A native of Antwerp, Belgium, Kenny emigrated to Costa Rica in 2008. Having graduated from high school in Belgium, he studied economics and business administration in Costa Rica. Eager to go into business, Kenny left university to work as a property manager for House of Rentals in Flamingo, which he acquired not long after starting the job. House of Rentals grew into Special Places of Costa Rica, currently represented by offices in Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco, and known as one of the leading agencies in the area.
Kenny speaks and writes fluent Spanish, English and Dutch. He is the proud father of a Costa Rican son, Khael, who was born in 2016.
Passionate about his growing vacation rental and management business, Kenny is always looking for investments and opportunities. Hotel Pitaya Lodge (formerly Kakaos Lodge) is also under his management.
In 2020, he began building the first of several homes as part of a newly launched project development/construction company.
Pascale, Kenny’s mother and business partner, is the head accountant at Special Places. She is responsible for all the accounting, billing and taxes, managing the maid service, setting work schedules and procuring cleaning products.
Pascale is from Antwerp, Belgium, where she and her husband had a food-service business specializing in poultry. But they often traveled to the Caribbean and Central America, and in 2009 decided to move to Costa Rica.
“We thought it was time to follow some dreams, so we sold the business and came to Costa Rica,” she said. They traveled to every corner of the country, but they fell in love with Guanacaste and decided to settle in Flamingo. They couldn’t find a house that satisfied Pascale’s handyman husband, so they built their own on the hills above Potrero in Pacific Heights.
She says her proudest accomplishment is “bringing two beautiful sons into the world.”
Quote: “The way we raised them, they were very independent. We taught them to work also. Of course, school came first. To us it’s white and black, and the gray doesn’t exist. It’s good or bad.”
Carla works as an accounting assistant at Special Places and is also involved in property management.
She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Ciudad Guayana, where she earned a law and accountant degree and worked as a lawyer and accountant. Since coming to Costa Rica, she has worked as a manicurist, masseuse, bartender, waitress and artist.
A gifted artist and something of a Renaissance woman, Carla also draws and makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Her varied interests include dancing, hiking, scuba diving, traveling and discovering new cultures.
Quote: “My motto is ‘I know that I own the weak and fragile body of a woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.’ ”
A native of Nicoya who lives in Cartagena, Jhon works in accounting at Special Places, calculating reservation contracts, sales commissions and billing. He has been studying accounting at the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz for a year and a half.
His goal is to have an accounting firm of his own. His favorite hobby is artisanal fishing, usually from a boat out of Flamingo, and he once caught a 70-pound mahi-mahi. He also has caught marlin in Tamarindo and Quepos.
His greatest pride is a nearly 2-year-old daughter named Elizabeth Aitana.
Quote: “I think the most marvelous thing that’s happened to me would be the birth of my daughter. That’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
Rebeca is an accounting assistant at Special Places, processing invoices and accounts payable and monitoring vehicle fleet expenses.
Originally from San José, she studied accounting at two institutions there and spent years working in accounting for two international shipping firms.
She currently lives in Santa Cruz, where she is married and has dogs and cats. She is a big fan of the Saprissa soccer team and also likes going to the beach and the movies.
Quote: “Haz bien y no mires a quién,” meaning, “Do good without considering to whom.”
Gabriel joined Special Places as an accounting assistant at the age of 20. He was born in Liberia and currently lives in Filadelfia with his family.
He studied at the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Carrillo, with a specialty in accounting and auditing. He worked previously as an accounting assistant and secretary for a clinic in Palestina de Belén that serves disabled people.
Gabriel enjoys mountain biking, and for the past eight years he has volunteered at the Red Cross in Filadelfia, working mostly in strategic communication.
Quote: “We never have to give up on a dream just because of the time it takes to achieve it.”
Johanna is an accounting assistant who manages rental contracts and provides support in accounts payable and receivable.
Originally from San José, Johanna lives in Lagunilla, near Santa Cruz. She has a husband, two daughters, two cats, one dog, three goats and a duck farm!
Johanna studied business administration and specializes in contract management. She likes to read books, spend time with her family and go to the movies and the theater.
Quote: “Don’t give problems or people the power to harm you, because only you decide how much damage they can do.”
Gustavo is an accounting assistant who works in billing, revenue and expenses, as well as archiving information about Special Places properties.
A native of Guanacaste, Gustavo lives in La Garita with one dog and three cats. He has a degree in criminology from the Universidad Libre de Costa Rica and a chef certificate from the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA). He is currently studying accounting at Universidad San Marcos.
Gustavo formerly worked as operating manager of La Boya water park in Huacas, as head chef at the Crazy Monkey and Anclas, and in other roles at Best Western and Super Compro in Tamarindo.
His greatest passion is cooking, and he likes to watch documentaries that analyze criminal behavior.
Quote: “Live one day at a time.”
Daniela works as an administrative assistant in Human Resources, helping with payroll, health benefits and insurance, as well as onboarding new personnel.
Born in Liberia, she now lives in Villarreal, and she not only has two dogs but also a horse. She adores animals and loves to go horseback riding in the country. She also likes listening to Latin music like cumbia and salsa.
Daniela has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Universidad Libre de Costa Rica (ULICORI). Before coming to Special Places, she worked as an HR assistant at the Occidental Hotel in Tamarindo, where she learned a lot about Human Resources in a real-world environment.
Quote: “Take risks, because everything good starts with a little fear!”
Carlos is a concierge for Special Places, serving as a reliable contact for guests in helping them to plan their vacation with different options and suggestions from before their arrival and during their stay.
Originally from Coyolito de Belén, Carlos lives in Cartagena with his wife, two sons and two dogs.
He studied at Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, earning a degree in teaching English, and he’s currently studying at Universidad Hispanoamericana. He also has a degree in technology from Monterrey in analysis of hotel processes.
He worked previously for Marriott, Westin and other hotels. His hobbies are music and television.
Quote: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Juan Diego, who was born and raised in Villarreal, works as a concierge. That means he helps visitors arrange tours and transportation, rental cars, airport pickup and dropoff, and other services.
Juan Diego studied sustainable tourism management at UNED, the Universidad Estatal a Distancia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2013. He has worked as an admin for the Dream Chaser catamaran in Tamarindo, as a receptionist at the Hotel Pasatiempo in Tamarindo, and as a concierge at the Hotel Dreams Las Mareas in El Jobo.
Juan Diego enjoys watching HBO series and movies, riding his bike, going out with friends and watching the sunset on the beach.
Quote: “I like concierge work because I get to help a lot of people, fulfilling the dreams of tourists who visit a beautiful country like Costa Rica that’s full of nature.”
Roberta is an owner specialist who works in listing, marketing and purchasing. Originally from El Salvador, she lives in Santa Cruz with her spouse, 3-year-old daughter, five dogs and one cat.
Roberta studied business administration at the Tecnológico de Costa Rica. She previously worked at a company that rents golf carts and other recreational vehicles, which she says helped her to grow professionally in customer service.
Roberta likes to spend quality time with her family and enjoys doing arts and crafts with her daughter.
Quote: “The times of God are perfect, and gratitude is the key.”
Willy is a guest communication agent for Special Places, responding to all the needs of Special Places guests and either resolving their issues or finding someone else who can.
Willy lives in Liberia, where he has a spouse, two stepdaughters, two dogs and three cats. He was born in San José but has lived in Guanacaste for 18 years and counting.
He has a degree in advanced English from the Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in Liberia. He worked at Delta Air Lines in Liberia for four years, becoming the general coordinator of security, training other security guards and even managing machines that detect explosives. He is also trained in how to distribute weight on aircraft for optimal safety.
In his spare time, Willy plays streaming video games on Twitch, from Apex Legends to horror games. He says he has become part of a small online community of gamers, and after two years of effort on this project, he is starting to see the fruits of his persistence.
Quote: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Steven, from Potrero, is a rental agent for Special Places. He processes rental inquiries, checks on property availability, makes reservations and helps with check-in and check-out info.
Steven has worked at three hotels: as a bellman at Casa Chameleon in Las Catalinas, as a receptionist in the Sugar Beach Hotel near there, and as a receptionist at Jardín del Edén in Tamarindo. He has a bachelor’s degree in teaching English from the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz, and someday he hopes to teach English at his old high school in Cartagena.
Steven likes to ride his Kawasaki 250 dirt bike in the Potrero Hills, around Las Catalinas and in Tempate. He’s also interested in cars and mechanics, and he’s skilled at repairing motorcycles.
Quote: “I think work is a very important tool that helps us to fulfill ourselves as human beings in life and to improve on what we already know.”
Marisol is a rental agent who specializes in reservations, guest support, check-in, payments and more.
Marisol lives in Villarreal, near Tamarindo, where she has a spouse, four children, four cats and four dogs. She says, “We are more than a full house.”
Marisol was born in Puntarenas but has spent most of her life in Guanacaste and other parts of the country. She has one degree in preschool education from the Universidad de Costa Rica, and another degree in human resources management from the Universidad Politecnica.
Before Special Places, Marisol worked for three years at Amazon support services,
at an employee resource center helping workers located in the United States.
In her free time, Marisol likes to ride her bicycle, go to rivers and tend her garden.
Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Kevin is a field manager for Special Places, responsible for property inspections, receiving clients, coordinating maintenance, resolving basic maintenance problems, ordering products and maintaining active communication with clients.
Originally from Golfito, Kevin now lives in Playas de Coco with his wife.
He has a degree in business administration for sustainable tourism from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. He previously worked four years as a receptionist and reservations manager at Borinquen Thermal Resort in Rincón de la Vieja.
In his free time he likes to explore places little visited by tourists, to spend time with his family, to film sunsets and to play volleyball and soccer.
Quote: “Life begins when fear ends.”
Alex is a field manager for Special Places, coordinating the inspection of rental properties for cleanliness and maintenance.
Originally from Golfito and now living in Brasilito, Alex installs security cameras, configures internet service, makes sure remote controls for gates work properly, and more. His job is to ensure that every property is immaculate and fully functional before guests arrive.
Quote: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing.”
Norlyng coordinates the maintenance of all Special Places properties, and she’s also in charge of Human Relations and is an assistant to Kenny Segers.
Born in Limón but a longtime resident of Matapalo, she previously worked as a receptionist at the Best Western Seis Playas Hotel. She also spent six years at the Wyndham Tamarindo, working as head of reception and as an administrative assistant.
Norlyng studied law for a year and a half at the University of Costa Rica in Liberia, but currently she is more focused on tourism. She is married and has two daughters, ages 9 and 2. Her interests include reading (the Bible, inspirational works and finance) and going to relaxing places.
Quote: “My philosophy of life is to live in the present and try not to worry about the future, to have clear objectives, to try not to stress too much and to act in the present.”
Luis works as an inspector for Special Places properties, making sure they’re ready for check-in and inspecting for damage after check-out. He also helps transport housekeeping staff and products to the various properties when needed.
Born in Liberia and currently living in Surfside, Luis went to high school in Liberia, studied English and also obtained a license to work as a private security guard.
He worked for eight years in security at Delta Air Lines, and also for JetBlue. He also worked in security at the JW Marriott Hotel at Hacienda Pinilla, and in customer service at Casa Chameleon Hotel in Las Catalinas.
In his free time, he likes to listen to music, ride his motorcycle and bicycle and enjoy the sunset. He likes to maintain a regular exercise routine.
Quote: “Roar or be devoured.”
Vanessa is head of housekeeping, coordinating all cleaning, managing a staff of housekeepers, organizing their transportation and distributing cleaning products to all properties managed by Special Places.
Vanessa lives in Santa Cruz, where she was born. She has worked many years in human resources and occupational health at hotels in Guanacaste, and she is an expert at food safety and quality.
She dedicates her free time to serving God at the Iglesia Bíblica Bautista in Santa Cruz.
Quote: “Sanctified and beloved of God, I am happy in Jesus my Lord.”
We are very proud of our professional maid service staff, who provide regular cleaning for some 150 properties — and do it with a smile. A half-dozen maids provide full-time service at a single house, but all the rest rotate among a wide variety of properties from Matapalo to Playa del Coco.
Maids are responsible not just for cleaning but for staging the house, with everything in its proper place, and keeping track of inventory (so that, for example, new clients don’t check in and find there’s no toilet paper). At times, say on Jan. 2, there are so many checkouts and check-ins that the maids bring their sisters, brothers and mothers to get all the work done.
Full-time maids assigned to a single property assist clients with shopping, cooking and laundry, and they often form close bonds with clients. It’s no surprise that our clients often want to take their maids home with them.
Special Places of Costa Rica employs two full-time maintenance men who service all our properties, plus a handful of caretakers dedicated to a single property each.
These men will fix just about any problem that arises — leaks, electrical and plumbing issues, a door that scrapes on a floor, a noisy ceiling fan… you name it. They also paint homes and provide roofing maintenance.
Our maintenance staff are available 24/7 for emergencies like a burst pipe that causes a flood. Special Places of Costa Rica also enjoys a network of qualified subcontractors to handle swimming pool service, gardening / landscaping and repairs to air conditioning units & kitchen appliances.