Created by vacation connoisseurs Mark Mead and Michael Brown, Mead Brown strives to create unforgettable, luxurious travel experiences. The cofounders, who once enjoyed successful careers in the U.S. working with princes and presidents, diplomats and debutantes, are quite the duo that, as Brown explains, “perfectly balance one another. We are completely different in personality, but we have wholly complementary skill sets.” Those impressive skill sets are what have made them the go-to guys for Costa Rican travel.
Their inventory of properties in the land of la pura vida includes everything from condo units in the über-posh Vista Las Palmas, villas at Manuel Antonio National Park or in Los Sueños Golf Resort & Marina, and remarkable grand estates. The crown jewels of the property portfolio include Punto de Vista, a 10-bedroom, all-inclusive event manor situated on an acre of tropical rainforest. As Brown divulges, “The owner conceived it as a yacht on land. It’s perfect for a wedding, special birthday, corporate group function, or large family gathering.” The Zephyr Palace, which has hosted some of the world’s wealthiest, offers privacy fit for a celebrity. Guests can relish in the fully staffed, breathtaking mansion overlooking the Nicoya Gulf.
But what really catapults Mead Brown into a category all their own is their commitment to over-the-top concierge services. “We are so much more than just a vacation rental firm,” Brown says, explaining that if a client can imagine it, they can make it happen. From personal chefs and Dominican cigar rollers to scheduling spa appointments and arranging yachting excursions, Mead Brown attends to virtually any desire with over-zealous attention to detail. “Once a guest called and requested a case of Cristal. There was none in the whole country, so we had it helicoptered in from Panama,” says Brown.
Their ability and commitment to over-deliver on their promises to guests and owners is what has allowed the company to grow leaps and bounds, despite the global economy in 2009. “Our success is driven by our ability to fulfill the needs and expectations of the sophisticated North American traveler that previously had been unmet in this market.” He explains that when traveling to Costa Rica, the American luxury connoisseur wants to be enveloped in the natural beauty of the country, but still wants the creature comforts of the modern lifestyle to which they are accustomed.
According to Brown, the draw to set up shop in Costa Rica was “the awe-inspiring landscape, stable democratic government, and the high literacy rate, which at 96 percent is higher even than in the U.S. People here are educated and genuinely friendly,” Brown points out.
“Americans are attracted to Costa Rica specifically for the adventure,” he says, “the monkeys, the flora, the fauna. Think of the migration patterns of animals such as birds and whales between North and South America; because they all pass through or by this very narrow bridge of a country we have an incredible abundance of nature all around.” Brown is dead on; Costa Rica boasts more than 1,000 species of butterflies, 1,300 types of orchids, and is a world-class sport-fishing destination for sailfish and marlin.
Mead Brown clients can fly private into San Jose, where they are then transported to a tropical vacation oasis by helicopter or Mercedes shuttle.