While staying in Las Catalinas, guests have the opportunity to become a true resident of town, settling into the easygoing Guanacaste way of life and connecting to the spirit of this lively community. A big part of this experience are town’s House Moms, who act as your host for the time that you’re in town. Like staying with a family friend, their work helps make your stay in town easier, and provides a great way to get to know Guanacaste.
It’s a different perspective on service during vacation. House Moms cook breakfast to start the day, prepare guacamole, smoothies, or fresh fruit for an afternoon snack, and help keep things tidy with housekeeping service and laundry, helping you out with all of the details that make vacation feel like vacation. But, more than that, they’re a friendly face to help ease into life in town, a great partner to practice Spanish with, and a connection to the local food, community, and way of life.
Read on for a look at the House Mom experience, which covers every house in the Baranda collection.
When the House Mom service first started, it was a small team of local women who helped out with the few homes clustered along the beaches of Playa Danta. Las Catalinas was very different back then, with a dirt road leading into town, much of the forest still recovering pasture land, and the town still in its infancy.
A special bond formed in the early years between the original House Moms and the early homeowners and visitors of Las Catalinas, one that endures to this day. In a small walkable town it’s very easy to get to know the people around you, and the House Moms became fast friends with the homeowners. Out of this friendship, the House Moms began to feel more like the hosts of the homes than just part of the team looking over it. Making breakfast and snacks became a fun way to chat and get to know each other, and before long the House Moms had become a crucial part of the heartbeat of town.
As town grew so did the House Mom program, with more House Moms joining the team from the surrounding areas. The close connection between town and the House Moms persevered, and even as more homes and more families joined the growing beach town, the House Moms were ever present. In a way, the House Moms are a pillar of the heart and soul of Las Catalinas, representing a constant connection to Guanacaste and the surrounding areas that remains to this day.
Today, the House Mom team is made up of 18 women mostly from the towns around Las Catalinas, who work together to cover homes in the Baranda collection. As a whole, most of the House Moms have been around town for many years, keeping an eye on things as attentive hosts of town’s homes and a constant link to the soul of Las Catalinas. They have formed strong friendships and bonds with the homeowners and guests, become like family to many of the people in town, and continue to make town a lively, interesting, and more wonderful place to stay year after year.
As de-facto hosts of the Baranda Collection, the House Moms are working in the home before guests arrive, double-checking to make sure that the home is ready for a visit, preparing local snacks and fruit, or other treats like their signature lemonade with mint. From there, throughout the day the House Moms check in to tidy up, making sure that guests are able to focus on the most fun parts of vacation.
One of the biggest times of day for House Moms is preparing breakfast. House Moms arrive in the morning and use the ingredients guests have (with the occasional addition of some local treats and fruit from their own gardens) to prepare breakfast for everyone in the home. They’re very skilled cooks, and can prepare continental, American, or one of the most popular options is desayuno típico, or the Costa Rican (Tico) breakfast.
House Moms shine with desayuno tico, preparing a breakfast of gallo pinto (specially prepared rice and beans), fried ripe plantain, eggs, natilla (a type of custard or sour cream), corn tortillas, fresh seasonal tropical fruits and Costa Rican coffee. No House Mom’s preparation is quite the same, as particular recipes are passed down within the family, so each bite of fresh made breakfast has a rich multigenerational history.
For guests, breakfast time with your House Mom can be a memorable part of the trip. You can practice Spanish, and even those who don’t have much experience in the language can find other ways to communicate perfectly well. Apart from the occasional translation app, most guests and House Moms find that they can understand each other just fine no matter what language they speak.
In this way, breakfast is an immersion in Guanacaste. You can learn to cook from your House Mom, getting the best tico tips and learning recipes that they’re happy to share. Having everyone together at the beginning of the day is an important part of life here, a moment of family time before setting off for the day’s adventures, and your House Mom is your host for the experience.
After breakfast, the House mom is in charge of cleaning and tidying of the home, and she’s not alone. Working with guests and the Concierge team, she pays special attention to any preferences to washing and cleaning, and can work through concierge to prepare your grocery lists to stock the fridge beforehand. During the day, she makes sure everything is tidy and clean, before preparing special snacks and treats for the afternoon.
If you come home from a long bike ride or a day out on the beach to find guacamole and tortilla chips, along with a sliced fruit plate of watermelon, pineapple, and mango as well as a few smoothies or signature lemonade with mint, you can thank your House Mom.
The House Moms are a central part of the Baranda Collection, and provide their unique take on hospitality to all homes. It’s an experience that’s not just focused on pampering, although the House Moms’ hospitality is definitely luxurious. Instead, having a House Mom is the chance to be hosted by a local Costa Rican, join them as part of the family, get a taste of Guanacaste culture, and be a true resident of the region during your stay in Las Catalinas.
Las Catalinas presents three-fold options for travelers as a destination: the cultural and ecological tourism the country’s tourist industry was founded on, a perspective on the New Luxury of pampering through connection, and as a growing trend of sabbatical-style stays. Within this walkable beach ...
Costa Rica is one of the hubs for sustainable travel in the world, the birthplace of ecotourism and of some of the first ecolodges in Tropical America, a world leader in conservation, and a country on the leading edge of sustainable energy, decarbonization, and combating climate change.
Desayuno Típico is the typical Costa Rican breakfast, a simple, healthy meal that can be found in sodas and homes around the country. Much like the casado, there are regional variations, but the staples of the meal are gallo pinto, fruit, fried plantains, eggs any style, and usually a grain like ...
Additionally you will receive our occasional newsletter. Absolute confidentiality. Never SPAM. You can unsubscribe at any time.