Aldea Hostel, Short Stop to Meet Rainforest & CST

Aldea Hostel Costa Rica San José

Improvised stop in San José, Costa Rica’s Capital, where I’ve managed to get a Rendez-vous at Rainforest Alliance office to discover more precisely their Eco-label Hostel program. So I’m taping on my computer to find a Youth hotel at the last hour. I was supposed to stay a night, I’ve finally stayed three. I’m getting a second interview, this time with CST Team: Certification for Sustainable Tourism of Costa Rica. I’m getting on with Lucas: co-manager of Aldea Hostel, from whom I propose my usual deal J. So I’m “invited” in return of a express lesson of Revenu Management. Back in past ! It was specifically with this idea that was born the concept of the Hospitality Tour during a trip in south Espana last April (See publication about Hostel Casa Morada in Cadix and Polaroid Hostel (Granada).

Aldea Hostel: Bagpacker’s Fantasy

Aldea Hostel Costa RicaLucas is Argentin, more exactly from Cordoba. He lived during 6 years in Costa Rica with his parents, and by the way finished his degree in San Jose. He has a company management background and decided then, with his backpack on, to do a big journey: crossing of Latin America from Mexico to Patagonia… (It reminds me someone ;-)). At the end of his adventure, he went back to sources and settled in Cordoba where he found a job. Meanwhile, he’s keeping in his mind the sweet dream of entrepreneurship inspired by his trips: Create and handle his own youth hotel…

He finally undertakes market research 7 years ago and gives birth to a small hostel. Little by little, the baby’s going bigger and becomes Aldea Hostel which offers today 100 beds at the heart of Cordoba !

Emir, Lucas’ Turkish friend from school’s years at University, living in Costa Rica, would be OK to join in the same kind of business… They had a long chat about that and finally decided to join forces to create a new hostel with the same bases as the one in 2010. Aldea Hostel San José is born: 70 beds split into 12 private rooms and 8 dormitories; a very cosy and styled atmosphere with also a restaurant (Pizzas are awesome !)

Today, Emir isn’t here due to holidays in Turkey, and Lucas is taking the helm during his absence, before going back to Cordoba. When I came in, I had decided to propose my usual deal. If it’s work, great, if it’s not, never mind, I’ll pay for my room. Lucas is OK and I’m giving him an express lesson of tariff strategy and use of a channel manager. Our collaboration seems to be very useful for him so I’m welcomed to stay at Aldea Cordoba when I’ll be in Argentine… Next year! Appointment is taken J

Meeting with Rainforest Alliance and CST

Rainforest Alliance & CST San José Costa RicaWith a little bit of insistence (thanks to LinkedIn and Rainforest Paris), I finally confirmed a meeting with Ronald Sanabria, Vice President of Rainforest Alliance for Tourism Department. Rainforest Alliance is an American NGO which developed certification programs for farming, forest management and tourism.

Maybe you’re aware of their green frog Logo ? In France, they’re famous for their coffee and tea labels (like Max Havelaar). We get along well together and we discuss during 2h of many subjects, without even starting the planned video record. So Ronald invites me the day after to have a lunch and continue the discussion. Find the complete interview of Rainforest Alliance hotel certification program on Hopineo.

I also strongly wanted to meet the CST Team which works for Costa Rica’s government since 1998 to offer (free of charge) a sustainable tourism certification for the hotels. It’s the only country in the world to do that and I was really interested in meeting them, specifically because I had heard bad critics on them from hoteliers, and I would like to see the other face of the subject. I had sent an email without answer 15 days ago; telling that to Ronald, and sending after an Rainforest presentation email, I received an invite to come to their office at ICT (CostaRican Institute of Tourism) the day after! For more details, see the video of my meeting with CST on Hopineo.

Vulcano’s Eruption and Earthquakes

Amérique Centrale Risque Sismique et Activité VolcaniqueDon’t worry, Costa Rica is the “hottest” point in central America for volcanic and sismic activities. This means that is not extraordinary event. Nevertheless, to see on live TV news that the closest volcano is breating ashes and being woke up during night by 4.3 seism is a quite strange feeling.

Let says that it’s part of CostaRica’s attraction. To prove it, this morning, the English boy next door was really sad not having the feeling of tremors J…

Translated by my friend Florian Poutrel