M12328 is just a few meters from the nearest protected subtropical rain forest area, through which a network of trails has been designed for visitors to explore and see its birds and extensive flora. The lodge itself was built by an English family, as the principal house for the surrounding dairy farm, El Cortijo, both of which they still own.
M12328 is a unique eco-tourist lodge set within a working dairy farm close to Poas Volcano National Park and the extraordinary Waterfall Gardens. The luxury rustic flavour complements the surrounding landscape of lush virgin cloudforest.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
The business was established more than 20 years ago with Lily Arce as the manager then as she is now. The business began to use the farmhouse my wife and I built on the farm in which we lived from 1972 to 1981. It was then left semi derelict, and in order to rescue it, we started a B&B. My daughter Emily converted that into a small mountain hotel from 2000 to 2004. It became very successful until the earthquake of 2009 when the main building was 80% damaged. It is now back to full capacity (30 -35 guests) with 13 bedrooms, offering breakfast and dinner. The hotel has a Certificate of Sustainable Tourism and Lily and I manage the Blue Flag Ecological Programme for the nearby village of Vara Blanca.
2. What is your company's mission?
Our mission is to employ as many people from the village as possible, to manage a sustainable business, to give our clients an unforgettable experience, and to grow the business for the benefit of our employees, our providers and for its owners.
3. What does your company specialize in?
We are a (boutique type) mountain hotel offering a base for a variety of destinations and activities , whilst at the same time using the farm as a place to study the local flora and fauna of the Cloud Forest.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
As stated above, I am the owner and have spent a varied life as a teacher, accountant, wine merchant, farmer, trade and investment promoter for Chile and Argentina, with a great interest community affair . I am the Treasurer of the local Chamber of Tourism (formed to help the reconstruction of the area after the earthquake). I am a geography graduate of Cambridge University, and speak Spanish and some French.
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
We encourage our guests to visit the Pos Volcano National Park, The La Paz Waterfall Gardens , the Doka Coffee Estate, and the Colinas de Poas Canopy and Adventure Park. All close by.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
Many have left the word “Magical” in our Visitors Book.