High Season Underway in Central America


High season is underway in Central America, with Costa Rica in the spotlight. One region, Perez Zeledon, may not be as well known as other parts of the country. But its setting in the lush south offers wildlife viewing in national parks, artisan coffee farms and the newest Auberge resort, Hacienda AltaGracia.

Set on an 850-acre estate, the property offers a look at the wealthy haciendero lifestyle.

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“The resort is a real labor of love by the owner. He’s a successful Costa Rican gentleman. He bought the farm so that his daughters could ride horses. He gradually built it up. It’s true hacienda living,” general manager Juan Paolo Alfonso tells Travel Agent.

Thirty suites and casitas offer privacy for guests interested in simply chilling out. But most guests take advantage of nearby activities. The hotel can arrange excursions ranging from wildlife viewing to rafting; zip lining and coffee farm visits.

Mountain biking is another popular option on site. But it’s the equestrian offerings that set the resort apart. The property’s stables hold nearly 50 horses. Guests can enjoy guided rides across the estate, or take lessons in the riding ring.

For a higher level of adventure, Ultra-Light flights are available from the resort’s airstrip.

“The owner is an avid aviator and he loves Ultra-Lights. They’re open-air two-seaters. You fly low and slow over plantations and mountains. On a 30-minute flight, you can see the entire valley. A one-hour flight will take you all the way to the Pacific,” said Alfonso.

Twice weekly, guests can also venture to local farmers markets. The resort plans to offer exotic fruit tastings and locally made cheeses during festive season.

“There are countless authentic experiences in the area. We’re always looking to develop more activities. It’s what our guests are looking for, whether they’re families or couples,” said Alfonso.

Nayara Tented Resort

Authenticity is the key focus of a newly-announced Luxury Frontiers project in the Arenal region. The company develops luxury tented suites and tree-top experiences in Africa. They’re currently working on projects in partnership with Four Seasons, Six Senses and other high-end names.

They now plan to open the first year-round tended accommodations in the Americas in partnership with Nayara Hotels.

“Every hospitality player has to address the increasing consumer need for experiences. We’re extending the experiential concept throughout world. It’s a good solution for many hotel brands in order to create a product diversity,” Luca Franco, Luxury Frontiers’ managing partner and founder tells Travel Agent.

The Nayara Tented Resort will join the Nayara Hotels collection of two properties set in Arenal Volcano National Park. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens is set on 15 acres of rainforest. A sister property, Nayara Springs, offers 16 villas with views of the volcano plus private pools fed by mineral hot springs. An additional 19 villas will open in Nayara Springs in January 2016.

The new resort, Nayara Tented Resort, will consist of 24 tents, each 945 square feet. in size. They’ll include a master suite with en-suite bathroom and an adjoining tent that can be used as a lounge area or second bedroom. They will also feature outdoor living space plus plunge pools.

Eco-friendliness is a core value for Luxury Frontiers.

“This is our first project in Costa Rica. It’s a very eco-sensitive type of project, offering full immersion in the jungle. Tents are a way to live without walls. It’s a way to integrate the natural setting. We’re bringing the experiential journey right into the room. Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop,” said Franco. 

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