Sloths might be Costa Rica's most endearing attraction, but this Central American country also is a wonderland of volcanoes and surfing beaches, cloud forests and rainforests. In the past two years, this environmentally forward nation, whose president recently announced a plan to be the first carbon-neutral nation in the world by 2021, has made significant strides in the MICE market.
The long-awaited, $35 million Costa Rica Convention Center, with 168,000 square feet of space, opened this past April in the country's capital of San José.
Several meetings properties debuted in 2018. In December, the 150-room W Costa Rica-Reserva Conchal, the first W hotel in the country, opened within a 2,300-acre nature reserve in Guanacaste. Part of W Escape, the brand's spin on the traditional resort, it features 10,225 square feet of meeting space and six dining outlets.
In the same month, the 126-room AC Marriott Escazú, that brand's first in the nation, opened in San José with 2,142 square feet of event space.
Two properties underwent upgrades. The redesigned 79-room Gran Hotel Costa Rica, which became part of the Curio Collection by Hilton in July, has about 1,000 square feet of event space, indoor gardens and a rooftop piano bar. In December 2017, the 182-room Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo completed a $32 million renovation, giving the lobby a striking open-air gathering space.
Outside the Meeting Room
Endless opportunities cater to attendees' wilder sides, like zip-lining, rafting and rappelling waterfalls. For culture, the colonial city of San José offers several museums, such as the Costa Rican National Museum inside the Bellavista Fortress.