The Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge and Arenas del Mar Beach and Nature Resort in Costa Rica have each respectively topped the Condé Nast Gold List and Condé Nast Traveller Hot List in 2008.
Nestled within the rainforests of Costa Rica, Lapa Rios and Arenas del Mar offer the perfect vacation for every traveller, where guests can relax in the lap of luxury, explore the country’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife and all the surroundings of
environmentally friendly hotels.
Lapa Rios, which is set in lush tropical rainforest, combines environmental considerations with the local culture, providing a unique showcase of the region’s stunning biodiversity and a protective corridor to the Corcovado National Park. The lodge was first established in the 1990s by Karen and John Lewis, who decided to forgo their careers and create a reserve of over 1,000 acres of rainforest.
Honoured as a Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Standard-setter, the ecolodge continuously strives to serve as an environmentally responsible destination. Sustainability highlights include; employing people from within the immediate community with an emphasis on education and training, the building and maintenance of a school, using local natural materials for the construction of the lodge, solar heated water, a rigorous recycling programme, planting over 25,000 native ‘suiita’ plants for future thatch roof replacement and access to the 1,000 acre private reserve is by professional guide only.
The protection of the wildlife is at the forefront of all policies at the lodge; for example the lodge has persistently refused to cut the rainforest canopy above roads adjacent to the reserve (which is against local law) in order to preserve the ‘monkey bridges’ – and in turn, the monkeys themselves. Due to the ongoing protest, the Government has since backed down on the issue.
Today’s visitors to Lapa Rios can also enjoy many sustainable experiences, including a volunteer rainforest initiative, complimentary sustainability tours, Tico cooking classes taught by local women and ecotourism tours into the rainforest.
The newly opened Arenas del Mar Nature and Beach Resort is the first 100% sustainable development project in Costa Rica and has applied to follow in the footsteps of Lapa Rios in gaining all five levels of the Costa Rican Certification for Sustainable Tourism.
The resort has been built using the latest sustainable technology including; solar heating panels coupled with super efficient energy saving auxiliary water heaters, underground electrical system and a recycling programme involving a waste water treatment plant. Only electrical cars are allowed on the property, whilst the roof tiles are actually recycled plastic made from discarded plastic bags from the banana industry.
The Arenas del Mar resort buildings cover less than 25% of the land, with the majority left as an untouched private nature reserve acting as an ecological corridor for animal species found in this area – white faced and squirrel monkeys, slots, crabs amongst others. As with Lapa Rios, involvement in the local community is an essential part of the whole project, with all employees again coming from the region. The Arenas del Mar is also planting over 7,000 native species of trees and plants.
Journalists who are interested in staying as guests at either one of these properties should contact Mccluskey International on details below