Prevue September/October 2015 - (Page 52)

Left: Villa Caletas Below (clockwise from left): Monkeys in the jungle; Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo; Riding ATVs through the jungle groups staying in the region, says Solano, citing a recent software company incentive for 200 qualifiers who built solar toy cars for local school children. EXPLORING SAN JOSE Another hub for meeting and incentive groups is the capital city of San Jose and the nearby Central Pacific rainforest region. The immaculate, 372-room InterContinental Costa Rica at Multiplaza Mall is an urban retreat across the street from the city's largest shopping mall and one of the top meeting hotels in the city. From here, groups can visit the historic downtown center or take day trips to explore volcanoes, beaches, hot springs and the rainforest. "You can spend a week in San Jose and not repeat an activity," Castro says. If attendees have only a few hours free time for an authentic Costa Rican experience, he recommends visiting a nearby small town to explore the local shops and pulpería's (mom and pop convenience stores). "You can go into any little shop and find that people speak English and are very kind." For an immersive rainforest experience, the 129-room Parador Resort & Spa in Punta Quepos overlooks Manuel Antonio National Park and the Pacific. Known as one of the country's top eco-hotels, the Parador's esthetic is warm and inviting. Groups shouldn't miss Manual Antonio, where local wildlife such as capuchin monkeys and iguanas are tucked away within easy rainforest trails. GASTRONOMY For me, the biggest surprise about Costa Rica was the delicious, innovative, farm-to-table food and drink that I experienced everyplace I visited. In general, Costa Rican cuisine melds Caribbean and Central American flavors using a variety of local vegetables, herbs and fruits. By law, all of the fruit is pesticidefree and safe to eat, and only 100 Arabica beans can be used for coffee. Local superfruits such as cas (part of the guava family), along with more familiar fruits such as papaya and pineapple, are blended with herbs to make exceptionally tasty juices. Even cocktails have a distinct local flair, such as "18th on the Green" at The Four Seasons Caracol restaurant, which mixes Guaro Cacique (an alcohol distilled from sugar cane) with syrup, lime juice, and fresh basil and cilantro leaves from the restaurant's garden. Locally sourced menus create lasting impressions at events. For example, our lunch at The Four Seasons included a savory chilled mango soup with pegibaye relish and crispy yucca stick, and Costa Rican sea bass with local veggies, accompanied by cilantro and jalapeño salsa and fresh fennel and orange salad. The bright, fresh flavors linger on the palate and create lasting memories of Costa Rican cuisine.;;; "We are experts at melding business with nature." 48 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2015

Planner’s Pick: Santa Fe
Fresh Meets: Grupo Posadas Expands Into US
Bureau Buzz: Detroit CVB
Good Business: Singapore Tourism Board
Sea Shores: Cuba: Pioneering a “New” World
On the Verge
On Location: Costa Rica
On Location: Langham Place New York
On Location: Norfolk
Checkout: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Prevue September/October 2015