What has been the impact of COVID19 on Costa Rica and Kasiiya Papagayo?
As of September 10 2020 there have been a total of just 52,549 confirmed cases of COVID 19 across the whole of Costa Rica with 567 people dying as a result. This equates to a ratio of 0.002% of the population and compares favourably with other parts of Central and South America (Panama - 0.05%; Guatemala - 0.02%; Peru - 0.09%). Experts believe this is a result of increased investments in the Costa Rican health system over the last 50 years to create a world-class universal health system. Another reason for the low rates is the adoption of 1,000 small but well-run clinics called EBAIS to treat infected patients, keeping the virus out of the main hospitals and allowing for improved traceability and containment of the spread. Finally, the Costa Rican government was quick to give the ‘stay at home’ message in early March when there were a handful of confirmed cases. Although not mandatory, the population was quick to adopt and adhere to the advice.
At Kasiiya, we are pleased to confirm that to date every member of our staff and wider community remains healthy and completely unaffected by the virus.
How has Kasiiya responded to COVID19?
Conscious of the impending border closures we bid farewell to the last of our guests on the 15th of March. On the same day we took the decision to furlough 70% of our staff, enabling them to return home to their loved ones.
All bookings were cancelled and we immediately returned 100% of all deposits paid for future stays at Kasiiya.
After addressing the concerns of our guests and staff, we turned our attention to our local community and contacted the village of Nuevo Colon, our closest neighbour, to ensure they were prepared and had sufficient medical supplies, food and shelter. After collaboration with the village leaders, we supported the village in their aspirations to use the downtime to paint and bring new life to the infrastructure of the village. This was completed under strict social distancing with each family donating their time to help with the project.
At Kasiiya we have been using the quarantine and post quarantine period to complete various maintenance and sustainability projects, upgrading several of our tented suites and facilities. We have continued our conservation work with our NGO partners, installing night cameras and monitoring equipment to better understand the wide range of wildlife that surrounds us here and further developing our conservation project for the turtles that nest on our beaches.
The borders of Costa Rica are set to open soon, and while becoming better acquainted with the new normality of international travel, Kasiiya is excited to start welcoming guests from December 15, 2020.
As our furloughed staff say when we check in on them, they are fine they ‘just want to get back to Kasiiya!'
How will Kasiiya implement a duty-of-care for me and my family?
We understand the importance of health for you and your family. At Kasiiya, we have made significant operational changes to address this:
Transport and check-in
We have completely upgraded our current vehicles and added several new ones to the fleet.
Kasiiya will no longer open any car doors for guests to ensure passenger surfaces remain untouched. We also ask you to travel solely in the back of any Kasiiya vehicle on or off-site.
The cars we use for airport transfers and Costa Rican tours will be disinfected daily using electrostatic sprayers with Ecolab-certified products.
At Kasiiya, our SUV's will be disinfected before and after all guest usage.
All our electric buggies are disinfected with Ecolab-certified products at the start of each day.
A private SUV and driver will be assigned to any guests booking transportation or external tours of the country. We will guarantee exclusive use of this vehicle and driver.
All vehicles have a log where guests can see the cleaning schedule and last time it was disinfected.
We’ve never believed in traditional check-ins at Kasiiya and this continues when we re-open in December. We will not request your passport, a signed document or credit card and communication will remain touchless throughout your stay.
Your luggage will be disinfected on arrival at Kasiiya using Ecolab-certified products and left on the porch of your suite.
We leave a full 24-hour gap between all guest stays to give us sufficient time to conduct a disinfecting deep clean of each tented suite. For your peace of mind, all suites are sealed following the deep clean for you to break on arrival.
The deep clean of each suite before every guest arrival includes: full disinfectant using foggers and ozonators as well as a UV light kit for high-touch areas and objects (such as fan controls).
Throughout your stay a sanitizing station will be positioned next to the entrance of each suite allowing you to disinfect the doorknob. A sanitizing kit, including wipes, gel, face masks and thermometer, will be available inside.
Although air conditioning and fans are available, air naturally circulates through the tented suites at Kasiiya. The five-layered fabric ensures the rich fragrant air of the forest can flow freely while insects and wildlife are kept at bay.
For consistency, the same housekeeping staff will be assigned to your suite for the entirety of your stay.
All laundry coming into Kasiiya will be disinfected using ultra violet scanners before being used.
The Kasiiya design follows one of our founding values that every guest should be able to find their own balance between remoteness and community.
All public areas will be thoroughly cleaned throughout the day using disinfectant and will receive a deep clean at the start of each morning.
The public eating areas are fully open with no doors. In fact, there are almost no doors in the public areas at Kasiiya at all. The only exception being the restroom door where a constantly renewed box of sanitizing wipes will be available for guest use before entering.
All guests will have a private table at least 2 m from your neighbour.
All surfaces, including the tables, cutlery and crockery are fully disinfected using approved Ecolab products.
Additional sanitizing stations will be located throughout Kasiiya to allow guests to remain disinfected throughout the day.
The Kasiiya team
Kasiiya hires and trains our staff from the four or five neighbouring villages to us who we have been supporting throughout the crisis. These villages are within an hour and a half from us so we have seen the social distancing and disinfecting measures they have adopted to remain safe during the lockdown.
All members of our team have been trained about the dangers and best practice of COVID19 by certified experts such as Ecolab.
Every team member will wear certified face masks and gloves during their entire shift.
All staff members must wash their hands at least once an hour, with this rising considerably during service.
All staff members will keep a minimum of six feet distance between themselves and other people and, of course, any hugs, kissing or shaking of hands is prohibited.
Every member of the Kasiiya team’s temperature will be checked daily. Should anyone show signs of temperature increase, we have a strict protocol including isolation in one of the fully-stocked local houses we’ve rented for such an incident where they will remain until they can be tested and treated by our company doctor.
The entire guest-facing team who live on-site (80% of all staff) will be rotated every four weeks. Each member will be tested when they arrive to start their four-week stint and before they enter the property or come into contact with guests.
The remaining 20% of our workforce (including gardeners, security and technical) live offsite and have their temperature taken before they enter the property at the start of each morning. All their belongings will be disinfected using our ultra violet scanner and they will fully change into disinfected uniforms, including masks and gloves before starting work. Team members living off-site have a different area for lunch than the onsite team members.
We do not use external contractors.
How can I improve the safety of my journey?
We advise all guests to stay in regular contact with us in the months leading up to your visit. We are well connected with local and international associations and usually made aware of ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19. Any member of our team will be at your disposal to discuss any aspect of your trip or concerns you might have.
What is your Payment Policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have amended our Payment Policy following the COVID-19 pandemic. For bookings during high and low seasons full payment is required 30 days prior to your check-in date. For bookings during peak season (December 21 to January 5; March 26 to April 4), a 20% guarantee deposit is required at the time of booking with the outstanding balance due 45 days prior to your check-in date. Please see our complete Payment Policy here.
What is your Cancellation Policy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?
We have fully reimbursed all guests that had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also made amendments to our Cancellation Policy to give our guests complete peace of mind when booking with us. For low and high season, full cancellation can be made at least 24 hours prior to arrival. For peak season (December 21 to January 5; March 26 to April 4), full cancellation can be made 45 days prior to the arrival date. Please see our complete Cancellation Policy here.
What steps is Kasiiya taking to help stop the spread of COVID-19?
We´ve implemented and exceeded all protocols proposed for hotels by local health authorities. In addition, we have integrated the best hospitality practices in the world into our operation.
Kasiiya has established a remarkably close relationship with our neighboring villages and, as part of our social responsibility program, we´ve helped educate these communities about COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus. In addition, we’ve donated masks, thermometers, information posters and built several hand washing stations in the local school.
We consider ourselves responsible for our guests from the moment they arrive at the airport until we return you at the end of your stay, but our duty of care starts way earlier and will remain with you long after you leave.
When you arrive at the airport, a dedicated car will be assigned to you for the entirety of your stay with the same driver if you have chosen one of our Discover Costa Rica tours.
All items in your room and car are cleaned with the best procedures in the world and left closed for a minimum of 24 hours before your arrival to allow a full sanitization.
What is included in my reservation?
Your experience at Kasiiya includes:
· Daily housekeeping and laundry service
· Full-board (please note alcoholic beverages are not included)
· A cooler in your room with chilled beverages and snacks that are refreshed each day
· Use of sports facilities such as snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and bird watching
· Transportation to and from Liberia airport is included for stays of four nights or more
When is the rainy season at Kasiiya?
We have two rainy seasons in Guanacaste. From May to June we experience light to moderate rain, July and August are typically sunny with a very light chance of rain. In September and October, we experience heavy rain.
Can you cater to people with food allergies or dietary restrictions?
Kasiiya can cater to a vast majority of dietary needs. We always ask prior to arrival about special needs and allergies that we should be aware of.
Do you have special rates for Costa Rican residents?
Yes - please contact Sarah in our Reservations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org who can provide respective promotions depending on the dates and season. Promotions are exclusive for Costa Ricans and foreigners with a residence identity.
Is Kasiiya child friendly?
We consider ourselves suitable for all ages however there are no specific facilities for young children at Kasiiya. We have two secluded beaches that in low tide are shallow and safe for children to enjoy; kayaks and paddle boards are available for use; and we offer hiking and wildlife tours with our resident biologist guides that can be tailored for all ages.
For families with younger children we recommend the Lazy Turtle suites: these spacious suites can interconnect and have private access to the beach. Sofa beds, roll-a-way beds and baby cots are available on request.
For further information, please contact Sarah in our Reservations Department at email@example.com.
Can I drive to Kasiiya?
Yes, guests can drive to Kasiiya in a 4x4 vehicle and for those who do, we’re happy to provide detailed directions and assistance. Please be aware the final four kilometres to Kasiiya are on dirt road.
What is the closest international airport?
The closest airport to Kasiiya is Liberia (LIR), which is a 45-minute drive away. In addition to internal flights, Liberia welcomes international flights from USA and Europe.
Does Kasiiya have a pool?
No, we don´t have a pool. We have two completely secluded beaches, Portuguese is a volcanic sand beach that we have left untouched, and our main beach is calm, large and white sand, with year-round warm water.
The most popular guest activity at Kasiiya is snorkelling on the reef just 50 meters from the shore.
Are airport transfers included with my reservation?
Transportation to and from Liberia airport is included for stays of four nights or more. For shorter stays we can arrange transfers with Kasiiya’s English-speaking drivers and SUVs at an additional cost.
How environmentally sustainable is Kasiiya?
We consider ourselves a luxury eco-lodge as Kasiiya is a low density with a very small operational carbon footprint.
We have just seven tented suites, meaning a maximum of between 14 and 21 guests within 123 acres of dry forest.
50% of all energy consumed at Kasiiya is produced by solar panels.
The suites at Kasiiya are luxurious tents with an exceptionally low construction impact on the environment. They are made using natural elements and materials with several pieces of furniture and infrastructure such as trails, paths and handrails built from trees that have fallen on our property.
As an amenity all our tents include an eco-mini bar (cooled with ice packs rather than electricity).
We´re involved in several conservation projects with local and international NGOs to research and protect the entire Kasiiya ecosystem (inland and in the ocean).
We have a fulltime biologist on-site in order to discuss the environment with guests and staff, pushing us to constantly adjust our operating procedures to his advice.
Yes, the property can cater for smaller weddings. Anybody can get married at Kasiiya and we can help with the legal and logistics requirements of the ceremony. We are specially proud that Costa Rica passed a law that welcomes LGBT marriage since 2020.
Please bear in mind Kasiiya is a very large property with a just a handful of suites, so public or social areas have been designed to accommodate between 14 and 21 guests. The maximum capacity for a wedding celebration at Kasiiya is just 50 people and for weddings with six or more guests it’s mandatory to book a “full buy-out” meaning you have to book the entire resort.
For further information, please contact Sarah in our Reservations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What type of suites are available?
We have the following generously sized thoughtfully designed suites to choose from:
Floating Bird(3 suites available)
* Beachfront suites * Unique bathroom separated by a tented covered corridor * Outdoor and indoor shower and bathtub * Amazing sea views * Direct access to the beach and water sports activities * Largest suite – total area 120 m²
Lazy Turtle (2 suites available)
* Beachfront suites * Total privacy * Surrounded by the jungle, facing the Laguna Beach * Outdoor and indoor shower * Amazing sea views * Direct access to the beach and water sports activities * Total area 110 m²
Laughing Whale (2 suites available)
* Ocean view vintage suites * Our most remote suites (on top of cliff) with their own cliff path * Amazing views with 365 days of perfect sunset * Outdoor bath tub/shower * Whale watching opportunities * Total area 110 m²
What services and amenities are included in the suite?
Full board (alcoholic drinks are not included)
Fully equipped suite
Comfort bed area with kingsize bed (2m x 2m)
Bedlinen are made from 100 % Egyptian cotton
Relaxing living area with sofa bed
All furniture designed by Kasiiya’s own brand to connect with nature
Air conditioning / ceiling fan
Ecological cooler station (mini bar) with daily refreshments
Selection of teas/coffee and snacks (French press with fresh Costa Rican coffee)
Sunbeds and rattan chairs with luxurious cushions inviting our guests to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the forest
Most suites have a walk-in outdoor shower and bathtub for an extraordinary bathing experience
Towels and beach towels (made of ecological bamboo fibers)
Natural shampoo and lotions made locally
Kasiiya Kit: consists of a walkie talkie; flashlight, property map, insect repellent, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer gel, face mask and a thermometer.
Daily housekeeping and laundry service
Free use of sport facilities such as snorkelling, kayaking, paddle board and trekking
Wireless internet access in guest rooms (can be switched off upon request) and public space
Private transfer to and from Liberia International Airport included with a minimum length of stay of 4 nights
What is our cleaning procedure?
A traditional check-in has never existed at Kasiiya, everything will be touchless.
We leave 24 hours between each check-out and check-in that allows us to operate a deep cleaning after each guest.
The air inside the suites is permanently naturally changed as the roof is made from a tent fabric that consists of 5 layers allowing air to constantly circulate but preventing insects from getting in the tent.
Our strict protocol for sanitizing the suites includes the following technologies: applying disinfectant with foggers twice a day, UV light tools for high touch deep clean areas and objects (remote controls, etc) and ozonators.
A sanitizing station next to the suite's main door is available, so guests can use tissues to clean the doorknob for psychological comfort.
We will provide in your room a “sanitizer kit” that includes disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer gel, a face mask and a thermometer.
We will assign the same housekeeping staff to clean your suite during your entire stay.
All our electric 4x4 buggies for internal transportation will be disinfected with Ecolab certified products daily.
For guests that book in and out transportation plus external tours operated by Kasiiya, a private SUV and driver will be assigned during their entire stay.