All Roads Lead to Nosara, Costa Rica: From Publishing Success to Surfing Waves

Ingham Brooke lives in Costa Rica with his family while building a local business from the ground up: Silvestre Nosara is a hotel and community space located steps away from the beach and home to some of the best surf breaks in the area

Chris Ingham Brooke might not have followed the typical founder’s journey, but he’s certainly followed the hero’s journey. After numerous successful ventures in the world of online publishing, Ingham Brooke received a call of adventure: Relocate to Costa Rica and pursue a whole new way of life. After some initial resistance, he accepted the call. 

Fast-forward to today, and he lives in Nosara, Costa Rica, with his family while building a local business from the ground up: Silvestre Nosara is a hotel and community space located steps away from the beach and home to some of the best surf breaks in the area. 

Ingham Brooke with Co-Founder Ilya Korolev


Ingham Brooke’s plunge into entrepreneurship came practically the second he left school. At age 18, he decided to get a job as a paralegal instead of heading straight to university, and the experience made him realize he’d prefer to start a company. Sites like MySpace were just taking off, opening up a whole new set of possibilities.

Inspired by his love of nature, Ingham Brooke started an environmental magazine called Environmental Graffiti, which discussed sustainability, art, architecture, and nature. 

It took off almost immediately.

“The first month, we had 500 visits,” he says. “The next month, we had 250,000. And I ended up growing that into a business that was a million bucks a month in revenue, 250K in profit.”

But the entrepreneur was just getting started. Off the back of Environmental Graffiti’s success, he started a second business focused on traffic exchange. The team placed a widget on their site directing visitors to other publishers’ sites. It went on to become AOL’s biggest traffic partner and sent around 80 million visits a month to different publishers. 


2010 was an interesting moment in the history of the internet. Article discovery was still a novelty, and engaged traffic visitors were the key to success. Amazingly, Ingham Brooke’s site was more engaged than Google—it was the perfect time to capitalize on what he’d built.

“We came up with this idea of taking it from being a traffic exchange to being a value-based exchange,” he says. The business rebranded to become Hexagram and raised money from various L.A. investors, including high-profile names like Gary Vaynerchuk. 

Meanwhile, Ingham Brooke moved to New York in 2013.

Around this time, header bidding technology emerged. This technology could determine the value of every web visitor and help site owners fine-tune their distribution activities. Yet another business idea emerged, leading to the establishment of a magazine called Scribble. It grew into a top 100 U.S. website using the technology, which later became known as a tool called Live Yield. 

The business grew rapidly, with impressive ad partners like Google. and reached a peak of 60 million visitors a month.

“We took the website and we realized that there’s an opportunity similar to what Dot Dash did, and took niche topics and built out magazines,” Ingham Brooke says. “So ultimately, we had about 80 different magazines that we had built that were all very niche.”

Beach at the Silvestre Nosara


In 2020, Ingham Brooke’s company was acquired and he purchased his dream house in the UK—a Victorian home with five bedrooms. Soon he realized it wasn’t really his dream. 

“I feel like that’s what everybody is sort of conditioned to do—like, grow up, get married, have 2.3 children, get a mortgage, live the life that others expect you to lead,” he says. “And I just found that it was kind of not exactly what I wanted.”

At first, the family headed back to New York, and Ingham Brooke was struck by how his home had been left frozen in time. It was the perfect time to reevaluate. That was when a friend, Ilya Korolev, told him to come to Nosara, Costa Rica—and he answered the call. 

Nosara was a beautiful remote town he’d visited once before, and he was struck by the contrast between the numbness of folk in the UK and the happiness exuded by everyone in Nasara. “Everybody seemed to be just super grateful for being here,” he says.

First, he extended his one-week stay to two-and-a-half months. Then, he ended up buying a lot next to the beach in 2021, with the “investment” giving him an excuse to return. 

The initial plan was to return to the UK but to keep traveling back to Costa Rica to work on the project. But after listing his UK house as an “experiment,” it soon ended up receiving an offer for the full asking price. Costa Rica was beckoning.

Interiors of the Silvestre Nosara


The whole family relocated to Costa Rica, and construction on Silvestre Nosara started. Soon, Ingham Brooke realized this wasn’t just an investment. It was something he wanted to commit serious time to.

At the start, he had no idea what he was building. He knew he wanted it to be family oriented, but didn’t realize the level he would build at or the final form it would take. However, since Korolev also loved design, it became a grand project littered with impressive details.

Silvestre Nosara now has nine grand residences, each of which boasts 1,000 square feet. Plus, there’s a rooftop bar, pool, lounge, basement studio, and surf school—a must considering the property is on the doorstep of some of the world’s most consistent waves. 

The property’s design is impressive, but the team also poured their hearts into hospitality. They work with 25 providers for food and strive to produce everything locally. 

“For example, the honey that we buy is from an ex-fireman,” Ingham Brooke says. “And the firemen used to essentially have to, for lack of a better description, remove all these beehives. And instead of removing them and kind of killing off the hives, he rescued all these hives and started to create this sort of hyper-local, amazing honey. And it’s one of the only honeys that’s produced in Nosara.”

Of the company’s 25 employees, around 23 are Costa Rican, and Ingham Brooke has also employed Costa Rica engineers, architects, and designers where possible throughout the process.

He has also ensured the project is as sustainable as possible. It features energy-efficient bathrooms and toilets, uses native plants in landscaping, and has a Biostyr for wastewater treatment. 

The team started building in January 2023 and finished within 11 months. Silvestre Nosara officially opened on February 1, 2024—and quickly achieved six figures in revenue for the month.

Many guests found the hotel simply by walking past the building, appreciating its beauty, and deciding they wanted to stay there. Others booked through travel agencies or online travel agents like Expedia or, after seeing press articles. 

Besides the business proving to be yet another success, Ingham Brooke’s personal life is thriving. His children attend a great international school in the middle of the jungle and they’re loving Costa Rica, while he feels connected to nature. 

“Over here, with surfing as a sport, for me, it’s one of the most amazing things,” he says. “Being in the water at sunset, watching all the colors change, and just doing something kind of physical. You have to be very present because otherwise, waves crash on you. So it’s a great sport for me.”

Chris Ingham Brooke

Co-Founder | Silvestre Nosara Hotel & Residencies

Sutton Courtenay, UK

Nosara, Costa Rica

High School Diploma

First Job
Kitchen Porter

Philanthropy & Causes
Costas Verdes, Plan B, Kitson Library, Bomberos of Nosara

My mom, my grandad

Silvestre Nosara, Hotel & Residences


Nosara, Costa Rica