Hotel Online  Special Report


  Manuel Torres and Hal Wright Partnership Creates Resort on Costa Rica’s
Southern Pacific Coast; Martial Thevenaz Named
General Manager of Kiana Resort  
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 Torres
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 the world. 
Hal Wright
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.
General Manager 
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 200-room resort.
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 functions.

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 and programs.  


Kiana Resorts
Playa Dominical

Also See: Genesis, a Costa Rican Developer, to Build an Ultra-Luxe St. Regis Resort and Residences in the Playa Coyol Area of Costa Rica / May 2006
Minnesota Developers Blaine Kirchert and Rich Pakonen Building a Regent Hotel on the Pacific Coast of Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica / November 2006


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