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Costa Rica

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Posts Tagged ‘Costa Rica’

Living the Pursuit of Happiness? Forbes Says: Move to Costa Rica.

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Those of us who’ve already packed our bags and made Costa Rica home already know the answer – Costa Rica is a hell of a great place to live. Happiness, longevity and a healthy lifestyle are part of the game here. Residents live measurably longer lifespans and enjoy a blissfully calm, laid-back pace of life that keeps people grounded, centered and just plan happy the majority of their days.


According to a recent article published by Forbes Magazine, Costa Rica once again topped the list of happiest countries in an international poll. As part of a course called, “The Science of Happiness” put out by UC Berkeley, approximately 40,000 students across the globe took a survey reporting happiness levels. The outcome wasn’t surprising – Costa Rica scored high in cross-national happiness measures.


As the article explains, Costa Rica may not be the richest country out there when it comes to GDP, but all the research indicates a nation’s well-being and happiness may not be accurately measured using GDP as a standard. Even the US, which has a GDP about 4 times higher than Costa Rica, ranks 16th in the study based on subjective happiness – much lower than the content country of Costa Rica.


Costa Rica scored as the number one happiest country, followed by Croatia, Chile, Malaysia and Colombia. According to the study, these countries shared some similarities – primarily, residents felt less loneliness than reported in other nations. So, it turns out that social connection might indeed trump income when it comes to living a happy life.


Perhaps that’s no big epiphany for anyone – but you may still be asking why do people in Costa Rica feel less lonely? For our team at Las Mareas, many of us moved to Costa Rica from countries like the US or Canada and we can help try to explain: Costa Rica is a culture of connection. For those who were born here or those who move to settle, all experience the same strong community ties. Surfing, environmentalism and shared interest blossom in intimate beach towns like Tamarindo. The community is united by common interest among residents. Even if you don’t surf, everyone shares a collective love of the country’s beautiful natural landscape. That is a good feeling.


Living here, there is less isolation – less suburbia to separate and divide people from one another. The beach is a communal space and in order to survive here, we all must share and respect the land in every aspect of life. Social ties are strong; family is key and expats are accepted with open arms. It’s a welcoming, relaxed and comfortable social space. When you mix that in with the rejuvenating tropical breezes and crisp salty ocean air, you’ve got a recipe for happiness and longevity.


Costa Rica has been ranking one of the top “happy” nations for years. Back in 2009, CNN wrote, “Forget Disneyland! Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world.” Their reasoning came from a study that found, “Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world and have the second-highest average life expectancy of the new world.”

That study concluded that Costa Ricans’ happiness comes from living in a place where the economy is centered on people and the environment. We couldn’t say it better ourselves. Like we just mentioned, our experience of Costa Rica is all about connections and the natural landscape. At the end of the day, if you’re fascinated by this research, we invite you to come check it out for yourself. The warm people, the spectacular scenery, the mellow vibes… You may just decide to stay forever!



2014 Newsletter – Las Mareas

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Well, it’s been a while. The lack of updates from Las Mareas over the past few months isn’t due to lack of activity – we’ve just been saving all the juicy news for 2014. Two months into the new year (Happy Belated New Years, by the way), and Las Mareas and Pangas Beach Club are both busier than ever. It’s the second high season for Pangas and the first high season for Las Mareas’ vacation rentals. With the restaurant packed nightly and the villas full of happy tenants, things are moving down here in Tamarindo and the future couldn’t look brighter. After a slight lull in low season, we’re back and here are the latest updates from the Las Mareas group. We hope you are able to escape the “Arctic Vortex” cold and come visit us in sunny Tamarindo soon – Enjoy!

Vacation Rentals

Rentals: Vacation rentals are quickly becoming the energy center of Las Mareas and its growing in-house property management company. We have over five inquiries coming in daily and as the villas fill up, we’re realizing that Las Mareas vacation rentals could be a better investment than we initially thought. Our buyers will see their purchase as a true, long-term investment due to the unnaturally high occupancy of rentals Las Mareas is generating.


Our secret weapon is Pangas. There are countless groups booking the beach club as a venue for weddings, events and large parties and we’ve found that most of them are looking for a place to stay while in Tamarindo.


We’re here to fill that gap. By offering exclusive vacation rentals connected to Pangas, we’re able to book large groups that often book all six villas at once to accommodate wedding parties, large families, etc.  Right now, we have at least five groups renting between four and six villas in conjunction with hosting their events at Pangas coming up in 2014.
Bruce is excited for the future because with Pangas as our unique amenity, we’re setting ourselves apart from the market. We’ve realized we have no competition when it comes to booking event parties connected to a beach club with a structure like we’ve set up at Las Mareas and Pangas. Very exciting stuff!


In addition to event groups, we’re booking tons of regular vacation rentals every day and the calendar is filling up for 2014. Since we began renting last July, we’ve had clients from across the globe – Canada, the United States, Germany, Russia, Italy, Costa Rica, Colombia and more. We’re happy to say we’ve established great relationships with our rental clients and more than one of them have come back as repeat customers. We’ve even generated some sales interest from our most loyal rental clients and many customers ask to hear our sales presentation during their stay. The feedback has been nothing but positive and we pride ourselves on offering the best in customer service for our rental clients from the moment they send an inquiry email, to after they’ve returned home from their trip.


But you don’t have to take my word for it – check out what people have been saying about Las Mareas vacation rentals on VRBO here: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3519710



The sales buzz around Las Mareas continues to grow in 2014 with walk-in clients, realtor showings and other prospective buyers stopping by the project every day. One of the reasons we’ve waited a bit to release the 2014 newsletter is so we could confirm the latest news – the sale of Villa #4. In January, Bruce negotiated a deal with our first post-construction buyer and the sale recently closed during the first week of February. Congratulations to everyone who helped make it happen!

We expect this key first sale in the post-construction phase to pave the way. With one villa sold after construction, we will create a new sense of urgency in the local market and remind interested buyers about all the benefits of owning a Las Mareas Villa. With the newfound excitement surrounding the project and the market on the move, we anticipate this first sale will lead to the sale of the remaining four villas in the near future.



Sadly, Las Mareas will be saying goodbye to one of its own in March. After 1.5 years Suzanna, who handles the project’s marketing, communication and most of the vacation rental leads, announced she would be leaving the project in order to pursue a career more aligned with her background in travel writing. Suzanna just got a job updating a Costa Rica guidebook – although she’ll be out on the road for the next two months, Suzanna will still be helping out with Las Mareas work remotely as needed. Of course, we will miss Suzanna greatly (even if she is the one writing this!), but we’re confident that Jen Dizgun, who is now training to take over Suzanna’s position, will do a fantastic job with all the marketing and communications responsibilities for Las Mareas. Jen, a Quebec native, is fluent in English, French and Spanish, having lived and worked in Spain and Argentina for the past 15 years. Jen comes to us with a wealth of computer and marketing background, as well as years of experience managing rental properties with her husband in Buenos Aires. Jen has been working every day in February to prepare and we’re excited about everything she will bring to the table when she takes over in March.


Write us a Review!!

If you’ve stayed with us at Las Mareas and haven’t written a review yet, please help us out by clicking the following links to post a review!


VRBO/HomeAway: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3519710

TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g309253-d3838216-or3-Stunning_3_Bed_Villa_w_Ocean_Views_in_Tamarindo-Tamarindo_Province_of_Guanacaste.html#REVIEWS


What people are saying about Las Mareas…


“My wife and I recently stayed at Las Mareas and we have nothing but great things to say. The property is beautiful. The condo is amazingly clean and very well appointed. Everything is new and and well thought out to the smallest detail. The views are amazing. Town and the beach are just minutes away yet you have the privacy of the gated community. Without hesitation we would recommend Las Mareas. Pura Vida.”






2014 Newsletter – Pangas Beach Club

Friday, February 28th, 2014

What’s new at Pangas Beach Club in 2014 – Second half of the Las Mareas 2014 newsletter.



In December, Pangas opened up seven days a week for high season and the restaurant has been buzzing ever since. Weddings and events are continuing to be a huge source of business. As of January, Elizabeth had over 45 events on the books for the coming year and I’m sure that number has only gone up since. Here’s a bit about other recent news:



  • Pangas Happy Hour is back! Join us 7 days a week at the bar for 2 x 1 specials on select beer and cocktails.
  • Tuesday En Fuego: Enjoy a live fire show every Tuesday after dark
  • The Pangas Fish Market is also open everyday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ve got the freshest fish in the area at prices that beat out the competition. This year we’re selling fish by the portion (200 grams) – for example, we have fresh tuna, grouper, mahi-mahi, snook, snapper and catch of the day ranging in price from $3.00 – $5.40 per portion.

Surfrider Foundation Event:

 On January 18th, Pangas was the place to be when it hosted the 2014  Surfrider Foundation Event sponsored by Red Bull. The night was a huge  success with over 405 people taking part in the action. Pangas charged a  cover fee at the door and all proceeds went to benefit the Surfrider  Foundation, a non-profit organization specializing in preserving and  enjoying beaches and oceans around the world.

The fun began with live music at 7 p.m. as community members  gathered  to watch presentations by three-time WCT pro surfers.  The excitement  grew as Red Bull-sponsored, six-time world  champion Sandro Dias put  on a vert skateboard demo on a  temporary half pipe ramp set up on the beach.


Live music, dynamic entertainment, good drinks and great  company for an even better cause – a complete success! We’re  happy Pangas could help raise over over $2,500 to benefit the  Surfrider Foundation. Thanks to everyone who helped make it possible.


(Photos by Murray Greer)

Las Mareas Video

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Comes live the Las Mareas lifestyle…


Las Mareas de Tamarindo, now offering exclusive 3-bedroom ocean view villas for sale in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.


Located just steps from the beach, countless surf breaks and vibrant, downtown Tamarindo, Las Mareas Villas are the best of both worlds. Live the tropical lifestyle at Las Mareas and learn more about purchasing one of our luxurious residences today. Also accepting vacation rentals – Come stay with us in Tamarindo jumping castles for sale!


To schedule a tour or book your rental today, contact us at

(506) 8832-5773, info@lasmareas.com, www.lasmareas.com.






Our First Traveler Review

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

We recently welcomed our first rental clients, the Lynch family from Saratoga Springs, NY, to Las Mareas. They were great sports about being the very first group to try out the brand new villas and they recently wrote a review that shows just how much they enjoyed their vacation and stay at Las Mareas. We’re so glad we could make their trip special and be a part of some memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you again to the Lynch family! We hope you’ll come back soon. Below is the travel review they provided for Las Mareas:


The Lynch family up at Villas Las Mareas for sunset

“Our family of five has had the fortunate opportunity to stay at several vacation rental properties over the years and we would have to say, our stay at Las Mareas on Tamarindo Beach was one of the best and certainly most memorable.  From the initial open dialog with Suzanna to the warm welcome greeting after a long 4 hour drive from La Fortuna by both Suzanna and Bruce, we knew we were in for a special treat. 


The condo provided numerous upgraded amenities in a ‘surf-chic’ décor that included an artistic use of hardwoods, tile and more.  A special touch was the floor to ceiling ‘open air’ folding doors off of both the living area and the master bedroom.  This feature enhanced the open living concept and sunset beach views of the estuary and Pacific Ocean.


We awoke each morning to the distant chatter of monkeys and beautiful sounds of exotic birds.  The beach, shopping, restaurants and grocery store were just minutes away.  A favorite part of our day was sitting by the pool watching the sun disappear from the sky. 


Joe Lynch and sons gong for a surf in the Tamarindo Estuary

One perk that was especially nice was the exclusive use of Pangas Beach Club.  Elizabeth and her staff were phenomenal – treating us like welcome family each time we entered.  We really appreciated the 4th of July fireworks, barbecue and imported Budweiser to help us celebrate the US Holiday!!  The ability to drop our towels and flip flops at Panga’s while we strolled the beach was a really comforting touch. 


Bruce and Suzanna connected us with Wim and Geovanny for three days of surf and stand-up paddleboard lessons. This tip of reputable instructors really helped us avoid the multitude of surf vendors up and down the beachinteractive sports games!


The TLC we received during our stay by everyone we came in contact with at Las Mareas made for wonderful memories.


Walking a tightrope at Pangas!

I expect we’ll be back – I know our kids (23, 19 and 16) are already planning it!!”




Villa Furniture by Kenneth Cobonpue

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As we add the final details to the Las Mareas Villas, I felt it important to put the spotlight on Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who supplied a significant portion of the furniture for our six villas.



The approach Cobonpue takes to furniture design echoes the philosophy of Las Mareas and our architect’s theory that the villa design should integrate locally sourced materials with fine craftsmanship to exist in harmony alongside the natural environment.


Furniture from the Suzy Wong collection

Becasuse Cobonpue’s philosophy complements Las Mareas so well, his work was a natural choice when it came time to select the furniture for our villas. In addition, Cobonpue hails from the Philippines, so his work features an innate tropical flavor fitting seamlessly with the villa’s Pacific Rim theme – Note: All the remaining furniture in the villa is directly imported from Bali, Indonesia.



If you visit Cobonpue’s website, you can view his many collections including the “Suzy Wong” collection, which is the specific line used in the Las Mareas Villas. The “Suzy Wong” furniture collection focuses on intricate Southeast Asian woven rattan and simple, yet elegant, statement pieces inflatable tent.



Cobonpue’s website describes the “Suzy Wong” collection: “Reminiscent of oriental period styles, the Suzy Wong collection fuses traditional eastern sensibilities with modern design principles. Made from traditional materials such as lampakanai abaca, rattan and wood, Suzy Wong exudes sophistication using the traditional and the natural.”















Stylish with an emphasis on nature… A perfect fit for the villas at Las Mareas.



Kenneth Cobonpue is a multi-award winning furniture designer who speaks on Southeast Asian design across the world. He studied Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute in New York and boasts a list of celebrity clients such as Brad Pitt and members of the royal family. In 2007, TIME Magazine called him, “rattans first virtuoso.”








Pangas Goes International

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

This Wednesday, Pangas kicks off a new fixture: the World Cuisine Series.
Every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. join us at Pangas for an all-you-can-eat International-themed buffet. At just $20 (10,00 CRC) per adult and $10 per child under 10, this is a GREAT deal! Price includes tax and service as well.custom inflatables



Pangas goes Greek

On Wednesday, April 17, Pangas celebrates Greece with a Greek style buffet featuring:



Tzatziki: Yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip.
Pita: Fresh baked pita
Horiatiki Salata: Greek Salad
• Moussakas: Eggplant, potato, black angus ground beef and bechamel sauce casserole
• Kalamarakia; Fried squid
• Chtapodi sti schara: Grilled octopus in vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano
• Pagoto Fistiki: Pistachio Ice Cream


Greek Night Signature Drink
• Santorini Sunrise C3.000 (taxes and service included)


“Kali Orexi” = Bon Appetit/Buen Provecho

Pangas’ World Cuisine Series features live entertainment. On Greek night:


• Live Music with Los Tres Amigos
• PRIZE: The best Greek costume gets a free Buffet Dinner for 2 people next Wednesday


Stay tuned to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pangastamarindo for photos and announcements about next week’s featured country.



Las Mareas Soundbites: Part 4, Pangas Beach Club

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Pangas Beach Club:


Beautiful Pangas Beach Club

Pangas is the beach club for Las Mareas. Typically and historically, beach clubs are offered exclusively to real estate owners and there’s an accompanying fee for that exclusivity. In an effort to keep the cost of ownership at a minimum, Las Mareas created an alternate plan. The plan is to open the beach club to the public and make it a very successful, standalone location. Then, we give the owners of our villas specials rights and privileges at that beach club. Most importantly we treat the owners as a sort of business partner with the beach club. When an owner rents his property with us, the clients run a tab at Pangas much like a hotel and the villa owners get 10% of sales placed in their bank for use at Pangas when they are in town. Other benefits include board storage at the beach, a tab in the villa owners name and exclusive villa delivery and catering options.


Don’t forget to visit Pangas’ Facebook page for regular updates about live music, menu specials and other events. 


Some examples of recent happenings at Pangas include:

  • A special Easter brunch with Easter egg hunt and egg decorating for the kids
  • Sunday Funday – All-you-can-eat Sunday buffets with live music, activities and fun for the whole family
  • Jazz Wednesdays – Wednesday night live jazz music by the Tres Amigos
  • And much, much more!

Easter egg painting at Pangas Beach Club!

Pangas’ own website is currently under construction and we will reveal the new, re-vamped version of www.lasmareas.com/pangas-beach-club (which will also be accessible at www.pangasbeachclub.com), in the next few months! Stay tuned.



Las Mareas Soundbites: Part 3, Cost of Ownership

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Cost of Ownership:


Las Mareas has been preparing to engage in development since 2005. We had the unexpected benefit of the financial downturn, which allowed us time to rewrite our business plan considering a post-financial crisis market. We recognize that people are no longer buying properties expecting to appreciate 20% a year, but they are buying properties now because they truly want to own them.


Las Mareas is a wonderful development for the sustainability of the marketplace. We also realize people simply want the combination of high quality at a great price. We’re attempting to give them that. People also want to know that ownership won’t be expensive and part of considering the price is the cost of ownership. What are the HOA fees? What are my electric bills? What can I expect for repairs and maintenance? How about income on my property if I rent it?


We’re very pleased at Las Mareas to have put together a plan to score high marks in all these categories. For example, the energy saving features on the villas also translate to low cost of ownership. Much energy has been directed toward creating a structure that lowers the HOA fees and we think we’ve been successful. Through a special relationship with our beach club we also expect to exceed the local market in rentability and give our buyers income on their villa if they so desire it. Greater detail on these points can be provided upon request.


Pura vida!


(Just 2 weeks until the first villa is complete!)



Las Mareas Soundbites: Part 2, Green Features

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Green Features

We’re very proud of our conservative stance on the environment. A few of the green features in El Tesoro are: green zones, height restrictions, set back requirements and a black water treatment plant who’s water is then used to irrigate the community green zones. Our villas proudly boast Pella-brand doors and windows that are filled with dual pane glass, which seal like refrigerators and keep the hot out and the cold in. Our roof was insulated with closed cell foam, to prevent radiant heat from entering the unit and our air-conditioners are of the latest technology for high efficiency. All of this combines to create a minimum need for energy to run these villas, thus benefiting the environment and greatly reducing the cost of ownership. Additionally, our landscaping has been strategically chosen to include local plant varieties that are drought tolerant and well suited to the climate here, yet still remain beautiful and tropical. We also deliberately oriented all the units northwest – something we will try to do with all our future construction – so the afternoon tropical sun doesn’t enter the home. A tremendous amount of energy is saved this way and your views remain blue and green through the morning, afternoon and evening.



Here is a list Las Mareas’ green features:


  • Black water treatment plant where water is processed and then used to irrigate the community’s green zones
  • El Tesoro is filled with protected green zones so you will always have trees around to support air-quality, natural wildlife and temperature regulation
  • La Cantina bi-folding door systems on the living room and master bedroom patio: These doors seal your villa like a refrigerator, so when they’re closed, no air can escape thus saving you A/C use and energy
  • Pella dual-pane, argon-filled glass windows: Keep heat out and cold in, these windows are the most energy efficient on the market not only keeping your villa nice and cool, but also reducing the amount of energy consumption necessary
  • Closed cell foam roof insulation – This innovative technology prevents radiant heat from entering the unit, lowering in-home energy costs and consumption
  • High efficiency 17-seer Carrier A/C units with room occupancy sensors are built with smart technology to turn down when the sensor notices no people are in a room – a great energy and money saver if you ever forget to switch off the A/C!
  • Landscaping – All our landscaping has been strategically chosen to include local plant varieties that are well-suited to the climate and drought tolerant, thus giving your villa a thriving green surrounding for incredible air quality all year long
  • Orientation: Each villa is deliberately oriented northwest – meaning no afternoon tropical sun enters your home during the hottest hours of the day, thus keeping your needs for energy and A/C consumption to a minimum.


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