San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Condo Resorts on the Rise in Central Pacific Region

If you think pura vida can be purchased in the form of a beach condo, an assortment of options is available in the country’s central Pacific region.

Real estate options here vary from town to town, within a spectrum of towering highrises, smaller but high-end boutique developments and “eco-style residential living,” according to Todd and Scott Cutter, realtor brothers who own and operate 2 Costa Rica Real Estate (201-7140).

“The Jacó area has seen a tremendous amount of growth in vertical high-rises,” Todd Cutter told The Tico Times, explaining that in recent years the town has grown into a “commercial, U.S.-type beach destination,” with high-rises of 10-16 stories.

Heading south, development becomes more spread out in the area between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, home to more secluded beach towns such as Esterillos.

“This area is attractive for people looking for better prices and more land,” he said, comparing it to Jacó.

Farther south still, in Manuel Antonio, where land is limited and boundaries exist because of the national park, Cutter described the real estate options as “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

High-rises in Manuel Antonio, land of the boutique developments, are shorter than in other areas, because buyers there are “looking to blend in with nature,” inspired by the national park and the extra care it demands of developers, he explained.

Cutter described the property management option, a trend that has spread throughout the central Pacific and the country, as one in which buyers invest in a home they occupy for a limited time each year.

While they are away, a management company takes care of maintenance and rents out the property, earning a profit for itself and the homeowner.

This option has grown very popular in the central Pacific, and is offered with luxury developments both ready for purchase and under construction in the region.

Those familiar with the western San José suburb of Escazú may know the Riverside condos, a set of luxury towers on the road to Escazú Centro.

From the makers of Riverside comes One Jacó Resort, a massive project under construction that is anticipated to offer a unique new real estate option in the region.

Stage one of the resort will consist of six 11-story buildings housing a total of 122 condos at the first entrance to Jacó on the road from San José.

General Manager Joshua ten Brink said almost 70% of stage one, which should be completed by mid-2008, has been sold already. Stage two will see 200 more condos completed by late 2008.

The resort is expected to enjoy five-star status and will house condos of one or two rooms as well as penthouses.

The project’s highlights include tennis courts, a conference center, food services and two gigantic pools, one extending more than 4,000 meters, according to ten Brink.

He described its architectural concept as modern and geared toward the mid-tohigh-end North American market.

“Its modern architecture is inspired by SouthBeach,” he said. Prices at One Jacó start at $165,000. Condos are administered under a property management and rental plan. For information, call 800-One-Jacó or visit

Farther south, in Esterillos, Monterey condos consist of 27 bungalows at a large resort community where seven sub-developers are working on condo and home development projects that could host a total of 2,000 homes when completed, according to information provided by Monterey Management S.A. General Manager Cathy Fitzhenry.

Monterey prices start at $199,000 and vary depending on ocean, lake or valley views, for condos that can house up to nine people.

The complex includes the Monterey Del Mar Hotel, Las Brisas Italian restaurant, a pool, bar and amphitheater, while the grounds boast a river with waterfalls, a lake and trails traversing hundreds of wildlifefilled acres. In addition to hikes, plenty of activities are available; water sports, horseback rides, golf carts and ATV tours can be arranged.

For more information, call 778-8928 or visit

Manuel Antonio Estates, located in the first kilometer of the road from Quepos to Manuel Antonio, is a project of more than 30 hectares that includes eight finished luxury houses, nine condos and a spa, according to owner Richard Lemire.

The homes, which sell for $500,000 to $1.25 million, range in size from one room to eight rooms, and are fully furnished, equipped with DirecTV and ready to be enjoyed, down to the towels included in each villa, Lemire said.

Each house has a pool, barbecue and telephone, and offers the services of a chef. The complex enjoys 24-hour security.

Only three houses remain for sale. Two-bedroom apartments are priced at $129,000. Lemire said Manuel Antonio Estates also assists in arranging tours of area activities, such as canopy tours and rafting.

The spa, which offers a 20% discount for guests and home or condo owners, offers waxing, facials, massage and a yoga and meditation room.

For Manuel Antonio Estates rental reservations, call 777-3339. For real estate enquiries, contact Lemire at 815-9606.


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