What makes a place feel like home? For many, it’s a sense of ease, comfort and joy. At Four Seasons Private Residences Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, it’s David Mendez’s job to make sure every resident feels that from the moment they arrive. We asked Mendez to give us a glimpse into this unique homeownership experience from his insider’s point of view.
As the Director of Residences, what is a typical day like for you?
It’s all about connection. My day starts by connecting with the team to talk about who is arriving that day, reviewing the itineraries of the residents who are already on property to see what they might need and, of course, making sure that every home is kept in tip-top shape. And then the most important part is connecting with our residents. Whether it’s arranging the room towels in a fun shape for families arriving with kids or preparing a cake, flowers and balloons for someone who is here celebrating a birthday, we want every single resident to feel love and recognition as soon as they arrive.
Tell us about the relationship you and your team have with your residents.
Most of our owners come to the property in vacation mode, so we really begin cultivating each relationship during the pre-arrival process, where we talk about everything about their upcoming stay and how we can make it special for them. We always remember any preference or detail they’ve shared during previous visits so we can make sure they feel at home. It’s truly a joy to have them back, and we want them to know and feel that.
Our owners do like to be seen and recognized in public areas, so we never miss the chance to say hello. Some of our owners have been around long enough to see our team members grow within the organization and, in turn, some team members have watched our owners’ children grow up, so there are often close, long-lasting relationships that are built over the years. There’s a strong sense of community here on Peninsula Papagayo that can be felt everywhere.
Four Seasons is known for its exceptional and intuitive service. What does that look and feel like for homeowners, and how does it differ from your typical luxury real estate experience?
At Four Seasons, it feels like family. Like the comfort and trust of returning to a place that knows who you are, knows your family members and knows your preferences. It’s being greeted by a familiar face, with the feeling that you are living in a community that genuinely wants you to have a great time. We always aim to go above and beyond.
For example, we had one owner who was very excited about his grandson’s first visit. Before he arrived, we had a child’s bathrobe embroidered with the baby’s name on it. We also included a welcome amenity with a note saying ‘Welcome to the world, and your new house.’ Sometimes it’s more intimate gestures like this, but other times, we like to go big. My team is often seen driving down the street with colourful balloons flying from the golf cart to lead a special birthday parade.
What makes this Costa Rica property so unique?
For starters, our location in Prieta Bay on Peninsula Papagayo is simply mesmerizing, with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, magical sunsets and an unparalleled closeness to nature. But beyond the beautiful landscape, it’s the community of people that really make this place unique. Costa Rica was recognized a few years ago as the happiest country in the world – this ties back to a phrase we have here: pura vida [the happy life]. My team and I are proud ambassadors of the pura vida lifestyle, which for us, means we genuinely care about the well-being of our residents and do everything we can to make sure they feel that.
Given the location on Costa Rica’s idyllic Peninsula Papagayo, how does Four Seasons incorporate sustainability into both the residences themselves and the lifestyle that owners are buying into?
We also give residents the ability to join activities that support social responsibility, like supporting local schools and adopting families through the Creciendo Juntos outreach program, or other initiatives where our residents can help with coral gardening. Overall, our residents love the proximity to nature and wildlife. Some of the owners have really invested their time learning about the local wildlife and get really excited about it!
What do you think is the biggest draw for residents, and what do they find most valuable about living here?
Our homeowners love the proximity to nature, but what they truly value most is the carefree ownership, the overall access to services from the Resort, the feeling of not having to worry about the day-to-day details of your home and the certainty that there is a team of professionals tending your needs while you’re here. They also value being part of an exclusive community that is supporting and taking care of all aspects of their home, allowing them to fully embody the pura vida lifestyle.