Interview at Villa Pasha: lush ecotourism in Costa Rica

Villa Pasha is an eco-conscious sanctuary where you can connect with nature and yourself. Discover how Cem Erdem turned his longtime dream into reality.
Interview at Villa Pasha: lush ecotourism in Costa Rica
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There’s nothing quite like the Caribbean to send us into holiday reverie. There, the turquoise water laps gently at stretches of white sand, which in turn become tropical forests dotted with endemic flora and fauna. It's one of the best luxury exotic destinations.

No part of the Pacific embodies this aura quite so well as Costa Rica, where preserved nature reserves have allowed the Pacific landscape to flourish. This slice of paradise was precisely what Cem Erdem was after when creating Villa Pasha.

Come along with us to discover this exotic mirage, built with utmost respect for the untouched nature and culture of Costa Rica




Cem has always been one to dive in headfirst. Originally from Turkey, he decided to leave everything behind to forge a path in the United States with only the money he had from selling all his belongings. Through hard work and determination, he built a tech empire from the ground up that earned him comfort, success, and the possibility to sweep his family away for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

With a background in hospitality management, he eventually made his way back to that industry. Cem’s goal was to create an experience that would forge unforgettable memories: Villa Pasha.




He discovered the town of Santa Teresa in Costa Rica by chance when looking for a yoga retreat, and was smitten by what he found there. Still relatively untouched, the hills behind the ocean seemed to flow like waves towards the beach. Here, the sandy shores welcomed you to surf, play, walk, and take in the stunning surroundings, sheltered from any man-made constructions.

Cem also took to the local culture, fond of the pura vida life philosophy he encountered. This very Costa Rican way of life emphasises simple living and gratitude, expressing happiness, optimism, and contentment. Such a precious, environmentally-preserved, and friendly area proved to be exactly what he sought for Villa Pasha, a dream growing out of this flourishing location. 



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With this dream in mind, creating Villa Pasha was no short feat. It took Cem nearly seven years to get the necessary permits for this project, speaking to the authorities’ will to maintain the unspoilt environment. However, Cem didn’t mind: the proceedings imprinted on him how important it was to protect this land, and his commitment to Villa Pasha’s ambitions only cemented. 

Construction took another two years, but not without its fair share of complications. Cem and his team were ready to break ground in March 2020, when the world shut down. While his friends were stocking their pantries and heading into lockdown, he was in conversation with his builder, engineers, and architect to plot their next move. But after seven years of waiting, nothing would stop Cem in the pursuit of this dream, and he ultimately went ahead with the project as intended.

The design hinged on sustainable building. Cem favoured native materials as much as possible, like teak, palm leaves, and thatched finishes. The decor also came from the country, bearing authentic designs. In such a remote area, it was difficult to source all materials locally, so elements like the large glass doors or sinks and faucets had to be imported, but care was taken to do so in a respectful way that would minimise the environmental impact.





In January 2022, Villa Pasha was ready to open. The resulting property serves as an authentic taste of Costa Rican living and a heavily eco-conscious experience. Staff play an essential role in materialising Cem’s vision for Villa Pasha: the team of locals working at the property are often a highlight for guests. This presence was inspired by Cem’s own experiences vacationing, where he felt staff anticipated his needs and truly made his holidays special. There are many beautiful places to visit in the world, so that human connection is essential to keep him coming back.

At Villa Pasha, you can expect staff to support your every need. Trust them to fully stock the kitchen before you arrive, help you discover the region’s best kept secrets, and turn your holiday dreams into reality. When you taste the exquisite meals prepared by your private chef, you’ll want to cancel your dinner reservations in favour of an interactive cooking class at the villa learning about local cuisine — in fact, many guests do!




When Cem created Villa Pasha, he hoped to attract influential people to share the value of ecotourism, exposing them to nature, animals, and plants in their travel destinations. Many people travel to high-end resorts which, while beautiful, don’t favour an authentic taste of the area, rubbing shoulders with locals and experiencing the true culture. At Villa Pasha, a brush with the real Santa Teresa teaches the importance of sustainability and preservation.

The stunning experiences you get at the villa do just that. In such a precious and unspoilt setting, you get access to experiences you never would have otherwise. For instance, you can watch turtles hatch on the beach right from the villa, or sit in a natural circle of ceiba trees and meditate surrounded by long green trunks, stretching up towards the sky. The preserved setting of Villa Pasha allows you to connect with nature, giving you a sense of why it should be protected.



Come here to experience tourism with a purpose. At Villa Pasha, Cem and his staff offer immersive Costa Rican service and flavour, where you can just as easily reconnect with yourself and your loved ones as you can connect with nature and the local community.

The Collection

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