Our Stories

Discover the stories behind each of the spaces that can be enjoyed in our Resort, each of these stories are a reflection of our culture …

 

THE LOUNGE

The genesis of the Papagayo Peninsula welcomes the guests in our lounge. The physical environment of Bahia Culebra is unique on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Its geological origin is different from the rest of the country, formed from an oceanic basement in equatorial latitudes. This foundation in its movement toward higher latitudes was affected by the collision with seamounts and marine sedimentation. Once in his current position, volcanic and erosive events shaped the current geomorphology of the bay. A corridor surrounded by water features represents the sea from which the peninsula rose. Volcanic stones adorning its walls resemble the geological activity that millions of years ago helped create these lands. After this journey through history, the curvilinear structure of the lounge recalls the inspiration of the Papagayo Peninsula architect Ronald Zürcher, based on his collection of shells, cocoons and seeds, which was fun to complete during his visits to the Peninsula when he was a child.

An open space facing a breathtaking view of the bay, with a living area and no desks, is the perfect statement for the famous Andaz philosophy: a free of barriers experience, with an uncomplicated and personal service offered by real people who have a passion for their heritage and community. 

THE STUDIOS

Our studios are a collection of spaces with a unique style. Inspired by the organic forms of the flora and fauna of the peninsula, their intriguing design are meant to stimulate the senses of guests in new and refreshing ways. The studios resemble a gathering of animals.

“The effect will translate to a feeling of groundedness for Andaz Peninsula Papagayo’s guests and staff. Costa Rica is known for its peace-loving attitude, and I felt tapping into Mother Nature’s energy was the best way to connect the resort with the overall vibe of the country,” says Zürcher.

An open space and an open kitchen located as the heart of the studios allow the guests to feel at home. Our Patio is inspired by that familiar spot in every house in Costa Rica, the kitchen, that special place were celebrations are held. 

THE BUILDINGS

The resort is designed to blend into the landscape. The guestrooms buildings feature only 3 levels allowing the landscape not to seen invaded. The materials used, such as the Caña Brava and bamboo allows the facades to create an integration, making the animals feel in their natural habitat and the ecosystem not been affected.

THE GUESTROOMS

The interior design was in charge of DAS Concepts. “The guestrooms and suites evoke the World as described in Rima de Vallbona’s “Mystery Stone”: the rooms, simple but thoughtfully designed are conceived as tree houses, open to the sights, sounds, and smells of the surrounding forest” says Francisco Jové, Project Manager.

The materials and furnishing were selected for their natural qualities and their connection to Costa Rica. The design engaged many local artisans and manufacturers.

Art, furniture and accessories were selected to be part of the landscape itself; objects that were either left in these surroundings by nature, or crafted by distant ancestors and later found.

The art in every bedroom was created by a group of local artisans in Galeria Islita, directed by the renowned Costa Rican artist Loida Pretiz. This group is comprised of simple housewives, art-lovers, who used art to become design experts and explore other activities aside from household chores. All the designs use raw materials such as: shells, seeds, stones and all kinds of sea waste. With them, the artisans create flowers, animals, objects or abstract designs. 

ONDA SPA

Inspired by the power of water, the spa is a respite of energy, touch and evolution.
The layout of the spa is created to engage the guests into a journey, into a meditative experience that taps into the power of nature. Treatments at the Onda Spa use true healing power of water as a life source and fuel of evolution.

Each aspect of the spa is designed with guest ́s individual preferences in mind. Guests will choose from a menu all aspects of their treatment. Senses, smells, touches and treatments will address the specific needs, goals and desires.

The treatment rooms are elevated into trees, blending with lush tropical forest. This full integration with nature allows a reconnection with your inner essence.
Culture is part of the spa too: treatments very unique as the Gallo Pinto, a body scrub based on the famous Costa Rican dish, using rice cream and crushed beans will surprise all visitors, allowing the nutrients of these typical ingredients leave your skin totally refreshed. 

RIO BHONGO RESTAURANT

Our All day restaurant joins cultures with nature. Zürcher tells the story: “While walking the site studying the climate, the topography conditions and views, I saw a lot of “Artists Bracket mushrooms”, those that usually grow on falling trees and look like half-moon platforms clustered in different sizes and elevations. Immediately I visualized the Restaurant, its form and function. The log would be the kitchen and the different mushrooms would be the individual sitting areas.” A lively market-style dining environment with a selection of small cooking stations welcomes the guests. The magnificent views of Culebra Bay, craft that special event feeling every minute.

The family pool surrounds the restaurant. Years ago, rivers used to play an important part of the family reunions in Costa Rica. During the weekend or holidays, families used to walk out to a nearby river to spend the day, have fun jumping into the river, preparing picnics and enjoying quality time together. The restaurant has the name of one of the most important rivers in the area. The Rio Bongo is one of the biggest rivers on the Nicoya Peninsula and forms the border between the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas. The difference in the way we write Bhongo is attributed to the mushrooms that inspired the layout. In addition, “hongo” means mushroom in Spanish, which allows us telling both stories using just one name.

Another important part of our culture is reflected in this magnificent restaurant: our coffee.

Some history… Coffee production in the country began in 1779 in the Meseta Central which had ideal soil and climate conditions for coffee plantations.

In 1832, Costa Rica, began exporting coffee to Chile where it was re-bagged and shipped to England under the brand of “Café Chileno de Valparaíso.”. In 1843 a shipment was sent directly to the United Kingdom by William Le Lacheur Lyon, captain of the English ship, The Monarch, who had seen the potential of directly cooperating with the Costa Ricans. He sent several hundred-pound bags and following this, the British developed an interest in the country; they invested heavily in the Costa Rican coffee industry, becoming the principal customer for exports until World War II. Growers and traders of the coffee industry transformed the Costa Rican economy and contributed to modernization in the country, which provided funding for young aspiring academics to study in Europe. The revenue generated by the coffee industry in Costa Rica funded the first railroads linking the country to the Atlantic Coast in 1890, the “Ferrocarril al Atlántico”. The National Theater itself in San José is a product of the first coffee farmers of the country.

Coffee was vital to the Costa Rican economy by the early to mid-20th Our coffee shop will offer a special and unique Andaz blend served by our own Barista, Luis Carlos Herrera. Also, the guest will have the possibility to taste an array of coffee types, one different every morning.

OSTRA RESTAURANT

Fishermen are key in the culture of the area. Guanacaste has more than 400 miles of coastline. Hundreds of families dedicate their lives to the sea. Our signature restaurant is a reflection of those men and women who venture very early every day to reap the fruits of the sea.

Ostra welcomes guests with three stations, allowing guests to sample delicious specialties that our chef is preparing at that exact moment. These stations and the chefs community table reflecs this local culture, where people gather around fishermen after a long day at sea, with a special feast of seafood prepared and enjoyed right there on the beach.

CHAO PESCAO RESTAURANT

All towns in Costa Rica have a similarity: the city-center has a church, a park in front and in one of the corners (or each one) a “bar”, which is the neighborhood place where everybody meets to relax, have a good time, and catch up with their neighbor and friend. Our bar Chao Pescao is inspired in this Costa Rican typical bar, where latin culture is an important part of this place too, with live latin music to set the mood.

Don ́t forget the typical “boca” a small plate to share or join your cocktail or beer. 

MORE STORIES

I. Chorotegas:

Culebra Bay was an important settlement for the Chorotegas. The largest and most advanced of Costa Rica’s indigenous people, the Chorotegas (which translates to “fleeing people”) migrated around A.D. 500 from Southern Mexico into the Nicoya Peninsula to escape slavery. Their customs, language and calendar were largely influenced by more advanced cultures in Mexico and Guatemala. The influence of the Mayans was evident in their written language and use of a calendar, while their spoken language, Nahua, is distinctly Aztec in origin. The Chorotegas excelled at farming, growing abundant harvests of corn, as well as cotton, beans, fruits and cacao. The latter was originally introduced to Costa Rica by the Chorotegas, and they used its seeds as currency. The land was communally owned and harvests were divided according to need. This assured food even to those that were unable to maintain crops such as widows or the elderly. Like most of the advanced early Latin American civilizations, the cities of the Chorotegas often featured central plazas with a marketplace and religious center. As many as 20,000 people may have populated a single city, while entire clans lived in longhouses constructed of wood with thatched-roofs.

Ceramic art was a very important facet of the Chorotega culture and was primarily practiced by women. Ceramic objects were customarily painted in black and red, then decorated with serpents, crocodiles, monkeys and jaguars. The Chorotegas maintained an organized military, which fought to protect their territory and generate a source of slaves. Sacrificing slaves for religious purposes was fairly common, and virgins were often sacrificed by throwing them into the craters of volcanoes. In addition, as a purification rite, the sacrificed human was often eaten.

Close to Andaz, between our Sombrero Oscuro beach and The Marina, four ponds used by the pre-Columbian Indians to fish were found in 2007. These “marine traps” of at least 1,000 years old spent most of the year covered by sea water, except those times when the tides fall enough to be uncovered. These pre-Columbian fishing ponds are among the few known in the country. Since the early 90s, a total of 26 traps along Culebra Bay were discovered. Two of the pre- Columbian traps were available for observation in the months of very low tides as March and October, while the others were buried with a series of special materials that conserve them exactly as they were found.

Also, in 2007, an Indian cemetery of 2,000 years old was found in a nearby hill with ocean views, which waters were worshiped by the natives. On Site 77 tombs and 140 complete objects of wood, stone, clay pottery and jade were found, but few human remains were found due to acidic soil conditions. Although there have been few human bones that have been found in the place (all teeth), they have been used to determine that at least 11 people who were buried there had ages ranging between 16 and 24 when they died. The pits were deep and very narrow, so it is believed that the shaman had extensive knowledge of how to bury bodies in a ” package”. This ” package ” was similar to the width of the dead femur. In addition, before burial a process for removing the soft parts of the body, leaving only the bone took place.

The shaman however, was not the only expert in the population. The site where the cemetery stood, in opinion of experts, had to be chosen by a specialist in geology, since Culebra Bay is an area with many rocks where it is difficult to find a suitable location. Another finding that surprised the archaeologists is that the graves were covered with huge stones in order to prevent looting.

II. About Andaz

Kaleidoscope of local culture:

• A dynamic and inspiring brand of boutique hotels.

• Reflects the senses, sounds and tastes of their locality through its design and food and beverage concepts.

• Creative atmosphere of the local culture that inspires guests and locals.

Personality attributes:

  • Inspiring

  • Unscripted

  • Indigenous

Elements of the brand:

  • Innovative Hospitality

  • Distinctive collection of hotels

  • Not the traditional luxury hotel

  • Inspired by experiences for guests (through the support, experience and high standards of Hyatt) 

  • Fresh and stimulating environment

  • Warm, relaxing common areas

  • Sympathetic, refreshing and casual

  • Simple approach

  • Authentic, unpretentious

  • Reflects the surroubding area

  • Located in distinctive neighborhoods of key world cities and exclusive resorts

  • Each hotel is unique, and reflects the aesthetic design and characteristic of their locality

  • Reflected in the local cultural scene – through Andaz Salon, the resort hosts local emerging artists, along with supporting local suppliers

  • Unscripted service

  • Andaz hosts are characterized by being authentic and committed

  • One on one interactions connects staff to each guest as an individual

  • Attentive and friendly hosts

  • A barrier-free environment