A unique opportunity to purchase Leaves and Lizards Retreat, a high-end boutique hotel with stunning views of the Arenal Volcano, one of the primary tourist destinations in Costa Rica.
ABOUT THE INVESTMENT
- Awards: This top rated Eco Resort has been awarded the prestigious Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence every year since it opened in 2007 - only 1% of the hotels in the world earn this award. In 2017, it was ranked on Trip Advisor as #3 Hotel in Costa Rica and the #4 Hotel in Central America
- Results: Profitable and sustainable business model
- Occupancy: Peak season occupancy is 65% (often with waiting lists); annual occupancy is 45-55% (without active marketing)
- Guest reviews: Outstanding guest reviews on Trip Advisor and other booking sites
- Prime location: Located in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica, by the Arenal Volcano, with stunning views and a temperate year-round climate (cooler than the coast). Only 3 hours from both San Jose and Liberia international airports (with direct flights to many US States and European capitals)
- Fully operational: Full and devoted staff in place, including bi-lingual manager and receptionist/barman
- Quality: Buildings are well-maintained, with unique designs and quality furnishings. The stunning restaurant, bar and infinity pool are a key attraction
- Potential to increase revenue: Numerous opportunities to increase occupancy and/or develop guest experiences
- Unique business opportunity for an individual, corporation or group of investors or an ideal setting for a private retreat
Key features of the property
- 9 unique guest lodging options
- Owner/manager residence
- Reception, office, massage area, laundry/storage/equipment rooms, garage
- Restaurant and Tiki bar
- Swimming pool with infinity edge, waterfall, kids' pool
- Yoga deck
- Horse barn, covered arena, outside arena
- Livestock barn
- 26 acres of land, mostly reforested with areas of pasture for livestock
- There are 2 other properties which could be included in the sale if desired - see below under Properties and Equipment (Section 3) for more details
Reason for sale
The Owners are ready for their next challenge in a different direction (after building the retreat hotel up from nothing over 11 years). They are available to help new owners with the transition if desired.
Opportunities to increase revenue
- Increasing occupancy beyond existing levels has not been a priority for the current owners. They use the non-peak season as a chance to take their vacations or host family/friends and so minimal efforts are made to fill cabins at these times. There is therefore great scope to use other booking sites such as Booking.com to increase year-round occupancy.
- Marketing is currently minimal, only through facebook and email, with bookings coming in through repeat guests and Trip Advisor review rankings, so there is also good potential to increase occupancy through a marketing strategy.
- Another route to increase occupancy would be to use agents - the owners do not currently work with agents, preferring to source guests themselves.
- Including the Casa Cielo in the sale will increase the beds and options available for guest occupancy (see below for more details).
Increasing profit-making activities:
- There are numerous opportunities to develop aspects of the eco-retreat: currently milk, cheese, chickens/eggs and some pork are produced on site but a lot more could be grown if focus was put there - there is space and the beginnings of an organic garden and permaculture, so this popular "eco-tourism" angle could be further developed.
- The restaurant/bar is currently run as a service only for Leaves and Lizards' guests, but it also has a license to serve outside guests so a significant revenue stream could be targeted through increasing operations in this area.
- Likewise there is space and opportunity to incorporate a more developed spa service (at the moment it is run on a "by request" only basis).
- The venue is perfectly suited to be hired as a retreat venue by other organizations, whether for corporate retreats, family occasions, yoga, photography or nature-based retreats etc.
- Similarly there is scope to target the lucrative wedding market (weddings have been hosted at Leaves and Lizards but on an individual request basis, there has been no marketing targeting this).
Other uses for the venue:
- Leaves and Lizards has ideal space and facilities to become a corporate retreat center, a retreat center offering specific retreats, a private family vacation complex, a digital detox/digital nomads center – and many more alternatives.
Investing in Costa Rica
With a stable political environment, a stunning and varied landscape, good transport connections and a strong commitment to tourism, Costa Rica is becoming a popular country for foreign investment.
In 2016, Costa Rica received 2.9 million visitors (up 10% from 2015), the majority of whom come from the United States and Canada. Earnings from tourism amount to more than $2.8 billion US dollars per year. Currently, 50% of the country's GDP comes from ecotourism and adventure activities, a figure that makes Costa Rica one of the most successful examples of the emerging model of sustainable tourism in the entire world. It is estimated that up to 80% of all visitors to Costa Rica come to do eco-tourism related activities, particularly in the Arenal Volcano (where this hotel is located), Manuel Antonio national park and Monteverde areas.