Xandari Resort & Spa
Xandari Resort & Spa, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Xandari is a true tropical paradise consisting of 23 individually designed villas on 45 acres overlooking the central valley of Costa Rica. The resort is conveniently located around 20 minutes from San Jose International airport and around a 10 minute ride to the colonial city of Alajuela (Costa Rica's 2nd largest city).
The resort features trails with 5 beautiful waterfalls, fantastic gardens, 3 pools and jacuzzis, a working farm and orchards. At an elevation of around 3900 feet, the temperatures are delightful - it was around 70 - 80F during our stay and cool in the evening. Individual villas, original artworks and the unique architectural design make Xandari a wonderful experience.
Our package was for 3 nights in a Prima Villa (there are also Premium Plus and Ultra villas, a unique round villa and a larger villa for a large group or family). The package included breakfast each morning - many choices of breads, bagels, fruit, muffins, yogurt, smoothies. You could add eggs or more substantial fare for an additional cost but we did not need to since the complimentary breakfast was more than adequate and very good. Also included was 1 tour you could pick from 4 choices - we did not avail ourselves of this since we did all 4 of the options self guided. All 4 tours were on the property grounds and included an early morning bird tour, farm and gardens tour, trails and waterfalls and medicinal plant tour. There are around 85 species of birds and it was wonderful to wake up to the delightful birdsongs each morning. The trails and waterfalls are great and we did all the trails which took us around 2 hours round trip. The farm has chickens, turkeys, goats (Sparkle & Twinkle), and ducks. There is quite an extensive orchard with various fruit trees. Most of the salads at mealtimes come straight from the garden to the table!
Our Prima Villa was very spacious with colorful artwork, great design, 2 queen beds (you could also ask for a villa with 1 king bed), a generous seating area, coffee maker with complimentary coffee and tea, a refrigerator with complimentary water and fruit juices. The bathroom was very nice with bathrobes, a generous closet, a huge shower with full windows overlooking our private garden - what a nice way to take a shower! Our patio was very spacious with 2 lounge chairs and a table with 2 chairs overlooking the valley - the view was amazing as was the stargazing at night. We even had our own hummingbird who lived in the banana tree next to our patio. Every villa has its own private entrance and you never hear your neighbors and the patios are all private (if you like to air dry after your shower - no one will see you ;-)
The dining room was an indoor/outdoor combination - again with the great central valley views. The menu features an extensive variety of healthy and not so healthy choices - from Costa Rican dishes to filet mignon, chicken and pasta dishes. There are also creative vegetarian dishes and salads. Everything we had was very good and reasonably priced.
The common areas are very nice, reception was very friendly and efficient, there is a small shop featuring local crafts (we purchased a nice locally made blanket) and of course coffee! There is a computer and printer setup for guests to use and WiFi in the common areas. No TV in the rooms but there is a TV room in the common area with DVDs, etc. for guests to use - but who wants to or needs to when you are in this place with all there is to do. The pool and jacuzzi areas (there are 3) are nicely landscaped with plenty of lounge chairs and tables and chairs to use and big, fluffy towels and again with the amazing views of the valley. The only complaint we had was that the jacuzzi could have been a bit hotter.
I did partake of some of the spa treatments and Konrad, the spa manager & Carla, my therapist, were great. The spa itself is very nicely designed with 5 individual treatment palapas with jacuzzis and great views. There is even a resident spa cat, Pancha, who greets the guests (she likes to have her belly rubbed and her ears scratched). Prices are competitive and it was well worth it. I was so relaxed, I availed myself of the chauffer driven eco friendly golf cart to take me back to my villa.
Xandari has a pretty comprehensive program of sustainable tourism - solar power, irrigation system, etc. When the owners purchased the land it was a coffee plantation and everything had been cleared for coffee plants. They have planted hundreds of native trees & plants in an effort to restore the area to its native diversity and they succeeded -- this is now a wonderful habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Guests can participate in the reforestation effort by planting a tree. The owners, Californian architect, Sherrill Boudy & his wife Charlene, who created much of the artwork, have done a fantastic job in creating this wonderful oasis.
Thanks to Lucy Alfaro, the reservation manager, for helping us plan our Xandari stay around our Costa Rica Expeditions tour to Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde Lodge and Gardens and for arranging our airport transportation. All the staff at the resort were great! HIghly recommend this place - perfect for before and after explorations of other areas in Costa Rica since it is close to the airport but far enough away to be tranquil and peaceful.
Pictures coming soon - our villa, the grounds, dining room and menus, pool area, etc. We took so many pictures this trip that we have to get them organized before posting the link. Also stay tuned for my story (still writing it) of the Costa Rica Expeditions portion of our trip to Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde Lodge & Gardens.
We had not been back to Costa Rica for about 5-6 years and this trip was well worth it and very enjoyable.
here is the link to pictures