On July 11th Gencom, a leading Miami-based international luxury hospitality and residential real estate investment and development firm, announced an investment of more than USD 100 million investment towards a major enhancement of Peninsula Papagayo, a 1,400-acre premier residential and resort destination in northwestern Costa Rica, where our experts Papagayo Luxury is based.


The stunning new Sky’s Edge Villa by Papagayo Luxury


The comprehensive works with begin in December 2017 and will take eco-luxury and transformative experiences in Central America to a remarkable new level. The transformation revolves around the re-imagined Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica and a range of unique first-ever Peninsula Papagayo amenities, transformative experiences and facilities which will help preserve one of the most extraordinary biological corridors on the globe.

“Intertwining luxury amenities with nature and sustainability have always been at the heart and soul of the Peninsula Papagayo resort development,” explains Jane Moore, director of Papagayo Luxury. “Under the new ownership of Gencom and their investment of significant funds, the resort will continue to evolve and strengthen its founding principles.”

Sky’s Edge Villa by Papagayo Luxury


These enhanced guest experiences will include:

  • A major renovation of Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, the only Forbes five-star resort in Central and South America and home to an 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed course and five tennis courts available for guests of Papagayo Luxury
  • An 8+ mile network of nature trails within the confines of the resort gates
  • A Macaw sanctuary with the objective of cultivating this native species through conservation and educational programming
  • An onsite Papagayo Explorers Club which will present a collection of “only here” experiences of different themes like adventure, culture, and volunteer opportunities
  • An enhancement of the Marina Papagayo, which will include a new restaurant and lounge, gourmet market, and new yacht charter options
  • Investment in the private Prieta Beach Club, scheduled to reopen in time for Thanksgiving week with a new restaurant, new spa services, and more.


Interior, Sky’s Edge Villa by Papagayo Luxury


It’s an exciting time to plan a trip to this exceptional biosphere where you’ll soon be treated to these wonderful new amenities as well as the area’s 11 miles of dramatic coastline, eight miles of gorgeous bluff edges, seven sandy beaches and one of the world’s only tropical dry forests.

Papagayo Luxury is evolving along with the resort. They have just added a spectacular newly built villa to their collection of luxury holiday villas and condos. The brand new four-bedroom Sky’s Edge villa has unbelievable views of the ocean and the vivid sunsets. The cutting edge design features crisp lines, phenomenal floor to ceiling windows, vast vaulted ceilings, a number of terraces and sleek contemporary furnishings.

The Peninsula Papagayo is located only 30 minutes from Liberia International Airport, which is accessible by over 100 weekly flights seasonally from major cities in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and across Central America. Be one of the first to stay in this exceptional villa or learn more about the resort’s upcoming transformation by contacting Papagayo Luxury here.

With a tremendous passion for travel and adventure, one day Jane Moore and her husband gave up their successful careers in L.A., packed up car and drove to Costa Rica. Thirteen years later she’s the entrepreneuring founder and president of Papagayo Luxury, a boutique resort of luxury condos and villas in the magical Papagayo Peninsula on the country’s Pacific coast. Jane shares her story and how she’s carved out the mission to assist luxury travelers to discover this amazing part of the world.


Whether you’re after the thrill of the chase or seeking a peaceful day surrounded by nature, fishing is a sport which can be enjoyed by many. Take to the open seas battling to reel in giant marlin, try your hand at spearfishing or leisurely cast your line fly fishing. You won’t be a fish out of water by taking your next fishing holiday at one of these fabulous destinations.

Sport fishing Bahamas

Deep Sea Fishing – Harbour Island, The Bahamas

According to our expert Pamela H. Murdock, one of the best places for deep sea fishing in the Caribbean is the Bahamas, in particular on Harbour Island.

“The summer is the best time for fishing,” advises Pamela. “The gorgeous island is a popular destination year round, however, in summer the sun worshipers have been mostly replaced by fishermen and divers. This is when sport fishing is fantastic with tuna, mahi-mahi and wahoo in abundance. This is also the start of the marlin tournaments which can be found throughout the island chain. Bone fishing is great year round and there are several excellent guides on the island.
“Serious and amateur fishermen love to go out with Jeff Fox of Ocean Fox. Not only is he a really nice guy but he has a sixth sense as to where the fish are. A full or half day spent with him guarantees great sport and fun.”

House on a Dune Breezeway Evening

Where to stay on Harbour Island

Dock your boat on Harbour Island at the spectacular five bedroom House on a Dune, one of the most extraordinary properties on the whole island. Located on 1.5 very private acres, this remarkable oceanfront property is hidden from the road and reached via a 500-foot sand driveway which meanders through tropical vegetation culminating in a simple pavilion that sits atop a 35-foot-high dune. Designed and owned by an internationally renowned architect whose award-winning firm creates contemporary and cool residential and commercial projects, House on a Dune’s minimalistic design allows it to blend seamlessly into the environment.

To learn more about renting this designer villa, contact Pamela H. Murdock Inc. here.

Spear Fishing

Spearfishing –  St. Peter, Barbados

For something a little different, our expert Nicole George at Altman Villa Rentals recommends heading to Barbados to try spearfishing, a fantastic sport that combines the thrill of catching fish and the extreme tranquillity of free diving.

“It is unique in that spearfishing is one of the oldest methods of catching fish,” explains Nicole. “It’s extremely ecological, providing virtually zero bycatch thus reducing the damage to fish populations and ensuring sustainable fishing practices.

“Enjoyed all over the world, spearfishing is an incredible way to escape from the modern day stresses of life (regardless of modern technology in equipment) and relax your mind to that of the ocean. Spearfishing can be a great experience with clear waters and tasty tropical fish which can be caught all over Barbados on the Caribbean (South & West) side and the Atlantic (East).

The following locations are typical dive spots known for fish, ease of access and usually allow diving throughout most conditions: Just off the beach by Port St Charles Marina in St Peter, and just off of Needhams Point in St Michael.”


Where to Stay in St Peter, Barbados

Leamington House is a colonial-style Great House set in the exclusive Leamington Estate. Extended by the famous architect, Oliver Messel, the house was for many years the home of the American Ambassador.

It was recently extended and modernized by the famed architect, Oliver Messel, to provide a very spacious reception/living area. This now leads to a covered patio with seating and dining areas, a swimming pool, and a beautiful, tropical walled garden. A gate just a short walk through the garden opens onto the beach.

This beautiful Barbados villa boasts four double, air-conditioned bedrooms on the first floor, each with private bathrooms. A fifth bedroom and bathroom are located on the ground floor. In addition to the aforementioned reception areas, the ground floor is host to a TV room and Wi-Fi is available throughout. This fully furnished holiday villa is let complete and fully staffed.

To book your fishing stay at Leamington House, contact Altman Villa Rentals at this link.

fishing costa rica

With phenomenal coastline on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica has some excellent fishing opportunities. We hit the waters off the splendid Papagayo Peninsula, where our expert Jane Moore of Papagayo Luxury reveals is ideal for fishing all year due to the Gulf’s fertile waters.

Along its 200km coastline are beautiful beaches whose warm waters are full of a wide variety of fish such as marlin, tuna, mackerel, roosterfish, sailfish and mahi-mahi.

“The fishing season really kicks off in May and is strongest through November,” adds Jane. “However, marlin and roosterfish can be found throughout the year, especially mid-November to March.”

Where to Stay on the Papagayo Peninsula

Relax after a day out at sea in the chic comforts of one of the spacious villas by Papagayo Luxury. The custom villas have sleek contemporary design and furnishings. Outside, each deck features a private pool as well as expansive views of the Gulf of Papagayo, the Pacific, and the most awe-inspiring sunsets. All guests have access to the private five-star Prieta Beach Club in addition to the Four Seasons Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course.

Travel to Papagayo Luxury via this great video filmed around their property or learn more about their offerings here.

Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Many might associate the turquoise waters off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with snorkeling or diving. However, from a fly fisherman’s perspective, the Yucatan could not be more perfect as it is literally surrounded by some of the most sought after gamefish in the world, says Angelica Espinosa of Catherwood Travels.

Angelica sends fishermen to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere in Quintana Roo and to the Isla Arena in Campeche, both of which offer some of the most productive fly fishing in the world. A UNESCO natural heritage site, the saltwater flats and shallow bays of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, situated on the south side of the peninsula near Tulum, are excellent for experienced anglers as well as families. The best fly fishing here is from November to June which corresponds nicely with winter holidays. On the northern side, Campeche features an extensive mangrove lagoon extending from the City of Campeche north for over 120 kilometers where you can experience fantastic fly fishing.

Where to Stay on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Catherwood Travels has a wide repertoire of the top private haciendas and beach villas in the Yucatan Peninsula. This unique part of the country combines fascinating Mayan culture, deep history, and amazing natural beauty. Staying with Catherwood allows you to experience all of these facets to their fullest. They can arrange expert-led expeditions, cultural experiences and, of course, fabulous fishing trips.

Contact Catherwood Travels here to arrange the ultimate trip to the Yucatan.

Stitched Panorama

Fly Fishing – Montana, U.S.A.

We couldn’t talk about fly fishing without including one of the best places for this sport: Montana. With miles of pristine rivers, the state is a haven for fly fishermen. Suzy Hall of Mountain Home suggests casting your line in the Yellowstone River, the longest free-flowing river in North America and one of the great trout streams of the world.

Originating in the famed Yellowstone National Park, the river flows almost 700 miles to its confluence with the Missouri River. According to Suzy, Paradise Valley also offers some of the best spring creek fisheries in the region and a favorite of local anglers.

Grizzly Creek Ranch

Where to Stay in Montana, U.S.A.

Located just seven miles up into the hills from the Yellowstone River, The Grizzly Creek Ranch by Mountain Home is a foolproof fisherman’s base in the area. Hidden in the breathtaking Montana wilderness, Grizzly Creek Ranch is a classy and comfortable lodge complex for up to 30 guests. Guests have exclusive use of six homes, a vast dining and event hall, a recreation barn, yoga and massage cabin, and the 2,000-acre ranch.

Weeklong ranch stays with all meals included begin at $32,000 for a group of six, and just $600 per additional person up to a max of 30. Fly fishing and other activities can be arranged at additional expense.

Discover this lovely luxury ranch by reaching out to Mountain Home at this link.

Where are our travel experts taking us this month? We’ve got a fabulous new luxury home with phenomenal mountain views in New Zealand, refined apartments in a historic palazzo on Venice’s Grand Canal as well as hot deals in Saint Barthélemy and Costa Rica, plus great local tips for making the most of June on the Mexican Riviera.

Touch of Spice Slope Hill Serenity

New Opening: Slope Hill Serenity by Touch of Spice, New Zealand

Our members down in New Zealand at Touch of Spice have just added the exceptional new Slope Hill Serenity in Queenstown. Touch of Spice has a carefully selected portfolio of New Zealand’s most luxurious boutique accommodations.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for this new offering. The snow is just starting to sprinkle the mountain tops and the property is located at the base of one of New Zealand’s best ski fields: Coronet Peak. The contemporary, chic house features five bedrooms, four bathrooms and sleeps up to 10 people. There is a nice patio area that’s ideal for enjoying an evening meal and those fabulous views of the mountains.

To learn more about this or other luxury homes and apartments in New Zealand, contact Touch of Spice here.

Excellence Villas Venice Apartment 2

New Openings: excellence.Villas, Venice

excellence.villas have just opened two fabulous apartments in the Ca’nova palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice, decorated personally by company founder Katharina Allès Trauttmansdorff.

The private historic palazzo is minutes away from Piazza San Marco, the Palazzo Ducale and right across from the Santa Maria della Salute basilica. Both two-bedroom apartments are on the third floor, accessible by a new elevator. The apartments have been redecorated in a classic style with a contemporary twist. The Borsato faces the Grand Canal, whereas the Hayez looks onto a quiet square. There is also a lovely terrace shared by all guests of the palazzo.

Be one of the first to stay at these gorgeous apartments by contacting excellence.villas at this link.

Villa Galaxie St Barths Property 2

Special Offer: St Barth Properties, St Barthélemy

St. Barth Properties has an exclusive offer for UltraVilla readers. They will generously pay the 5% island tax on any new confirmed booking of seven nights or more that are made during the month of June 2016. The perfect place to stay on the island is the stunning, contemporary and luxurious six-bedroom Villa Galaxie.

Located above the quieter side of Gustavia, Villa Galaxie boasts a breathtaking seascape and fiery sunsets. A terrace with a gorgeous infinity pool provides a focal point and is configured to include spacious living and dining areas. Sleeping accommodations include a master (French king) suite housed in a private pavilion. The other five lovely bedrooms, all with en suite baths, are located in an adjacent pavilion. The villa’s chic décor is ultra-modern with a white palette, and techno amenities include a surround sound music system. Gustavia’s shops, restaurants, and Shell Beach are just a short walk away. This is an exceptional vacation home and ideal for an extended family and is the perfect venue to host a celebration.

Contact St. Barth Properties here to scoop up this great deal.

Last Minute Special: Papagayo Luxury, Costa Rica

Don’t be scared off by a little volcano smoke. Despite the recent eruptions of the Turrialba Volcano, it is still completely safe to travel to Costa Rica. Only the area within an approximate 50 km radius of the volcano has received any falling ash or debris, the rest of the country remains mostly unaffected, including where Papagayo Luxury is located, in the northwest corner. You can learn more about the eruption in this article from our Journal.

Papagayo Luxury also has an UltraVilla exclusive offer. Book any of their rentals for stays during the month of June and you will receive a 10% discount. (This offer is not valid for bookings for stays after June 30th 2016.) For more information on this great deal or future trips to Costa Rica, contact the Papagayo Luxury team here.


June on the Mexican Riviera, Local Tips by Villa & Apartments Abroad

Heading down to the Mexican Riviera this month? Lucky you! To help you plan, our local expert, Sylvia Jones of Villas & Apartments Abroad gives us the inside scoop on the area’s top events in June:

June 2nd-5th: American Express is hosting the first ever Masters of Food, Wine & Golf event at the Mayakoba Resort. For three consecutive days, gastronomic masters will gather to offer their culinary delights, along with an impressive list of magical wines, tastings, pairings, and cooking classes that are sure to excite “foodies” from around the globe. This festival promises to attract an international attendance, including celebrities and golf professionals. It will no doubt be one of, if not the most important attraction to Mexico for the summer.

June 3rd: Cancun welcomes handsome Mexican idol, Alejandro Fernandez on his world tour. The Mexican people love music, especially their home grown artists who have made it big.

June 9th: World famous DJ Nicole Moudaber will be performing at the “Blue Parrot,” in Playa del Carmen. This talented DJ is quite familiar to the hot beds in the summers around the world. She knows how to spin and pack a beach, sending sound waves into the depth of the ocean.

Thank you Sylvia for these great tips! For help planning your perfect trip to the Riviera Maya, contact Sylvia here.

Turrialba Volcano Costa Rica

On May 21st Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupted, spewing smoke, ash and rock up to 3,000m (9,840ft) into the air. Is this going be the next Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano which caused chaos in the skies in 2010? We connected with our local expert in Costa Rica, Jane Moore of Papagayo Luxury Villas, to learn about the situation on the ground and why we shouldn’t be panicking, but rather head down to this gorgeous Central American country.

At 3,340m above sea level, Turrialba is located near Cartago, in the center of the country, around 45 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital San José. The National University’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) recorded two explosions that exceeded 3,000m (9,800 feet) on Friday and several other large ones since.

“Debris from the eruptions has fallen on neighboring communities and some in the northern suburbs of San José,” explains Ms. Moore. “However, the volcano is not spewing lava and is not considered dangerous in that way.”

Precautions are important in the vicinity, however, Costa Rica’s National Emergencies Commission (CNE) cautioned on their Facebook page against “spreading rumors,” as illustrated in this informative article on the danger of misinformation. Instead, the CNE recommends those in the area to “take preventive measures respective according to [one’s] places of residence or work.” They’ve shared their official recommendations on their page, advising people the affected areas to wear masks and tight clothing to protect their lungs and skin.


What does this mean for travelers to the country?

“The volcanic ash has caused some airlines into Juan Santamaría International Airport since this volcano is close to San José,” says Ms. Moore. “Other flights have been rerouted to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia in Guanacaste, which is not affected at all by ash.”

This is actually the airport which serves Papagayo Luxury Villas. The area along the Pacific coast is home to lush forests and miles of beautiful beaches. It’s over 250 km northwest from the volcano. Costa Rica is 51,100 sq km (19,730 sq mi), its rugged landscape includes a dozen volcanoes. Turrialba actually erupted around this time last year (May 4th, 2015) and it has been rumbling ever since.

We obtained this further feedback from our global expert Tim Roney of Villa Concierge who knows the country well.

“Frankly, the Central Valley has often been hazy with volcanic ash in the air during the past week with the smell of sulfur in the air,” says Roney. “Even up here on the slope of Volcan Barva above Heredia and approx 40 miles West of Turrialba, I find grey volcanic dust on the outside furniture and can sometimes smell the sulpher outside.

“Tourists flying into SJO and then going to Monteverde or the Pacific Coast will not notice a thing, this is very important. But anyone going into San Jose or flying into SJO enroute to the Caribbean Coast could notice the conditions I described.”

According to both Jane and Tim, there is no reason to cancel your trip to Costa Rica, especially if you are spending time in the northwest. In fact, now could be an even better time to travel there and if you act quickly you can take advantage of Papagayo Luxury’s Memorial Day Special. Book any of their rentals for stays during the month of June and you will receive a 10% discount. This offer not valid for bookings for stays after June 30th 2016. For more information on this great deal or future trips to Costa Rica, contact the Papagayo Luxury team here.

However, what if a natural disaster does interrupt your plans? Here are some useful tips:

  • The most important thing is to be well informed, you may not need to change your travel plans at all.
  • Seek advice this information and advice from trusted sources. For example, the past few days many people believed the Turrialba was spewing lava, based on someone’s facebook page and their posting and that some Japanese “specialists” were kicked out of the country for spreading false claims that upcoming eruptions were going to set off a major earthquake.
  • Check with your travel agent, accommodation rental company and/or airline company for the latest news. They should have the most up-to-date status on your flights and travel safety to the affected area.
  • You might also find the latest news searching hashtags (like #turrialba #volcanocostarica) or visiting local emergency sites’ Facebook pages (again, the pages of trusted sources)
  • Check with the US State Department and if you are going to a destination that might be at risk, you can also register with their free “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” and you will receive a travel alert or travel warning message, plus they will know how to reach you in case of emergency. You can do this online here or by phone at (202) 501-4444, which is the emergency assistance number for Americans in foreign countries.
  • Always purchase travel insurance (this is often included with your credit card insurance). This will assure that your mind is at ease and that you will be covered if a natural disaster does occur and you need to change your plans.
  • If you’re already in the destination, try to remain calm and patient, the locals will be trying to find the best solutions to the issue and to communicate these, however, it might take a little time.
  • If you will be traveling to remote areas of a country, you may want to prepare a list of relevant phone numbers (the closest embassy/consulate, the branch of your airline company, local emergency phone numbers) and carry a paper copy of these with you, so that if you do encounter a problem, you’ll have help faster.

These are of course helpful tips in the case of emergency, however, most trips to Costa Rica or elsewhere around the world go smoothly without incident.

Wishing you all happy–and above all safe–travels!