FINALLY, the blog post about our epic FAM trip to Costa Rica to tour some of the most fabulous properties for weddings and events AND to shoot a colorful fashion editorial spread for Destination IDO Magazine. I am SO lucky to have been able to be a part of this trip, since I was the photographer for the photo shoot, because everyone else was an amazing event designer/producer…the ones the hotels REALLY want to pamper:) I did NOT feel one ounce of guilt, though, partaking in the extreme pampering, lavish dinners, catamaran cruises, and spa treatments that punctuated every waking second of our time there. I have never been so well taken in my life!
I want to thank the fabulous Aimee N. Monihan owner of Tropical Occasions and Mountain Occasions, for not only organizing this entire trip for us, but for helping with the production of the photo shoot, shlepping heavy furniture around, using her insane Spanish skills and knowledge of Costa Rica, and just in general being a bad-ass and pure entertainment! Only you could pull 16 people together from all over the United States and KNOW that we would all be a perfect, fun, flawless group that would travel well together!
Our first stop on our trip was the Magnificent Four Seasons Costa Rica, also the backdrop for our epic Fashion Editorial Shoot for Destination IDO Mag (Stay tuned to see the spread in the upcoming August Issue of the magazine). I have to thank Julie Anne Hartman, who flew down from New York to host us at the Four Seasons for the week. From the second we got there we had one amazing event after another. We had welcome cocktails and lavish dinners at their different restaurants/areas on the property, dancers and musicians to come entertain us during dinner, spa treatments organized for all of us and manicure/pedicurists sent to the pool with drinks while we relaxed. And if that wasn’t enough, MY personal favorite event the Four Seasons organized was the sunset Catamaran sailing cruise by Marlin Del Rey. We all climbed aboard a huge catamaran that comfortably accommodates up to 85 people and we had bartenders creating custom cocktails, catered lunch, snorkeling and paddle boarding at a nearby private island, and some sunset salsa dancing. What an AMAZING was to spend the day or have a rehearsal dinner!
The day of the photo shoot we had a call time of 4:30am, so we could avoid the heat and any potential tropical rain storms. We ended up not having either of those and had perfect weather each day we were there! We got to shoot on both of the resort’s private beaches (since the hotel property is on a hillside on an ithsmus on a narrow strip of land, they are in between two private beaches). We also had access to their grassy areas overlooking the cliffs and ocean and in their private villas with infinity pools. Most of their villas sit cliffside as well and have wrap around porches, rain showers on the balconies, and just 180 ocean views around you. It was a truly a stunning place to have a photo shoot! By dinner time we were all up for almost 24 hours prepping and shooting by then and were deliriously tired and having one too many glasses of wine, which led to an impromptu bridal gown fashion show and dancing on the tables. It was like we were as pack of wild monkeys on the loose…I SWEAR we are ALL professionals! LOL
After spending a week in paradise there, we left for a couple of day (Courtesy of 3 Monkies Transport) to tour some of the nearby private villas where you can also host a wedding or event. Some of these places are close to the Four Seasons and can be a great addition to the wedding events and still have your guests staying nearby in utter luxury and comfort. On the list was Villa Manzu (where Kelly Rowland got married only 2 days before we got there), the Las Mareas Villas, El Chante, Casa Alang-Alang, and Casa Puros Dieces in nearby Tamarindo. El Chante was my favorite, because it was designed and furnished with a South Pacific/Balinesian influence which happens to be my favorite. We had champagne up on the cliffside balconies and watched the sunset and listened to howler monkeys in the trees. It was a magical place and very affordable to rent out for a wedding.
I can’t believe that it has only been a week since we all left that paradise and next week I will already be leaving on my next adventure to Asia. I LOVED my mini crazy Costa Rican Family that I adopted while on the FAM trip and hopefully we will all get together soon (SO sad I will be missing ENGAGE in Colorado in June!). We had such a ridiculously fun time there that I had to post some of the outtakes from the trip!