San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

San Ramón’s Villa Blanca Purchased

JIM Damalas, owner of Hotel Sí ComoNo in Manuel Antonio, a popular beach townon the central Pacific coast, purchasedthe Villa Blanca estate in January.Villa Blanca belonged to former CostaRican President Rodrigo Carazo (1978-1982) and is located in San Ramón,Alajuela, northwest of San José.The hotel is expected to re-open Dec.15 after the conclusion of an extensiveremodeling job, which started in May.Marketing specialist Jonax Obandoexplained to the weekly El Financiero thatDamalas, a U.S. citizen, purchased theestate with the idea of creating a group ofhotels certified at a level four out of fiveby the Sustainable Tourism Board (CST).The CST certifies tourism ventures that fita certain sustainability model. Both SíComo No and Villa Blanca are at levelfour and have protected cloud forest areas.Damalas’s idea is to create a groupcalled Green Hotels, to which he hopes toadd a third hotel before the year is over.Villa Blanca will boast 34 newly furnishedbungalows complete with minibars,telephones and DVD players. It willhave a spa and cafeteria, as well as a barwith a view to Arenal Volcano.

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