COSTA RICA BUSINESS NEWS – A condohotel, also known as a hotel-condo, a business model that has been successfull in several countries, is a new concept in Costa Rica.  Two projects in Jaco and Heredia are part of a new tourism model.

Combininng the features of a high-rise building, it is delevelped and operated as a hotel, allowing buyers to own a full-service vacation property, with marketing and management done by the hotel chain to rent and manage the condo unit as it would any other hotel room.

Oceano, located in the heart of Jacó beach Costa Rica, offeres 46 fully-furnished boutique style condos.
Oceano, located in the heart of Jacó beach Costa Rica, offeres 46 fully-furnished boutique style condos.

The first of its kind in Costa Rica is the Oceáno, located in the centre of Playa Jacó (Puntarenas), opening its doors on December 12.

Itai Bar, told El Financiero, the project is focused on creating a friendly and relaxing atmosphere on the country’s Pacific coast.

The next such project is in the development stage is in Heredia, located in the Belén Center, opening in 2017. The Heredia project will be mixed use residential and commerical development, creating a “mini-city”, according to Belén Center managing partner, Guillermo Von Breymann.

How it works
A condo hotel operates just like any hotel, the difference is that each room is invidually owned. The paying hotel guest would have no idea that hotel is a condo hotel. From appearances sake, there is no difference.

The owner of the hotel room (condo unit) takes title, just like any other condominium unit. However, instead of living in it, the unit is turned over to a management company overseeing the project and handles all aspects of the daily operation and room rental.

Owners have benefits such as being first in line to use the hotel room by not making it available to guests. One of the downsides is that most condo hotels are not meant for residency, and have usage restrictions.

A model of the Belén Center, Heredia, to be ready in 2017.
A model of the Belén Center, Heredia, to be ready in 2017.

The condo hotel can target a niche market, depending on the property and location, focusing on holiday seekers or business travellers, can be a full sized apartment or just a single room.

Oceáno and the Belén Center are the first two such major developments in Costa Rica.

Neither the Instituto Nacional de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rica’s tourist board, and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur) – National Chamber of Tourism,  or the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles (CCH) – Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, have an official record of this type of business model.

“I do not see growth (in the business model) because it is not the idiosyncrasy of doing business in the tourism sector in the country,” said Pablo Heriberto Abarca, president of Canatur.

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