Costa Rica is traditionally known as a Nature- or Ecotourism destination. But ten years ago, the Four Seasons Papagayo Resort opened its doors and Costa Rica was placed on the map of Luxury Travel. But the vast majority of the guests that visited the Four Seasons stayed in the “bubble” and never dared to explore other parts of the country. Very few guests would make it to destinations in Costa Rica along the coast like Santa Teresa, Manuel Antonio, Uvita or the Osa Peninsula.
Is this changing? One of the most important “trends” in luxury travel this year – according to a USA Today article of July – is that “Travelers are seeking adventures in less explored areas and craving customized local experiences wherever they roam
So, will the luxury travel leave the branded luxury experiences behind and venture off to explore smaller, more unique hotels, resorts and lodges that provide those local and authentic experiences?
The next generation of luxury lodging brands is entering Costa Rica. The Rosewood Papagayo is under construction. Others like Aman Resorts and the Ritz Carlton are said to announce their projects soon. How will that impact Costa Rica’s standing as a Luxury Travel Destination? Will all the luxury travel be concentrated in a very small part of Costa Rica?
It will be interesting to see how much the traditional luxury traveler will be willing to move out of his or her comfort zone. Is travel time of more than one hour from the international airport to your destination acceptable? Dirt roads and crossing rivers in 4×4 vehicles? It seems to be working in Safari Destinations in Africa. Why not in Costa Rica?
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