A Bed and Breakfast in Costa Rica. Is it a lifestyle, a business or a hobby? Ten questions which might help you.

My outlook – A ‘heart to heart’ written by Ginette Laurin who has been offering her gracious hospitality at her Casa Laurin B&B in Escazu since 2001.

This is by no means an “expert opinion”. I am a ‘lifestyle’ Costa Rica B&B owner still in training! I am sharing my thoughts hoping to help future innkeepers.

If you are contemplating this wonderful profession, it is important to identify the type of innkeeper you wish to be:

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Business
  3. Hobby or, a combination thereof.

Since all of us have had a “past life”, I suggest an honest review of your natural and learned skills as well as areas where you may require assistance to keep up with an innkeeper’s 24-hour-on-duty lifestyle.



If you plan to share the pleasures of inn-keeping with a life or business partner, you may want to do the review individually and compare results.



Give yourself a score (1-10) on the topics listed below. Of course, anything you feel is ‘not you’ can be adjusted to your style or be assigned to someone else: spouse, business partner or hired help.



To trigger the evaluation process, these ten questions might be useful.

Running a B&B in Costa Rica
Ten Questions Which Might Help You.

  1. Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses?

  2. What do I like to do? What do I find easy and moderately easy to do?

  3. What is it I don’t like to do and require discipline when I need to do it?

  4. What is it I don’t want to do or don’t have the ability to do?

  5. Am I willing to learn Spanish?

  6. Good Health, high energy: Can you take care of your physical, mental and spiritual ‘Self’ (take time to ‘fill up your tank’) while offering TLC and full customer service to your guests? Are you a morning person? Can you smile when you get up and enjoy your guests before your first cup of coffee? Can you go to bed late and wake up early four nights in a row? Can you take vacation time every year?

  7. “Unconditional” love of humankind: Can you have someone ‘in your space’ many hours every day? Can you adapt to other cultures? Are you interested to learn about other people’s life experience? Can you accept the differences? Can you be around people who think they know it all or people who need to be guided? Are you open to learning from every circumstance in your life?

  8. Organization: Can you handle multiple tasks? Can you prioritize, coordinate, delegate? Are you curious? Can you be creative? Can you make the best of everything? Can you look for solutions and stay positive? Can you keep things simple? Are you patient or do you want to learn to be patient? Are you good at bookkeeping? Marketing? Are you up to reading or filling out long information sheets in Spanish?

  9. Love my Staff! Can you learn from your helpers? Can you treat your staff as you would like to be treated? Can you say: I love you!? Can you appreciate your staff’s commitment? Are you willing to train your staff to your standards and train them again? Are you willing to accept that individual perceptions guide people’s behavior? Can you be specific in your requests?

  10. Good price, smart food: Are you a chef? Can you adapt menus to guests’ food restrictions or preferences? Do you cook with love or just salt and pepper? Can you manage a fridge? Would you rather order in when you have visitors? Do you think that guests will come back for the quality or presentation of your dishes if not served with a smile? Can you plan a feast at a price you can afford?

Casa Laurin B&B in Escazu, Costa Rica.

If your results show that you are an unadulterated #2, your business drive and skills probably have already taken care of the details. After a thorough survey, you must have on hand your business plan with a 5-year strategic action plan by now.



If you have discovered that you are a genuine #3, make sure that you move to Costa Rica with enough money to support yourself, invite your friends and family to put in a good word for you and enjoy the ride!



I am a #1 and you might be one too. I am hoping that sharing my “hands-on” experience will clarify if being an innkeeper in Costa Rica would suit your lifestyle. I am a firm believer that learning Spanish is mandatory and be a part of the process.



The location you choose (city versus country, beach vs. mountain) will impact the type of guest, turnover, length of stay and other aspects of your business but remember that the FIRST people to enjoy or endure the environment has to be YOU.



Let your body guide you – it knows where it is going to be content and comfortable. In my view LIFESTYLE is a condition, not a goal. Living in an environment where you are happy, you will attract like-minded guests who are looking for the same atmosphere – See? You already have something in common when they arrive! The first contact is established!




Written by Ginette Laurin who came to Costa Rica in March 2000. She arrived alone at San Jose airport with one suitcase, a thin wallet and a big dream… To open a B&B and live happily ever after. After 16 years of enjoying my innkeeper’s lifestyle position, she is still learning and enjoying life.


Ultra-Convenient Casa Laurin B&B in Escazu, Costa Rica.

Casa Laurin is a cozy four bedroom home built in a traditional Costa Rican style and nestled in the upscale neighborhood of Trejos Montealegre in Escazu. This part of Escazu has good sidewalks and is walking distance to practically everything you could wish for…

We are located very near Hospital CIMA, one of the best hospitals in all of Central America and often have guests stay with us while they are taking advantage of the safe and very affordable surgery services offered by some of the best doctors and dentists in Costa Rica.

Casa Laurin is also only a few minutes away from MultiPlaza, the newest and largest modern shopping mall in Costa Rica and, many other stores where our guests love to shop.

Visit the Casa Laurin B&B Website Here!

For more information about quality homes and apartments for sale in the cosmopolitan areas of Escazu and Santa Ana, please contact our recommended, bilingual, reference-checked Costa Rica Realtor Andrés Henfling using the simple form below:

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