Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality
Meet the people behind Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality
We are a young company full of creativity and ideas. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we work with locals or permanent residents developing young men and women to become world class hospitality professionals.
Hans Pfister is co-founder and president of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. A global thought leader on sustainable hospitality, with a strong passion for customer service and marketing, Hans writes a weekly blog post about sustainable hospitality and frequently speaks at conferences and universities such as Cornell and Harvard. Born and raised in southern Germany, Hans began his career with the European tradition of apprenticeship at a luxury hotel in the Black Forest and went on to receive a degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York. He has more than 25 years of experience in hospitality in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Hans speaks English, German and Spanish fluently, and is proficient in French. He loves the outdoors and strongly believes in walking the talk when it comes to sustainability.
Andrea Bonilla is vice-president of operations and co-owner of the Cayuga Collection. Her passion for service and hospitality led her to Cornell University in New York, where she received a degree at the School of Hotel Administration. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Andrea went from training positions at Disney to operations management in Zanzibar, Africa. When she moved back to Costa Rica, Andrea managed the world-renowned Lapa Rios ecolodge and then moved on to developing and opening successful properties in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Andrea speaks fluent Spanish, English and Italian, and is proficient in French. She loves hanging out with her kids, family and friends, horseback riding, being at the beach and traveling to new places; she is curious about local food and artisanal beer.
Jorge Arrieta holds a Master’s degree in International Business Administration from UIA Texas and an undergraduate degree in Tourism. He has more than two decades of experience in hotel operations and consulting. Jorge has held various positions with the Cayuga Collection. At the property level, these positions have made him the most versatile and experienced member of our team. Jorge currently serves as New Projects Manager for the Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality group. He has just completed his first triathlon.
Maria Jose Castro is the performance director at the Cayuga Collection, in charge of operations at all of our hotels and resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. During the decade spent with the company, she has held a variety of corporate and property-level positions, and has been instrumental in implementing standard operating procedures and leading the corporate and management teams through continued high performance operations and results. Maria has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from the Universidad Interamericana de Costa Rica; she is fluent in English and Spanish. She is an avid marathon runner and former competitive swimmer.
Ana María Baldioceda has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College of HRMA in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining the Cayuga Collection, she held operational, food & beverage and sales positions with renowned hotel chains, as well as tour operators in Costa Rica and abroad. Since joining Cayuga in 2010, Ana María has taken on several projects such as structuring our human resources program and creating operating procedures for our hotel collection. She currently holds the position of marketing and sales manager for the Cayuga Collection.
Jose Pablo Cordero was born in Costa Rica, graduated high school in Thailand and received a degree in International Hotel Management from Adelaide University in Australia. He has extensive experience with hotel chains such as Hilton, Aman and Crowne Plaza in Australia and Thailand. Jose Pablo first joined the Cayuga Collection as the food and beverage manager at Harmony Hotel in Nosara and now works as the operations manager for the group. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and conversational in French.
Howard Coulson was born and raised in the northern Nicaraguan town of Estelí. He has a degree in Hotel Management and Tourism from INTAE and more than 15 years of management experience in hotels and restaurants in Granada, the city he now calls home. The management of Jicaro Island Ecolodge is Howard’s first assignment with Cayuga and he has been able to position Jicaro as Nicaragua’s premier ecolodge. Howard is fluent in Spanish and English, and able to communicate in French. He lives with his wife and three children in Granada.
Eduardo Zumbado joined the Cayuga team as “operations trainer” and is responsible for maintaining and raising service standards at the Cayuga Collection. He graduated from the Universidad Interamericana in San José, with degrees in Hotel Administration and Human Resources. He has experience with five-star hotel openings and managing human resources, F&B and marketing departments. Besides Costa Rica, Eduardo has worked in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico and Suriname. During the last few years, he has worked as an independent consultant for hospitality operations and restaurants in Central America. He is fluent in Spanish and English, and practices yoga and meditation.
Alfonso Santamaria is the General Manager at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio. He is passionate about hospitality and traveling the world is his hobby. He earned a BA in Tourism from the Universidad Latina of Costa Rica and a Master’s degree in Hotel Management from the Hotel Management School in Leysin, Switzerland. Despite his young age, Alfonso has accumulated a wealth of work experience in hospitality organizations across Europe, the United States, and Latin America. He is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in French.
Rodbin Bonilla has been with Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort since its very beginning, working his way up from the construction team – when he was just 23 years old – to his current position of Operations Manager. Rodbin worked for seven years as a Bell Boy where he taught himself English. He then discovered his true passion for hospitality when he later became Guest Services Coordinator. Rodbin also has a small transportation side business which serves the hotel and its guests, and he is always enthusiastic to learn and to be a good example to his children.
Fabian Umaña is a graduate in Public Accounting and Business Administration, and has had a variety of work experiences in account management, human resources, payroll and information systems in the hospitality field in Costa Rica and across Central America. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Fabian joined the Cayuga Collection as project coordinator, and is responsible for standardizing the processes of the hotel group’s information systems.
Karla Gallegos began working as the experience & sustainability manager at Harmony Hotel and then became the operations manager for the hotel. Born and raised in San José, Karla loves traveling, meeting new people to exchange stories and knowledge, being outside, enjoying nature and connecting with the beauty in it. Spanish is her mother tongue but she is also fluent in English and knows a bit of Italian.
Pamela Carazo started her career in public relations at the Universidad Latina and has since held marketing positions for well-known brands. Born and raised in San José and rural Turrialba, she discovered her new passion for hospitality when she moved to Guanacaste to work at Reserva Conchal. There she was exposed to a whole new world of high standards in customer service and sustainability, and that made her realize she wanted to continue on this path in her professional life. Pamela started at Cayuga’s Harmony Hotel as operations manager but quickly moved up to general manager, the position she holds now.
Danier Miranda was a student of business administration at the UNED when he started to work at the Cayuga Collection’s Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio as a night auditor. He quickly moved up to the reception area, and on to the manager on duty. From there he was cross-promoted to Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa as general manager. Before joining Cayuga, Dannier worked for the Red Cross for eight years, in the departments of emergencies and training in first aid, and community risk management.
Johan Hassard studied Eco-tourism Management at the Universidad de Costa Rica in Guanacaste. His career started in the aviation industry; he was on the opening team of Liberia´s new airport terminal. Johan moved to the hospitality sector with the opening of the Andaz Península Papagayo Resort, where he worked as engineering and security coordinator. Born in a rural town surrounded by coffee plantations, Johan is passionate about the environment and climate change issues and assists the Carbon Neutral Unit of EARTH University as Carbon Neutral Verifier. He joined the Cayuga team as operations manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge, where he now works as general manager.
Karla Arrieta has a degree in journalism and worked in the public sector before joining Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio as the general manager’s assistant. Today she is the Cayuga Collection’s administrative assistant. A native of San José, Karla is fluent in Spanish and proficient in English and French. She loves to travel, especially to Europe and North America during her holidays.
Rolando Guzmán was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica. He received a master’s degree in Environmental Management and Project Management from EAE Business School in Madrid, as well as undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Tourism, with emphasis on hotel and restaurant management. Rolando has several years of experience in hospitality and property management organizations in Costa Rica, and currently serves as project manager at the Cayuga Collection, focusing on F&B and sustainability.
Silvia Solis is a conservation biologist with extensive field experience in Mexico and Central America. In addition to a wealth of experience in Costa Rica’s tourism sector, her focus for the past five years has been exclusively in the area of sustainable tourism through forest conservation and community development. Silvia holds a Master’s degree in biology, has traveled extensively throughout the Americas, and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She is now the General Manager of Kurà Design Villas.
Alberto Guevara has an MBA in Human Resources and a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Business Administration from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. He has worked for Factor Humano (a Costa Rican Human Resources firm), where he developed his strategic and operative knowledge in HR, working for clients in tourism, food and beverage, and the hospitality industry. His professional experience in the hospitality and tourism industry stretches from Costa Rica where he worked in HR as well as food and beverage departments of Los Sueños Marriott in Puntarenas to Australia where he worked for the hospitality chain Mantra in Melbourne. He is passionate about traveling, jazz music, the sea, and photography.
HOSPITALITY AWARDS: PROUD TO BE A CONDE NAST WORLD SAVER AND TRAVEL & LEISURE GLOBAL VISIONARY
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality has won several major accolades in recent years, including Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award in 2010 for Environmental Leadership and Conde Nast Traveler’s Conde Nast World Saver Award in two occasions: the first time in the category of Small Hotel Chains in 2010, and the second time for Poverty Relief Efforts in 2012.
We take this honorable recognition as a great motivator to continue and further improve our myriad sustainability efforts at our hotels, resorts and lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. A special thank you to the hotel owners, the managers and the staff for believing in the Cayuga model.
Learn more about the sustainability efforts in each one of our operations:
- Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Latitude10 Resort, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
- Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
- Harmony Hotel, Nosara, Costa Rica
- Finca Rosa Blanca, Heredia, Costa Rica
- Hotel Grano de Oro, San José, Costa Rica
- Jicaro Island Ecolodge, Granada Isletas, Nicaragua