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Elections 2014
12/19/2013 05:05 PM

Country to host observers
for elections in February

 

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Costa Rica has invited a team of observers designated by the Organizaton of American States to observe its general election Feb. 2.

The agreement between the country and the hemispheric body provides immunity and certain benefits for observers. Costa Rica was the first nation to receive observers from the Organization of American States. That was in 1962.

Observers are not expected to have a difficult time. The election is under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, a branch of government setup for that purpose.

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Cala Luna Hotel Reopens
02/21/2012 05:01 PM

Cala Luna Hotel Reopens with Great Spirit

Hotel Cala Luna, a true classic of Tamarindo, reopened its doors weeks ago with a renewed proposal of services for its guests.Its owners, the Pilurzu family, sold the hotel some years ago, way before the U.S. economic and housing crisis affected the national economy and, especially, Guanacaste’s, when plenty of hotels and tourism, real estate and construction businesses closed their doors.According to the surfer Federico Pilurzu, who is the new General Manager of Cala Luna, the person who bought the hotel could not meet the payment arrangement and after many years of legal wrangling and infinite number of concerns, his family was able to recover their hotel.

Pilurzu kindly provided us with information on this complicated stage and on how Cala Luna managed to survive thanks to the determination of his family and the love they have for this hotel, which is an essential reference in town.Federico answered these questions exclusively to Tamarindo News:

Under what conditions is the hotel reopening?

 In short, the hotel was sold some years ago, just before the global crisis. The buyer was unable to continue paying, and after two years of trials, arbitrations and an inexplicable dose of stress, we finally recovered Cala Luna.

Why is the Pilurzu family resuming the management of the Hotel? Why did you keep the same name?

My family built Cala Luna in 96 and, since then, the hotel has had a very good position as a boutique hotel around the world. If we were going to rename it, we would have lost 15 years of marketing. That is why we kept the same name. The appearance of the project has greatly improved. We began remodeling it in January 2011.

The property was not in good shape; it was a very long and hard work. My family and a great team have been working days and many nights so that the hotel could be ready for this season. We are now in the final stage finalizing a few details. We are very pleased with the final product.

Which new features and facilities will the hotel offer with the reopening?

Besides the new look, the details and decoration, I am very pleased with the restaurant we are opening in La Caletta, formerly the Sushi Lounge.The whole concept is quite revolutionary: all the products are local and organic. It consists on exotic, exquisite, and mind-blowing combinations of dishes. It is new concept different from other restaurants´.

How many rooms does the hotel have? What facilities are going to be offered to the guests?

We have 20 rooms and 15 villas available. Each villa has its own pool, garden, parking space, security, and all the hotel facilities.

There are two restaurants. The hotel is 50m away from the beach. There is free internet throughout the property, free Vonage at the reception for international calls, and concierge and tour services for any activity.

In Cala Luna’s website, the hotel promotes various segments packages and makes emphasis on the wedding market. What does the Hotel has to offer for this niche market?

Due to its location, the hotel is perfect for weddings…from the privacy on the beach, the restaurants on the edge of the pool, the private villas, the quietness to the fact that the we can only accommodate 100 pax.

We offer different wedding packages, but each wedding is "custom made" in accordance to the customer’s preferences.

The crisis has caused a significant drop in the entry of American visitors to the country and the number of days they are staying here; will Cala Luna focus on attracting the domestic market?

The domestic market is very important to us. We always have different packages and offers throughout the year. For example, we have packages with Nature Air to reduce transport time and promote a more relaxing stay.

How is Cala Luna different? 

Besides our packages and promotions, Cala Luna is different for being a boutique hotel, where attention to detail and customer service are essential.

Our goal is guests to enjoy the best vacation of their lives, and them to return whenever they need to relax or have fun.



 

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Banco Nacional de Costa Rica Puts Branch out to Tender for $1.5 million
01/11/2012 11:02 AM

 

The National Bank has put out to tender construction of a new branch in Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

 

Summary of the works, according to the tender specifications:

The project consists of construction of a building for a National Bank branch in Tamarindo, Guanacaste province. It includes all works described in the plans and specifications prepared by the consulting firm CONDIS.

The construction work referred to, will be carried out in lots 4, 5 and 6 of Urbanización Bahía Tamarindo, next to Hertz Rent A Car

Deadline for receipt of bids is February 6th , 2012.

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Avellanas Hillside Property - Unique Jungle Home - Owner Needs To Sell
01/05/2012 10:10 PM

Located on a hill in a forested private area 5 miles from Avellanas, this ocean view home should be called the jungle home.
It has been built with local tropical hard woods creating a charming rustic atmosphere. The home has 2 levels with the upstairs being the most detailed finished, featuring 2 sleeping areas , living and kitchen with wrapped around wooden deck. The ground floor has hook ups for second kitchen and concrete slap for social / living area. Needs to be finished further. Total area 4000 ft2, includes a caretakers 500 ft2 home. Total size of the property 1 hectare/ 2.5 acres.
OWNER NEEDS TO SELL, BRING OFFERS

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Hidden Coast Realty moves...
07/11/2011 06:14 PM

Hidden Coast Realty has moved their office to a new location in the commercial center where Bar One, ABC, RPM and Mr. Tom are located. We are located on the second floor in the back corner, unit #19. Please stop by the next time you are in town and meet our new sales affiliates Mark Brown and Brenda Burback.
Brenda, born in Canada, has many years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has been in Costa Rica since 1997. Mark Brown has been in Costa Rica since 2008 and knows the area and people like no other, combined with a passion to help newcomers he will certainly be a great man to meet when you are looking for real estate opportunities.

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Costa Rica Tax Reform Hits A Dead End
05/07/2011 12:26 PM
Costa Rica Tax Reform Hits A Dead End

The control of the legislative directory by the opposition bloc on Monday is sure to kill the tax reform plan introduced earlier this year by the government of Laura Chinchilla.

The opposition bloc, a group of 31 legislators from five different political parties, calling themselves "Alianza por Costa Rica" signed an agreement which calls for thwarting the tax reform plans by the ruling party, the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), which does not have sufficient members in the 57 member house for a majority.

The not-so surprising move by the opposition bloc has not been seen in Costa Rica in decades. The opposition say they felt cornered and came together to fight the governments intention to increase taxes to generate badly needed revenue.

The opposition bloc say there are alternative ways to generate revenue without raising taxes, one of which is curb government spending and waste.

The key part of the government's tax reform proposal or "paquetazo" as it is being called, is the introduction of a 14% value-added tax expanded to included goods and services and replace the present 13% sales tax.

In addition, changes were proposed to corporate deductibility and small business tax rules, and the taxation of capital income, which would be harmonized at a rate of 15%. An increase to the tax on vehicles by 10% was also under consideration.

A major fiscal reform plan designed to enhance the government's tax take has been under consideration in Costa Rica for almost 10 years in one form or another, but opposition parties have used all sorts of procedural tricks to block the legislation.

With the latest events in the legislative assembly, it could yet be a considerable time before any changes take effect.


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Direct flights between San Jose and Panama City
05/06/2011 10:33 AM
Aeroperlas Announces Costa Rica - Panama Flights

Panama's regional airline announced the start of a direct flight between San José, Costa Rica and Panama City beginning May 16.

The airline, with a 40 year history, is part of TACA Avianca offers discounts of up to 40% within Panama.

Although prices have for the San José - Panama have not been announced and tickets cannot yet be booked online, it is expected that the airline will offer a less expensive alternative to current flights between the two cities offered by TACA, Avianca and Copa.

The regional airline currently only offers flights in Panama. For travel within the region it connects with SANSA Regional in Costa Rica, and TACA Regional in Honduras and soon in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Aeroplas Regional has been awarded, for the second consecutive year, "Best Airline Central America and the Caribbean".





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City of the Future.....
04/30/2011 11:58 AM
San José Is The Fifth "City Of The Future" in Latin America
Heredia and Santa ranked high in "micro cities with future potential"

According to the ranking by the Financial Times fDi, San José is the fifth city of the future in Latin America. The publication takes into account foreign direct investment generated over the last decade and examines variables such as economic potential, human resources, quality of life, infrastructure and business climate.


fDi of Caribbean& Central American countries of the future 2011/12 will be available in August 2011.

Taking first place in the ranking is Santiago de Chile, followed by Lima (Peru's capital), Monterrey, Mexico and Bogota, Colombia.

Moreover, Heredia centre and Santa Ana ranked fifth and eight, respectively, in the category of "micro cities with future potential".

The report, "American Cities of the Future 2011/12" is the first ever fDi ranking of cities across the American continents, New York being crowned the leading American "city of the future" for 2011/12.

In August 2011, fDi will publish a ranking of the most promising countries in the Caribbean & Central America region. We are identifying those countries with the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion.

Countries will be ranked across categories which include cost effectiveness, incentives and infrastructure.

fDi invites investment promotion agencies, operators, economic development units and local and regional governments to supply additional information about their country.

In order to help enhance your country’s competitiveness in the rankings, click below to tell us more about your location.

What is fDi?
Foreign direct investment has become the major economic driver of globalization, accounting for over half of all crossborder investments. Nearly $1 trillion in greenfield investment was announced by companies in 2008, creating almost 3 million jobs in their overseas subsidiaries.

Companies are rapidly globalizing through FDI to serve new markets and customers, map out their value chains in the most efficient locations globally, and to access technological and natural resources.

fDi Intelligence is a specialist division from the Financial Times Ltd established to provide industry leading insight into globalization with a portfolio of world-class products, services and business tools that allow organisations such as investment promotion agencies, companies, services providers and academic institutions to make informed decisions regarding foreign direct investment and associated activities.
 

 

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Costa Rica celebrating opening of its new national stadium
04/05/2011 02:38 PM


The new National Stadium opened Saturday evening with a colorful display of binational pride and camaraderie between Costa Rica and China. Deemed “the jewel of La Sabana,” the 35,000 fans in attendance were treated to a night of rousing fireworks, cultural song and dance and a spirited 2-2 draw between the countries’ national soccer teams. The $100 million National Stadium was a gift from the government of China and was constructed by Chinese laborers during the last two years.

Festivities began around 6 p.m. with government representatives from the two countries addressing the crowd on a stage decorated with giant Costa Rican and Chinese flags waving gently behind them. Amid a mixture of jeers and applause, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias spoke to the crowd about the significance of the inauguration and the progressive step that the relationship with China, the world’s second largest economy, means for the country. In 2007, Arias severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan to establish ties with China.

“Countries have to grow and mature,” Arias said of his government’s decision to create diplomatic relations with China. “And so, like a mother understands that her son can’t wear the same shoes that he was wearing 10 years ago, we should accept that there is clothing that we shouldn’t continue to wear. Sooner or later all countries have to wear long pants.”

Arias also said, in his allegorical oratory style that marked his four years in office from 2006-2010, that Costa Rica shouldn’t fear the change that this relationship will bring and that “some countries are slaves to their own past.” He also referred to the bilateral relationship as a “young Bonzai tree” and that it creates a “bridge over the Pacific Ocean.”

Arias’s speech was followed by words from Chen Changzhi, the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and a speech from President Laura Chinchilla, who praised Arias and also trumpeted the benefits of the relationship with China.

“This impressive stadium in La Sabana stands as a permanent reminder of our gratitude to the people of China,” Chinchilla said. “(It also serves) as recognition for our ex-President Arias and, above all, as the reason to assume, as a nation, the responsibility to grow to the height of this modern coliseum.”

Chinchilla’s speech was followed by a performance of traditional Costa Rican dance, a video montage of Costa Rican sports accomplishments, and several traditional Chinese dance and song performances.

A little after 8 p.m., the national soccer teams of each country took the field for the first-ever match in the National Stadium. Costa Rica dominated for most of the first half. Forward Alvaro Saborio scored the first goal in stadium history when he found himself open on the left side of the box and pushed a low shot into the far corner of the net. Saborio’s goal was followed by a frenzied celebration in the stadium and explosive fireworks into the night sky.

Seven minutes later, just before the halftime whistle, Randall Brenes tapped in a rebound to give Costa Rica a 2-0 advantage at the break.

In the first minute of the second half, Gao Lin cut the Tico lead in half when he rose above Costa Rican defenders to head the ball into the side netting. In the final minute of the game, a pass split the Costa Rican defense and found Lin alone on the right side of the box. Lin struck a low shot through the legs of Costa Rican goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado to force the draw.

The organization of the event seemed to go off without a hitch, as parking was controlled, bus routes to the stadium were fluid and police and stadium officials were well-coordinated in and around the stadium. The only concern within the stadium was the absence of a game clock, leaving fans in the dark on the game time. Outside the stadium, a lack of trash receptacles resulted in an excessive pile-up of trash along the streets of La Sabana and around the stadium.

On Sunday, a marathon will be run that finishes in the National Stadium and on Tuesday, Argentina comes to town to play Costa Rica in a friendly between the two Latin American rivals. Argentina tied with the U.S. 1-1 on Saturday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Argentina star Lionel Messi played in the match Saturday night, which is a good sign for Costa Rican fans hoping to see the star of the Spanish club Barcelona in action. Inauguration events will continue until April 10.

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Liberia Airport Sets New Record for Visitors
02/17/2011 04:02 PM
Daniel Oduber had the highest number of visitors since it has opened in January 2011, according to a recent news article.  See the details here
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