|Dominical, Costa Rica - December 18, 2006 - In mid-2007 a new world-class
boutique resort will be unveiled on the pristine oceanfront amidst the
Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific Coast and mountainous rainforest. Kiana
Resort at Playa Dominical will lure international travelers who enjoy luxury
amenities and services in a serene, remote getaway, steps away from one
of the wildest places on earth.
The resort is an intimate escape comprised of just 26 exquisitely furnished,
1,500-square-foot beachfront villas grouped into four “village clusters.”
It features a full service spa, an oceanfront gourmet restaurant, four
pools and a fitness gym, all surrounded by a nature preserve filled with
chattering monkeys and other exotic wildlife.
Kiana is the brainchild of Manuel Torres, who has traveled the world
for both business and pleasure. His collective experience created the foundation
for nearly every aspect of Kiana from the design to the level and style
of service that will be provided. The resort will be led by general manager
Martial Thevenaz, who brings an international hospitality pedigree to Kiana.
Originally from Switzerland, Thevenaz most recently served as the general
manager of world-renowned Hotel Bora Bora, an Amanresorts property.
“Kiana will appeal to adventurous spirits who want to explore the most
beautiful parts of Costa Rica, only to return to an enclave of rest and
relaxation when the day is over,” said General Manager Martial Thevenaz.
“Guests will have access to amenities found at the world’s finest hotels
with the breathtaking attractions provided by Mother Nature.”
Manuel Torres is the primary developer and owner of Kiana. He is in
partnership with Hal Wright.
Manuel has lived in seven countries, traveled to almost 50 countries,
and run business operations in over 25 countries. He has spent over 15
years in the highly competitive and disciplined technology industry, mostly
with Intel Corporation. Manuel has served in various executive marketing
and business development roles across Asia Pacific, Japan, Latin America,
and Europe. He helped stimulate Intel sales and branding efforts around
Hal has more than 30 years of real estate development experience. He
came to Costa Rica in 1998 with the goal of creating top quality oceanfront
developments on the Pacific coast. Prior to coming to Costa Rica, Hal developed
over 300 hotels across the United States. He was a founder of two publicly
traded hotel companies. Hal is a full-time resident of Costa Rica.
Martial Thevenaz, General Manager of Kiana Resort in Dominical, Costa
Rica, is accustomed to treating hotel guests like royalty. After all, during
his time in the late ‘90s as Food and Beverage Manager at the Cape Panwa
Hotel in Phuket, Thailand, the Thai Royal Family were often guests at the
At Kiana, Thevenaz will devote the same care and attention to travellers
who visit this beachfront resort uniquely situated at the crossroads of
Costa Rica’s mountainous jungle and the southern Pacific coast. His years
of managing some of the world’s most luxurious tropical resorts make him
the perfect ambassador to welcome guests at Kiana.
As a veteran of the hospitality industry, Thevenaz brings to the table
a wealth of knowledge and experience. Prior to joining Kiana, he spent
the last 2 ½ years as General Manager of Hotel Bora Bora, an Amanresorts
property. The 2006 Zagat Survey of Top International Hotels, Resorts and
Spas has named Amanresorts the world's leading international hotel group.
At Hotel Bora Bora, Thevenaz often welcomed some of Hollywood’s most famous
celebrities. There he was promoted to General Manager of the hotel after
spending two years restructuring most of the property’s departments.
Born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1968, Thevenaz grew up on Lake Geneva’s
shores. As a teenager, Thevenaz expressed interest about all aspects of
the restaurant and hotel industry and attended the Business High School
of Lausanne. Therefore, it was no surprise when he began work in the hospitality
field. Thevenaz gained experience at properties in his native country as
well as in the United States including The Crans Ambassador Hotel in Montana,
the Novotel Accor in Lausanne, the Hotel Euler in Basel, Mövenpick
Radisson Hotel, and the ANA Hotel San Francisco. In 1993, he graduated
from the Hotel Management School of Lausanne.
In February 1994, he became the Restaurants & Bars Manager at Le
Meridien Phuket in Thailand, where he oversaw 13 restaurants and five bars.
A little more than two years later he moved to the Cape Panwa Hotel, also
in Phuket, where he served as Food and Beverage Manager, managing a staff
of 165 employees and overseeing 10 food and beverage outlets.
After 6 years spent in the “Country of the Smile,” as Thailand is often
called, Thevenaz moved to the tropical islands of the Seychelles. Here
he shared his now extensive experience in the hotel and restaurant industry
at the 200-room Plantation Club & Casino, where he was Food and Beverage
Manager and then Executive Assistant Manager.
Thevenaz left the Plantation Club & Casino in 2001 to return to
Switzerland, where he attended the Project Management Institute in Lausanne
to further refine his skills. Shortly after, in 2002, he returned to hospitality
management at Hotel Bora Bora and ultimately, in the fall of 2006, to lead
the team at Kiana. Thevenaz is married and has three children ages 12 and
6 and an infant.
That unique vacation experience is partially the result of a setting
the resort developers intentionally left untouched. Kiana is amidst more
than 2,000 acres of mountainous rainforest purchased for the resort and
other real estate ventures, 80 percent of which will remain jungle green
space. Kiana guests will be able to stroll out their door to nearly empty
beaches or explore the jungle and all the wonders it holds.
Here, shopping malls and golf courses are no where to be found.
Instead this unique setting will lure outdoor enthusiasts with activities
including surfing, horseback rides through the jungle, canopy tours, sunning
on the beach, and trips to the Osa Peninsula, which National Geographic
called “the most bio-diverse place on earth”.
When not out exploring Costa Rica’s natural offerings, guests will enjoy
villa accommodations appointed with the finest furnishings. The living
and entertainment spaces will have a “Tropical Modern” theme, combining
elements of Southeast Asian and Latin design for rustic simplicity and
understated elegance. The open floor plans embrace full kitchens along
with decks and covered terraces to ensure that guests can appreciate the
outdoors while enjoying a comfortable indoor retreat.
In addition to a one-of-a-kind setting and luxury accommodations, the
Kiana’s culinary team will play a central role in the guest experience.
Cuisines will be sourced with seasonal and local ingredients, with an emphasis
on freshly caught seafood coupled with a dose of Asian Influences. Guests
will enjoy culinary creations from the main restaurant’s open-stage kitchen,
as well as in-villa dining, beachside dining, private caterings small group
Additional amenities and services offered at Kiana include a specialized
team supplying a wide range of in- villa and resort-wide concierge services,
a multi-purpose library and boardroom, daily and evening housekeeping services,
laundry valet service, private tour guides, and educational presentations