The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles (Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels) is reporting an estimated occupancy of 62% for the 2013 mid year school vacation that starts on Friday, and end on July 14.

22953_620The rate 4% lower than last year’s occupancy and the lowest in recent years.

The Cámara explains that the low occupancy rates is not due to less vacationers, rather many are leaning towards the rental of condos, which in many cases offer prices lower than hotels and with more space for more people. In addition, condos are not subject to the same tax requirements.

In example, a typical beach hotel room will run between US$75 and US$125 a night for two people. Plus taxes. A two and three bedroom fully furnished and equipped condo can run from US$500 to US$1.000 a week, accommodating up to 6 or 8 people or more (depending on your deal).

The decision of a condo vs a hotel is a personal one.

Hotels offer the comfort of a lobby, restaurants, large pools, having your room made up each morning, health clubs, concierge, room service, etc.

Condos on the other hand offer flexibility and roominess. You can prepare a meal if you want and the flexibility to have your own breakfast and coffee in the morning without having to get dressed and go to a restaurant. Most condos also have washers and dryers which really come in handy for those wet beach clothes. You don’t have to pack as much because you can wash when you want. You also can set up your own cocktail bar and have a drink on your balcony that won’t cost you as much per drink as in the hotel bars.

Combating the trend towards condos is the focus of the next National Hotel Congress, as hotel owners and operators look to improve their competitiveness.

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.