Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thirsty Monkey!

We see monkeys all the time here in Manuel Antonio. What we don’t see is that the monkeys drink water from hotel pools. Arenas Del Mar is probably an exception. First, we are located in the middle of the rainforest with views of the National Park and we treat our pools without harmful chemicals. Our ionization system kills bacteria, but does not kill animals or the skin of our guests. If you don’t believe us, just ask this little white face monkey taking a sip from our pool…

Monday, March 29, 2010

Espadilla and Playitas Beaches in Manuel Antonio received Blue Flag Award

Thanks to the hard work of the garden staff of Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort, we were awarded the Blue Flag Award with three stars by the Costa Rica Tourism Ministry this month. It shows the hotel’s dedication to take care of the hotel’s beaches and to make sure many more generations can enjoy Costa Rica’s beautiful coastline and the flora and fauna around it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A helping hand…

On March 18th, some of the Arenas Del Mar staff members went to the “Republica de Corea School” in Quepos, near Manuel Antonio to donate school uniforms and supplies to five children in need of this support. The funds for this program are generated by guest donations as well as a voluntary “plant a tree” tour where guests are invited to plant a tree and voluntarily donate $15 for social causes or environmental protection activities.

Beach Cleanup at Playa Espadilla

On March 5th, five staff members of Arenas Del Mar spent aa morning cleaning up the beach between Arenas Del Mar and the Manuel Antonio National Park. At least once a month, a team of volunteers from Arenas Del Mar heads out to the beach to collect all kind of trash that will later be separated into recyclables and nor recyclables at the hotel. These kind of activities are usually coordinated by Silvia, the sustainability coordinator of the hotel.

Green Iguana Project

A few weeks ago, officials from the Costa Rican Environment Ministry visited us to ask for help with a Green Iguana Project. They had found 400 eggs in danger of not hatching properly and brought them to Arenas Del Mar to bury them in the sand. About 30 have hatched already. The first few weeks, they are held in a small protected area to make sure they are not eaten by other animals on the property. By the way, the first week of their lives, they eat "big iguana poop" and so one of our gardener had to collect iguana poop in different locations here in Manuel Antonio...fun stuff. We will keep you posted on progress and within the next months, you should be seeing many Green Iguanas all over Arenas Del Mar.

Not your typical roadsign…

When arriving at Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio, all cars are left at the entrance of the property and we take you with electric carts through the rainforest to the lobby and then to your room. So there is no traffic and noise and the only thing to worry about on the roads is the occasional monkey or iguana crossing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The first EcoSalsa CD called Movimientos was recenly launched to the market. The CD is a musical tribute to ecotourism, Costa Rica’s National Parks, latin rhythms and the most distinguished sustainable hotels and resorts in Costa Rica. The funds raised from this CD will help in supporting the Cayuga sponsored Equilibrium Foundation. Arenas Del Mar has a song and a special video was made for the song. Check it out!

Curious to learn about how a resort can combine top-notch service with the highest levels of sustainability? Go behind the scenes to find out how Arenas Del Mar has incorporated elements of environmental stewardship and social responsibility into its day-to-day operations, allowing guests who stay with us to truly leave a positive impact in Manuel Antonio. From biodegradable cleaning products to earthworm powered composting, this tour is truly fascinating and inspiring for all guests interested in conservation, sustainable development, ecotourism and green living.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Arenas Del Mar Achieves Highest Certification for Sustainable Tourism

Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort has reached its dream of achieving the highest rating for sustainable tourism within two years of operation, and was awarded five “leaves” last week by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the first resort to achieve this distinction so soon after opening.

Managed by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, Arenas Del Mar joins its portfolio now of four properties which have all received five leaves, including Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, Lapa Rios Ecolodge and Harmony Hotel.

In addition, Arenas Del Mar, which opened in 2008, was awarded three stars (highest ranking) under the "Bandera Azul Ecológica" (Ecological Blue Flag) program.

Arenas Del Mar was created with sustainability in mind beginning with the planning and construction phase. The total construction of the hotel covers less than 25% of the property itself; the rest has become a private nature reserve that acts as an ecological corridor to expand the area surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park. Since the hotel’s opening, the resort has been participating in an extensive reforestation program, planting over 7000 native species of trees on the property. Another goal was to have Arenas Del Mar “blend into” the natural rainforest environment.

ICT Inspectors were impressed that Arenas Del Mar actively engaged its guests in learning about sustainability and the resort. Arenas Del Mar’s sustainability tour allows guests to get behind the scenes to find out how the resort has incorporated elements of environmental stewardship and social responsibility into its day-to-day operations. High marks were also given for the staff’s commitment of managing the sustainable operations of the resort while balancing the need to keep the property in a pristine condition that defines an eco-luxury property.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting your hands dirty….

… is part of the commitment to recycling, and this February, the restaurant staff at Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio took part in the process of revision, sorting and weighing the materials for recycling. The hotel has separate waste dispensers in all departments and buildings for both staff and guests. Waste reduction and recycling are top priorities in our recycling program. All hotel employees will be part of this process in order to raise staff awareness and realize the importance of separating waste properly in each of the areas of the hotel where we work and to take this habit home and share with the family, neighbors and friends.