New ‘eco-friendly’ Marriott airport hotel

April 8, 2014

From the print edition

Caribe Hospitality S.A., working with the Marriott hotel chain, has opened a new 127-room hotel in the Mango Park complex on the southern outskirts of Alajuela. 

Officially titled the Courtyard Marriott San José Aeropuerto Alajuela Hotel, the building is on the Francisco J. Orlich radial highway, 1 kilometer north and a five-minute shuttle from Juan Santamaría International Airport, and within easy commuting distance of industrial parks in Alajuela and Heredia.

In keeping with Costa Rica’s eco-friendly tourism orientation, the Courtyard Marriott has the distinction of being that prestigious chain’s first hotel built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications. Strict LEED requirements involve such state-of-the-art innovations as insulating and soundproofing outer walls and ceilings, double-glass windows, solar panels to pre-heat water, recovery and recirculation of air cooled by air conditioning, room key card readers that turn off air conditioning when occupants leave, and sensors that dim 50 percent of hall lights when occupation is low. 

General Manager Marco Quinteros said, “At Marriott we decided to go with LEED standards, by which we project savings of 18 percent on energy consumption and 35 percent on water consumption, as well as up to 5 percent of energy generated from our own renewable sources.

We also implemented a 30 percent local materials usage level in our construction. LEED specifications did increase construction costs, but we expect to more than recover those extra costs through energy savings. And there are non-monetary, indirect benefits, such as reduced contamination and increased guest comfort.”

The Courtyard Marriott San José Aeropuerto Alajuela Hotel will generate direct jobs for 60 Costa Ricans. Caribe Hospitality S.A. has also given the hotel a tropical, outdoor Alajuela flavor in its décor. 

The hotel was officially inaugurated on Sept. 21, in a ceremony presided over by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

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