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  • Writer's pictureCasey Steele

Remote working from the Costa Rican jungle

Having worked in the digital media and tech industry my entire career, I’ve always appreciated a comfortable remote working environment. Costa Rica has recently announced a new law to attract foreigners who would like to work remotely from this beautiful country. This new visa will allow digital nomads to stay in the country for as long as a year with an extension for another if wanted. It also lets remote workers drive using your country’s drivers license and open up a Costa Rican bank account. This allows the freedom of travel around the country without the hassle of leaving every 90 days. Long-term rentals are becoming more and more popular as the world continues to shift remote. As workers realize that they have freedom and options around where they spend their time. Check out more here.

Back in 2017, the startup where I ran the commercial side of the business was acquired by SnapChat, one of the largest growing social media platforms. As part of the transition into their business, I was given the unique (at the time!) opportunity to work remotely which was very rare during pre-COVID times. I had many responsibilities including managing a team and owning client relationships that were spread across the US & Europe. I spent years traveling internationally for work conferences and meetings. And I traveled for pleasure as well. One “must have” in the multiple locations I spent my time was an accommodation with a good working environment. I found it difficult to find a hotel or Airbnb that had the amenities required to work comfortably and also relax when I needed a break. This would leave me on a never-ending search for coffee shops with wifi or spaces that would feel reliable. If you’ve worked remotely you can probably relate to the sentiment that this comes with the advantage of not being imprisoned by an office however there is an expectation that you are “always-on”. This is especially true in the tech industry where I spent 15 years of my career.

As a first-time boutique hotel owner, I am now on the other side of this. I’ve made this accessibility a major part of our mission and our promise to our guests at The Scarlet Villas. We’ve spent the last year making renovations to the hotel property that cater to remote workers. We’ve been racking our brains to come up with a turn that better suits the type of guests we are attracting. Digital Nomads sometimes look for cheap hostels w/ shared rooms so we found that to not completely suit our type of guest. Rather we are attracting remote / distance workers. I like to call them Digital Adventurers which could include anything from entrepreneurs, independent travelers, marketing or media professionals but of course, we welcome all industries!

Now back to the property. The Scarlet Villas gives you a plethora of options for remote working space and various unique areas to both dial in or check out. Our new working/recreational space “The Cage” was designed to feel like you are in an atrium, surrounded by nature and wildlife but secluded enough to give you the privacy needed to jump on a Zoom call. Or step into our Lapa Lounge where you can take calls from a beautiful air-conditioned space, soundproof so your colleagues can’t hear the toucans or howler monkeys in the background. Step back out and enjoy our hanging swing chair desk that sits directly adjacent to our private river.

One of our recent guests described his perfect day at the villas. “My day started with a wake-up call from the howler monkeys in the trees outside of my villa. It may have been a Monday but it wasn't like most Mondays. I was excited to start my week off in a jungle paradise. But first, coffee! I brewed the locally grown coffee provided to me in my villa. I started off checking emails from the swing chair desks listening to the river flowing behind me. Then I took a break to grill out some pork ribs bought locally to enjoy for lunch. After lunch, I was back at it taking calls from the Lapa Lounge. I needed a refresher after that so I went for a midday swim in the cool saltwater pool. The pool felt way too good to get out of so I finished off my afternoon working from the bar stools of the swim-up bar."

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