“It's a big challenge to get somebody who, and rightly so, is trying to enjoy their honeymoon or family vacation, to take time to think about nature, to think about the community. Some people may just be there to raft and zipline, to have a nice meal and a massage, to enjoy the hot springs and move to the beach. It’s a project of trying to get your guests first informed, second to raise enthusiasm, and hopefully that will lead to action.”
We’re in great company with Mario Mikowski, Second Generation Owner of Tabacón, a tropical haven and leading sustainable hotel located at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here guests can enfold into the diversity of the rainforest and immerse into the wellness offered by its naturally flowing hot springs.
After taking over the family business from his late father at an early age, Mario has seen and steered Tabacón into being a globally recognized and awarded luxury hospitality and experiential travel destination nestled in one of the most visited regions of Costa Rica.
In this episode, Mario looks back on 30 years of Tabacón, commemorating the vision of his father he continues to consider in his daily decisions and celebrating the pura vida memories it has created for generations of guests.
[2:10] Mario looks back at his family’s 3 generations of hospitality in Costa Rica and the common threads between - architecture, entrepreneurship, nature and wildlife - that today celebrate 30 years of Tabacón.
[6:55] Where there is an active volcano, there are likely hot springs. But Mario’s father, Jaime, didn’t want just any hot springs, he was on the search for the perfect combination of temperature, volume and mineral content. To do what with, you ask…?
[12:00] What makes the town of La Fortuna so special beyond being known worldwide as “The Capital of Eco-Adventures,” the most recognized and most visited region of Costa Rica.
[25:40] Picture immersing yourself in more than 900 acres of a pristine rainforest reserve, the world’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs, complemented by cascading thermal waterfalls, serene river pools and an internationally renowned spa. There is nothing artificial about this wellness oasis.
[34:20] With a new Executive Chef comes a complimentary vision for Costa Rican dining paired with sustainability. There’s a setting and seasonal plates for every occasion, always locally sourced to showcase the finest Costa Rican cuisine.
[45:00] Mario poses a question on the culture of tipping, “Are you supposed to bring your personal practices from home to a different country, or are you supposed to adapt to the culture of where you are visiting?”
[58:45] Why early December is the best time to visit Costa Rica - the rainy season is replaced with Christmas holiday spirit in the air and red and green tamales on the table.
Hotel Presidente in San José
5inco Amigos Cervecería Artesanal producing Tabacón’s “IPAva” exclusive beer collaboration