Groups Explore Costa Rican Nature, Culture at Westin, Playa Conchal

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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

Starwood’s first all-inclusive resort, The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, is located inside the Natural Reserve of Wildlife Conchal. As such, the 4-year-old resort was designed so attendees can interact with the local nature as well as experience myriad cultural activities that highlight the Costa Rican lifestyle.

“Guests can enjoy the beautiful vegetation of the native forests of Costa Rica, and watch the animals that live inside the reserve such as iguanas, monkeys, coatis and several birds,” says Francina Gutierrez, director of sales and marketing for the property.

In addition to its nature activities—kayaking, snorkeling and fishing, for instance—the resort offers groups a glimpse of Costa Rican culture, with everything from Costa Rican cooking classes to Costa Rican craft-making to coffee tastings to coconut-throwing contests available. Gutierrez says that up to 10 attendees (per class) can enjoy a cooking class in which they will learn about the different Costa Rican ingredients and how to prepare local dishes such as gallo pinto, casado, picadillo, empanadas, tortillas and guanacastecas. “Foodies have a chance to participate in the creation of the plates with the chef and in turn, of course, try the dishes,” says Gutierrez.

For larger groups, the property offers Beach Olympics with a wide variety of activities that encourage teambuilding. For instance, coconut throwing requires each team member to stand one behind the other. The first person in line will get on his or her knees to throw a coconut backwards. Each team member will take a turn, and whichever team sends the coconut the farthest wins. Squeeze the Towel is another activity in which a team member will wet a towel in the ocean and bring it back to the team where someone will squeeze the water out of the towel. The first team to get the established amount of water in the bottle wins.

The property recently renovated the Abalone Bar & Terrace, which Gutierrez says has beautiful views of the golf course and lake, and is one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset. Plus, it is available for evening welcome and cocktail receptions. The property also debuted a new Hospitality Lounge Office, which serves as a central location for meeting planners planning events in the resort’s 8,450 sf of meeting space. The resort can also do private check-ins for groups in either the main lobby or onsite convention center.

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