Tim and Chrissy Odom can not be described as conventional, nor would they want to be. In November of 2001, the engaged couple made a planned yet a little risky move to Costa Rica, knowing they wanted to both own a business and start a family here. They took a leap of faith and landed with both sets of feet at Poseidon Hotel in Playa Jacó. The couple was married at the hotel only months after starting their new life here. This month marks their 15th anniversary as owners of the hotel, which now includes a restaurant and bar. The couple will celebrate their own 15th wedding anniversary next May.
Over the years, the Odoms have developed the restaurant, which hadn’t been in operation for some years, and have upgraded the hotel from cabina style rooms to boutique style, with the conveniences of air conditioning, television, wifi and refrigerators. Through it all, they have kept the same loyal employees, including their native Costa Rican administrator Harold Castro, while growing their own family. They continue to stay connected to the community through their business and inadvertently, through their son Tommy’s surfing talent.
The Odoms actually lived in the upstairs apartment of the hotel, which is now the Sky Lounge and Sports Bar, for their first two years living here. When their eldest son Tommy was six months old, they moved out, living in various spots in Jacó for ten years before finding their current home in the Las Nubes community in nearby Herradura. While both Tim and Chrissy manage the business 100% together, Tim is in charge of hotel revenue, bookings and managing “the front of the house” by interacting with customers and employees. Chrissy is the bookkeeper and handles most marketing and operations in “the back of the house.”
The Poseidon Restaurant and Bar is open seven days a week all year long for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving both Jacó locals and tourists. “We started with a dinner-only for the first year and began to draw a large crowd from Los Sueños and the Marriot Hotel, which were new at the time. After the first year, we opened for breakfast and lunch,” explains Chrissy. While the large pieces of fresh Ahi Tuna is the most popuplar menu item, the multi-cuisine offered includes various cuts of steaks, fresh seafood, lamb chops and smoked pork ribs.
“We love the small town atmosphere here and feel fortunate to have a very large local following and also see tourists who return to Poseidon every time they come back and vacation in Jaco,” Chrissy says. Their children, Tommy who is now 13 and Lukas, 9, can surf right down the street with their friends and then hang out at the restaurant, swim in the pool and eat lunch. Tim and Chrissy are grateful to have a business where this is possible. “They can do all of this safely while we are working and also they are having a blast!”
Through connecting with the surf industry here, the Odoms have met and become involved with many people and organizations in Costa Rica. “We have been able to donate hotel rooms to various groups when they are bringing the press or judges into Jacó for events, so that is a great way to connect to these surf groups,” says Tim. Tommy has been competing in the local and national surf competitions for about 5 years. He was actually taught by locally known surfer and instructor, Mauricio Umaña, who has been his surf coach ever since. The family enjoys travelling to other Costa Rican beaches for surf contests and have developed relationships with other hotel owners all over the country. This is enriched by the friendships developed over time with the parents of other children who surf and compete.
The location is great for people who want to stay in a moderately priced hotel near the beach and close to all the action. Last August the Odoms were thrilled to host the members of Team USA for ten days while they were in town for the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games. Tim arranged a surf trip for the team on the first day to Playa Hermosa, known for its powerful, strong beach breaks. Tommy was invited to go along and had an incredible experience of surfing which he will never forget. The team members also embraced the local culture while in town, getting to know many of the shop owners and local neighbors on Calle Bohio. This past October several of the USA surfers returned who were competing in the WSL (World Surf League) QS event in Esterillos Este. “When they arrived they said they felt like they had “just gotten home,” Tim says, beaming.
The Costa Rica Team is proud to be connected to people in the community who work hard, enjoy and appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica, respect the culture, and provide quality service in our bustling beach town.