Costa Rica's New Resorts

When we spoke to Steve Hedberg, the vice president of operations and implementation for Carlson Hotels, nearly two months ago about the 2010 opening of the Regent Papagayo Bay in Costa Rica, he told us to expect more news about developments in the Guanacaste province of the country. Hedberg was right.  Cacique, a lush area on the coast of Costa Rica

The luxury market in that area of Costa Rica just took another step in the right direction as One&Only Resorts announced plans to operate its first Central America property in Cacique. With 120 villa-style rooms, the luxury resort, along with the first phase of development in Cacique, is anticipated to be complete in 2010.

One&Only Cacique is owned by Revolution Places, launched by AOL co-founder Steve Case. Revolution Places owns the 650-acre site, known as Cacique, Costa Rica, on which the One&Only resort will be located.

Other developments on the site include the Miraval Cacique, which will include 120 luxurious rooms and 60 villas; Exclusive Resorts, a destination club also owned by Case that will design and purchase 30 residences at Cacique in a private enclave; a Tom Doak 18-hole golf course; and an Agassi/Graf Tennis & Fitness Center.

"Luxury travelers today want to experience both the culture and natural environment of a destination without sacrificing comfort and relaxation," Philippe Bourguignon, vice chairman of Revolution Places Group and CEO of Revolution Places Development, told Travel Agent. "Costa Rica has long been celebrated for both its pristine environment and one-of-kind wildlife, making it an ideal location. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with even more beautiful people."

One&Only Cacique, Costa Rica will also incorporate a 12,000-square-foot spa, its own exclusive beach club, three restaurants and bars, as well as meeting space, including a dedicated boardroom.

"One&Only Cacique will attract the attention of many who are looking for a luxurious getaway coupled with seclusion and privacy in a location that offers the natural beauty of Costa Rica," says travel agent Kathryn Bagnuolo-Gray of MGA Hospitality in Clearwater, FL.

Bagnuolo-Gray, who mostly books One&Only Ocean Club and Resort in Paradise Island in the Bahamas, told Travel Agent she expects that this latest news will help other One&Only properties as well. "With this newest destination highlighted, it will also bring about consumer awareness to check out the other One&Only properties," she says. "The One&Only Ocean Club in ParadiseIsland could very well be impacted by this in a positive way."

Agents who want to keep track of the One&Only development in Costa Ricea can contact Jena Gardner, president of JG Black Book of Travel, who represents One&Only. Call Gardner at 888-241-9763 or e-mail jena@jgblackbook.com.