costa rica Tag

Relax and recharge in the beautiful, secluded village resort of Las Catalinas on the Guanacaste Coast in northwest Costa Rica. The private beach town brings a new style of living to residents and visitors, where fun, health, nature, and fulfilling experiences rule the day. The architecture and village layout were inspired by colonial towns in Latin America and coastal villages in the Mediterranean.

We interviewed Brittany, Destination Manager for Las Catalinas, to create the perfect itinerary. Wonderful adventures await you in Las Catalinas! 

 

Day One: Settle In & Explore 

Your private concierge team will meet you at the residence. After settling into your elegant home, wander the pedestrian streets of Las Catalinas. Houses, shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, plazas and parks create charming walkable public spaces that blend with the neighboring nature reserve of 1,000 acres of tropical dry forest, walking and bike trails, and stunning beach and mountain views. For a snack or late lunch, head over to Cuatro Calle La Ronda, a popular all-day bakery and café at the Santarena Hotel. Since Costa Rica is known around the world for its premium coffee, try the chorreador coffee, a national specialty. The bakery also sells homemade local items to take with you such as preserves and pickles.  

For sunset drinks and coastal Costa Rican cuisine tonight, enjoy the local favorite Sentido Norte, just a ten-minute walk from your front door. The open-air restaurant is perched on a hill overlooking the bay and offers the best sunset view in town.  Sip a Guipipia (Costa Rican rum, lime juice, brown sugar) or Passion Fruit Mojito as the sun sets. For dinner, try the Pacific Stew or Catch of the Day.  

Day Two: Hike the Tropical Forest & Picnic on the Beach 

Wake up to freshly brewed traditional Costa Rican coffee and settle into your morning with breakfast by Dayling, your Las Catalinas House Mom. She can prepare a typical breakfast (known locally as “Desayuno Tipico”) of scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, rice and beans, fried plantains, and fresh fruit and juices.   

This morning let us reserve a private tour with Alberto, one of the best local guides, to explore the neighboring tropical forest reserve which has 42 kilometers of multi-use trails. He will plan a tropical forest walk or hike depending on your interests and craft a memorable outing. He entertains and informs with his knowledge of local history, flora, and fauna. Investors give high reviews of hiking with Alberto as an active way to learn about the area. If biking is more your style, we’ll arrange a mountain biking tour through the hills and valleys of the forest, which is also very popular.  

After working up a healthy appetite, take your gourmet box lunches ordered by your concierge to the beach for a relaxing picnic and enjoy the beautiful views of the Catalina Islands and the Pacific Ocean 

Spend the afternoon on the black sand beaches of Playa Danta or Playa Dantita, two of the finest beaches in Costa Rica, both within walking distance of your home, where you can swim or try a watersport in the sheltered bay. Your concierge will help you plan your day by arranging reservations for mountain biking, surf lessons, and snorkeling through Pura Vida Ride or the rental of a paddleboard, single kayak, or double kayak, all of which are available at the residence.

For dinner tonight, relax at home and allow us to arrange for a private chef who will create a masterful feast in your kitchen. Your concierge will work with you to select a tasting menu or “family style” meal of regional ingredients for your party, and while your chef prepares a five-star meal of caramelized pear salad, grilled lobster tail and tres leches cake, you’ll be enjoying his signature drink on the rooftop patio.  According to our investors, the private chef experience is one of the top features of traveling with Equity Estates. 

 

Day Three: Tour Potrero Bay by Catamaran 

On your final day, relax by the pool at the Las Catalinas Beach Club and enjoy the offerings from their delicious restaurant with poolside service. Or if you’re still feeling adventurous, your concierge can reserve a forest canopy ziplining tour or a sailing excursion across the peaceful Bay of Potrero. The ConnectOcean “Intertidal and Coral Reef Explorer Sailing Trip” is an investor favorite which explores coves, beaches, and tide pools on the Guanacaste Coast. Learn about the unique aquatic life through multiple snorkeling sites and an optional dive. Enjoy refreshments, local fruit, and an open cocktail bar while aboard a catamaran sailboat. We’ll make all the arrangements for a memorable day on land or at sea!  

If you’d like a keepsake or special gift to take home, we recommend D-Aqui Design Studio for authentic Costa Rican design, furnishings, kitchenware and linens, Las Catalinas Collection for unique accessories and clothing, and don’t forget the amazing local food market, Copper & Stone, for a special food item as another idea.  

Cap off your relaxing stay with dinner at Patagonia Del Mar, a popular Asian fusion restaurant in neighboring Santa Cruz. Your concierge will hire a taxi for the 20-minute drive. With delicious fresh seafood, sushi, pasta, and meat dishes enjoy live music for a night to remember. The Patagonia ceviche appetizer marinated in rum and coconut will delight! Beautiful ocean and sunset views. 

At Home in Las Catalinas

Your Equity Estates tropical villa boasts more than 4,000 square feet of living space with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Catalinas Islands, and the mountains. Every angle, window, and view has been thoughtfully designed to respond to the topography and the home’s location in town, as well as provide for privacy and the best views of nature. The custom tiles and woodwork in your home are made by local artisans in Las Catalinas. This beautiful home features large gathering spaces on each level for family and friends, a rooftop patio, multiple decks with gorgeous views, and your own courtyard with a plunge pool. Your private concierge will work with you to plan your itinerary before you arrive and make your stay effortless by arranging reservations for activities and outings, meals out or meals in. They will even pick up your groceries to ensure your gourmet chef’s kitchen is stocked with all your favorites from the local market.  With Equity Estates, comfort and luxury are yours.  

An Equity Estates Investor shared the following after his Las Catalinas stay: “This house is really special. There are three living areas, a top-floor terrace, and a private plunge pool. Equity Estates set us up with a fabulous private chef for two nights and we wished we had opted to have him every night! We squeezed in many activities suggested by our concierge, including hiking around Las Catalinas, drinks at sunset, a private catamaran, horseback riding and ziplining. We would’ve never been able to put together this itinerary on our own. It was an incredible trip and I hope to go back soon!” 

In Las Catalinas, you’ll find the pace and quality of life to be perfect. Travel with Equity Estates for a unique and memorable experience. If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or tap this link to schedule a call. Your Costa Rica adventure awaits! 

Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Aspen in the winter is a dream for skiing and other outdoor sports, boutique shopping, eating, or simply sipping a hot toddy by the fireplace and relaxing.

With Equity Estates, the possibilities are endless. We interviewed Sean M, Destination Manager for Aspen, to create a perfect three-day itinerary. There is so much to do in this fabulous destination!

Day One: Explore a Winter Wonderland

For downhill skiing or snowboarding, there is nothing better than starting with Aspen Mountain, known locally as “Ajax.” Catch the Gondola in the village, a short walk from your Equity Estates home. Lunch on the mountain or at the base. Aspen’s Roaring Fork Valley boasts four ski mountains, each offering something for skiers of all levels: bowls, steeps, groomers, or gentle slopes—you don’t have to decide ahead of time as all resorts use the same lift ticket.

Another option for today, allow us to hire a snowshoe guide or rent cross country skis for a different perspective of the area. There are 90 kilometers of free trails in the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System. Take a lesson or guided tour through the beautiful rolling hills and aspen groves of the Owl Creek Trail, the North Star Nature Preserve, or take in stunning vistas of the majestic Elk Mountains. Your private concierge will arrange equipment rental and reserve your guide at the Aspen Cross Country Center (ACCC). Afterwards, relax in the ACCC lounge with a hot drink or head into Aspen Village for the perfect snack or lunch.

If you prefer to explore on your own, sans guide or teacher, trail system maps are available at the Center or online and your concierge will plan a picnic lunch for you from Meat & Cheese Market, a local favorite. Located in the heart of Aspen, the market offers take away or dine in. Soups, salads, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and desserts, OH MY! Cocktails, wine, and beer may also be ordered to go if the restaurant is not currently seating.

Afterwards, walk around Aspen Village and warm up with a coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at Victoria+co. This Australian style cafe is part coffee shop, part bakery, part wine bar. This local gem also serves hot breakfast and hot lunch. For a family style take out dinner, your concierge can pre-order the house specialty, Thai Green Curry.

Your concierge will arrange dinner reservations for Cache Cache, which is viewed by many as the best restaurant in Aspen. The food is unpretentious and delicious—try the Alaskan King Crab appetizer and choose from the restaurant’s over 6000 bottles of wine. Or for the Italian lovers, try Acquolina Trattoria and Pizzeria. A local favorite, savor the minestrone on a cold night. They have a full menu of salads, pastas, and entrees, too. Your concierge can arrange reservations or for dinner delivery if you prefer a night at home for a cozy movie night by the fireplace.

Day Two: Dogsled through Snowmass Backcountry

Ski at Snowmass in the morning and let us plan an afternoon or twilight dogsledding adventure with Krabloonik for a unique Aspen experience. Eight husky sled dogs guided by an experienced musher will pull you through the backcountry for an exciting and peaceful journey. Afterwards have a late lunch in their dining room or head back to Aspen for a bite or happy hour.

A modern Aspen Landmark since 1889 at the height of the town’s silver boom with its Old West vibe, J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome remains the town’s social hub, where local skiers rub elbows with socialites over craft beers, vintage-inspired cocktails, and Aspen’s best burger.

Tonight, dinner reservations at Steakhouse No. 316. Red velvet curtains and leather booths create a warm atmosphere on a snowy night, and they offer a full steak menu with many seafood and fowl options. Or rather, enjoy a five-star dinner in the comfort of your home and allow us to arrange for a private chef. Your concierge will work with you to select the perfect menu including wine pairings. Investors rave about this feature of traveling with Equity Estates.

Day Three: Shop ‘til You Drop and Go for a Sleigh Ride

Aspen offers unique, world class shopping. Spend the day wandering through town in search of treasure, that special statement piece, home decor item or gift.

Shop high end fashion consignment, many pieces are brand new with the original tags at The Little Bird. Discover top of the line Western wear and accessories at Kemo Sabe. Design your own statement piece—custom boots, hats, or buckles— or buy off the shelf and have them brand your initials on the item. The store has something for everyone and is a must-see destination in Aspen. You will not be disappointed. The Daniels Antiques collection is eclectic and to wander the store is an adventure through time and taste. Admire museum-quality antiques and rarities that are 50 years or even a century old. The owners specialize in Swiss Black Wood forest carvings. Inventory also includes French industrial clocks, contemporary art, custom aviation furniture, luxury barware, Louis Vuitton, and 20th century curiosities.

Hit the slopes or town in the timeless style of Gorsuch Ltd. Shop fur boots, luxurious cashmere, wool favorites, and performance wear. Shop Pitkin County Dry Goods for contemporary clothing, one of Aspen’s top retail destinations. This 50-year locally owned business has a loyal customer base from all over the world and when you stop in you will see why. The selection of men’s and women’s fashion is unique and stylish.

Come for the people watching and truffle fries, there is no better seat in town for lunch or cocktails than Ajax Tavern. Warm up with spiced cider or mulled wine at this hot spot, loved by locals and out of town visitors. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain and next to Silver Queen Gondola, this is the spot. Sit outside year-round thanks to their sunny tented, heated patio and during the winter season, they offer dinner and a movie. The cauliflower au gratin will not disappoint. Or if you’re interested in the St. Regis Aspen Resort, then drop in at the Mountain Social Bar & Lounge for handcrafted cocktails and light fare with views of Aspen Mountain.

Let us plan dinner and a sleigh ride for you at Pine Creek Cookhouse for the experience of a lifetime. Beautiful Percheron horses pull classic wooden sleighs to dinner in the nearby Ashcroft Valley. Guided by cowboys, your 20-minute sleigh ride takes you through the aspen trees with breathtaking views of the Elk Mountains on your way to an elegant cabin. Feast on rack of lamb, pistachio crusted caribou, and barbequed flat iron steak. The menu changes daily.

At Home In Aspen with Equity Estates

Equity Estates recently invested $275,000 to upgrade the interior and exterior of our four-bedroom Aspen residence. This has immediately added to the residence’s value and the feedback from our investors is they love it. The spacious living room and open floor plan allow for the entire family to comfortably gather around the fireplace for a cozy night in after a day of skiing or other winter adventures. Have a movie night or choose from a selection of games and prepare dinner in your expansive chef’s kitchen. Your private concierge will arrange reservations for activities and outings, meals out or meals in. She will even pick up your groceries to ensure your kitchen is stocked with all of your favorites from the local market. If preferred, she will hire a local private chef to experience the famous Aspen cuisine in your home.

Travel with Equity Estates for a unique and memorable Aspen experience. If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or tap this link to schedule a call.

Your Aspen adventure awaits!

If the allure of stunning white sand beaches, warm cerulean water and laidback friendly islands is beckoning you, put the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on your next destination list. Now more than ever, many of us are yearning to travel somewhere beautiful where we can recharge, enjoy time with our family and leave the daily stressors behind. Many destinations are off-limits to visitors due to the pandemic, but the TCI is welcoming U.S. visitors.

As of January 4, 2021, there are no quarantine requirements, lockdowns, or curfews. Visitors aged 10 and older only need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within five days of arrival, have medical insurance and answer an online health questionnaire. Restaurants, shops and attractions are open (some with reduced capacity and mask requirements). And unlike many tropical destinations that require several hours in the air and multiple airports, the TCI is a short two to three-hour flight from many airports along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Turks and Caicos

Day One

The TCI beaches are the #1 attraction here, so from either residence, our DMs suggest easing into your stay by simply walking out your door, and you’ll be on a spectacular beach in moments. At either residence, you can settle into a comfortable deck chair next to an infinity pool and admire the beach sand-free— or dig your toes in the sand and take a dip in the warm, crystal-clear tropical ocean. When lunchtime rolls around, choose from several friendly, tasty beachfront restaurants such as Da Conch Shack or Omar’s Beach Hut. Both establishments have tables right on the beach, so no need to change out of your swimsuit!

Since the world’s third-largest barrier reef borders the island chain, our DMs say the TCI’s second-best attraction is its fantastic snorkeling and diving. Spend the afternoon cruising with Caicos Dream Tours and let its friendly, capable crew take you to remote beaches and snorkeling spots — or if fishing is on your agenda, you’ve come to the right spot! The TCI is a renowned bonefish and deep-sea fishing destination. If you happen to visit a few days after the full moon, another option is to book a Glow Worm Sunset Cruise with Sun Charters. Each month this spectacular phenomenon happens when bioluminescent sea worms carry out a mating ritual by swimming in circular patterns about an hour after sunset.

For dinner, our DMs suggests Seven Restaurant’s private dining experience where you can dine on or near the beach — or indulge in their private Tasting Room five-course, paired wine experience. If French/Italian cuisine sounds appealing, head to the Michelin-starred Provence by Eric.

Sea Turtle

Day Two

If you’re interested in learning to scuba dive or you’re already certified, the TCI offers exceptional diving, and our DMs recommend a private charter with Dive Provo. Another option they like is a trip with SNUBA Turks and Caicos, a shallow water diving hybrid between scuba diving and snorkeling. You don’t need a certification or wear cumbersome gear — you can swim among the spectacular sea life as you breathe through a specialized mouthpiece attached to air tanks that float on the surface.

Once your morning adventure ends, it’s time to refuel. For a tasty lunch, look no further than Cocovan’s food truck (run by the fabulous team at Coco Bistro). Sit at one of their outdoor picnic tables as you enjoy their fantastic fish, steak or falafel tacos and “Big Mac” egg rolls. After lunch, explore Provo’s remote wetlands via private kayak tours with Big Blue Collective. They also offer standup paddleboarding trips, kitesurfing and other adventures. For a more relaxed afternoon, lounge by your pool or the beach until it’s time for “sundowners” (sunset cocktails)! For dinner, let The Kissing Fish Catering Co. prepare and serve you a fabulous feast in the comfort of your residence. If you prefer to dine out, this talented group also runs Bay Bistro, a wonderful oceanfront eatery where you can dine at a private table directly on Grace Bay Beach. For late night fun, head to Casablanca Casino and try your luck at blackjack, roulette, poker or slots.

Day Three

Horseback riding is a fun adventure anywhere, and doing a private ride with Provo Ponies offers an extra perk — in addition to a scenic beach ride, their horses love to wade into the ocean! The well-trained, friendly horses carry you safely into the shallow water, allowing you both to cool your legs off a bit. You’ll have worked up an appetite on this unique adventure, so for lunch, our DMs say head to Bugaloos Conch Crawl, a lively beachfront restaurant with daily live entertainment and outdoor games. They even have tables sitting in the shallow, calm water so you can cool your feet as you eat.

After lunch, grab one more chance to admire the TCI’s underwater paradise on your own or take a guided snorkel trip at Coral Gardens, a well-marked snorkel trail just offshore from the Coral Gardens Resort. You’ll likely see gliding sea turtles, scores of tropical fish and maybe even a barracuda. Keep an eye out for Jammin’ Gelato’s ice cream cart that cruises up and down the beach serving delicious, unique flavors. If you’ve had your fill of water adventures, end your third day with a relaxing spa treatment from one of the TCI’s many luxurious spas.

No beach vacation is complete without a sunset cruise, so let Island Vibes Tours take you on a private luxury cruise and sip rum punch, champagne, beer or wine as you watch the glorious sun sink under the horizon. For dinner, our Destination Managers say Coco Bistro is a must. Dine under swaying palms and cozy lighting as you sample some of the TCI’s best local cuisine.

Thompson Cove

Not One, But Two Fantastic Homes

Best of all, you have two fantastic Equity Estates’ residences to choose from — a luxurious four-bedroom penthouse condo and a fabulous six-bedroom private villa. The expansive 4,500-square-foot penthouse overlooks Grace Bay Beach, which frequently lands on “Word’s Best Beaches” lists. Fifteen minutes away sits Thompson Cove, a divine 7,500-square-foot beachfront home boasting six equivalent master suites with private terraces, a splendid infinity pool and vast amounts of living space. We interviewed our Destination Managers, who, along with our Local Hosts, are ready to help you plan a much-needed, fantastic getaway to the TCI’s primary island, Providenciales (aka Provo). To help you get started, here are their suggestions on how to spend three perfect days in this idyllic island paradise.

Equity Estates can help make your visit to the TCI a delightfully unparalleled experience. If you’re already an investor, your Personal Travel Concierge is ready to assist you with arranging a memorable vacation here.

If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or tap this link to schedule a call.

With warmer days on the rise, employees are cashing in their vacation time, packing their suitcases, and undoubtedly regretting their passport photos. Items that are not making it into the suitcase? Laptops, tablets, and even cell phones.

Just five years ago a resort could not expect to stay open without Wi-Fi. The opposite is now the case.

According to Forbes, in an age where media constantly surrounds us, travelers are now choosing more secluded spots and retreating to the hidden corners of the globe for some much needed R&R.

Vacation doesn’t just mean getting away from your job, but also the buzz of a text message, those pesky Facebook notifications and yet another voicemail for a wrong number. Better yet, vacation is now seen as a time to block out the digital noise and spend some quality time with mother nature and the people right in front of you– what an antiquated concept!

What’s more, overtly touristy activities and hot spots have cooled. Today’s traveler no longer wants to be herded on a tour with hundreds of other foreigners—they long to delve into the local scene and walk away with a culturally enriching experience signature to the destination they chose to visit.

Thailand and Costa Rica are just two of the many locations Equity Estates investors escape to to truly leave the tourist grid. Read on for our recommendations and expert tips from our local hosts.

THAILAND: If you’re overworked and overstressed, balance out at this underrated, underdeveloped paradise.

  • Explore the surrounding islands – The Phang Nga Bay island group has 67 islands and is located between the island of Phucket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. One of the most famous islands is Khao Phing Kan, which many call the “James Bond Island” because the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun was shot there. Home to the protected Ao Phang Nga National Park, beautiful scenery abounds in every direction. The park also safeguards the largest area of the native mangrove forest in Thailand.
  • Ride through the jungle – Rent a motorbike or a scooter for as little as 200 Baht (that’s just under $6.00) and blaze your own trail! Head to Koh Lanta and stroll down the main roads, or, venture further out for a grand adventure. Since the area is largely underdeveloped, the mountains and forests are free to thrive and provide a challenge for those biking and hiking—but the captivating scenery is worth the burn!
  • PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host – “In the past, some Equity Estates members have really enjoyed the Gibbon sanctuary. Guests get the opportunity to volunteer for the sanctuary where they get to care for rescued gibbons. Additionally, the area is jam-packed with Thailand’s cultural heritage and visitors can explore local temples, village markets, and learn about Buddhist history and philosophy. When finished, feel free to mosey down to the coast for some snorkeling fun over the coral reefs where turtles and sparkling reef fish flourish. Other Equity Estates members have had a blast on John Gray Hong’s starlight sea canoe trip. They saw fantastic limestone scenery, monkeys, mud skippers, hornbills, and – well you’ll just have to see the rest for yourself!”

COSTA RICA: If you need to recharge, consider this your outlet!

  • Explore the Nicoya Peninsula – Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s Blue Zones. Visitors will find breathtaking beaches, bright sunshine, and residents who live longer and happier lives than the average. The land is rich with unique, nutrient-filled fruits, which may attribute to the fact that the cancer rate is the lowest in the country. The area is not heavily populated and thus remains largely untouched – perfect for exploring! Monkeys, sloths, marine turtles, iguanas, dolphins, and manta rays are just a few of the critters found in this region. The Nicoyan towns are also celebrated among wellness and yoga devotees. They are called “digital detox” spots because the remote location allows people to unplug themselves from their devices and get in touch with their inner selves.
  • Drive to Cabuya Island – While the natives who are most familiar with Cabuya are supposedly dead, their spirits live on in the island. The island is also a cemetery that can only be reached at low tide. Legend says the island is haunted by ghosts and those who are brave enough will light a candle and take a walk along the shore. Want to know more about this local legend and others? Each Equity Estates member has access to a local host wherever they go. They are local, long term residents who can help find hidden gems and off the beaten path activities.
  • PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host – “The hike to the top of the active Rincón de la Vieja volcano is strenuous and challenging, but extremely rewarding. I consider it to be one of the best hikes in Central America. On the way up, you’ll see plenty of classic Costa Rican vegetation and wildlife- monkeys are often very active along this trail and it is marked with several beautiful waterfalls. There’s a ton of geothermic activity here, including boiling mud pots, hot springs and steam vents.”

*Heading into its 10th successful year, Equity Estates is the first and largest equity destination club in the U.S. Equity Estates is a vacation home alternative, offering all of the benefits of home ownership without any of the hassles. Its investors enjoy years of concierge supported travel before they divest. A globetrotter’s dream with more than 60 private luxury homes spanning 25 countries, Equity Estates’ mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns.