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As I continued my travels through beautiful Costa Rica, truly rich in warm hospitality, I kept remembering the famous words of Mr. Conrad Hilton – the founder of “the greatest of them all” Waldorf Astoria in NYC and the Hilton Hotels chain – “it is our promise to spread the warmth and light of hospitality around the world”. Truly, if you think about a job in hospitality, as the one that fills someone’s life with warmth and light or makes someone’s experience most memorable, it helps you succeed and enjoy your job. Hospitality is a very rewarding industry, but it does require passion and dedication.

Being a hotel professional, and especially a graduate from the Glion Hotel School, teaches you how to be the best in this industry; I always pay attention to all the details, when I stay at a hotel. I do not stop learning, and travelling to other hotels helps me understand what it is that they do best and how they do it. I guess it has become my professional habit.

But now back to my trip to Costa Rica…

After having soaked up enough of sun on the Pacific side of Costa Rica we took off to La Fortuna – the home of Arenal Volcano. This magnificent natural creation is active, and attracts lots of tourists from all over the world. The Arenal area is known for ecotourism, and different activities including but not limited to waterfall rappelling, zip lining, whitewater rafting, hiking, natural hot springs, etc. We stayed at the Tabacon Hotel, which was named after a little town of Tabacon destroyed during the volcano’s eruption in 1968. The hotel is quite unique as it sits at the foot of the volcano and is surrounded by hot springs, offering an unparalleled experience to its guests. Each room has a view of the volcano, although only lucky ones can see the top of the volcano, which is usually wrapped into fluffy white clouds. The territory of the hotel is like a botanical garden; the beauty of some flowers and plants truly takes your breath away. Truly an amazing and serene place!

After all the gardens had been explored and the warm waters in the springs had been enjoyed, we took off for some extreme sports. Before going to Costa Rica I did not even have any desire to do extreme or semi extreme activities. But, somehow, my friends got me signed up for a waterfall rappelling and a category 4-whitewater rafting (if you have not done whitewater rafting before, there are only 6 categories of difficulty, with the Niagara Falls at the top of the difficulty chart, so you can imagine that my category 4 was not a joke at all). Despite my hesitance, I wanted to be a good sport and experience something new. And, oh my, what a good choice I made! I absolutely loved both experiences, but especially the whitewater rafting although the rapids were pretty rough. It was such a wonderful 9-mile ride full of challenges, underwater rocks, amazing views of the mountains, tiny local villages, green lush meadows, – a truly precious time! Lesson learned: do not be afraid of new experiences, they are usually the best ones!

That concluded my amazing trip to Costa Rica. On the way to the airport I was thinking which hotel I had liked the most. And, truthfully, they all had a nice design, tasty cuisine, and unique locations, but one thing that stood out was the hospitality, openness, friendliness, and pride of the people working at those hotels. If I ever go back, I will definitely go back to the same hotels, as I know that I will always feel welcome there. That is what sells your hotel, what makes an experience at your hotel like no other. Pretty walls and great amenities are just nice add-ons.

Another lesson learned: always keep up a positive spirit and you will be very successful in this industry!

And, I’d like to finish up with one of the Hilton taglines: “Travel can take you places!”

Yulia

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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