Michael Brown is half of the partnership of Mead Brown, a boutique vacation rental firm serving Costa Rica. The company offers private villas and homes plus premium condominiums for those who expect excellent value, personal service and supremely comfortable accommodations. Co-founders Mark Mead and Michael Brown once enjoyed successful careers in the U.S. working with the likes of princes, presidents, celebrities and sports stars. We asked Michael about the appeal of Costa Rica and what makes Mead Brown the go-to company for travel in this popular destination.
Tell us where your Costa Rican rental villas are located and how your clients get there from North America.
Mead Brown villas are located in Los Sueños Golf Resort and Marina, Manuel Antonio, and the lively beach town of Jaco. Guests fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose and then transfer by private Mercedes van or helicopter.
What are the draws of this region and the developments where you have properties available?
People are attracted to Costa Rica specifically for the adventure; for the flora and fauna. Because Costa Rica is such a relatively narrow bridge of land connecting North and South America, the country has a remarkable abundance of nature. Costa Rica boasts more than 1,000 species of butterflies and 1,300 types of orchids. Sixty-five world-record fish have been caught here. Beaches, rainforests, and the championship, par-72 golf course designed by Ted Robinson, Jr. in Los Sueños are all draws.
What makes these rental properties ideal for a vacation or honeymoon?
For the price of a hotel room, one can have a spacious 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom condo with the amenities of a hotel and the space found in a private home, including a fully-equipped kitchen, plus washer and dryer! All Mead Brown vacation rentals include daily housekeeping and wireless Internet. Some even have room service from a close-by hotel. Spend less, and get a greater value at every price point.
What kind of excursions do you recommend nearby?
We can arrange a whole variety of trips to meet guests' wish lists. Sport fishing for marlin and sailfish, white water rafting, sea kayaking, sailing and snorkeling, surfing, birding, zipline canopy tours, and ATV adventures are the major attractions of Costa Rica's Central Pacific Coast. Mead Brown crafts custom vacation experiences for guests.
There's been a lot of press lately about how the U.S. real estate slump has affected the property development markets and vacation markets in closely-linked international markets like Mexico and Costa Rica. What have you seen happening in your area?
Now is an ideal time to visit Costa Rica. Rates for vacation accommodations are down by 20% or more from a year or two ago; airfares are down as well.
I've got an extended family and I want to splash out for a week in Costa Rica, price be damned. Where would you put us?
Located in Los Sueños Golf Resort, Villa Firenze (pictured above) is simply the most sumptuously comfortable private home in all of Costa Rica. Billionaires, an ambassador, and other sophisticated and savvy travelers have universally acclaimed its beauty and comfort. With four really private bedroom suites, it's perfect for four couples or a family.
For larger families or groups, Punto de Vista in Manuel Antonio is a 10-bedroom mansion with a disco/ballroom, rooftop party deck with Jacuzzi, elevator, and open-air dining pavilion. Zephyr Palace near Playa Herradura has seven bedrooms, rents for $50,000 per week and is the perfect refuge for celebrities and others seeking privacy and luxury.
For a first-hand look at Mead Brown's offerings, see one of our writers' stories here: A Luxury Villa Vacation on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast
Interview conducted in 2011 by editor Timothy Scott.