Building Trust with our Guests – The Transparent Hotel Operation

We will be giving interested guests access to our back of the house to learn about our sanitary measures and how we keep our staff and our guests safe. This is nothing new at Cayuga. But it is about continued transparency and building trust.

For more than 15 years, we have been offering complimentary “Back of the House” Tours for our guests at the Cayuga Collection Hotels.  By inviting our guests to check out the operations behind the scenes we wanted to educate them about our sustainability efforts and hopefully inspire them to bring back some of those sustainable practices to their daily lives. 

We take our guests to the kitchen, laundry and maintenance facilities and a very special part of the tour is the interaction with employees that typically don’t have guest contact such as chefs, gardeners and maids.  This tour is typically guided by our Experience & Sustainability Manager, a Naturalist Guide or the General Manager of the hotel.  No areas are off limits.  We have no secrets and nothing to hide.  No, we are not perfect in terms of our sustainability practices, but we make an effort to improve every day and have received a lot of great ideas and feedback from our guests on the tour. 

Sustainability Tour at the Cayuga Collection Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges

We have found that participating in this tour makes “raving fans” out of our already happy hotel guests.  They really appreciate the transparency and openness of how we approach this.  We often end with a cup of coffee or cold drink and the conversation about sustainability goes on.  And a great “side” effect of this is that our back of the house is as clean and organized as the front of the house and that has a very positive impact on the efficiency of the operation as a whole. 

Some examples on what you would learn during the back of the house tour at our hotels: 

We explain where we get our food from. And if you have a bit of extra time, we will even take you to the farmer’s market with us.
You will be meeting staff members that share their career path and training experience with you. This picture was taken PreCovid at Senda Monteverde.
Bamboo Straws
We have not used single-use plastic in over ten years. And we have no plans to change that. On the tour, we tell you the story of how one of our staff members came up with the idea of the bamboo straws and now has a thriving business of his own…

We believe that locally sourced, fresh food is a true luxury. But traditional luxury believes in importing proteins and fruits from halfway around the world. Why?
We help you understand the history of our locations and how we try to create a sense of place through architecture and decor. This is a bungalow at Hotel Aguas Claras in Puerto Viejo.
We will explain our Dock To Dish Program and how we source sustainable seafood. And if you want to, we will even take you fishing…
We will take you to our vegetable gardens and show you what has worked for us and tell you about all of our failures and struggles in the past. This picture was taken recently at Isla Palenque in Panama.
We tell you about the artisan paper we make for the welcome messages and other small little details that you will find fascinating.
Local Products
We will take you to our woodshop where, like at Isla Palenque, we make all of our furniture from fallen wood.

And now, there is a whole new dimension added to all of this.  Besides the focus on sustainability, now the guests going behind the scenes are also able to learn about all the new sanitary protocols that we have implemented.  They get an insight into our cleaning routines and all that it takes to keep guests and staff safe while maintaining a luxury vacation experience and taking into consideration our sustainable practices.  Again, nothing is off-limits.  We have nothing to hide. 

If you have any questions regarding our sustainability practices or our new sanitary protocols, please contact me directly. I would be happy to answer your questions. hans@cayugaonline.com.

Our sanitary measures are in compliance with the WTTC Guidelines.
We have developed this seal that you will find at the entrance of your room to communicate that your room has been cleaned and disinfected thoroughly prior to your arrival.

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Andrea Bonilla

Co-Owner & VP Operations

andrea@cayugaonline.com