The La Mansion Inn was rated amongst the top hotels in Costa Rica for Romance for 2014 according to TripAdvisor – Me as Hotel Owner express my sincerest appreciation for this Award and accept the accolades on behalf of my entire staff. This motivates us to keep moving forward in this demanding and ever changing Industry where thread counts keep increasing every year. It is quiet a challenge to try to please the palettes of people of so many different nationalities, cultures and ethnic backgrounds but some how we are doing it as evidenced by our high occupancy!.
In my previous career I served as the President of the International Press Center & Club, Moscow as well as long-time General Manager of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. and as such acquired the skills necessary to please a demanding and high-maintenance clientele.
Mr. Harry Bodaan with President Oscar Arias and his wife.
At the invitation of Harry Bodaan, the La Mansion Inn owner, former President and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Oscar Arias Sánchez visited our area from February 21-23. President Arias and Harry Bodaan first met 28 years ago while visiting President Ronald Reagan during an official State Visit to Washington D.C. in the midst of the Iran-Contra Affair. President Oscar Arias visited Washington D.C. no less then six times during a ten-month period which finally brought about Peace in Central America in 1987. It was during one of these visits that Don Oscar invited Harry Bodaan to Costa Rica in order for him to get to know the area first-hand. The two have met on various occasions since these tumultuous times in Central America but did not have much have time to reminisce since. This came all to an end during the three-day visit to our area and they had ample time to talk about national and international politics then and now.
The private visit started with a private dinner for Don Oscar and wife Susanne at the La Mansion. The VIP Guest List included friends and other special invited guests. The Special Menu included a fresh Pacific Lobster Cocktail, Canton de Aguirre Black Bean Soup, “VealOscar” with Asparagus & fresh Crabmeat and Bananas Quepos with White Chocolate Ice Cream for dessert. Second Grader Jordan Ostia gave the introductory speech while Jedison Carmona of the Escuela de Estadio provided the entertainment. Don Oscar was also presented a beautiful drawing by the students of the Inmaculada School.
The following day former President Oscar Arias visited the Coast Guard facilities in Quepos and toured the Zona Americana with a stop at our local Police Station – La Mansion is a big supporter of local law enforcement and the Coast Guard Academy.
President Arias visiting Marina Pez Vela
After the tour of the Coast Guard facilities Don Oscar visited the new Marina Pez Vela facilities and was briefed on the progress of the new Marina. It was President Oscar Arias who laid the first corner stone for the Marina Pez Vela project now more than 6 years ago. Later during the day Don Oscar took time out to visit several hotels to listen to the various hotel owners.
On the final day of their visit Don Oscar and wife Susanne visited Manuel Antonio National Park and had a chance to confer with dozens of surprised visitors including the now famous Carlos Arredondo, the Costa Rican immigrant with the cowboy hat who was helping the injured of the Boston Marathon explosions.
President Arias with Carlos Arredondo
President Arias at the National Coast Guard Academy
In 2004 immediately after learning that his son Alex, a U.S. Marine, had died in Iraq, Carlos Arrendondo lit himself on fire out of grief. He second son Brian, a Gold Star Brother was killed in 2011. He suffered serious burns from the incident. After his recovery Carlos Arrendondo became an Anti-War Activist. The day of the Boston Marathon explosions, Arredondo sat in the bleachers with an American flag in hand to root for the National Guard runners and a suicide support group. During the last U.S.State of the Union Address he was invited by President Obama to attend the event at the U.S. Capitol.
Dive Team Training Exercises
The La Mansion Inn is proud to have supported and continues to support the formation of Costa Rica’s First Public Safety Dive Team consisting of eight (8) Costa Rican Coast Guard Officials through a financial donation to the local Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. This team can be called on at a moment’s notice for any water emergencies. This Special Dive Team can be especially useful for rescue and recovery operations in high seas. Mr. Harry Bodaan, the owner of the La Mansion Inn also serves as two-term President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Canton de Aguirre and as such, along with Cap. Scott Ferguson was the brainchild of this First Public Safety, Rescue & Recovery Dive Team and they have been taking the lead on further development and training of this highly specialized team. “Without a doubt this is a very worthwhile and historic project and deserves the attention of our community” said Bodaan and continued “As Quepenos we should be proud of being the “Home of the Costa Rican Coast Guard Academy” and will continue to seek support for this first Public Safety Dive Team which will ultimately benefit the entire Country of Costa Rica. We are looking to secure some more of the critical equipment needed such as Self Rescue Redundant Space Air System and Primary Dive Lights. Anyone interested in helping us with this project is more than welcome!”
Theory training is also important.
It looks like October will be our slowest month of the year. As is a 12 year tradition, I have absolutely no intention to lay off any off our staff members because the hotel is slow. The idea is to keep all of them working so they can provide for their families. For that reason we will offer up to 60% discount on some suite categories and offer a great discount on others categories along with some great specials. Just give our Reservations Department a call or send them an email and tell them you are “A Friend of Harry” and you want the preferred Friend Rate! October and the beginning of November is really one of the most beautiful and beautiful Flora and Fauna periods of the year with lots of wildlife. Some of our participating tour operators also offer large discounts as well. Come check us out and see first-hand what makes us special and explore the area at a fraction of the normal rates.
September 25, 2013
For four days La Mansion owner and Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism President Harry Bodaan hosted the Emmy Award Winning Production Crew of America Mia from Miami, and Central America Destination Specialist agent from LATOUR Susan Schuetze who were invited to our area to help promote the Canton de Aguirre abroad through a special film shoot. This project was made possible in part through the assistance of the Costa Rican Tourism Ministry with the purpose of attracting more tourists to our area. Visits included many of the areas day-time and night-time attractions including several area restaurants. “I am very content with this effort which will hopefully help the economy of our area and is part of the Chamber’s goal to increase the living standard in the Canton de Aguirre. Any free and unbiased coverage that we can get to show the world the spectacular beauty of our local Flora, Fauna and the warmth of the Costa Rican people is very much welcomed”, said Bodaan. The 4-day visit was concluded with a private dinner consisting of typical Costa Rican culinary delicacies including fresh caught Pacific lobster, Sea scallops and local artisan vegetables.
Our Community Needs You……
Once again, today two bodies (tourists) were recovered at Playa Linda, near Matapalo. These two persons drowned. Instead of have to wait until these bodies appear, we should have our own Coast Guard Dive Team that can respond to these types of emergencies and start rescue or recovery operations immediately. While there are no guarantees that we will recover these bodies immediately we should show the families that we care and that we at least try to find them instead of waiting for these bodies to show up somewhere. We are glad to inform you that the local Coast Guard Station has already purchased the bulk of the basic equipment and are arranging the advanced training programs. However, they need additional equipment in order to comply with recognized training requirements essential to the safety of the divers, prior to fielding a complete operational team. Because of the normal budgeting process this will take this to next year but the services of this team are needed now as was evidenced by the recent drownings.
The following message was sent recently to some of our areas Movers and Shakers Advisory Council:
“The Security Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism is looking for financial support to assist the National Coast Guard Academy of Costa Rica which is headquartered in Quepos with the formation of a specialized Rescue/Recovery Dive Team which can be called on a moment’s notice for water emergencies. This Special Dive Response Team can be especially useful for rescue and recovery operations in high seas. Most of the equipment and training for this Public Safety Course has been secured through some of our programs but we are still missing some critical specialized equipment needed to get started. This equipment includes a Self Rescue Redundant Spare Air system which allows the Rescue Diver to get to the surface in an out-of-air emergency. Also needed are Primary Dive Lights which allows the divers to see under water during rescue operations. Other equipment includes search reels, lift bags, etc. Should you be interested to support our efforts to ensemble the first specialized dive team in Costa Rica, please let us hear from you. Without a doubt this is a very worthwhile and historic project and deserves your attention. We should be proud to be the “Home of the Costa Rican National Coast Guard Academy” and should support the formation of this first Costa Rican First-Response Dive Team as long no other financial resources are available”.
Should you want to join me and Capt. Scott Fergusson in these fundraising efforts, please let us hear from you! On behalf of our guests and myself, I have donated $250.00 towards this effort and Lic. Mauricio Lara-Ramos has pledged the same amount. That gives us $500.00 to start this effort with… Any support is appreciated….
Owner La Mansion Inn & Contempo