Sustainable Hospitality Best Practices

Developer & Owner Resources
We Walk the Talk

Sustainable Hospitality in Action

Our hotels and lodges are 100% committed to sustainable tourism practices. We work hard to develop and implement them at all levels of operation, while consistently looking for ways to make the vacation experience for our guests most comfortable, memorable and authentic.

At the Cayuga Collection, we introduce our guests to an intelligent style of luxury hospitality. What they experience at our hotels and lodges is a more interactive tourism, one that respects the socio-cultural and ecological interests of the local communities, one that delivers higher standards of service, and one that wholly takes into consideration the preservation of the natural environment and local customs.

Cayuga Initiatives at a Glance

Our Sustainable Approach

Implementing Environmental Sustainability Practices
Water Usage and Waste Water Management
We encourage our guests to be mindful during their stays; we educate our employees on the importance of water conservation and how to spot water leaks; we utilize water saving technologies such as aerators in faucets and shower heads, as well as biological waste water treatment systems.
Energy Usage
We work on reducing our energy consumption through educating our guests and employees; utilizing efficient technologies and appliances such as solar panels and washers; and creating innovative energy sources such as biogas-producing pigs.
Solid Waste Reduction
Our thorough waste reduction programs see us work with suppliers to cut out unnecessary packaging, keep a weight record or our trash and recyclables, organize beach and road clean-ups, and compost our organic waste. We've also banished all single-use plastics from our hotels and lodges.
Natural and Native Plant Landscaping
Our properties have created Plant-a-Tree reforestation programs and all-natural gardens based on native plants to aid water conservation and attract local fauna. Organic herb and vegetable gardens are another important component of natural plant landscaping.
Supporting Socio-Cultural Activities
Community Support
The communities in which we operate are the linchpin for creating successful sustainable tourism and development. Our hotels support initiatives to improve community economic development, health, education, cultural development, and natural resource management.
A Sense of Place
Our properties incorporate cultural elements from the surrounding communities into their daily operations. This provides opportunities for guests to experience the local culture, and for local artists to receive some economic support.
Cultural Events
We schedule cultural events at our properties on a regular basis and often collaborate with local artists. These include traditional dance performances, cooking classes, musical shows and small artisan stalls.
Local Cuisine
Our hotel and lodge restaurants use local ingredients in both traditional and innovative ways. We prepare information on local foods, explaining to guests what the ingredients are, how they are typically used, and any cultural history they may have.
Supporting Community Well-Being
Healthcare
Each year, the Cayuga Collection hotels and lodges pick a particular health cause and donate funds or goods for its improvement. Recent causes have included re-equipping the Red Cross Ambulance in Puerto Jimenez and renovating a local clinic in Nosara.
Hiring and Buying Local
We exclusively employ people from the area. Our salaries are far higher than the national average, and all staff members are employed year round, even during low season. We also source our produce and products from as close to home as possible in support of local suppliers.
Local Infrastructure Projects
We support immediate infrastructural needs such as the improvement of roads or the building of bridges to help children cross rivers to get to school. A recent project saw funds raised from a half marathon go towards building a local police station in Nosara.
School Education
Our properties have been instrumental in building schools such as the Carbonera in Puerto Jimenez, and in providing education to their rural communities. The Sustainability Coordinators at each hotel also host environmental workshops for the kids and organize activities such as beach clean-ups.
Supporting Community Well-BeingSupporting Nature Based Conservation
ProParques
Cayuga is a member of ProParques – a non-profit organization dedicated to resolving the needs of National Parks in order to increase their management efficiency – and Hans Pfister, the President and Co-Founder of Cayuga, sits on the board.
National Parks & Protected Areas
Every Cayuga property is located within minutes to one hour of a National Park or protected area. Guests are encouraged to support these protected areas by visiting them and learning about the native flora and fauna.
Private Conservation
Arenas del Mar – protecting 4 hectares of forests – and Lapa Rios – protecting 400 hectares – are members of the Association of Private Costa Rican Reserves. These forests contribute directly to the conservation of native habitats and species, and are carbon sinks mitigating emissions produced by hotel operations.
Wildlife Conservation
Our properties support various projects including The Wildcat Conservation Program on the Osa Peninsula, the Titi Conservation Alliance which protects endangered squirrel monkeys in Manuel Antonio, and the Nosara Wildlife Refuge, a small organization that rescues and rehabilitates arboreal mammals.
Choosing Our Clients & Building Green
Picking Our Projects
We choose projects that have a low impact on the environment and a high positive impact on community well-being. We work with owners and developers who share our sustainable philosophies and long-term commitment to quality.
Building Site Selection
Our hotel buildings are strategically placed to minimize the number of tree casualties and disturbances to existing natural wildlife corridors during construction. In some cases, trees have been saved and now grow “through” buildings.
Architectural Design
We strategically place and design our buildings in order to maximize cross ventilation to avoid the need for A/C, and to minimize visual pollution. We keep light pollution to a minimum and design our structures for maximum natural light.
Construction Materials
We source Rainforest Alliance Certified wood for construction, and legally acquire naturally fallen forest trees. Natural thatch roofs are used in some of our properties, while others employ roof shingles made from recycled plastic bags widely used in the banana industry.
Valuing Our Staff
Social Benefits
Cayuga provides full social benefits to all its employees, allowing them to receive free healthcare at public hospitals, a pension upon retirement, payment in case of work disability, insurance in case of accidents on the job, and paid maternity leave.
Growth Opportunities
Our employees are our most valuable asset and our immediate community. We offer them opportunities to grow such as reimbursement plans to assist those who wish to continue their studies, activities that promote well-being, job training and workshops focusing on lifestyle improvement.
Employment Security
We employ our 100% local staff year round, never laying them off in low season. Employees also receive a “13th salary”, one additional month’s pay at the end of the year.

For Hotel Owners and Developers

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Authentic, Sustainable Hospitality​

“I have always admired Cayuga as a pioneer of sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. I believe their success is equal parts their properties that celebrate the strengths of the region, and their team, whose hospitality is authentic and proud. They have a skill for attracting the best people… and making their people shine.”

Matthew Flynn – Design Director & Partner, Vida Design Studio

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