do this tour, we felt like VIPs. Yes, the room and hotel amenities were incredible, but it’s the personal expression of hospitality that set the tone for the rest of the stay.

Andres understood that.

Our drive here was beautiful, but the final hour on the unpaved road wasn’t meant for the small car we had! Make sure to rent a 4WD truck or arrange transportation if you are driving here.

Andres’ love of yoga and surfing is contagious, which lent authenticity to his work and host-manship on this property which is very oriented around these things.

We loved the fast Wi-Fi, outdoor shower and reusable water bottles and explanation of how everything is created on property. Finding a great bottle of wine & candles coming back into the room one evening was a fun surprise.

We felt this hotel did a really good job promoting other services & businesses in the community. Referrals to adventure activities such as standup paddle boarding (SUP) were great.

Delicious food and drinks on our Eco Honeymoon at Harmony Hotel

See more pictures from our eco honeymoon at: An incredible journey to Costa Rica, enjoying the hospitality of Cayuga Collection’s hotels and resorts

I was consistently blown away by how delicious the food and drinks on property were. The Pescado del Dia at dinner was amazing. Opting for smoothies instead of wine some nights seemed so natural.

The massages here are great, and pricing is very reasonable. On-site yoga was a very authentic amenity – and a great way to recharge during the day.

For some local reading material for down at the beach, the book shop on property was something that authentically shared the brand values of Cayuga – very cool.

Cayuga: a restoring Costa Rican eco honeymoon experience – and much more

Luxurious hospitality used to be all about ornate buildings, gilded interiors, and white glove service. Then the tides changed. Distinctive, boutique, original, bespoke, tailor-made, popup – these are the labels of a new generation of hotels. But even these can become the mundane. I work with so many hotels that constantly try to out-do each other with luxurious amenities, celebrity designers and exclusive bars & clubs.

Yet diminishing returns kick in for each of those. It’s harder and harder to out-do the next hospitality group or travel experience provider, and harder and harder to make the same “WOW” impression on someone as the bar gets set higher and higher in luxury or distinctive design.

I believe we’ve entered a new era for distinguished hospitality. One that truly understands how to serve today’s stressed, overworked traveler. The person who not only wants to have more, not only wants to experience more, but wants to be more.

A hospitality experience that sets the stage for a flourishing heart, mind, body and soul for their guests. Fostering relationships, and acting as embassies of beauty and creativity in their neighborhoods. “Humble luxury.” Acting as a catalyst for transformation that not only changes the travel experience, but changes me as a person long after I’ve left the hotel. (Which will not soon be forgotten.)

Cayuga Collection is perhaps the best hospitality group that I’ve seen in this regard, and it’s refreshing to see their approach to sustainability – moving beyond hotels’ typical “we’ll-only-wash-your-towels-on-the-floor-to-save-water” – to working towards creating a flourishing community through guest education and corporate financial support.

Cayuga not only works towards creating a flourishing community and surrounding area, but they also work towards the flourishing of their guests as people:

Their physical wellness.

Their intellectual stimulation.

Their sense of connection.

The sense of awe and wonder at the surroundings.

The sense of belonging.

The sense of home.

The sense of mental clarity.

The sense of having everything taken care of for you.

… And that’s what I remember weeks, months, years after I stay there. It’s not about threadcount to order the drinks at the bar or the food at the restaurant – it’s something different – and something inside of me that I cannot forget because I am the one who has changed.

– Josiah Mackenzie, Cayuga Collection Guest


Looking for more Eco Honeymoon inspiration?

Get our Eco Honeymoon Mini-Guide to see how we can get you closer to secluded beaches, volcanoes, curious creatures and more.

Is Bird watching really the most boring hobby in the World?

September 2, 2014

Some might think so.  But we don’t agree and we offer the perfect solution to birdwatchers that need to entertain their significant others or children during a bird watching holiday.

Birdwatching in Costa Rica
Bird watching is a very popular hobby around the world. According to Wikipedia, 20% of North Americans consider themselves bird watchers.

The Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Eco Lodges are not 100% specialized towards birdwatchers.  However, we do receive our fair share and some of our locations like the Osa Peninsula, the Central Highlands or Lake Nicaragua are world class for birding.  We are very fond of the guests that come to bird at our hotels and have highly qualified guides to accompany them in the search for that one specific bird.

So here is the dilemma.  What if a guest is a bird watcher, but his or her family or significant others are not into birding and consider it the most boring hobby in the world?  What does that guest do with the other members of the party while he or she is out spotting birds and getting a real high by having counted 75+ different birds before breakfast?  This feeling gets confirmed by the posts on this popular birding site.  A birder is asking if he is the only one that feels embarrassed about having such a “boring” hobby.  Interesting to read the responses.

Birdwatching in Costa Rica
Costa Rica and Nicaragua are world renown destinations for birdwatchers. Many visitors to Costa Rica go birding for the first time in their lives and enjoy it.

What we found is that the best way to deal with this dilemma is to offer an alternative program for different interests within the group travelling together.  It might be tough for a spouse or children to accompany family members to a die-hard birding lodge in the middle of nowhere.  But what if the lodge that offers great birding also has a great wellness program, surf lessons, waterfall rappelling nearby and offers gourmet food and a great pool?  What if there is something for everybody and at the end of the day the family comes back together and shares their experiences and adventures?

Birdwatching in Costa Rica
One of over 350 species of birds of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Eco Lodges we offer solutions to the different guest interests.  While the bird watcher of the party is looking for that very special species.

– at Finca Rosa Blanca, you can do a Coffee Plantation Tour or a trip to Poas Volcano.

– at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula, you take go on the waterfall hike and take a plunge in one of the naturally formed pools.

– at Kura Design Villas in Uvita, you can lounge at the pool and just ” chill”.

– at the Harmony Hotel in Nosara, you can take a surf lesson and catch a wave.

– at Jicaro Lodge in Lake Nicaragua, you

– at Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa, you can go for a horseback riding tour in a nearby finca.

– at Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio, you can take part in Tortilla making lessons and learn about the sustainability efforts of the resort.

– and while bird watching is not all that great in downtown San Jose, the Hotel Grano de Oro is a great base to start your bird watching trip.

Birdwatching in Costa Rica
Bird watching or Nature Tours are a main attraction at the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica.

In early November, we plan to bring down experts from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to Costa Rica.  If you are interested in joining those experts on a birding expedition in the Central Highlands, the Central and Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, send us a note to info@cayugaonline.com.  We will send you details and post them on this forum soon.

Birdwatching in Costa Rica
Even non birdwatchers will see the beauty in such colorful birds as this one photographed near Lapa Rios Eco Lodge close to Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.

 

 

Fresh tropical Fruits – we are so spoiled…

February 13, 2014

About one or twice a year, business travel takes us up north either to visit agencies or talk to media about the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges.   That is a good thing as it also keeps us in touch with our most important target market for our hotels and lodges which is the United States.

Welcome drink with tropical fruit at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge
www.laparios.com. Costa Rica Eco Lodge

First of all, we are very happy that we live in a tropical country with a wonderful climate where one needs just ONE kind of wardrobe: summer.   The recent freeze up north is brutal and we certainly understand much better now that we have felt it with our own ” skin” why everybody is coming in the ” high” season months of November through April.   Brrr”¦.

What also struck us is how spoiled we are down here in terms of tropical fruits.   If you ask our employees at the hotel about eating fruit, they will say, yes, ok, nothing special.   Imagine as you are reading this sitting in the cold Northeast of the United States and that a piece of fresh mango or passion fruit juice is nothing special to them.   They probably walk by several fruit trees on their way home from work.    If you grow up with so mucho of something around you, it becomes a commodity and believe it or not, a chocolate doughnut might be much more desirable to them.

Papaya, banana, mango and melon
Fresh fruit at www.arenasdelmar.com in Manuel Antonio.

We realized how hard it is to get fresh fruit up north in the wintertime.   Of course, there is everything always available every day in specialty supermarkets.   Berries and all the tropical fruit you want.   But it is not quite the same and it comes with a hefty price tag.

We are so privileged to have all that fresh tropical fruit almost all year around.   Papaya, Pineapple, Mango, Bananas that taste like bananas, sweet lemons, Maracuya or Passion Fruit, Guyabana, Guayaba and of course coconuts.   And the best thing is that by the time they are on your breakfast plate or mixed into your cocktail before dinner, you can be sure that they had been harvested only a few days ago.

Tropical Fruit at Lapa Rios Ecolodge
www.cayugacollection.com

So next time you are in Costa Rica or Nicaragua, ask your server to see what is in season and what is special.   Right now Mango season is just starting”¦ Frozen Mango Margaritas anybody?   Just for the record.   We did enjoy that spiced apple cider next to a wood stove while looking at the snowflakes dancing outside in the cold wind.

 

Do I need to make compromises in terms of comfort and luxury when I stay at an Eco lodge or Sustainable Hotel or Resort?

January 13, 2014

For many years, the concept of responsible travel and ecotourism had the image of tree huggers and backpackers in Birkenstock sandals going for days without a shower or a decent meal.   Many of us were probably backpackers (maybe even tree huggers) in our college days, but enjoy the ” creature comforts” of luxury or five star hotels and resorts on our travels today.   We think that adventure and comfort as well as sustainability and luxury can mix quite well in a vacation experience.   Here is some help on how to find hotels, resorts and lodges that offer a five start service experience combined with a sense of place, protection of the environment and support for local communities and its people.

Ecolodge www.jicarolodge.com on Granada Isletas in Nicaragua.

Choosing a luxury or five star destination or hotel can be challenging.   The definition of luxury has changed quite a bit over the years.   Traditionally, it was about golden faucets, Italian marble bathrooms and exotic items from around the world on the restaurant’s menu.     For the more experienced traveler this has changed.   Authenticity and sense of place, remote and pristine locations, locally harvested and produced food and drink, unique wildlife and nature experiences and connections with people have become today’s new luxuries.

So while an eco lodge in the rain forest might not have air-conditioning in their rooms, the experience of waking up and hearing howler monkeys, scarlet macaws and toucans right next to your screened window is an experience that many people now consider luxury.   And when a freshly brewed cup of organic locally grown coffee is delivered to your door, there is a bit of the traditional luxury factor back in the equation.

Sloth at www.laparios.com Rainforest Reserve in Costa Rica.

When checking a hotel or resort for their sustainability practices, take a look at their website and look for information on sustainability, conservation of flora and fauna and practices that enhance the development of local communities.   But dig deeper.   Ask the reservations agent about some of the things you read on the website to make sure they are not just PR or even green washing.   And when at the hotel or resort, try to take a look behind the scenes of the hotel operation and visit local schools or projects that are supported by the hotel.   This could be a life changing experience.

When you made your decision on where to stay and chose a green lodging operation or eco destination, these are some of the ” compromises” that you might encounter in sustainable hotels and resorts and eco lodges:

  1. Not all the seafood in the world and not even all the seafood in the country might be found on the menu.   Certain endangered species are banned.   Tuna, for example, should be caught the traditional way and consumed in moderation. Certain times of the year, certain species should not be offered.
  2. Air conditioning is not always available.   But usually, the cross ventilation and location of the guest rooms in eco lodges does not require A/C.   In many sustainable Hotels that offer air conditioning, it might be a more enjoyable to open the windows, turn on the ceiling fans, let the breeze come in and listen to the ocean waves and rain forest sounds.

    Open Air Ocean Breezes at www.arenasdelmar.com in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
  3. If your idea of luxury is many free plastic bottles of water all over your room, then you might be disappointed.   They are banned from many eco lodges and instead reusable water bottles are provided to drink the locally sourced water.   This might cost the lodge serious money, but it is the right thing to do.
  4. When staying at an eco lodge or sustainable resort, they are most likely located in pristine nature locations. That means that there are animals in all forms and shapes.   Usually nothing really dangerous, but it is a different experience from the sterile environment of a city apartment.   A certain level of enthusiasm and tolerance for nature is recommended.
  5. Things might not always be perfect.   Truly sustainable hotels, resorts and lodges hire and train local staff.   Many all-inclusive and branded resorts bring in expats to take care of guests.   That might ensure a bit better service efficiency and language skills, but can lack authenticity and ” heart”.

If you enjoy freshly prepared, local seafood, can trade in A/C a couple of days for Ocean breezes, are ok with drinking water from a rainforest well, and don’t mind monkeys and iguanas hanging out on your balcony, you should take a look at the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges.   And the ” sacrifices” that you make will be more than compensated by the authenticity of the experience and especially the warmth and friendliness of the lodge and hotel staff that will take care of you.

A Santa Teresa Beachfront Resort that “isn’t just romantic, it’s downright sexy.”

November 8, 2013

Our Cayuga Collection Interns spent a couple of nights at Latitude 10.  Here is what they had to share with us…

Latitude 10 Exclusive Nature Resort in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

The Romance of Nature

When the rain is falling outside your open-air cabin on the beach, when the waves make the perfect music crashing ashore, when the candles flicker and sputter, you finally get it: there is nothing more romantic than being attuned to the natural world.

And yet this is something Latitude 10 has understood long before the rest of us””the natural world, and the preservation of it, isn’t just romantic, it’s downright sexy.

But how could this be? For one, candlelight, a much more sustainable energy source than standard bulb lighting, is softer, more natural, and imbues any room with a sense of intimacy. At the same time, open-air bungalows allow a soft ocean breeze to naturally cool the air around you, rather than the noxious, and indisputably un-sexy feel of a dry, frigid air-conditioned room. Locally-sourced woods, inherently dark, provide a seamless transition to the hotel’s greatest feature: not a single tree was cut down in the development of the property and therefore the entire hotel is shrouded with monkey and bird-friendly foliage, along with the sumptuous scents of orchids and gingers.

The sum of these factors, which we discovered during out stay, is that Latitude 10 is on to something and has been for quite some while. By blending eco-friendly practices (dim lighting, low energy and water usage, sustainable development) the hotel understands a critical feature long-lost in the tourism industry as a whole””that the most romantic and beautiful settings are those which return us to our natural roots, with the happy side-effect of reducing one’s environmental impact. This should be stating the obvious, but in a world drawn to the flashiest, most artificial objects, in truth, the most romantic and intimate experience one can have is with the earth itself””a fact not lost at Latitude 10.

Latitude 10 is one of the 8 sustainable luxury hotels and lodges of the Cayuga Collection.   Similar experiences to Latitude 10 can be lived at Lapa Rios Ecolodge and Jicaro Island Ecolodge.

The Other Rainforest

September 18, 2013

We recently had an intern stay at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge.  Here’s here story:

I’m an intern from the Pacific Northwest, which you might know for its temperate rainforests. We’ve got rain, mountains, rivers/lakes/streams and forests galore, but the jungles of the  Osa Peninsula  are a whole new experience. Just when I think it resembles home, something exciting and intriguing happens to keep me on my toes! I mean, it isn’t everyday that you can wake up to a family of howler monkeys grunting and, well, ” howling” 50 yards away from your room. Always an entertaining way to start the day, and it’s fun to see friends’ reactions when they hear stories like that!

Howler Monkey in Costa Rica

A lot of times the forests back home are generally quiet, tranquil, peaceful. Here in the Osa, the  rainforest  can be these things as well”¦if you’re not paying attention. I guarantee that if you sit in one spot for 10 minutes or less, you will find something crawling, running, swimming, hunting, chirping, flying, slithering, squawking, frolicking”¦ the list goes on and on! With as much biodiversity as North America all packed in an area the size of West Virginia, it really is true when they say this rainforest never sleeps. The sounds are intense, the sights captivating. Lapa Rios and the staff have mastered the art of embracing and emphasizing every part of the nature we’re nestled in.  Costa Rica  truly is a breathtaking corner of the world and it is full of wonder and new discoveries to be made every day and night.

Surfing on Osa Peninsula near Lapa Rios Eco Lodge

September 1, 2013

No matter what level of surfing you are at, or whether you are just learning, the Osa Peninsula is the perfect place to go. With nice point breaks, reefs, and sandy beaches just steps away from Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, there is nothing quite like catching one of the abundant warm waves that lap our local beaches.

A surfer rides the face of a wave near Lapa Rios eco-resort

One of the greatest things about surfing on the Osa is the privacy as many days you will have the beach to yourself. So no juggling line-ups or worrying about your surf etiquette required. Without the stress of other surfers, you will be free to concentrate on your position, the waves, your incredible surrounding and your own surfing.

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a world leader in sustainable hospitality management.   We manage and market hotels, resorts and eco lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a focus on high end experiences and sustainability.

Exceptional Service Offered at Our Eco Hotels

August 4, 2013

Often times, during our guests’ stay at any of our 8 hotels in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, they look for ways to show their appreciation to our team.   The photo above was taken at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio, where the guests used the Hotel announcement board to thank the staff there for their hard work!

There is a great connection between our guests and team and we’re always so happy to know we’ve made a difference in our guests’ traveling experiences.

A beachfront and rainforest resort, Arenas del Mar offers vacations, activities and tours for families and couples alike.

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a world leader in sustainable hospitality management.   We manage and market hotels, resorts and eco lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a focus on high end experiences and sustainability.