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May 2012

Costa Rica Scoop intelligence for upscale travel by Grupo Islita

2012


Friendly Words From our CEO G

reetings from Costa Rica! I thank you for taking the time to review “Costa Rica Scoop”, the bi-monthly newsletter of Hotel Punta Islita and El Silencio Lodge & Spa. In this edition, we would like to celebrate friendship. Andrés Corrales has joined the Grupo Islita family as the head of our Sales and Marketing Department. His friendly enthusiasm will certainly help us further hone the synergies between our two properties.

Mr. Gustavo Segura, MBA

We have created new products that facilitate friend getaways. The “Amigas

in Costa Rica” caters to women who like to travel with their close friends, showering them with cultural activities, spa wellness, and upscale pampering. ”Weekend Whisk” specials let impromptu travelers plan a quick last-minute adventure to enjoy either Costa Rica’s stunning beaches or cloud forests. Ideal to take advantage of many new direct flights servicing Costa Rica from major hubs in the USA. Warmest regards and thank you for your wonderful friendship!

Welcome Andrés!

Andrés Corrales joins Grupo Islita as the new Sales & Marketing Manager

F

rom Costa Rica to faraway lands including Qatar, Andrés has wisely combined scholarship, a lifelong passion for travel, and an innate commitment to superb customer service. He holds advanced degrees including a BSc from Florida International University and an MBA from IMHI-ESSEC in Paris. As a professional, he has cultivated an expertise in luxury travel products at Four Seasons, and Grand Hyatt. His living experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas has fueled his interest in diverse cultures and languages. Andrés is fully bilingual (Spanish-English). “I am delighted to join the Grupo Islita

Andrés explores the French Alps.

family! As a Costa Rican, I look forward to working with a nationallydeveloped product that has earned not only international excellence accolades but recognition for innovative and successful corporate social responsibility programs.”

@ ANDRES@GRUPOISLITA.COM


- TravelTravel Special - Friends’ Special -

Amigas in Costa Rica MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: @ FOR RESERVE@GRUPOISLITA.COM

Bienvenidas! 7 nights/ 8 days

Includes 

3 nights in a Suite at El Silencio Lodge & Spa

One marvelous country, two premium destinations, and eight days to relax, laugh, explore, and enjoy with your best friends. It’s your turn to be pampered!

Daily breakfast at Las Ventanas Restaurant

Guided hike along El Silencio’s private forest reserve

Guided cultural tour featuring Bajos del Toro community

Al fresco Yoga session

Private cloud forest dinner

Rainforest Aromatherapy treatment at Esencia Spa

A one-of-a-kind opportunity to relax and have fun with your best friends. Perfect for sisters, office mates, class reunions, or a lively group of soccer moms! It features private ground transportation between Hotel Punta Islita and El Silencio Lodge & Spa for a chance to witness Arenal Volcano and Costa Rica’s diverse landscapes.

2x1 eco-adventures in the cloud forest

Private ground transportation HPI-ESL through Arenal

4 nights in a Deluxe Room at Hotel Punta Islita

Daily breakfast at 1492 Restaurant

Guided cultural tour featuring the Islita community

Private beach garden dinner

Wellness massage at Casa Spa

$1749*

*Per person in double occupancy. Includes taxes. Rates and conditions subject to to blackout dates and availability. Valid until December 19th, 2013.


- Hotel Punta Islita -

Fore a Good Cause!

The latest edition of the Hotel Punta Islita Golf Tournament took place this past April 29th. This special event once again brought together golf enthusiasts to enjoy a fun day of driving, chipping, and putting in full camaraderie while supporting our local communities. The big winner was the local Islita School! 100% of the registration fees (about $3000) will be donated to help refurbish Islita’s elementary school and provide better learning opportunities to our youngest neighbors. We enthusiastically thank all participants and the corporate sponsors who generously supported the tournament. Our deep gratitude to Movistar, Hawaiian Tropic, Banco General,

Weekend Whisk!

Alpiste, Honda, Pastas Roma, Mercado de Valores de Costa Rica, Café Britt, Banca Promérica, and our sister property, El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Hotel Punta Islita’s par 3, executive 9-hole golf course features a beautiful natural backdrop. Its management incorporates environmentally-conscious practices including irrigation with recycled water and the use of pestresistant hybrid turf. If you are a golf aficionado, we cordially invite you to enroll in next year’s tournament. For more information, we kindly ask you to contact:

golf@hotelpuntaislita.com

@ RESERVE@GRUPOISLITA.COM

Enjoy a quick getaway to Costa Rica’s colorful beaches with seamless logistics.

from

* $534

 2 nights lodging in a Deluxe Room  Daily breakfast per person  Guided Cultural Tour  RT private ground transportation from

San Jose International (SJO) or Liberia International (LIR)  2x1 Horseback Riding Adventure Coupon *Per person, double occupancy. Includes taxes. Rates and conditions subject to blackout dates and availability. Valid until Dec 19th, 2012.


H

otel Punta Islita’s sym-

collective effort that has

biotic partnership with

enlisted

the

generous

local communities places

support of embassies, cor-

strong emphasis on edu-

porations, and private citi-

cation. The ongoing Islita

zens.

Creative Center program

has donated manpower,

will

innovative

management, a site, and

didactic tools for children

the basic infrastructure. If

and adults. Emphasizing

you would like to become

creativity,

an ally, please contact:

provide

critical think-

Hotel Punta Islita

ing, and access to technol-

narias@fundacionvz.org

ogy, it hopes to effectively

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area’s

lpretiz@fundacionvz.org

It is a

Hint of Mint Strawberries Surprise your friends with this fresh take on a sweet favorite... • 1 cup fresh strawberries -hulled • 1/2 cup mint leaves -washed & drained • Choice of sweetener, sugar or lime juice Line a stainless steel steamer with fresh mint leaves. Fill with strawberries andsteam for about five minutes. Set aside, cool down, and refrigerate. Sprinkle

with your favorite sweetener or sugar and serve chilled. If you would like to enhance the citrus flavor, ditch the sugar and drizzle with fresh lime juice!

Check out our new website! www.hotelpuntaislita.com And please join Hotel Punta Islita’s Facebook community. http://bit.ly/HotelPuntaIslitaWelcome


- El Silencio Lodge & Spa -

News From The Trails!

We

Exploring El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s private hiking trails rewards visitors with unexpected natural surprises.

Weekend Whisk!

just completed maintenance on El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s trails. The La Melodía Trail is reopened and a new mini-trail playfully dares guests to take a cool water plunge in a natural splash pond along the Gorrión River.

@ RESERVE@GRUPOISLITA.COM

Enjoy a quick getaway to Costa Rica’s relaxing cloud forest with seamless logistics.  2 nights lodging in Suite with private

whirlpool  Daily a-la-carte breakfast, lunch

& dinner per person  Guided Hiking Adventure

$550 *

 Round-trip ground transportation from

San Jose International Airport (SJO)  2x1 Horseback Riding Adventure Coupon

*Per person, double occupancy. Includes taxes. Rates and conditions subject to blackout dates and availability. Valid until Dec 19th, 2012.


Congratulations Meryl and Joseph!

W e thank Meryl and Joseph for sharing their honeymoon memories in Martha Stewart Weddings. Costa Rica is an ideal destination for couples seeking a perfect blend of romance and adventure. El Silencio Lodge & Spa was delighted to be your host. Thanks for your comments! To learn more about their experience: http://bit.ly/MarthaStewartElSilencioLodge

Meryl and Joseph celebrate in Costa Rica!

“Our Bajos hotel, El Silencio Lodge, was completely rejuvenating”

“Love is friendship, set on fire.” -Jeremy Taylor The flickering hearth at El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s main lodge sets the ideal mood for animated conversation or just relaxation.

Please join El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s Facebook community. http://on.fb.me/ElSilencioLodgeWelcome


- About Costa Rica mance Index and the New Economics Foundation’s much-talked about, Happy Planet Index. Many now know that Costa Rica even has a Blue Zone within its borders, an area where people routinely live past 100 in great health and good spirits. (In case you were wondering, Costa Rica’s Blue Zone is in Nicoya, Guanacaste… where Hotel Punta Islita is located.) Traditional development indicators also confirm Costa Rica’s advantages, underscoring its financial stability, economic freedom, and transparency. World-class multinationals like Intel, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett Packard have recognized this, setting up state-of-the-art research facilities and call centers. Even Google now boasts a presence. We can now find Costa Rica in Google AND Google in Costa Rica.

“C

osta Rica? I still remember when mentioning my country was followed by a puzzled look. Confused with Puerto Rico or mistaken for another island, I was always prepared with a mini-speech. I would explain that we were a small nation in Central America. Peaceful, nature-loving, friendly, and blessed with some of the planet’s most spectacular landscapes. There was no Google back then so I presume that, to many in my audience, my mini-speech remained their sole knowledge of Costa Rica. Today, mentioning Costa Rica brings out one of two responses: I recently visited and it was the most amazing destination ever! I can’t wait to return OR I know someone who was recently there and had a blast. They can’t stop talking about the experience. I can’t wait to visit! Indeed Costa Rica garners growing international attention. The world knows that we have not had an army since 1948 and that much of our GDP is invested in education and health systems. That this nation of 4.5 million inhabitants is a true leader in environmental conservation and human development. That it is at the top of many global rankings, including Yale & Columbia Universities’ Environmental Perfor-

But what does it all mean for the tourism industry? How does Costa Rica’s privileged situation translate into a travel experience? Beyond the marvelous bio-diversity that captures the imagination, visitors find a welcoming nation, culturally rich and open. Where educated people know how to voice their opinion, show initiative, and display selfconfidence. Where friendly people are intellectually curious and appreciate sharing their heritage and learning from others. In short, a perfect environment for discovery!”

HAPPINESS INSPIRES TRAVEL!

-Harry Zurcher President, Grupo Islita

Mr. Harry Zurcher, enjoying Islita Cove on horseback a few years prior to the inauguration of Hotel Punta Islita.


Beetle Juice!

In Costa Rica, the month of May brings a surge in beetle activity as they reach the reproductive stage in their life cycle. Beetles (Coleoptera) constitute almost 25% of all of the planet’s known living creatures. More than 40,000 species have been identified in Costa Rica. Beetles communicate chemically through the use of pheromones and acoustically by rubbing body parts together. Some species display parenting behavior, a rare trait in insect species. Diversity is their hallmark with some specimens featuring a metallic sheen armor. Some can even hold air bubbles for diving underwater. In Central America and Costa Rica, the horned Hercules Beetle can reach a total length of close to seven inches! A colorful beetle’s image is photographed by Eco-Concierge Andrey Alpízar as it traverses a leafy landscape.

Sustainability Highlights:  5-Leaf maximum CST Certification

 500 acre tropical cloud forest reserve

 Blue Flag ecocertification

 Green Flag water man-

Sustainability Awards are Open to Nominations! El Silencio Lodge & Spa promises a sanctuary where visitors can reconnect with our planet’s inspiring melodies. But our holistic concept of wellness goes further. We envision a tourism model that protects its stunning natural surroundings, fosters the personal growth of staff, and promotes the development of neighbor communities. Harmonizing the well-being of all stakeholders is key to El Silencio's uplifting experience, fully reflecting Costa Rica’s happiness and friendship mantra. We cordially invite you to voice your support for El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s sustainability efforts by nominating us for the Virgin Holiday’s Responsible Tourism Awards 2012. Our sister property, Hotel Punta Islita was a winner in 2010 and we would love to follow in their footsteps! Plus, by nominating you could win amazing travel prizes! http://bit.ly/ResponsibleTourismAwards2012

agement certification

 CO2 offsetting initiatives  Waste management program

 Planet-friendly cleaning products

 Active community involvement

 95% of its staff is local


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. We

now

reservations

offer

a

center

unified and

a

dedicated bilingual team to help travelers, travel professionals and their partners ensure seamless logistics from arrival to departure.

Grupo Islita simplifies Costa Rica travel planning! 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 or 1-888-437-7111 Online chat: www.hotelpuntaislita.com or www.elsilenciolodge.com


Grupo Islita Scoop -May2012