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March

Costa Rica Scoop news for upscale travel by Grupo Islita │ March 2013

2012 2013


- Grupo Islita -

Greetings from Gustavo Time sure does fly when you are having fun! And it zooms by when you are busy. We find ourselves close to finishing the first quarter of 2013 and we are very pleased with how the year is evolving. We have many reasons to celebrate and many exciting developments and events to look forward to. Both properties were selected as traveler’s favorites in Trip Advisor’s 2013 Traveler’s Choice Awards, confirming that we are succeeding at providing experiences of excellence. We thank every friend who took the time to write a review. Your feedback is essential to helping us guide our efforts! From the Fifth Edition of the Punta Islita Golf Tournament to the launching of an amazing wellness getaway program at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, the coming months will bring excellent opportunities for travelers to experience Costa Rica in unique and exciting ways. Gustavo Segura trains for the upcoming Punta Islita Golf Tournament

Spring is in the air and we look forward to celebrate it with you! Warmest regards! -Gustavo Segura, CEO

Exhausted? Experience The 4 Elements Those who have visited El Silencio Lodge & Spa know that it is a uniquely soothing destination. Embedded in verdant cloud forest it is a veritable sanctuary for peaceful relaxation in close contact with nature. A beautiful retreat where you will find no crowds, no hustle, and definitely no bustle.

guided journey of remarkable experiences that will engage your senses to gently dissipate stress, appease the mind, and imbue the soul with boundless freedom.

This seven-day program blends yoga and meditation with thematic cuisine, allusive spa treatments, and intense eco-adventures all Responding to ongoing suggestions from grounded in the essential attributes of water, guests, El Silencio has put together a special earth, wind, and fire. getaway event aimed at highly successful indi- Intrigued? We cordially invite you to preview viduals who may need to take a regenerative the experience by launching the online catabreak. Themed after the 4 Elements, this Ex- log at: periential Wellness Retreat provides the ultihttp://bit.ly/4ElementsCostaRica mate relaxation escape. It is conceived as a


Stargazing Heaven!


- Hotel Punta Islita -

T

his April 27th will bring the Fifth Edition

Art!

of the Hotel Punta Islita Golf Tournament, a fun event that draws golf enthusiasts to our Par 3, 9 hole executive golf

course. It is a wonderful weekend, shared in full camaraderie and celebration. The tournament is held under the scramble modality and features great prizes and special gifts from our sponsors. Interested? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We would be delighted if you Hotel Punta Islita’s golf course is ecofriendly, featuring pest-resistant hybrid turf and gray water irrigation.

joined us! Just contact: reserve@grupoislita.com

About the Golf Pro

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alis Najarro set his sights on a golf career ever since he first laid eyes on a golf course when he was seventeen years old. Born in El Salvador, he adopted Costa Rica as his country thirty-two years ago and Hotel Punta Islita as his golf turf since 2010. Calis’ passion for the game patience, and energy have made him a favorite with golf enthusiasts and beginners.

Golf Tips from Calis:

Mind the GAP For those who are just starting out on the golf course (or are thinking about it), our Golf Pro, Calis Najarro offers the following tip: Be mindful of the GAP! 

Grip -Keep it relaxed. Pretend that your club is a breathing creature that must be firmly held, not choked!

Alignment

-It goes beyond your

two feet.

Your arms, torso, and

even your head must help trace the ball’s projected path. 

Posture - Pretend you are about to face off with the golf ball.

Your

stance should be perfectly balanced, at shoulder width, knees bent slightly, and flexed at the hips. Slouching is never an option!


- Hotel Punta Islita -

Feathered Fireworks!

More than two hundred Red Macaws will soon be calling Islita “home”!

H

otel Punta Islita’s partnership with The Ara Project enters a new phase! We look forward to the expansion of a recovery and release program that has successfully brought back these gorgeous specimens to Islita’s skies. Since its launch last year, we have seen seven Red Macaws thriving in the tropical dry forest that surrounds the property and we look forward to the introduction of 14 more pairs in the coming months. This year, we are thrilled and proud to announce that Islita will be Ara Project’s headquarters. We have donated a 2.4

hectare that will house the program’s entire recovery and breeding center as it relocates from Alajuela. When the move is completed, more than two hundred Red Macaws will be raised, nourished, and gradually acclimated to Islita’s natural surroundings in preparation for life in the wild. Paired with community outreach initiatives to involve our neighbor communities in the protection of our feathered friends, we are confident that this initiative will help repopulate Guanacaste’s skies with these stunning, yet endangered birds. To learn more about The Ara Project, visit: http://www.thearaproject.org


Embrace The Mountain!


- El Silencio Lodge & Spa -

New Experiences

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wo new offerings let El Silencio’s visitors enjoy culinary experiences that enhance the pleasures of wine savoring and fine dining. Let sommelier Carlos take you on a fantastic wine lover’s journey. Learn about wine’s origins, grape varieties, growing conditions,

chorreado kits are a great gift idea.

and unexpected challenges. Includes a crash course on winepairing, highlighted by a fun tasting session stacking up two reds and two whites against elemental flavors to illustrate the fine art of selecting the perfect wine to complement and enhance a favorite dish. The new River Deck Dining is an unforgettable experience overlooking the crystalline flow of the Gorrion River. Enjoy a very special menu in a mesmerizing setting. Our new river deck is beautifully laid out for a unique and private fine dining session to best enjoy El Silencio’s magical nature and signature cuisine. Fully attended by a personal waiter.

El Silencio in the Headlines

http://bit.ly/ESLonCNN

Did you read about us on CNN? El Silencio Lodge & Spa was recently featured on CNN.s travel segment as one of Costa Rica’s most exciting, pristine, and luxurious cloud forest

destinations. Please follow the link to enjoy the full article and feel free to comment in the message boards if you would like to add your two cents as a Costa Rica expert!


- El Silencio Lodge & Spa -

English for Los Bajos

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l Silencio Lodge & Spa fully embraces sustainability as a strategy to ensure that the travel experience is bot planet-friendly and peoplepositive. Regarding the latter, we are excited to launch our most ambitious program yet: English 4 All! Geared towards children, teenagers, and adult members of the Bajos del Toro community, this initiative will provide affordable English as a Second Language instruction. Bilingual ability is key to economic opportunity and through English education we hope to build a lasting legacy in Bajos del Toro. The announcement of this program has been met with enthusiasm by the Bajos del Toro

community and we are thrilled to announce that we have hired a licensed instructor to provide two-hour sessions 4-5 times a week. Classes will be in session mid-June. If you would like to support this exciting project, please consider making a special donation. Any contribution will help! Every $55 cofunds one month of English lessons for one student. In the course of the following weeks, we will be launching a Facebook Page to provide updated and ongoing information. ESL students will be able to give us feedback, post comments and photographs, and engage in written English interactions to further their language skills!


- Costa Rica -


- Costa Rica -

Tico Art:

colorful cultural expressions

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osta Rica’s visitors will undoubtedly encounter many tiny replicas of the traditional oxcart. Sold as one of the country’s most emblematic souvenirs, its colorful, kaleidoscopic patterns are popular and ever-present in any of the country’s gift shops. But the history of these intricate patterns is more than a collection of symmetrical shapes. These signature shapes date back to the mid 1800’s and are closely linked to the emergence of coffee as Costa Rica’s most important cash crop.

and rock laden roads.

The large solid wood wheel replaced spoke and hub counterparts because their massive weight and structure were better suited to transport coffee through Costa Rica’s 19th century muddy paths

The rich history of the Costa Rican oxcart was recognized by UNESCO in 2005 when it designated its tradition as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

The large surface presented an enticing canvass. Artisans and sculptors who had honed their skills on creating painted wood carvings depicting religious figures found a natural medium in the oxcart wheel. As coffee growers A beautiful cart became a status symbol and an emblem of personal and regional pride. Carts were painstakingly personalized, through art and even through the creation of a signature “song”, a unique chime produced by the metal hub with each turn of the wheel.

El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s Eco-Concierge, Ronald Jimenez is a local expert, carrying the cultural traditions of Bajos del Toro. His oxcart painting lessons have quickly become a favorite among El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s guests.


We Hope Details Made the Difference!

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otel Punta Islita and El Silencio Lodge & Spa are once again among the pre-nominated properties in two of the world’s most prestigious travel publications. This is a great opportunity to recognize the services offered by our amazing staff. We cordially in-

vite you to share your opinions in this year’s Readers’ Travel Survey. Participating is free and earns you a chance to win exciting prizes, including a $10,000 dream trip! Please vote today. We thank you in advance and wish you the best of luck! Just click on the following links:

http://bit.ly/CondeNastVote

http://bit.ly/TLSurvey2013

How may we assist you? Email: reserve@grupoislita.com Phone in Costa Rica: +506 2231-6122 Toll Free from US & Canada: 1-866-446-4053 Online chat: www.hotelpuntaislita.com or www.elsilenciolodge.com Blending Grupo Islita’s beach and mountain properties is the perfect way to experience a complete Costa Rica getaway.

Grupo Islita’s two select properties blend the best of Costa Rica’s beach and mountain settings featuring intense nature, upscale comfort and bespoke services. Remember, we now offer a unified reservations center and a dedicated bilingual team to help travelers, travel professionals and their partners ensure seamless logistics from arrival to departure.

hotelpuntaislita.com

elsilenciolodge.com ..….


Costa Rica Scoop: March 2013