Costa Rica Revisted
Returned late last night from our 10th visit to Costa Rica. (last time was in January). I was not overly excited for fear of Costa Rica becoming overdeveloped. Seems like Costa Rica is on everyone's radar. To my surprise, our visit to Finca Rosa and Punta Islita was perfect. Here's the update:
Finca Rosa: Our 1st time to this lovely hideaway about 25 minutes from the San Jose airport. (It is also a LL offering.) We typically stayed near the airport at the Melia Cariari. Even though we enjoyed the Melia, Finca is even better. They are finishing up most of their remodeling and are expecting to be finished by December 1, 2007. We stayed in one of the new villas and not in the main house. No complaints at all. Large room/bedroom/little kitchen/jacuzzi bathroom. It was soooo cozy and with two terraces overlooking San Jose. We took the two hour horse ride throughout the countryside. We enjoyed the beautiful landscape of coffee beans, peppers, tomatoes and other yummy delights. The food at Finca is mostly all grown on the premises. Its great to walk around their grounds and delight in the grapefruits, oranges, and peppers scattered about. (wouldn't I love a backyard like theirs!) Our only disappointment is not to have walked into their town of Santa Barbara. One driver did take us through there. He explained that it had all the elements of a Costa Rican village; church, soccer field, school and bar! The ENTIRE staff was so accommodating and could not do more to service the client. Another plus is that they give back to the community and pride themselves on sustainable tourism. LOVE THE PLACE AND WILL GO BACK!!!
Hotel Punta Islita: Our 6th stay at their property. (last time March 2004). Another LL offering. Wow....did it get better! Their attention to service and detail is top notch. The facility looks basically the same yet they were updating many of the units. We were able to tell the staff how the property has changed over the years. (adding a pool by the beach, they used to have their own plane to transport guests, and the spa has grown dramatically.) Our biggest observation was how much PI gives back to the community. In the past, tours into the village were not part of the experience. Now, they have gratis tours everyother day into the village to learn more about the town. They also have a lovely arts/cultural center to visit. The local restaurant, Cambute, is also thriving. We remember when Jose just was getting the place going. Now, it is expanding (in a good way such as two new palapas to sit under!). Also, PI takes you down to Jose's Cambute for meals or drinks. We found this so unique as to a place like PI really helping the community. As to our casita at PI, we had the casita with plunge pool. Beautiful location over the ocean. Very nice and quiet...nothing to change! We were able to play tennis and have a fan club of howler monkeys make comments after not so good shots...(little intimidating!) Overall, PI gives you the luxury of a Small Luxury Hotel of the World with comforts, service, magnificant spa (oops..forgot to add just how amazing their updated spa is!!)but it also gives you the opportunity to view nature at its rawest level. Monkeys in the trees, parakeets squealling from tree to tree, racoons visiting us at dinner hoping for a bite and best of all watching a baby turtle leaving its nest to go to sea. To me, this is a perfect vacation!!!