Costa Rica Getaway

 

THE PAVILLION RESTAURANT
The Pavillion Restaurant and bar has an intimate open-air setting with sweeping views of the beach and gardens.

 

Upon being invited to learn to surf at the Costa Rican resort Alma del Pacifico a few months ago, I immediately had flashbacks of my botched water skiing attempt a few years ago in Anguilla, where I spent more time smacking the water with my face than I did skiing on it. Of course, failing at a water sport in an exotic, warm weather destination was still preferable than succeeding at anything in the cold and damp of New York. So I took advantage of the opportunity to tour the 20-room resort, relax in a villa on the beach and make another attempt at proving that there’s more to do on the ocean than float, snorkel and get a tan.

And as I rode my first wave all the way to the shore and smiled to the professional photographer who was able to document this mini-miracle on water, I knew this resort would always have a piece of my heart. And here’s why you should have a piece of its sales.

Alma del Pacifico opened in 2007 and changed ownership in 2010. When it originally set up shop, it was a resort meant to disconnect, meaning no TVs and no Wi-Fi. The new owners, including Fernando Alfaro, part owner, sales director and general manager of the resort, however, added flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access to all rooms when they took over the resort.

Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, features a bustling international airport offering direct flights from major cities throughout the world. Alma Del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, about two-hours outside of San Jose. From San Jose, clients travel on the Central Pacific Highway to Jaco (roughly two hours), then south, past Playa Hermosa, Playa Esterillos Oeste and Central (25 minutes), exiting at Playa Esterillos Este.

The Rooms

We stayed in villa #5, a Beachfront Villa. It was a 745-square-foot room with 33 feet of beachfront, a private terrace with views of the beach and ocean, and a private enclosed garden. Beachfront Villas feature one king bed and two connecting daybeds.

Perhaps the best rooms at the property are the Deluxe Beachfront Villas, which range from 745-800 square feet and feature about 40 feet of beach, a private terrace with a plunge pool and views of the beach and ocean, and a private garden. Deluxe Beachfront Villas also include either two full beds or one king bed (separate bedroom in some villas) and two connecting daybeds.

Rates range from about $200 to $400 a night, depending on the season and category. The beach at the resort is practically private, since there are rarely any non-guests occupying it.

Spa-going and Surfing

The hotel’s spa lists an extensive menu of Costa Rican treatments. The spa has four treatment rooms reflecting the elements represented in the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.

Alma del Pacifico Hotel & Spa provides its guests surfing lessons by Brett’s Board Rentals, which operates at six hotels in Costa Rica. Lessons are $50 for two hours. Book about 24 hours in advance. Agents receive a 20 percent commission. Surfers who don’t need an instructor can rent the board for $20. The instructors will still bring the board to and from the beach for you.

But if it’s not surfing your clients are into, the resort also offers guests a wide variety of Costa Rican vacation activities. Guests can walk or jog along an expansive stretch of shell-strewn beachfront or simply relax while basking in the sun on a chaise lounge or hammock.

On the Horizon

Travel Agent got the scoop on some enhancements the resort plans on making soon. Alfaro told us that plans are in place for opening a small fitness center in the next month. It will be equipped with some treadmills and light weights. He also told us that they will be opening a driving range across the street for clients who would like to drive some golf balls while enjoying cocktails.

Meanwhile, look to target adventurous couples or families for the Alma del Pacifico. This resort is well-suited for beach lovers and water sports lovers. Its spa and central location to the area’s most popular dining options also make it a good potential sell for girlfriend getaways.

Agents should direct any queries they may have to Fernando Alfaro ([email protected], 011-506-2778-7080), part owner, sales director and general manager.

 

 

BEACHFRONT VILLAS
Beachfront villas feature one king bed and two connecting daybeds.

 

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