Expats turn your Costa Rican siesta from lame to lavish.


If you’re planning an escape to Costa Rica this year, be sure to check in with Mark Mead and Michael Brown of the eponymous Mead Brown, a full-service, vacation rental marketing and property management company specializing in the country’s Central Pacific Coast. The company is widely regarded as one of—if not the—best for travel to Costa Rica, a hard-earned distinction for its two founders. After all, Mead and Brown gave up fast-paced careers in the United States to set up shop in Costa Rica, where they drew on their own experience as tourists to create one-of-a-kind vacations for a market that had, in their eyes, gone uncatered to, or at least insufficiently so.

“After rewarding careers in the US, we knew we wanted adventure and to live abroad,” says Brown. “Several visits as tourists to Costa Rica illustrated the need—and business opportunity—for a professionally managed vacation rental company that could deliver to the expectations of North Americans. After a year of research and planning and the investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars into the best systems, we opened for business.”

The result was Mead Brown, which now boasts a diverse collection of privately owned beachfront villas, houses, condos, and fincas in the Jaco, Playa Hermosa, Herradura, and Los Sueños areas. Mead Brown has also become the preferred vacation rental provider for the Los Sueños Resort & Marina, where clients enjoy lavish condominium accommodations and leisure, sporting, and spa privileges.

Mead Brown also offers complete concierge services, meaning clients can craft the ultimate vacation package. Spa services, championship golf, world-class sport fishing, horseback riding, sea kayaking, and flora-and fauna tours are among the wishes and whims the outfitÂ’s dedicated guest services staff can fulfill. ThereÂ’s also the placement of private chefs, as well as air- and watercraft charters, housekeeping, and transportation.

“Service is what sets us apart from most of the vacation rental companies in Central America,” Brown says. Even when the most hedonistic at heart come calling, Brown, like a seasoned hotelier, has the answer: “We will do virtually anything to meet our guests’ needs, expectations, and wishes,” he says. “This is a promise not easily fulfilled in a developing country, but we give it our very best and we typically deliver.”

So how are these American expats adjusting to life in this business? “It’s been really gratifying and rewarding for us,” Brown says. “When [guests] leave, they tell us that they’ve never been so well taken care of. It seems a bit odd to us . . . it’s not as though we are peeling their grapes.” Maybe so, but we have a feeling that this hospitable pair would be happily willing to do just that.—Lindsay Lambert

Mead BrownÂ’s accommodations range from fully equipped three-bedroom condos from $300 per night to seven-bedroom villas at $7,500 per night; all properties include daily housekeeping. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.meadbrown.com or call 866-567-1516.