And the Winner is…

After dozens of entries from around the world, the Cayuga Collection has chosen the winner for the Greatest Green Family Vacation in the World – The O’Shaughnessy family from California. Amie, Devon, and John O’Shaughnessy were chosen from a shortlist of six incredible families, who all share a strong passion for sustainable travel.

Hailing from the city of Piedmont, CA (in the Bay Area), the O’Shaughnessy family believe deeply that eco-conscious living should extend to travel. “We were excited to receive the application from Amie O’Shaughnessy, as her family mantra of eco-conscious living mirrors the Cayuga Collection’s approach to sustainable luxury hotels and eco-resorts,” says Hans Pfister, principal and co-owner of the Cayuga Collection. “We know that Amie, Devon, and John will diligently detail the ways in which our properties are excelling in offering sustainable practices and activities for families, and share with us ways that we can continuously improve.”

The O’Shaughnessy family brings their sustainable lifestyle to their travel experiences, noting that when they travel and find no recycling bin in a property, the entire family actively looks for one. In addition, the family frowns on endless plastic water bottles in hotel rooms and celebrate when properties offer state-of-the-art purification systems. When they travel, the O’Shaughnessy family walks and bikes whenever they can, avoiding short ground transfers by car. “We live in a world of limited and diminishing resources and we must protect them,” says Amie O’Shaughnessy. “Within the past 18 months we’ve experienced the Galapagos Islands, the Peruvian Amazon, and Costa Rica. All three destinations bring the importance of conservation and sustainable living to life for kids and their parents.”

At home, the O’Shaughnessy family composts, recycles everything they possibly can, and thinks constantly about trying to be less wasteful. The family only eats organic food at home and, when possible, actively chooses sustainable farm-to-table dining. Amie O’Shaughnessy owns and runs Ciao Bambino – a leading, well-respected voice in family travel. O’Shaughnessy’s expertise in this category is evident in her annual media coverage of the most important family travel trends at the prestigious Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in Cannes. She is also on the board of the Family Travel Association.

Amie alone

“While we truly love the blend of luxury and sustainability and what it offers, our family is just as happy camping in Yosemite’s back country or rafting down the Salmon River in Idaho,” says Amie O’Shaughnessy. “We appreciate beautiful things and covet experiences.”

The Cayuga Collection of ecolodges, resorts, and sustainable hotels throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua launched the call for applications for the Greatest Green Family Vacation in the World in March 2015, asking families to detail their passion for sustainability and green living, their most luxurious travel experiences, and why their family should be selected. The O’Shaughnessy family will receive seven days of complimentary accommodations, dining, and activities, all focused on sustainability and education, as part of the company’s drive to determine what makes the Greatest Green Family Vacation in the World.

The Cayuga Collection consists of ecolodges, resorts, and sustainable hotels throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua. All Cayuga properties specialize in creating the symbiosis of sustainability and luxury, always providing a sense of place by taking into account local culture and customs. To Cayuga, sustainability is about more than reusing your towel twice and passing on plastic. The luxury hospitality group earned a Condé Nast Traveler World Savers award in 2010 and 2012 for its social responsibility, and a Travel + Leisure Global Vision award for Environmental Leadership in 2010. Cayuga works with local communities to train and employ local people and improve local living and learning conditions. Each of its properties is involved in conservation and community development, and the company even created a public charity called Equilibrium to further its reach and impact.


For more information about all of Cayuga’s properties and experiences, visit

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