Appointments & Promotions

Hacienda Altagracia Appoints Ramces Castillo as Executive Chef

New Chef Celebrates Regional Flavors with Dishes Sourced from On-site Farm

SAN ISIDRO, C.R. March 27, 2017 - Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection’s first Central American property located in Costa Rica’s lush mountains of Pérez Zeledón, announces the appointment of Ramces Castillo as Executive Chef. In his new role Castillo will lead the culinary program for all of the resort’s dining outlets including its signature restaurant, Ambar. Pairing classical cooking techniques with the flavors of Latin America, Chef’s new menu will celebrate the bounty of the region and will be sourced from the resort’s on-site 20-acre sustainably managed farm.

“We are excited to welcome Chef Castillo to lead our culinary team,” said JP Alfonso, general manager of Hacienda AltaGracia. “His professional experience, understanding of flavors and inspired approach to fresh, locally-sourced cuisine will truly embrace our destination-focused culinary program.”

Chef Castillo will bring a distinct global perspective and command of Latin flavor profiles to Hacienda AltaGracia, building upon a culinary trajectory of more than 10 years that has included top positions in St. Lucia, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Chef’s remarkable dishes, using local ingredients and plated in an artistic manner, are a result of his skillful precision of Japanese knife skills and appreciations of the elegance and finesse of classic French cuisine.

Cultivating the best ingredients for the kitchen from the on-site organic farm, Chef Castillo invites guests to dig in and accompany him in the selection of fresh produce each morning for the days’ dishes at Hacienda AltaGracia’s organic farm, La Huerta. For lunch, guests can experience the harvesting of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs immediately before they are prepared and served at an al fresco barbeque right onsite at the farm.

Chef Castillo’s menus at the resort will be ever-changing and always reflective of the seasons. They will feature selections that incorporate the region’s best local produce and fresh ingredients with signature dishes such as Pan Seared Local White Trout with creamy watercress, wild berries, tapioca and lavender foam.

Chef Castillo lives in Pérez Zeledón with his wife and three daughters.

About Hacienda AltaGracia

Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection’s first Central American property, is set amidst the lush mountains of Pérez Zeledón in the southern region of Costa Rica. Originally conceived and developed as a family retreat and coffee farm, the luxury resort features 50 hacienda-style casitas including expansive patios and terraces offering sweeping views of the San Isidro Valley; stunning window walls that bring the surrounding nature indoors; rustic-elegant décor rooted in rich leathers, woods and handcrafted Costa Rican artwork. The property offers overnight accommodations, spa and wellness facilities, a panoramic pool, indoor/outdoor dining venues and an equestrian program featuring breed horses for all skill levels. In keeping with the rich heritage of Costa Rica, Hacienda AltaGracia offers a dynamic roster of activities connecting guests with nature and each other with programs ranging from coffee plantation and wildlife refuge excursions to a signature fitness journey and ultralight flight tours showcasing the Nauyaca waterfalls, ocean and valleys from the resort’s own private landing strip. For more information about Hacienda AltaGracia, please visit altagracia.aubergeresorts.com.

About Auberge Resorts Collection

Auberge Resorts Collection owns and operates a portfolio of exceptional hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs. While Auberge nurtures the individuality of each property, all share a crafted approach to luxury that is expressed through captivating design, exceptional cuisine and spas, and gracious yet unobtrusive service. Properties in the Auberge Resorts Collection include: Auberge du Soleil, Calistoga Ranch and Solage, Napa Valley, Calif.; Esperanza and Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Los Cabos, Mexico; Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colo.; Malliouhana, Anguilla; Nanuku, Fiji; Element 52, Telluride, Colo.; Hacienda AltaGracia, Costa Rica; and Auberge Beach Residences and Spa Fort Lauderdale (opening 2017) and The Lodge at Blue Sky, Utah (opening fall 2018), with several others in development. For more information about Auberge Resorts Collection, please visit http://www.aubergeresorts.com/. Follow Auberge Resorts Collection on Facebook at facebook.com/AubergeResorts and on Twitter and Instagram at @AubergeResorts.

Contact:
Rachel Farnham
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Murphy O'Brien Public Relations
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Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.