Working at a hostel: Behind the Scenes

Posted by Susan in Traveling 27 Apr 2015

To the right of the reception desk at Room2Board, there is a small office where you can find Carolina busy at work. She started at Room2Board as our General Manger,  just a month after we opened our doors in May. Carolina (or Caro as we endearingly call her) is the hardest working person at R2B that you will probably never meet. Like most Ticos she works a 6 day work week. She ensures everything runs smoothly so that our guests have the best possible experience. She is also one of the most demanding people you will meet, just ask our staff. But that is why Room2Board is as clean and well run as it is.  Next time you are at Room2Board, knock on the office door and introduce yourself and let Caro know how much you like the place.  (It’s also a good way to cool off- as the AC runs full time in there!)

Meet Carolina:

Where are you from?
I’m from Costa Rica!

What is your background and your management strategy?
I am a professional in business management. I am passionate about marketing and I am interested in digital media, sociology and neuroscience. I have experience in business start-ups, business plans, corporate events, hotels/ tourism and real estate.

I believe that things have to be done with passion; I also believe that the new marketing is not about media, but about relationships. The most important assets of companies are the people with in it. Leaders are those who focus on the strengths of those people.  I believe that there is no work without teamwork.

I think that control is a lie, that the only constant in life is change,

What do you do at Room2Board? Tell me about a typical day.
I ensure that the operation of the day to day runs smoothly, for our clients to feel that we all work to make sure their stay at Room2Board is the best experience they have in a hostel and in Costa Rica.

My typical day is never “typical”.  There is always something new that gets my attention.  Every day I work with vendors, maintenance, cleaning, staff issues, schedules, meetings, pay roll, acoounting, bank payments, bill payments, marketing, social media, internal operations  and training new volunteers and staff.

The hardest part of my job is when our volunteers leave, because we get attached to them quickly.  We are a family at a Room2Board.

Did you ever stay in a hostel before running Room2Board?
Yes, a lot of times travel in side of Costa Rica has a backpacker.

What’s the favorite part of your job?
I love working at a hostel.  My favority part is seeing my Room2Board family happy, working with a smile on ther faces, looking for solution to the problems we confront every day .  I love meeting new and interesting people from all around the world.  I wish I could spend more time hanging out at the bar and socializing with the guests.

What is the least favorite part of your job?
Jajajajaj drama, and people that do not follow the house rules….. Brian, the owner when he is having a bad day jajajaja (not too often).

What do you do when you are not working?

CarolinaI love traveling, seeing new places, new people, new foods and experiencing new cultures.

I love to hike Jaco mountains, go to the beach,read a good book, dance, visit my family in San Jose, work out, spend time with my true friends, go out for a nice dinner and drink.

Tell me a few must do things for people visiting Costa Rica.

•Come to Jaco and learn how to surf with Room2Board
•Visit Manuel Antonio National Park
•Visit Arenal Volcano and the hot spings in La Fortuna
•Visit Santa Teresa Beach, Playa Hermosa
•Visit Puerto Viejo in Limon
•Do the city tour in San Jose

Can you share with me a few places that tourists wouldn’t know about?

•Secret Natural Rivers and waterfalls in Costa Rica (ask a local)
•Jaco Miro mountain secret view (no the one every one will take you)
•Cantina el tajo, local bar in the mountain
•A typical Costa Rican farm in the country with horses and cows, etc

Favorite restaurants in Jaco?

•Tsunami sushi
•Chinita Pacific
•Green Room
•and of course Room2Board

Can you tell me a few things about Tico’s/Tica’s that most people wouldn’t know.

•We are very friendly and hospitable
•We will treat you as a family all the time
•We will give you the best we have
•Most ticos love football, beers and typical food
•Sundays are for spend time with family
•We are pura vida!

What does Pura Vida really mean?
Means “pure life”, means that everything is cool, delicious, fine, good, means that life is to enjoy and not to worry to much…

Anything else you want to add:
I’m not as serious as I look, but I’m the boss lady here” 🙂

"I'm not as serious as I seem, but I am the boss lady here."

“I’m not as serious as I seem, but I am the boss lady here.”

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