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Costa Rica Attracts New Level of Luxury Investment

With the estimated arrival of nearly 2 million tourists to Costa Rica in 2008, and a projected income of nearly $3 billion for the tourism industry, it’s no wonder that luxury hotel and rental establishments are tripping over themselves to get in on the action.

Villa Buena Onda
Costa Rica Investment — Luxury Investments on the Rise

Last year saw an investment of $800 million in the tourism sector alone. The Doubletree by Hilton is one of the big newcomers this year, with two hotels recently opened under their name, and another on the way.

“Costa Rica is one of the top eco-tourism destinations in the world, with visitor arrivals growing more each year,” said Hilton Hotel Area Vice President Danny Hughes. “We want to support the country’s tourism growth and welcome guests to experience the biodiversity that makes Costa Rica such an amazing place to be.”

The Doubletree Cariari by Hilton San Jose and the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Puntarenas were Sol Melia and Fiesta hotel properties, respectively, that underwent extensive renovations and brand training to meet Hilton standards. The employees also received service training to offer the same upscale, full-service product that the Doubletree hotels are internationally known for. The Hilton Papagayo Resort will also open soon in place of the Premier Fiesta Resort, with its own private beach near the Four Seasons.

Multi-billion dollar corporations are not the only ones taking part in the fun. First time investors are flocking to the Costa Rican shorelines without batting an eye at the rising land and construction costs, drawn by stories of properties that pay themselves off after several years of rental. Luxury homes that far exceed the levels of what the country once knew are on the rise, and returns on investment are growing at nearly the same rate.

After years of marketing other people’s vacation properties to clients, Costa Rican Vacations‘ co-owner Tony Silva and his partner Casey Halloran finally decided that building their own Costa Rica vacation rental was a no-brainer. They combined their favorite aspects of other homes into one, and ended up with a product that far exceeded their original expectations.

“We went all out with this property,” Silva said. “In the end, if you aren’t a superlative in the industry, you’re just another rental home. Vacationers aren’t concerned about the price if they can be assured they are getting the best product with the best service.”

Their product, Villa Buena Onda, located in Playa del Coco, Guanacaste, is one of the biggest homes in the region sleeping 23 people, and rents for a minimum of $9,000 per week, which includes all-inclusive meals, drinks and service. Their unique transparent policy lets guests and fractional owners know exactly how much was spent in the construction, and how much money they intend to make once the villa is sold in two years. If you do the math, you will understand why their plans include the construction of a second villa in 2009.

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Written by Claire Saylor

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