Eco-luxury reaches new heights at Costa Rica’s Drake Bay Getaway Resort, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended tropical retreat in which the jungle meets the sea.
Built from the ground up via owners Yens Steller and Patrick Ludwig, the postcard-worth assets is as hospitable as it is stunning, with custom excursions, personalized meals and attentive provider from the innkeepers themselves.
Forbes Travel Guide caught up with Steller to find out how engineers ended up going for walks a sustainable lodge, what to % for a jungle getaway and why you should attempt chocolate-blanketed steak.
My dream changed into to emerge as an astronaut, so I left to Seattle to try to turn out to be an astronaut, but I found out that I get seasick. So, I studied laptop technological know-how instead and have become a software program engineer and sooner or later became a manager at a quick-growing organization there.
I married Patrick in 2013. After many years of working as a software program engineer — he became an aerospace engineer, he worked for Honeywell and I became a supervisor at that factor operating for a large software program organization — we simply had sufficient of strolling around loopy all the time, so we said, “Let’s get married, permit’s sell the entirety we got and pass to Costa Rica.”
We sold 22 waterfront acres and built a inn from the ground up. We simply desired to do some thing dramatically distinctive. So, we went from a excessive-tech global to at least one where we have no expertise at all.
What become your initial imaginative and prescient for Drake Bay Getaway?
We knew from the start we desired to do some thing luxurious and sustainable. And we knew the undertaking became a way to integrate the 2.
We like to call ourselves “eco-luxurious” because there’s a critical dedication while you’re sustainable versus green.
Sustainability is a way of designing and jogging your business, meaning the materials you use to build your resort. All of our buildings are constructed with 80 percent wooden and steel, with excessive ceilings and white roofs for ventilation.
So, if we ever decided we had been accomplished with the inn commercial enterprise and [we wanted to] shut the resort down, we would definitely simply disassemble the construction and the jungle would take over the land — it would be like we were never right here.
From the very starting, we wanted to do something that had no TV, no A/C and no pool. That became very critical due to the fact anyone seems to have that at this point. But there’s a subset that desires an revel in of a lifetime, and that’s what we’re trying to create.
People who come here are human beings looking for an enjoy, no longer simply an everyday, trendy hotel. It’s not simplest about the tours. It’s now not simplest about the view. It’s now not handiest approximately the meals. We, the inn owners, my spouse and I, are constantly onsite. The owners are constantly in the lodge assisting out.
Most of the folks that go to our inn are couples and families with children — it’s virtually split. As long as you need a life-time revel in on your circle of relatives or your dating, you’re welcome right here.
Speaking of once-in-a-lifetime reviews, what are the maximum popular excursions at Drake Bay?
One of them is Corcovado National Park. It’s regarded international for its biodiversity. Supposedly, it has 2.Five percentage of the world’s biodiversity. That means of all the animal and plant species inside the world, it has 2.5 percent in this little park. Well, it’s now not little, however in case you take a look at a map, it’s a small factor within the world.
People cross on day hikes there with a bilingual excursion manual and notice plenty of natural world. It’s amazing. You see one of a kind monkeys and anteaters. One huge animal is known as tapir. It’s very famous. People usually need to peer that. It’s like a rhino, like a pig with an extended nose. We’ve visible puma twice at the park. There are plenty of cats there, too. You can see plenty and lots. Those are just the massive guys. But there are over 10,000 insects on my own on this vicinity. There are masses of species of birds.
The subsequent one could be snorkeling or diving at Caño Islands Biological Reserve. That is near us, too. You can move snorkeling or diving to see turtles, sharks, manta rays and dolphins.
Those are the two foremost ones, however we have bird-looking and night time tours — night excursions are awesome, you could see lots of wildlife — and inside the July-August timeframe, it’s first-rate famous for humpback whale-watching. The humpback whales come here to present start, and you could witness them giving swimming instructions to the little whales. They’re right here by way of the loads.
So, every season is special, but birds and flowers are constantly right here. This city has the most scarlet macaws in the international, I think — the purple, yellow and blue ones. And due to the fact that we’re so close to the park, you can see scarlet macaws and toucans almost on a daily foundation right here. People even take photographs of birds from their bathe!
What need to we p.C. For a jungle getaway?
For the jungle, I might say honestly % wet shoes — both Tevas or moist footwear because most things here are by using boat. You’ve got to get inside and out of the boat, and it’s a moist landing on the beach.
You additionally need trekking shoes or tennis footwear to clearly do tours round. You don’t want to get your excellent footwear wet, because then you have to move trekking.
And because we’re in the tropical rainforest, you have to carry a few kind of poncho or raincoat, simply in case. A backpack [is good to have, too], due to the fact you’ve were given to carry your own water anyplace you cross. And usually put on clothes for a tropical, heat region, so no lengthy pants. Don’t wear thick clothes, simply mild colours. Most of the time it’s shiny and sunny right here, so in case you wear a black T-blouse, you’re going to be warm.
We additionally do laundry for free, so you don’t ought to convey too many shorts and T-shirts. You can come for 12 days without having to % for each unmarried day.
Besides that, I would say shades, manifestly. Some hats or a sombrero, and a go well with because we’re right next to the ocean, so that you’ve were given to head swimming.
We do additionally deliver away biodegradable water bottles, so when you arrive, there could be a bit fridge with two biodegradable water bottles a good way to [not only] take home, however also to take with you whilst you go hiking.