Ecotourism Interview with Anamaya CEO, Geoff Mccabe

Why is being “green” important? Isn’t it just another over-hyped bandwagon everyone jumps on and eventually disappears?

anamaya-yoga-deck-with-view“Green” is the future… not a passing fad.  Countries around the world are continually improving their laws and green requirements, so it’s smart business to get ahead of the curve rather than retrofitting a business later.  Plus, being energy efficient saves money, and attracts clients.  And in the luxury market that we’re in, the clients are the most educated about what’s green and what’s not.  Rich people are all shopping at Whole Foods these days.  People who can afford not to be slowly poisoning their family with today’s toxic products, then they are spending the money on cleaner options, which are becoming available in every category… travel included.

How does Anamaya Resort offer health benefits?  Why do you feel that is important? What’s your definition of “health” at Anamaya?

Our rooms are as non-toxic as possible to build in Costa Rica.  Most people don’t even know that every paint, every varnish, every sealant, every piece of fabric, every plastic part, etc is constantly out-gassing “VOCs” (Volatile Organic Compounds) creating what’s known as a “toxic box” effect in most homes.  Today’s focus on good insulation and stopping energy/heat loss has even made the problem worse by keeping toxicity inside the home.  Hence the rising rates of cancer, allergies, asthma, etc.   At Anamaya, most of the food is organic and produced locally, plus our rooms are non-toxic and anti-allergenic.  They are designed for good airflow too.   It’s a remote area so the air and water are exceptionally clean and clear as well.  Plus we have a variety of detox and health services that we offer:   infrared sauna, accupuncture, lymph drainage massage, etc.

How would you define the “Anamaya experience”?

Everything about Anamaya is designed to be exceptionally healthy, refreshing, and fun.  The view takes away the breath of even the most jaded traveler who thinks he or she has seen everything.   People feel lucky to just know about such a place and the whole place is a “photo op”.   Our guests love sending photos of themselves their back to their friends and family to make them envious.   All our staff are exceptionally fun and amazing people who enjoy what they do and it rubs off on our guests.  I know every hotel in the area and there’s nothing like what we offer at Anamaya… our guests feel like they are part of something special… joining a big happy family for a week or two.  One of our guests said that he believes that everyone who visits Anamaya, when he or she looks back on his life in his old age, will list his visit to Anamaya as one of the top ten most precious experiences in his life, alongside the time he climbed to the top of the Pyramids of Egypt, and the visit to Machu Pichu.  That’s what we’re hoping to achieve here.

Say, a visitor at Anamaya enjoys the mind, body and spirit experience…but when they go back home, they are back to the same old habits and atmosphere…or are they?

We hope to not just entertain, but to inspire.  We hope our guests will fall in love with the lifestyle that they experience here at Anamaya, and vow to make changes in their life.  Our website is full of information about what we believe in… about health, toxicity, organic food, etc, and we’re constantly adding new information.  Anamaya is part of a spearhead of good health that is driving into our toxic culture, setting an example of how things should be done and what we can expect in the future, and we are providing information about what we’re doing, and why, to everyone, hoping our competitors will imitate us.  What a great concept… businesses competing to see who can provide the healthiest experience for their clients?  That’s my personal dream as a green entrepreneur.   Please, compete with me in this and challenge me to do even better!

Who is your ideal traveler/visitor?

We hope to appeal especially to people in various creative industries, such as film and music, and to people interested in organic/healthy food and living.  Because it’s one of the most beautiful hotels in Costa Rica, we also know it will naturally appeal to all wealthy travellers who are usually looking for an exceptional experience.  But despite our high-end appeal and luxurious features, the Anamaya experience is not about pampering our guests like some 5-star resorts do.  We appeal more to the younger action/adventure traveler or honeymooning couple who are looking for something phenomenal that’s still a little rough around the edges.  I would compare the Anamaya experience to something more like an African safari (without the dangerous beasts) than going to a Four Seasons Hotel.

Can you give me some fun, interesting or unusual facts about Anamaya or the people behind it? Any smaller hooks you can think of? It can be completely random…

Probably the most interesting thing about Anamaya is that three of the four partners of the hotel… Geoff, Joseph, and Karen, are all professional fire dancers.  Some of us have performed for Cirque du Soleil (for their VIP parties, not in the shows themselves.) The fourth partner, Kelsey, is a professional actress and model, so we’re all performers and love to entertain.

You have an extensive history with “green development” – what draws you to it?

I have a strong desier to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  Also, I did a seminar with Tony Robbins and I rememeber how he talked about ways to motivate onesself.  He said that if your job or business has values that are aligned with your heart and mind, then you will naturally wake up every day more motivated to work and excel.  At that time I had a jewelry/fashion business and although I loved the creativity, I wanted a business that was more green oriented, and so I vowed to work towards that goal.   Anamaya is about everything that I love most… organic healthy food, green building, fire dancing and entertainment.  So I’m more excited about this business than any other I’ve participated in.

– Geoff McCabe CEO/Owner, Anamaya Resort

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